How to Order - Updated 11 January 2011
You can again! I finally got around to creating an O'Really store on the
US-based site Zazzle.com. Simply follow the link on each design's page direct
to the page on Zazzle for that design or go to
do it that way. Note that you can order any kind of T-shirt you like once
you're there. You don't have to stick with the "Value" type. Go, buy a few.
I'm sure they're awesome.
A Small Potted History
As of 02/11/2000 you could order the first three designs Copyleft.net agreed
go with. And on 23/02/2001 the second set went on sale too! On 20/05/2002
The Register started doing a few too. They intended to add one or two more
every so often, I imagine. They never got as far as selling all twelve
designs unfortunately, which was a shame. Still, that does mean whoever next
wants to still gets to sell some no-one ever has before.
Initially Copyleft and I decided which designs to put to print first. They
wanted to do them three at a time because there was going to be quite a
take-up on them. Luckily, before they could get around to asking me to send
them proofs I managed to find the correct fonts for the images. That's right, the
pedantic people among you can now see Gill Sans MT and ITC Garamond in place
of Arial and plain old Garamond. The newer designs're quite good, too.
Having them done by a more professional group than me and my local T-shirt
printing place took a bit more time because they were being screen printed,
which upped the quality and wear time by a factor of five or so.
The only hurdle I fell at in offering these designs as T-shirts was the one
placed (pretty fairly) in my path by Simon Travaglia and his team of lawyers
regarding wonga, moolah, greenbacks. Money. I can't blame the man, he's
invented a character/ideal which is well known among a fair proportion of the
Clued on-line population. If anyone's going to make money from it, it should
You see, one of the conditions on me being allowed to use the name "BOFH"
freely on BOFHcam.org was that this site should not at any time be use for
commercial purposes. I.e. sell anything. Now, this is where things got a
little hazy. I asked Copyleft.net if they'd like to sell my T-shirt designs
for me, and they seemed to be fairly appreciative of the opportunity to do so.
I never really worked out anything yet with regards copyright, royalties or
ownership in the long term, but as Copyleft.net and I came to a mutually
satisfactory arrangement we just went with it.
Does this still mean bofhcam.org is being commercial? I don't think so. I'm
doing this as a favour to interested people who like what I'm doing and want
to give me an ego trip by wearing something I've designed. I live
comfortably, I want for nothing except more DVDs and Recovery, I can afford to
do this for free if I need to. It's still be fairly cool. I do the designs,
someone else makes the money. How noble of me.
Well, Simon said "No." on the BOFH T-shirt so that one didn't get to be
printed by Copyleft, but Copyleft have gone bust and for a while The Register
did a fairly good trade in my designs including that one.
After a while though (about five years or so) The Register decided to stop
selling my designs for some reason. It was probably to do with moving over
to Spreadshirt/outsourcing/lack of demand any more. This meant that no-one
was selling my designs at all. No-one I contacted seemed to be interested
and frankly it was pretty obvious that the O'Really thing had had its 15GB of
fame. For a few years (read, another five) I just let the whole thing go and
concentrated on having a life. However, every few months or so someone would
email me and ask where they could get hold of a T-shirt or two. Eventually a
man by the name of Tony S. emailed me to say he'd seen some O'Really designs
on Zazzle and were they mine. They weren't. I've never held any kind of
copyright or monopoly on "O'Really" and I certainly wasn't the first person to
do a parody of O'Reilly book covers. I'm just (probably) the most organised,
anal-retentive and (likely) the one who's made the most profit from doing so.
Long story short, seeing them up on the Zazzle convinced me it was time to
reawaken the O'Really thing so I set up a store on Zazzle myself and am now
waiting for the two or three orders per year to flood in.
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