Joy Division Micky Mouse T shirt
'that's a bit Micky Mouse...' Joy Division T drummer hits out...

Joy Division Micky Mouse T shirt
'that's a bit Micky Mouse...' Joy Division T drummer hits out...

The rumbling controversy over the Disney Joy Division T shirt continues.

Ex Joy Division and current New Order drummer, Stephen Morris has hit out at the shirt that Disney claims was ‘inspired’ by the band’s classic Unknown Pleasures album artwork.

“I was quite angry when I first saw it. No one asked us. They’re trading off the band and our album cover, but get away with it by apparently saying the design was ”Ëœinspired’ by us. I don’t like the design at all. It’s horrible. I can’t imagine any Joy Division fans wearing it. Or anyone for that matter. Clearly, no one investigated the history of the band before coming up with this idea. It’s bizarre.” said Morris.

The sleeve design which was found by band guitarist bernard Sumner in a book, the Cambridge Encyclopedia of Astronomy, showing radio telescope pulses from a star in Manchester and library and given to designer Peter Saville to finish has been turned into a Micky ouse by the Disney corporation. It looks oddly sinister and works in a way that Disney probably never intended- like some sort of dark comment on the sinister Disney corporation.

It’s just the latest ina long line of corporate companies stealing music culture for their own ends. all those Motorhead T shirts worn by fake suntan, wine bar types don’t earn Lemmy a penny and remember all those CBGB’s and Ramones t shirts?

On a better note…There is an upcoming Factory Records exhibition that needs your help…

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  1. So Disney corps whom won\’t let your village pantomime use the names grumpy, bashful etc if you want to do snow white, yet they are quite happy to steel someone else\’s design , sorry be \’inspired\’

  2. I remember a young lady at work admitting she didn’t know The Famines were a real band even after buying one of their t shirts from TopShop!!!!

  3. I guess Rammstein riffed on Snow White with that one video, while The Fall and The Blue Orchids have released stuff that referenced Disney…

    I’m not really sure this was that much of a shock after the Unknown Pleasures and Closer fridge magnets. Or the Unknown Pleasures trainers. Or most things that Peter Hook is doing with Joy Division-material. Or the endless biographies…who knew that Half Man Half Biscuit’s ‘Joy Division Oven Gloves’ would be so prophetic?

  4. Didn’t H&M produce an MC5 t-shirt. Now I don’t want to be a music snob but my guess would be that most teens who shop in H&M wouldn’t have a clue who the MC5 were

  5. So it’s okay to rip off SCIENTISTS, just not ARTISTS. Because astronomers clearly don’t have any rights, only musicians. That’s alright, then.

    • It seems that a fairly extensive investigation into who owns rights to the pulsar image by a fellow named Adam.
      ( httpss:// )
      Ultimately, I believe he determined a couple of interesting facts; 1) The scientific study which was responsible for capturing arms generating the original pulsar image, has no claim to ownership of this image since more than most of the funding came from the US government, who isn’t able to establish ownership of property—including intellectual—so therefore, usage would automatically default to public dimensions status.

      However, a design that incorporates the pulsar image, I believe, could become protectable intellectual property. In not an intellectual property attorney, but I believe this would seem to suggest that Disney would not be liable for their Mickey Mouse usage. It looks like someone at Disney acquiesced to Bernie’s incessant request, agreeing to cease merchandising their pulsar-related design. Who knows, maybe whoever designed the Mickey Division concept found some basic human culpability to wrestle with and decided to leave history alone.

      Another point to consider, however, there is a long standing exception for “reproducing” protected intellectual property in the US. It relates to satire and mockery. Under law, you have the right to produce satirical content that plageurizes protected content. Perhaps Saville’s response when describing the Disney design as “creepy” suggests that their design could be considered satirical.

      Water under the bridge though.

      What bothers me to no end are the blatantly obvious examples of copyrighted property that shows up on sites like Zazzle, Cafe Press, Etsy, Ebay, Amazon etc. The voluminous body of that crap is absolutely incredible.

      Knowing that Savilles pulsar image is public domain suggests that one could freely publish some interesting designs, provided your conscience doesn’t interfere.

  6. […] Pleasures done as Mickey Mouse T shirt.    A company spokesman said after all the fuss, including this condemnation from the band, they were revising the situation.    shame, we were getting to quite like the shirt in a […]

  7. […] ¹I tilfellet Disney/Joy Division, høyrer det riktignok til historia at a) dei tidlegare Joy Division-medlemmane ikkje har eintydig eigedomsrett til Unknown Pleasures-trykket, og difor ikkje vart kontakta for Ã¥ godkjenna t-skjorta, b) bassist Peter Hook eigentleg ikkje syns det var sÃ¥ farleg og c) trommer Steve Morris syns det er ganske farlig. […]

  8. Considering some of the utter shite and total drivel New Order put out after the first 3 or 4 albums, and the fact that they all carved out careers and made millions off the back of Ian Curtis’ death, I think he’s being a bit of a cock really. I bet if Disney had come to them first and given them a load of cash, he’d have said sweet fa.

  9. Is the last bit true? That Motorhead and the Ramones don’t get any money from all those T-shirts? I thought they said in the Ramones’ End Of The Century docu that they made more money from T-shirts than they did from music. Surely if you stick someone’s name and logo on a T-shirt, you have to come to some sort of licensing agreement? Aren’t band names/logos intellectual property?

    The Mickey Mouse/Unknown Pleasures T-shirt is a bit different: it’s a pastiche of a picture which was itself found material. Smirking hipsters everywhere would probably wear it if it wasn’t produced by Disney. And yes, it does look sinister.

  10. […] JOY DIVISION – UNKNOWN PLEASURES from Amy Britton’s great new book ‘Unknown Pleasures’ but it now! chapter and verse- extract from great new book Revolution Rock […]

  11. Quran (4:104) – “And be not weak hearted in pursuit of the enemy; if you suffer pain, then surely they (too) suffer pain as you suffer pain…”

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  15. To TWs comment, obviously you do not know anything about about JD or New Order. Save your comments for Justin Bieber. The grown ups want to post here.

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