2K is taking down custom shirts that contain copyrighted designs from “NBA 2K18” to avoid legal repercussions. However, fans are torn on whether the game publisher should or should not refund the confiscated items.

On Wednesday, Kotaku reported after learning from some “NBA 2K18” players that the custom shirts they made through the game’s myCareer mode are being removed by 2K. Apparently, the shirts that were confiscated featured copyrighted logos and designs that mimic real brands.

MyCareer mode is a feature that basically allows players to create custom shirts. The shirts can then be voted on by other players, and those that accumulate 100 votes are sold by 2K on its storefront. It’s important to note though that these cosmetic items can only be used by players in the myPark mode — a 3 on 3 street basketball game.

The problem here isn’t only about the copyrighted content, however. The custom shirts were sold on 2K’s storefront, and players paid for them using virtual currency, VC. Players can earn VC the hard way by playing games. But they also have the option of just purchasing VC with real money. Hence, losing the cosmetic items either hurt the player’s effort to obtain hard-earned VC or their wallet.

One player affected by 2K’s move has shared his problem online, saying he had only been refunded 10,000 VC, which is enough to cover for three shirts (one shirt costs 3,500 VC by the way). The thing is, the refund wasn’t enough because the  player bought 10 shirts. Another thing that may have annoyed the player is the fact that 2K confiscated the shirts from his inventory without explanation.

“Basically the problem is 2K allowed people to create shirts that were customized to look like Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Balmain, Bape, Supreme etc. as well as NFL, NHL, NCAA jerseys and were making a profit off of the sales of these shirts without paying the respected companies for their trademarked logos,” the player explained in a post published on Resetera. “Apparently they got caught and removed all the shirts from the game but failed to reimburse people for the items they illegally sold. Now I want my money back but they will not give me a full refund.”

Many players have since given their two cents on the issue, and reactions were divided. Some claim that 2K doesn’t need to refund players for the shirts they intentionally designed to mimic copyrighted and branded materials. Others put the blame on 2K for selling the items and demand that refunding the items is a must.

“Using or buying copyrighted material without the consent of the copyright owner, normally doesn’t entitle you for a refund. Especially when you can’t prove that you didn’t know these items being genuine,” Resetera member boris_feinbrand commented on a thread about the issue. Member jakoo countered: “Come on though, the distinction here is obvious: Why is ‘NBA2K’ allowing things on there storefront people can't legally buy? I think there is an obvious presumption that if something makes it's way onto a guarded marketplace like an in-game store, that if a company is willing to take your money to sell you something, they vetted it such that it could be there in the first place.”

Meanwhile, memer ronaldthump opined: “They're asking for a class action. They should have stopped the sales of these ‘t-shirts’; not pull the content after they've taken the money for the digital goods. Are they liable? Pretty sure, there's a very strong case if they don't refund the money.” 

Do you think 2K should refund the confiscated shirts or not? Tell us in the comments below.