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Author Topic: Disney DMCA Notice Response Advice  (Read 906 times)


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Disney DMCA Notice Response Advice
« on: 04-04-17 at 04:52 pm »


I recently received a notice that one of my works was removed from a print on demand website due to infringement. I am currently trying to make t-shirts but have plans to eventually make bronze religious style icons, among other things.

The piece(which I am unable to post or link to haha)clearly uses the Mickey Mouse head but i am 99% positive it constitutes parody as the image is necessary for the message. The piece is Mickey's head on the body of an overweight man with 4 arms sitting in a throne with his legs crossed smoking a cigar holding a pile of money. It is very aesthetically similar and completely inspired by the Hindu gods. The specific work does not alter mickeys head very much besides it not having eyes and instead Xs. In my response would I need to explain the meaning behind the piece in order for them to determine parody? The name that I made it under is Capidolism, so I think that and the imagery kind of makes the meaning obvious. Also, I am kind of trying to leave that somewhat open to interpretation. Regardless of parody, isn't there something about a certain percentage being changed? I would imagine this must fall under that category as well. This piece I made probably 6 years ago but never did anything with it until this last week and within 2 days I received a DMCA notice. I knew that this would eventually happen, it was somewhat intended, I'm pretty proud that I was able to get their attention so quickly. I am currently working on an updated version that changes the Mickey Mouse image much further, adding inspiration from many different cultures making him lavender, adding fangs, a long tongue and a huge gold crown (my avatar), I feel like this must definitely be fine, should I just use this one? This piece is part of a larger body that I have been working on for some time now with an entire pantheon and other derivative works. I eventually plan to encourage the duplication and remixing of these works so that it is able to grow and take on different styles, mediums and potentially meanings, similar to the way religions evolve. A lot of planning has gone into this and I have a lot of plans for it in the future so this is not really something I want to drop. What would I need to do to protect people remixing my works in the future? Not from "stealing" but from people reworking my art having any risk of legal consequences? I would like to ensure the idea stays in the public domain and no one is able to have any claim to the idea(individual works would be something else). I hope this is enough information for you to understand my situation, I greatly appreciate the help.


Robert T Nicholson

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Understanding DMCA
« Reply #1 on: 04-04-17 at 05:30 pm »

The DMCA takedown process is intended to protect site operators from being sued for copyright infringement over content posted by third parties.  You, in this case, are the third party.

As long as the site follows the DMCA process rules, they are not liable, whatever the merits of the case.

If you file a response to the DMCA takedown notice, the site operator may then re-post your content (although they are not obligated to, and in many cases won't).

If you file a response, and the site operators choose to re-post your content, they must then also notify the complainant. 

At which time, Disney being very litigious, their response will most likely be to sue you.

I'm not going to go into the merits of your position.  What you need to ask yourself is if you are really prepared to take on Disney's lawyers in court - because that's a very likely possibility if you file that response.

My advice to you would be to consult with an IP attorney before you file the response, and not rely on your own opinions, or responses you get in an online forum.

« Last Edit: 04-04-17 at 07:22 pm by artchain »
This post is provided for information purposes only, and does not constitute legal advice.

Robert Nicholson Consulting | Copyright Safeguard | ED Treatment Center


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Re: Disney DMCA Notice Response Advice
« Reply #2 on: 04-05-17 at 04:02 am »

Do keep in mind that in order to succeed with your "it's a parody!" defense, you'll still have to go to trial.  Disney isn't just going to accept your statement and walk away.  So, if you win, you will have to pay most likely on the order of $50K to $200K in legal fees, and if you lose, you'll have to pay that plus damages.
"The life of a patent solicitor has always been a hard one."  Judge Giles Rich, Application of Ruschig, 379 F.2d 990.

Disclaimer: not only am I not a lawyer, I'm not your lawyer.  Therefore, this does not constitute legal advice.


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