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Avatar Protest Shut Down By Viacom Copyright Claim

| 3 May 2009 19:40
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A website selling t-shirts protesting the casting of white actors in the Avatar: The Last Airbender movie has had to remove and/or alter many of its products after being slapped with a copyright infringement notice from Viacom.

The site, a Zazzle shop front run by a user known as 'glockgal', sold products sporting slogans such as "The Last Airbender: Putting the Cauc back in Asian" and "Aang can stay Asian and still save the world" at cost prices to protest the casting of white actors as the protagonists in the live-action version of Asian-themed Nickelodeon series Avatar: The Last Airbender and to promote the awareness site racebending.com.

Last week however, glockgal discovered that all but one of her t-shirts had been removed as it apparently violated the intellectual property rights of Viacom, Nickelodeon's parent company. After her request for an DMCA take down notice, glockgal received this e-mail from Zazzle:

"Your products were removed during a routine sweep of our site for Viacom properties...If you'd like to continue using content from Avatar: The Last Airbender, you will need to obtain permission from Viacom. If you are able to obtain permission, we'd be more than happy to produce your products for you."

While it appears the glockgal was not singled out by Viacom, it does raise the question of whether or not her designs, which used no images or words from the show itself, actually infringed on Viacom's copyright. Regardless, glockgal is resolutely soldiering on, and has redesigned many of her products to have the words 'Censored by Viacom' written across any mention of the show's title.

The original designs can be found here.

Source: Boing Boing

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