Did You Create Something On 20th November 2009? You Could Be In Breach Of Twilight Trademark

Kelly Howlett, professional artist and ex-Wizard employee has come into conflict over Summit Entertainment, producers of the Twilight film over a trademark issue that, is quite frankly, bizarre.

She was selling one of her paintings on Zazzle.com, until they took it down, telling Kelly that “we have been contacted by the intellectual property right holder and we will be removing your product from Zazzle’s Marketplace due to infringement claims.”

Intriguing, since it is a completely original painting. Making enquiries, she was told “Your product has been removed from Zazzle’s Marketplace due to an infringement claim by Summit Entertainment. This may be due to the actual design of the product, description, search tags or character names that references the Twilight Saga which is owned by Summit Entertainment.”

She worked it out and posted her conclusions on Facebook. The painting was tagged with the date 11-20-09, “the date I created my sketch”. This was also the release date of the Twilight movie New Moon.

Summit Entertainment are claiming, it seems, that they own this date. And that no one may profit from it. And Zazzle.com folded.

Now, Bleeding Cool posted this Ben Templesmith drawing of Wolverine on that day. Do Summit Enterprises claim they own that as well?

As Kelly puts it “I doubt that anyone at Summit Entertainment even saw my image. I’m sure they just have a bot trolling Google Marketplace to issue threats. All these anti-piracy laws are scaring me because it’s just assumed that these companies are right, and if not, their army of lawyers can certainly outlast my bank account. If someone like Summit wanted to claim my artwork was infringing their intellectual property simply because it was created the same day as the release date of a movie… I couldn’t fight it if I wanted to. I’m hating the idea of a company being able to call up my website host and have my content removed simply because they objected to it.”

More for the SOPA/PIPA fighters, I’m guessing.

Kelly concluded by noting that she put the image back up on Society 6 and that Zazzle seems to have had a change of heart as well.

Still, the fact that it happened at all is a freaky one…

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