Wednesday, June 13, 2012

An Open Letter to

(A little background: One of the many ways I've been attempting to fund my publishing dreams has been by offering shirts, posters and other gewgaws with artwork I have commissioned for this project over at There's a clever little animated ad-thing over on the right sidebar. Earlier today, I heard from some other Oz creators that some of their merchandise had been removed from their Zazzle store. I checked up on my own products and sure enough, some of my products had been removed as well. Specifically, those products that featured the main cast of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. I have sent this message in reply to every individual product takedown notice they sent me.

Please note that this news is still very new. I have only sent this out within the last few minutes. I will give them a chance to reply before deciding whether or not to continue using Zazzle. I'll keep you posted.)

This is in reply to your removal of my products from your store.

While I applaud your efforts to protect copyrights, perhaps you should exercise some due diligence when deciding what is or is not a violation.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was published in 1900 and all of its text, characters and setting entered the public domain in 1956. Dorothy, Tin Woodman, Cowardly Lion, and Scarecrow are all public domain characters. Certain depictions of those characters are copyrighted (such as their appearance in the classic Wizard of Oz film), but the characters themselves are not.

The image I used on my products was based on public domain sources, not copyrighted ones. It was commissioned by me and I possess the rights to use it as I did.

You are within your rights to refuse to offer my products on your site. Please acknowledge that I was within my rights to offer them in the first place.

1 comment:

librarian said...

I hope they see the light.

The expiration of copyright is the most important issue in art right now.

The fact that corporations have essentially indefinitely extended copyrights should actually make every artist very concerned.

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