My Pussy Riot poster is a ‘third party intellectual property infringment’

So I woke up this morning to find that my Pussy Riot print in my Society 6 shop has been taken down from my Society 6 account has infringed a third party’s intellectual property. This is highly interesting, as it would go against all that Pussy Riot believe in. I first drew the poster and offered it for free around the internet for it to be used during Pussy riot’s imprisonment in 2012. I now have it in my shop as a print. You can read the email from Society 6 below:

S6 Legal Team on June 9, 2015 6:36pm

Dear KlaraBowPiechocki:

We regret to inform you that your design at http://society6.com/klarabowpiechocki/pussy-riot-kqz is no longer eligible for commercial participation within the Society6 marketplace, as we’ve received a direct request for removal from the rights holder of the subject matter.

While Society6 is here to serve our artists and create a platform of opportunity, we must maintain a zero tolerance policy for infringement of another’s intellectual property rights.

Please understand that you are not the only artist subject to this outcome and even original renderings of protected images can infringe third-party intellectual property rights. Though your design may be creative, and not merely duplicative of someone else’s work, if the underlying subject matter is protected, you may not be able to sell merchandise reflecting that subject matter without the owner’s permission.

We are not definitively stating your work does, or does not, infringe any third party’s intellectual property rights, only that it has been contested by a verified rights holder and we are not at liberty to rebut.

Further, we are not suspending your entire account and it is still in good standing with Society6, only the image referenced above, and we encourage you to research the relevant copyright laws and other laws pertaining to intellectual property (some links provided below) in relation to your work.

General:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intellectual_property
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personality_rights

United States:
http://www.copyright.gov/

DMCA:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_Millennium_Copyright_Act

We ask that you review the Society6’s Terms of Service with respect to our Content, Copyright & Intellectual Property Rights Policies to ensure that you are in compliance. Ultimately we are unable to provide legal counsel or personal opinions regarding intellectual property or copyright related matters, and suggest you consult your own legal counsel if the information above does not offer any additional clarity.

And finally, we apologize for any inconvenience this causes as we understand the time and energy it takes to create. We truly appreciate your understanding and support of our position.

 

Legally, you can draw celebrities and brand names (hello Andy Warhol). I can paint a can of Coca-Cola or David Beckham, and although they may not like it, I’m within my rights to do so. My poster is Mucha inspired- but then nearly every 20’s inspired piece around the world is Mucha inspired. I suppose sites like Society 6 have to step down at the first hint of trouble.

Curioiser and curiouser! I’d love to know more about what actually happened here. You’ll find original sketches of the work below, as I posted it on facebook as I drew it.

Thoughts?
pr1 ps2

freepussyriot

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