"Your Design contains an image or text that may infringe on intellectual property rights. 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."Upon further inspection, it appears that all Flying Spaghetti Monster themed products have been removed from every store built on Zazzle. I have sent an email to the creator of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, Bobby Henderson (firstname.lastname@example.org), inquiring about the incident. I've also contacted Zazzle to inquire as to who is claiming copyright infringement. If you too have had your FSM products pulled, I suggest you do the same.
It really doesn't seem as though Bobby would claim copyright infringement. The popularity of the FSM is a result of a group effort. If anything, ubiquity of the FSM in atheist shops only helps the cause, which is to keep religion out of American classrooms by illustrating the absurdity of intelligent design. Plus, taking anti-piracy measures for an organization that requires it's adherents to dress as pirates seems counter intuitive. It may be that somebody masquerading as Bobby Henderson has contacted zazzle in order to get all FSM products pulled.
Of course, it would be Bobby's right to claim copyright of the FSM, but, It does seem an odd move to do so only now and only on zazzle.com
I received a response from zazzle.com this morning...
Unfortunately, it appears that your product does not meet Zazzle Acceptable Content Guidelines. Specifically, your product contained a design infringes upon the intellectual property rights of Flying Spaghetti Monster, LLC.
We have been contacted by Flying Spaghetti Monster, LLC, and at their request, have removed the product from the Zazzle Marketplace.
We are sorry for any disappointment, but hope you will understand our position in this regard. For future reference, please review Zazzle Acceptable Content Guidelines at: http://zazzle.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/143.
If you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.
Thanks for using Zazzle. We look forward to seeing more of your creative designs!
Content Management Team
I won't have a chance to look into whether or not a Flying Spaghetti Monster LLC company actually exists until tonight. No word from Bobby Henderson yet either. I'll update as soon as I get more information.
I've had a chance to run a Business Registry Business Name Search and there is indeed a business by the name of "Flying Spaghetti Monster LLC" registered to Robert Henderson. If the claim was a forgery, they've done their homework. We won't know for sure until we hear back from Bobby. I'll post as soon as I get a response...
Bobby has yet to reply directly to me, so I am as yet unsure as to whether or not it was he who removed all the designs from Zazzle. However, I did find this on his website.
So, having read the page, I think it covers a lot of things pretty nicely. It lays out the unfortunate reasons that necessitate the need to control merchandising of the FSM and those reasons are genuine and understandable. I'm glad I can finally have some closure on the issue. It leaves some questions unanswered however, such as why Zazzle seems to be the only site targeted out of dozens, and why he waited for years before only now making a copyright claim."It’s ok to use FSM materials for your own use and to spread the word – I’m happy to see it. There have been a number of sports team and club shirts — I can provide high quality images/vector designs for screen printing, just let me know.
That said, it’s not ok to *SELL* FSM products:
A couple reasons for this. I’m wary of the FSM being used in designs with slogans that are purposely antagonistic or otherwise harmful to the Cause. I’m thinking of a case years ago where someone was selling overtly caustic anti-religion shirts with various FSM designs and it became a problem.
I’m all for pointed criticism and humor at the expense of too-powerful religious institutions, but that is a very different thing than declaring someone is stupid for being religious. I’m strongly against simple intentional offense just for the sake of offending – I believe it makes the larger problem worse, causes everyone to entrench in their views, and gives ammunition to opponents. I have no say in the broader non-religious movements, but I don’t want FSM seen as cynical and negative. This is very important to me.
Second, unlike mainstream religions, there is no soliciting for donations or tithing here. This server was expensive to build and is expensive to run, and it’s funded by sales of shirts/books/emblems. Because of that, I am aware of the hundreds of FSM products offered that don’t support this site, and the few who I feel hurt the cause. I believe most people have good intentions, but also I don’t want to see this organization disappear.
If there’s something specific you want offered on the FSM store, let me know and I’ll see what I can do.
If ever possible, I would love to do away with all merchandising – I think it hurts the purity of the Cause. It would be nice if there was a rich benefactor keeping things afloat. (Accepting applications).
And so, in keeping with Bobby's guidelines and in the spirit of a true pirate. I'm releasing the full resolution image of my favorite original FSM design to the public, Viva la Pastafarion! Click for full size image. Do with it as you wish! Just be sure not to sell it as to keep within the guidelines of the Church of the FSM.
|click to download full resolution image|