Disney Is Cracking Down on Etsy Sellers For Bootleg Baby Yoda Merchandise


Well, I knew it was just a matter of time.

Now that Disney was losing out on merchandise sales, some estimate nearly $3 million, by not having Baby Yoda merchandise ready, they are now going to start issuing “Notices of Intellectual Property Infringement” (copyright take down requests) against Etsy sellers.

This is not new.

Other Intellectual Property holders have been doing it for years. I know a lot of sellers had items delisted by claims from the companies that own properties like: Minecraft, Bendy and the Ink Machine, Fortnite, Nintendo, anime companies and more.

Honestly, I’m surprised it took them this long because the merchandise hit hours after the first Mandalorian episode aired.

Of course Disney is doing this.

Now that they have their merchandise out (took them long enough) and are rolling out shirts, tumblers, mugs, and have pre-orders coming with license holders like Mattel, Hasbro, Funko, and Build-A-Bear, they don’t want to lose any more money to “bootleg” merchandise.

Ironically, I’ve seen Disney come out with “new” designs on t-shirts and other merchandise that have looked very similar to items I saw online, and especially on Etsy. For example the item that has Baby Yoda on it that says “He protects, He attacks, He also takes naps,” was a meme and ended up on many pieces of “bootleg” merchandise well before Disney started putting it on their pieces.

I’ve seen people walking around the parks wearing custom shirt designs and people ask where they got it and they said “Etsy.” Later I will see similar designs appear on official merchandise.

Frankly, some of the bootleg designs were far better than the ones Disney initially put out. Not saying making bootlegs is okay, but stating a fact. When Disney finally caught up and got out something, their designs were simply screen shots from the show.

I can see both sides.

I’m an artist myself. So I get where the artisans and crafters are coming from. I have been to the conventions, doing artist alley or the main show floor, selling my own IP and some other characters.  But the fact remains that Disney owns the rights to the character and property and if people want to make merchandise for reselling they must have a licensing agreement in place. If not Disney can order the take downs.

If you are crafty, I have put up links to how to make your own Baby Yodas at home (not for reselling) but Disney will probably take those down soon too. I know they were focused on taking down a couple of the more popular crocheting “how-tos” before.

Moving forward I expect far more take-down requests to hit Etsy, Ebay, crafting sites and more. Disney is like a money vacuum and doesn’t want to lose a penny to anyone else. But at the end of the day they bought the franchise and they paid a lot for it. I can understand where they are coming from even if I think they are more about money than community anymore.

What do you think? Comment and let us know!

Sources: The Verge, Screen Rant,

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