Category Archives: Law & Legal issues

Fair/Not Fair?

What is fair? 

The person who fathered my child, who suddenly stopped paying child maintenance last November? Who then got subpoenaed to appear in a UK Family Court on 31st August…only to turn up and ask for an adjournment while he considers a paternity test, of all things?

Stalling tactics? Yes. The case is now to be heard in January 2017, by which time my son would not have had any financial support for 14 months. Is that fair? Is that how a father should treat his own flesh and blood? 

In the UK, my child maintenance is £200 a month. A MONTH. In Australia, for the last 6 years that we have been here, my ex-husband (we are married on paper only, have been since 2014, but try convincing the Australian authorities about that!!) has been paying child support for his own son…whom he hasn’t seen for 13 years. 

And whom the Australian Mafia I mean Child Support Agency, decided that he has to pay over $400 A WEEK for. It’s our second mortgage, that’s what it amounts to. And that’s why we are slowly but surely sinking into the ground, into that big gaping hole called Poverty or, worse yet, Bankruptcy. 

And now, just as he’s starting to breathe easier again, as his prison sentence I mean Child Support payments are about to end at last, the CSA have slapped him with a final figure that he has til June 2017 to pay off. 

$11000. Eleven THOUSAND dollars.

Is that fair? Is anything fair in this world that runs on Money? NO! 

Copyright Law: Photographs and Intellectual Property

A. Let’s say you’re a freelance photographer hired to do a wedding photoshoot. Do your photos then belong to the happy couple? Or do you retain Copyright ownership over the photos? 

B. Or, you Volunteer at an Animal Shelter and for your own enjoyment take photos of the animals there. You then publish your photos to your own Social Media platforms. The Shelter taps you on the shoulder and claims that as the animals are owned by them, so do your photos. The Shelter says that they have the right to take and publish your photos or use them in any way they like. Who is the correct Copyright owner of those photos?

C. Or, you are employed by said Shelter and as part of your job you take photographs of the animals there. Then you leave, and months later you see the photos that you took whilst employed by the Shelter being used on their social media without crediting you. Can you sue the Shelter for infringement of copyright?

Here are the answers:

A. The person who presses the camera shutter, i.e the Photographer, owns the copyright to the photos, not the wedding couple. The photographer does not sell the photos to his clients, he merely “licenses” them to keep or distribute to their friends and family. The photographer retains the right to copy, distribute, make derivative works of the photos. An exception would be where the photographer and the client have drawn up a separate contract which specifically states that the photographer is relinquishing all rights to the client, for a sum, and this document is legally binding in a court of law should there be a dispute.

B. Animals are classed as objects, possessions or chattel, and have no rights to privacy or publicity. The Volunteer who took photos of the Shelter’s animals therefore is the original Copyright owner, NOT the Shelter. Just because the animals are owned by the Shelter, does NOT follow that photographs of the animals, taken by Volunteers or members of the public, also belong to the Shelter. Imagine the legal nightmare if a Zoo tried to restrict or claim copyright of photos of its animals taken by its visitors! Copyright remains with the photographer. The only exception to this is if the photos were taken for the Shelter as part of a written contract of employment a.k.a “Work made for hire”. Or, if the photographer, as the Copyright owner, specifically and explicitly signs away his rights to the Shelter. 

3. In this case, the photographer’s photos taken for the Shelter as part of his employment fall under the “Work made for hire” remit. The Shelter therefore, as the Employer, owns the copyright to the photos and reserves the right to copy, distribute or make derivative works from them. 

I’ve researched this topic under US, UK and Australian law, and for the most part, the majority of it is essentially the same. Certainly, the 3 scenarios outlined above concur across all three jurisdictions.

My advice to anyone faced with questions such as the above, would be to first do your research. You may wish to contact various organisations in your own country, for further clarification. Depending on your own case and circumstances, it may be prudent to contact a lawyer who specialises in Copyright or Intellectual Property. 

Do not be afraid to be right, even if you’re up against a well-known or popular establishment, and do not allow yourself to be browbeaten or strongarmed into submitting to unfair or even illegal practices! Know your rights, and stand up for them!

This post and the articles and screenshots below, sourced from the internet, do not in any way constitute legal advice. They are merely pointers in the right direction. I strongly recommend that you please seek your own legal advice first, before taking any formal action to deal with your own case.

Arts Law Centre Australia

News Media Works

Photo Secrets (US)

And this interesting article by Alpine Internet. (Click on the link to get to the site).

(The image above was taken from Google Images and is part of an interesting infographic by Clifton Cameras. The infographic itself talks about whether an animal can own copyright to selfie photographs, as a crested black macaque did to nature photographer David Slater). 

Fanfare For The Common Man

I am, first and foremost, these days anyway, a photographic artist. Not just a photographer, but someone who creates Art through the medium of photography. Digital, mobile photography at that. A Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, to be even more specific. And before that, a Samsung Galaxy Note 4, Samsung Galaxy S4, iPhone 4 and iPhone 3.

I am also a Licensed Artist, and I got there through years of hard work and perseverance. No one pulled strings for me. I do not have celebrity parents, rich patrons, famous connections or influential friends in high places. No one “Put in a good word” for me. In a vast pool of artists, photographers, musicians and writers (of which I am also all of the above), I am but a tiny fish swimming with far bigger fish. 

I am also a strong advocate of doing the right thing. Those of you who know me well will agree that I will stand up for what’s right and just, even if it means standing alone.

I can do standing alone. I’m not afraid. And I’m not done standing alone yet. Nope, there are still plenty of causes to champion, still many battles to fight, many wrongs to put right, many people to persuade to see the right path. I will not be silent, just so you can continue your bullying and wrongdoings. 

So, not for me the turning of a blind eye. Not for me the “It’s always been done this way”. Not for me the “Our way or the highway”. Because each and every time I experience, see or hear of such injustices, warped logic or sheer obstinance and bullishness, I will step up to the plate and bat. And I will bat that ball out of the stadium. 

I am not Don Quixote, tilting at windmills and fighting imaginary opponents. My enemies are very real, they carry a lot of clout, they are popular in social media circles, when they say “Jump!” people say “How high?”. But that doesn’t matter. Wrong is still wrong. You can’t just make up the rules as you go along. 

(Images sourced from: Pinterest. All copyright belong to and remain with the original copyright holder).

And this is just a hint of what’s to come. 

 

Stop Breed Specific Legislation Now!

While searching for photos to go with my previous 3 posts, I accumulated quite a few Google Images pertaining to Breed Specific Legislation. It would be shame to not share them with you here, to be still on topic. So here they are, and please if you can, petition your local government to STOP BREED SPECIFIC LEGISLATION NOW!

(All the following images are from Google Images, and copyright remains with the original photographers/artists):

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000 lennox

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educate

BSL pee

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brother

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PHOTO_BANNERS_4

Breed Specific Legislation – Part 3

Here is the conclusion of my Course Assessment for the ISCP Diploma in Canine Psychology/Behaviour. This and my previous 2 posts, deal with Breed Specific Legislation in Australia:

The law as it stands makes it illegal in Australia to keep an unregistered pit bull terrier, or any of the other breeds on the list of restricted breeds. However, since 2012, it has not been possible for any owners of such dogs to actively register their dogs with their local Councils. The only way to register a restricted dog is through the Courts, and that only because there’s been an incident involving the dog already and the Court has ordered that the dog be registered. Not being able to register your dogs means the Rangers can come and confiscate them as they like, simply by “identifying” them by sight alone. And without proper guidelines specifying exactly what a pit bull terrier looks like, ANY dog is potentially in great danger of being removed and euthanised, simply because it LOOKS like a pit bull.

I personally don’t agree with breed specific legislation. ALL dogs have sharp teeth and the potential to bite anyone. For me, the solution lies in educating the public about how to read a dog’s body language, learning to respect a strange dog and keep your distance, teaching your children the correct way to interact with dogs, and punishing the deed not the breed. People should be encouraged to bring their puppies to socialisation and training classes, so their dogs grow up to be well-adjusted and familiar with humans. Dog-fighting should be the thing that’s banned, not certain breeds of dogs. Impose custodial sentences on persons found to be involved in dog-fighting rings, or of breeding dogs for such purposes; put them away so they can’t contribute further to the problem.

I find it ironic that most reports of dog attacks involve large, powerful dogs. It’s as if when a little Chihuahua bites you, it’s okay, but not if a Rottweiler bites you. The extent of your injury may be vastly different in size and severity between the two, but all dogs share the same body language of fight, flight or freeze. Most reported dog bites are about dogs at large; many dog owners don’t feel a need to report that their family pet has bitten them. A dog on the loose could be scared out of its wits and simply looking for its way home, and along come total strangers who want to corner it and put a noose around its neck – can you really blame that dog for displaying fear aggression?

We can blame Social Media and the newspapers and TV for scare-mongering, and proliferating misleading information to the public, for the sake of gaining more viewers and readers. Even politicians have been known to jump on the bandwagon. http://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/thousands-unhappy-with-dangerous-dog-warnings-in-meath-1.2640777

The problem is, most people who have never owned a dog or experienced the joys of living with one, simply believe what they see or read these days. Beware though, a little knowledge can be very dangerous. In November 2015 in Perth, Western Australia there was a loose Pit Bulll-Staffy type dog on the streets, and panicked residents rang the Rangers and Police. Video footage showed a Policeman aiming his gun at the dog. The dog was giving signals of appeasement – looking away, looking submissive, wagging its tail and sitting down. The policeman shot the dog dead.

http://www.smh.com.au/national/perth-police-officer-shoots-pet-dog-owner-threatens-to-sue-20151107-gktbqm.html

One of my own dogs, Shelagh, is a Staffy-Mastiff who, at first glance, looks like a Pit Bull. She’s the biggest softy I’ve ever known, very affectionate, very intelligent and very loving. I’ve come across people, total strangers, who have told me with the utmost confidence that my dog will “turn vicious without warning”, that “Pit Bulls are very aggressive and dangerous dogs”, that I should only bring Shelagh out “always with a muzzle on and where there’s no one else around, so she doesn’t go around biting people”. I guess you could say I have a vested interest in making sure my own dog remains safe from such ignorant people in this country.

Useful web links relating to Breed Specific Legislation in Australia:

http://www.ava.com.au/policy/614-breed-specific-legislation

http://www.ava.com.au/sites/default/files/AVA_website/pdfs/Dangerous%20dogs%20-%20a%20sensible%20solution%20FINAL.pdf

http://www.dogslife.com.au/dog-news/life-with-dogs/breed-specific-legislation

Unknown2(Image source: Google Images)

 

Breed Specific Legislation – Part 2

Continuing from yesterday’s post on Breed Specific Legislation in Australia, as part of my final Course Assessment for the ISCP Diploma in Canine Psychology/Behaviour.

Breed-specific legislation

Breed-specific legislation generally refers to laws that target specific breeds of dogs. In Australia there are currently two types of breed-specific legislation:

  1.  Under the Commonwealth customs legislation there is a ban on the importation of several specific breeds of dogs; Japanese Tosa, fila Brasiliero, dogo Argentino, perrode presa Canario, and American Pit Bull Terrier. Importantly, this is a ban on importation and not a prohibition on ownership.
  2.  Most state and territory jurisdictions have placed restrictions upon the ownership of these breeds such as muzzling in public, desexing, and fence and enclosure requirements. Some states and even some local councils have taken the further step of banning the prescribed breeds of dogs completely.

Throughout history, there’s always been a breed of dog that gets demonized, a scapegoat for society to hang the blame on whenever someone gets bitten by a dog. Rottweilers, German Shepherds, Dobermanns all had their turn. Now the short straw has been drawn by the Pit Bull Terrier. Which is ironic, because there isn’t a DNA test that can conclusively confirm if a dog is indeed a Pit Bull, because Pit Bulls are a mixture of one or more of these breeds – the English Staffordshire Bull Terrier, the American Staffordshire Terrier, the American Pit Bull Terrier and the Bull Terrier. Which is good AND bad. Good, because the law cannot prove conclusively that your dog is indeed a Pit Bull and therefore subject it to restrictions reserved for Pit Bulls. Bad, because you cannot prove conclusively that your dog is NOT a Pit Bull.

Basically, any dog that bears a passing resemblance to a Pit Bull, or behaves like one, can be deemed to be a Pit Bull.

The ‘pit bulls’ you meet may be shelter dogs of indeterminate origin or they may have pedigree as American Staffordshire Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, American Pit Bull Terriers (APBT) or more recently, American Bullies – See more at: http://www.badrap.org/breed-history#sthash.9IAXCAAH.dpuf

What are the characteristics of a Pit Bull? Here’s a demonstration of how ridiculous the law can get:

The Queensland government (Australia) has a 22-point identification system that consists of 22 descriptions of a Pit Bull and a rating system of one to three. So, for example, Point Nine is The dog’s eyes are round. If you think the dog’s eyes are round you rate the dog at three and if not, you rate the dog at one. Endangered Dog Breeds Australia (EDBA) demonstrated the flaw in the ID system when they applied it to Pat the Chihuahua. Out of a possible score of 66, Pat scored a total of 50 and, according to Queensland Animal Control Officers, Pat the Chihuahua “substantially meets the description of an American Pit Bull Terrier type”.

(http://www.dogslife.com.au/dog-news/life-with-dogs/breed-specific-legislation)

The tide may be changing, however. Recently on 23rd March 2016, the Herald Sun in Victoria state, Australia reported:

CONTROVERSIAL dangerous dog laws forcing councils to confiscate and kill pit bulls could be overhauled in Victoria, according to a long-awaited Parliamentary report.

The inquiry into the legislative and regulatory framework relating to restricted-breed dogs made 31 recommendations including calling for the government to scrap 2012 legislation which resulted in scores of dogs being put on death row.

The recommendations included:

— Allowing pitbulls to be registered but place other restrictions on owners of restricted breeds.

— Greater penalties for owners of restricted-breed dogs who do not register their dogs.

— Ending the requirement for non-racing greyhounds to be muzzled in public.

— Improved data collection about dog attacks.

Committee chair Joshua Morris said the probe was thorough and urged changes to be implemented as soon as possible.

“What is clear is that a change is required to reduce the number of dog attacks and the injuries resulting from them,’’ he said.

“We heard differing and conflicting viewpoints and we have sought to be objective and balanced in our findings and recommendations.

“The Government should consider the changes recommended by the committee and look at implementing those changes as quickly as possible.”

More than 450 submissions spoke against the laws during the nine month investigation into the issue.

The Australian Veterinary Association told the parliamentary panel DNA profiling was difficult and said animals should be judges on behaviour.

“Assessing whether or not a dog is a restricted breed according to the standard is impossible,’’ said the submission.

“Dogs should be assessed by their behaviour in an incident in which they have been involved — deed not breed.’’

The legislation ordering the death of restricted breeds was rushed through Parliament in 2012 following the death of four-year-old Ayen Chol.

She died after a neighbour’s pit bull-mastiff mauled her as she clung to her mother’s leg at their St Albans home in 2011.

Scores of animals were rounded up by Melbourne councils following the changes.

However, dog owners fought to save their animals prompting three Supreme Court trials and 19 VCAT hearings, costing local councils hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal bills.

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/laws-forcing-councils-to-confiscate-kill-pit-bulls-could-be-scrapped/news-story/fcb0e02a2c87cfad61bda81b202fbb40#load-story-comments
(I’ve copied and pasted the contents of the webpage, as when you try to go to the above weblink a second time, it requests that you subscribe to the Herald Sun first instead).

Needless to say, this news has caused quite a backlash amongst the unenlightened public, who choose to believe whatever stories the media has fed them the last few years, since breed specific legislation was introduced in 2012.

NOTE: READ PART 3 AND MY CONCLUSION IN TOMORROW’S POST.

Bully breeds(Image source: Google Images)

Breed Specific Legislation – Part 1

This is from the final Course Assessment of my ISCP Diploma in Canine Psychology/Behaviour. I just have to complete my final Thesis, which by the time you read these posts, I will hopefully have completed and submitted. And who knows, I might have even passed and been awarded the Diploma?!

The Question:

Go to www.doglaw.co.uk or the relevant dog law websites in your country and read through the legal links. Write an essay of between 500 and 1,000 words on how these laws affect dog owners in your area. Conclude with your personal opinion on Breed Specific Legislation, and the reasons for your opinion.

**********

My Answer:

For this question, I will answer in some places by quoting references from various websites. There is a plethora of information about breed specific legislation around the world, some more accurate than others. For this question, I shall concentrate only on UK and Australian law.

Here’s a breakdown on breed-specific legislation of each different state in Australia:

http://kb.rspca.org.au/is-there-legislation-relating-to-the-ownership-of-specific-breeds-of-dog_286.html

State Yes/No Details of conditions and any associated laws
ACT No
NSW Yes Section 55 of the Companion Animals Act 1988 contains restrictions for the prescribed breeds (see above)

The owners of restricted dogs must comply with the following requirements:

  • The dog must be kept in a child proof enclosure.
  • The dog cannot be in the sole charge of a person under the age of 18 years.
  • One or more signs “ Warning Dangerous Dogs” must be displayed on the boundaries of the property
  • When the dog is away from its normal property it must be under the effective control of a competent person
  • The dog cannot be sold to a person less than 18 years of age
  • The dog owner must notify the Local Council of the following matters
    • That the dog has attacked or injured a person or animal (within 24 hours)
    • That the dog cannot be found (within 24 hours)
    • That the dog has died (as soon as possible)
    • That the dog’s ownership has changed (within 24 hours)
    • That the dog is no longer being ordinarily kept in the area of the council (as soon as possible)
    • That the dog is being ordinarily kept at a different location in the area of the council (as soon as possible)
NT No
QLD Yes Restrictions for the prescribed breeds (see above)
SA Yes Restrictions for the prescribed breeds (see above), must be desexed, muzzled in public, not allowed to be sold or given away
TAS No Restrictions for the prescribed breeds (see above) under Dog Control Act 2000
VIC Yes Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956 of the Commonwealth – restricted breed dog

Domestic (Feral & Nuisance) Animals Act 1994: Section 7: Exemptions for Guide Dogs Section 27: Restraint of greyhounds. Section 41G/L: Restraint of restricted breed dogs when on owners premises

Also specific regulations (Catchment & Land Protection Act 1994) regarding keeping of dingoes

WA Yes Federal import ban – Dog Act for dangerous dogs

The following is from the Australian Veterinary Association’s website http://www.ava.com.au/policy/614-breed-specific-legislation

NOTE:

CONTINUED TOMORROW IN PART 2:  Breed-specific legislation

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(Image Source: Google Images)

ARE YOU READY?

The Kid was given an assignment by his teacher in his swanky private high school, the topic being Sustainability. After a false start, when he told me his idea was to re-use bomb sites for residential housing and commerce, and I told him the radiation count would be too high to sustain lifeforms and crops, and also that people would think more than twice about moving into an area similar to Chernobyl, he decided to write about Hemp as a sustainable crop instead.

So we did some research online, and printed out some articles on the wonderful properties of Hemp. I told The Kid to brace himself for negative feedback from his teacher, due to the stigma attached to the subject of Hemp/Cannabis/Marijuana. I myself was prepared to defend The Kid’s honour should his teacher give him grief about choosing such a touchy subject. It’s happened before, in a different school in a different country…and that made the News.

As it turned out, it didn’t even get that far. The Kid came home from school saying he was having to re-do his entire assignment. Apparently, the teacher had told him that his speech in class about Hemp would Not be acceptable, as, and I quote, “Everyone will laugh at you, because it’s silly”.

Hello, ARE YOU READY??? Apparently this is one teacher who isn’t. Either she’s ignorant of the facts, or she’s afraid the subject is too topical and contentious, or she’s terrified of the repercussions that might happen in her class and the school if it did get out. Or she does not wish her students to think for themselves, but rather to just become rote-learning drones.

Or, all of the above. It’s not like The Kid was going to enthuse about taking hard drugs. He’s not even going to talk about why Cannabis should be decriminalised. He wasn’t even intending to talk about medical marijuana. All he wanted to talk about was how Hemp, grown as a crop, could save the world. The topic was Sustainability, remember? Maybe the teacher did not realise the Janus or double-faced nature of the Marijuana plant, and assumed the worst. Ignorance can be bliss, but not so in this case.

Rather than bore you with hard, dry facts about the wonderful properties of Hemp, here are some images I’ve culled from Google, as visual aids.

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As for The Kid, he was worried that he might get a Red Mark for his assignment, as he now had no time left to research a new topic. He had been getting lots of Green Marks and commendations in the last month, getting to be a Student Councillor has raised his self-esteem somewhat, and he was getting very diligent about doing his homework and assignments properly now. A Red Mark would be a disappointment for him, after a long run of all Green Marks.

I reassured The Kid that even if he did get marked down for this Assignment, we would discount it, as we both knew he had a valid point to make regarding Hemp as a sustainable crop. And we accepted the fact that his teacher, his classmates, possibly his school and perhaps even this country, Australia, might not be ready to WAKE UP yet.

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Unmasked (Facebook, It’s On You)

How, you ask
Does it feel
To be unmasked
After years of living
In another skin?
Does it feel like
Freedom?
Is it liberating
To not have another
Face to hide behind?

Listen, I say
If my life was so easy
I would have never
Needed to create a
Second Life
And if I’d never done that
Then there would not have been
Any need for all this palaver
No need to
Reveal myself
And place my life in danger
Put my neck on the line
Literally

With me
What you see is
What you get
Always has been
And always will be
It was never about the person
It was only about the name
I was
And still am
AlyZen Moonshadow
And I built a new life
Under my new name
– call it my homemade
Witness Protection Plan

I made friends
I met my chosen family
I made Art
I created my own brand
Under that name
And I was proud of
Who I was under that second skin

Until yesterday, when
As a cruel joke, perhaps
(It was, after all, April 1st)
Facebook decided
In its almighty
Impotence I mean Omnipotence
To browbeat me
Into revealing my real name
Dear benign malignant Facebook
Decided my 5-year-old persona
Wasn’t real
Wasn’t permitted
Decided I had to come out
And say my true name

Talk about an Exorcism!

So now the deed is done
The great reveal revealed
Are you proud, Facebook,
Of having made
A victim of domestic violence
Strip herself almost bare
And made it that much easier
For her abuser to track her down
And carry out long-held threats?
No, wait…
Facebook, You have just
Become an abuser yourself
Make no qualms about that

Now I have to start over
As not many of my friends
Recognise my new name
The one I never really used anyway
The one I don’t associate with
Now I have to
Run around doing damage control
Try to plug and repair
The holes and craters in my life
That Facebook created
When it decided
To murder me

Yes, if one day I am found
Murdered
And my child
Abducted
Let it be known now
That Facebook did it.

#mynameis
AlyZen Moonshadow

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My Brush with Fame (or rather, Infamy)!

Every kid and kidult loves Lego, right? Me too. Until I discovered just how litigious they are as a company.

Nearly 5 years ago, when I first started out in my mobile photography art career, I put up my images for sale on Print On Demand sites such as Zazzle, RedBubble, Fine Art America, Society 6 and deviantArt. Over the years, many of those sites fell by the wayside, and today I’m only active on Society 6, and even that has slowed to a trickle as I explore other areas to showcase my creative output.

With RedBubble, I had not posted up anything new for over 3 years now. Imagine my surprise today when out of the blue, I received this email from them:

We have removed the following content from Redbubble as a result of having received a complaint from Lego System A/S, the claimed owner or licensee of related intellectual property, and in accordance with Redbubble’s IP/Publicity Rights Policy:

Lego the Octopus: http://www.redbubble.com/people/alyzen/works/7484841-lego-the-octopus
As you will be aware from our IP/Publicity Rights Policy, Redbubble requires a certain amount of information before it acts on such a complaint, including that:

the relevant content is specifically named;

the complaint came from the owner of the respective rights (or someone authorized to act on their behalf); and

they have a good faith belief that the use of the relevant content is not authorized by the content owner, its agent or the law.

If you believe that removal of the above content is the result of a mistake (for example, that you have authorization to use the relevant content from the content owner) or misidentification, you can send us a counter notice. Such counter notice must provide the following information:

an electronic or physical signature of the person authorized to act on behalf of the owner of the relevant matter;

a description of the content which we have removed, including the URL on which the content was located on the Redbubble site;

your address, telephone number, and email address;

a statement by you that you consent to the jurisdiction of the Federal District Court, San Francisco County, California, United States and that you will accept service of process from the person who provided notification described above or an agent of such person;

a statement by you that, under penalty of perjury, you have a good faith belief that the material was removed or disabled as a result of mistake or misidentification of the material to be removed or disabled;

If you would like to send a counter notice please email the required information above to dmca@redbubble.com.

Please note that in some circumstances, if the work does not comply with our User Agreement and/or IP/Publicity Rights Policy, we may not be able to send your counter notice on to the complainant, rather we may inform you at the time of receipt that we cannot reinstate the work. We may also request further information from you in order to determine whether the work can be reinstated.

However, you should be aware that in most circumstances we will inform the complainant that you have provided a counter notice, as well as provide the complainant with a copy of your counter notice, which will include your personal contact information. The complainant will have 14 days to bring legal action against you in the United States. After 14 days, if they do not bring legal action and you would like your content restored to the Redbubble site, you may contact us to request that we reinstate your work. Redbubble may restore the content at that time if it otherwise complies with our User Agreement and IP/Publicity Rights Policy.

Further information regarding Redbubble’s IP/Publicity Rights Policy and User Agreement can be found here:

https://help.redbubble.com/hc/en-us/articles/201579195

http://www.redbubble.com/agreement

Regards,

Redbubble Content Team

Because the image “Lego the Octopus” had been posted to RedBubble such a long while ago, at first I scratched my head trying to figure out WHY indeed I had named my artwork “Lego the Octopus”. I certainly would not have called it that to mislead anyone, or to gain any pecuniary advantage. I couldn’t just click on the link RedBubble had sent, as they had already removed the image from their site.

Then I remembered a family outing to Bunbury Dolphin Centre in 2011, and I also remembered their aquarium displays of fish, seahorses, starfish. And their fortune-telling octopus. WHO WAS NAMED “LEGO”. The Centre claimed that their Lego The Octopus could predict sports and talent competition outcomes as accurately as the famous Paul The Octopus with FIFA matches.

So, here is my response to RedBubble by email.

Dear Sir/Madam,

I refer to your email informing me that my image “Lego the Octopus” has been removed from RedBubble as a consequence of Lego the Company making a complaint.

Excerpt follows, for your own ease of reference:

“We have removed the following content from Redbubble as a result of having received a complaint from Lego System A/S, the claimed owner or licensee of related intellectual property, and in accordance with Redbubble’s IP/Publicity Rights Policy:

Lego the Octopus: http://www.redbubble.com/people/alyzen/works/7484841-lego-the-octopus

My response:

While I fully understand Lego the Company’s rights and desire to defend the use of its name, in my own defense, the image is of an octopus actually named “Lego”, and said octopus resides in Bunbury Dolphin Discovery Centre, Western Australia.

So, if Lego the Company wish to take this further, they should really be speaking to the good folks at Bunbury Dolphin Discovery Centre. As all I did was photograph their octopus that they had named “Lego”, and call it exactly what it is, “Lego the Octopus”. There was no malice or ill intent on my part, or any attempt to deceive or gain monetary benefit from it.

Here’s a link to where you and Lego the Company can find the real life “Lego the Octopus”. (I don’t know if that octopus is still alive and predicting soccer results, it’s been 4 years since I was at Bunbury).

https://www.radioinfo.com.au/news/lego-octopus-predict-australia%E2%80%99s-got-talent-winner-radio-west

I anticipate your response in due course.

Sincerely,

AlyZen Moonshadow
Mobile Photography Artist

Then I sat back and waited for a response. I received a standard acknowledgement from RedBubble within 15 minutes of sending my email.

An hour later, I received this email response from RedBubble:

Redbubble Content Team (Redbubble)
Jan 19, 16:51

Thank-you for contacting Redbubble.

As you have been made aware, Redbubble has moderated the content that was reported in accordance with our [IP/Publicity Rights Policy[(https://help.redbubble.com/hc/en-us/articles/201579195-Redbubble-IP-Publicity-Rights-Policy), as it was specifically named in a valid Notice and Takedown report received from Lego System A/S.

We have not explicitly said that the work does or does not infringe intellectual property or publicity rights, but we have a legal obligation to act on reports filed in accordance with our IP/Publicity Rights Policy where the content is specifically named.

Unfortunately, we are not always privy to the reasons that complainants’ submit notice and takedown reports or the specific reasons that they find each of the specified works a violation of their rights, nor can we presume to speak on their behalf. Please understand that Redbubble is not making any judgement on the work and as we are sure you are aware, this is why the counter notice provision exists in our IP/Publicity Rights Policy. Filing a counter notice is the most effective way to contact a complainant regarding their notice and takedown report.

You can do so by following the instructions in our initial email to you, or in our IP/Publicity Rights Policy.

Regards,
Redbubble Content Team

I’ve fired my shot. I’ve told them where I got the inspiration for the title “Lego the Octopus” from. And you know what?

I don’t care if the image has been removed from RedBubble permanently. I’m not wasting my time or energy going up against a multi-billion dollar company, for the sake of getting one image put back on a site that I don’t even frequent anymore. I won’t be filing that Counter Notice RedBubble so helpfully keeps suggesting to me. Life’s too short, and I could be spending my time better making more Art, so I will.

Some battles are won by simply not engaging in them.

Here is my last email to RedBubble:

Dear Sir/Madam,

Thank you for your standard reply. I shall not be filing a Counter Notice, because I have better things to do with my time than waste it going up against the brutal might of a multi-billion dollar corporation, only to win back the right to have an image of mine on your site. Especially when I no longer frequent your site as I used to 3-4 years ago.

That is not to say that RedBubble is not a good Print On Demand site, or to question the integrity of your policies. I simply mean that I have found other sites that better suit the requirements of my creative output, and that is where I am concentrating my efforts on. Should RedBubble offer items that are not found on competing sites, I will of course use your services again.

Yours sincerely,
AlyZen Moonshadow

Meanwhile, here are 2 more images of my (in)famous “Lego The Octopus”, that I managed to find online. These are from Fine Art America, another site that I don’t use anymore. Notice the artwork isn’t even entitled “Lego the Octopus”, but if I remember correctly, the tags would’ve contained those words. I wonder how long it will be before the mighty LEGO Corporation come after those images too…

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