Comments for Fans Sell Unauthorized Baby Yoda Merch – Disney Calls Copyright Infringement

baby yoda plush

Credit: Mattel / Walmart

31 Comments

  1. Brent

    Interesting but not entirely accurate since Disney actually filed Trademark violations not copyright violations on the sites. Currently “The Child” or “ Baby Yoda” are one of the only Disney Characters that is not trademarked but Disney only gave violations on those sites that used other words or characters that were trademarked in the marketing.

    1. Deneé

      unfortunately this is far from the first time that big studios have done this to etsy sellers of fan merch. 20th Century Fox did it just before they released the officially licensed Firefly Jayne Hats thru Thinkgeek. I still have my ‘cease and desist’ email about my desktop ‘This Land’ Kits(plastic dinosaurs and palm trees like Wash had).

  2. Because.

    It’s such a shame Disney would rather support child labor in China than American artists.

    1. J

      Labor is super cheap there, Disney gets to keep most of the profits. Like billions per year still isn’t good enough for them, it’s ridiculous.

  3. Harley

    So does that mean when i make my own shirts and wear em to disney its copywrite infringement bc guess what i do it bc your tee shirts or too dame expensive just like these people made there own baby yoda! And just like they make there own baby yoda thats as cute as yours i get alot of compliments from managment staff at wdw and they even comment they want a shirt like mine bc its better than merch sells… maybe disney should be proudly representing theres amazing artists out there instead of shunning there talents what a way to enter festival of the arts season criticize artists and hit them w violations!

    1. Isaac

      It’s fine if you make your own products for you and your family. It’s when you start making a profit off of someone else’s copyright by selling unauthorized merch, that is when they step in and send a cease and desist.

      1. Zj

        Not true. It’s violation and technical law breaking just making something with a likeness or image your don’t own the artistic rights too. However they won’t go after you until you start making some money from it.. they still can they just do t bother because they get nothing from the court case unless you e made money

  4. Christina

    Disney products are just not what it once was, they got more expensive instead of getting better. Maybe Disney should work together with the Etsy seller.

    1. J

      They don’t like to share, they want to keep 100% of the profits, too much greed at Disney, it’s such a shame too.

  5. LeeAnn Medford

    I think if companies would make their licensing fees and availability affordable and fair that they wouldn’t have to SUE.

  6. Sara

    It’s TRADEMARK infringement, not copyright. And regardless of what they’re called, if some ordinary Joe recognizes the piece as Baby Yoda (or any other character, for that matter) it’s still infringement. If Disney (or any other house) lessens their pursuit, it can diminish their claims in the future.

    Any way you look at the situation, it doesn’t look like the author of this article did much research before writing…

    1. Kris

      Those who have created or own the rights to a character decide who gets to use them and for what purpose. Artists, designers and crafters who steal these designs without permission and are making a profit by selling products with these designs are unethical. Fan art to me is ok as it is practicing your craft and appreciating the artist/designer/team, selling is not. Just because many others are selling these ‘baby yoda’ or green alien creations, doesn’t mean it is ok, it’s called integrity.
      But what can be done if Disney’s mercy is overpriced and underwhelming? I cannot say. Maybe there is room for allowing more licensing or having more private designers or custom handmade Merch, and even if it means less profit initially, it may not after all the unauthorized sales causing lost Merch profit.
      Either way stealing someone else’s design’s is wrong. I would be furious if hundreds of people stole characters that I owned and was making money off of them.

      1. I wish they would get all these people making disney stuff off of etsy. I’d probably have more sales for being original and making up my own designs! I’m tired of people asking why I haven’t made any disney stuff yet bc they know I love it so much! ♡

    2. Anonymous

      So if I make fanart of Baby Yoda, I am guilty trademark & copyright infringement? That is absurd. They are called PARODIES for a reason: They are not canon & not by the original creator.

      I think Disney & many of these corporations are very disrespectful to the little guys, who not only give them exposure but also buy their products. What a great way to alienate a fanbase than by threatening to sue anyone who makes fanart.

      You just made boycotting Disney cooler. Thank you.

  7. Its right

    If you made a design and now someone is making money off it without your consent and you have copyright and trademark it your going to send letters and then sue if they dont. I own a embroidery and screenprint and sublimation business and if someone stole my design I would be mad and sue they azz. Disney is in the right. Y iui u have a 3d printer come up with ur own design and make something and sell.then when someone else with a 3d printer does the same watch u get mad.

    1. NENolan

      Agree! Disney is well within their rights and frankly they could be a lot stricter when it comes to merchandise.

  8. Vee

    Disney, give a platform to small businesses to make them for you!! That way the exposure and quality will be to your benefit! Why not?!

  9. Youknow

    It’s not your character or design, you shouldn’t be copying it to sell (without permission), it’s artistic integrity. Just because others are doing it, doesn’t make it ok.
    Fan art to show appreciation and practice you craft is ok, but making a profit of of other’s creative work isn’t.
    I would be very angry if I found out hundreds of people had stolen my ideas that I worked so hard developing (or designs I had purchased the copyrights or trademarks) and we’re making money off of them.
    If Disney is making inferior products a total high prices then maybe they should look at other options. I don’t know what they are. Maybe more licensing to smaller or handmade designers. Or wider licensing so they gat more profit. But just calling it baby green alien and stealing the design isn’t the right answer. Integrity.

  10. kevin vititoe

    it’s simple. don’t steal from these companies. you don’t own the character, Disney does. ridiculous to think otherwise.

  11. Heather

    I get that Disney merch is over-priced and increasingly lacking in quality as the years go on. Keeps getting crappier… $20 mugs break/chip immediately, $50 clothing is a joke as it pills or falls apart after 2 washes.
    Still though I have to wonder: If an Etsy artist came up with and copy-righted a ground-breaking art technique or style and everybody else copied it without any licensing, would that artist complain or get upset?

    1. Clarabelle

      Of course they would complain. But they haven’t thought up anything great enough to trademark on their own yet, so still oblivious to their own hypocrisy.

    2. Jeannell Williams

      Where are you getting your Merch? I have Merch from years ago plus new stuff and they are just fine. Nothing chips or peals. It might be how tour washing the items. Some items can’t be washed normally. If you’re stuff breaks that fast. Wow.

  12. Lala

    It’s stolen property. Period! If these “designers” take any intellectual property that is NOT their own, and use it for their own gain, in any capacity, they have and are stealing. It’s amazing how they themselves issue copyright notices on their work, but are o.k. with stealing and profiting from someone else’s. It’s not bullying on Disney’s part. They have every legal right to protect their content/business. Any “designer” or business, big or small, outside of Disney’s legalities, are breaking the law, as it pertains to infringement and/or copyright. There are no two ways or argument that can make that wrong, a right.

  13. Bob

    Big companies should demand royalties from Etsy and Ebay fro selling their IP everyone wins. Disney can just sit back and have everyone else do their dirty work.

  14. Jeannell Williams

    I find it funny some ppl actually think Disney is in the wrong here. How much money they make is irrelevant. This is stealing. For one thing they have actually used third party dealers before. So yes they have used outside artist. And two this product is theirs period. The artist making these items are legally stealing which is why this is warranted. How much Disney is worth or makes has nothing to do with it.

    1. Anonymous

      No they aren’t. All fanart is parody, so it falls under fair use.

  15. Anonymous

    Just goes to show the Mouse’s greed knows no bounds.

    You can’t even make fanart of their characters without facing a lawsuit or being claimed for “copyright infringement” or “trademark infringement”

  16. Kim

    There’s a lot that goes into this, far more than what’s been glanced upon in the above article. First and foremost, Disney needs to keep control of their character designs otherwise it opens the door to abuse by designers and confusion on the part of consumers. Just as important is the financial gain. Disney created the character, they’ve put a ton of money out designing, scripting, recording and editing just to make this character popular. I see no reason for them to just hand it over to the little guys who can doodle for no compensation.

    What bothers me is there is no consistency on the part of Disney as to whom they will attack.
    Back in December I bought my son a Baby Yoda tee produced on a popular website as part of a weekly design competition. That shirt is still up and for sale and yet the small guys on etsy are hurt. Perhaps it has to do with that site being owned by a huge organization that could fight back, or not.

  17. Amber

    I think many have misunderstood the harm it actually does to others, not just Disney- but authorized licensed sellers- who actually paid Disney a high price for this approved license. I think in all the comments above, this is an important factor in why it is harming, not just Disney but others. I should clarify that I am not defending Disney for selling low quality products at high prices, that may or may not have been made in China or with low cost labor. I’m just stating that other’s who do go about getting approval and paying the cost of the license, are hurt by the non-paying , non-licensed seller in a market of competition (and yes, those would be the Etsy sellers- I don’t think any of those seller’s pay for this and I doubt Disney would approve this platform of selling- but I am not certain of this? I think Disney is very strict about who can sell, such as a corporate movie theater showing Disney movies that wants to sell merchandise and pays the licensing fee would be more likely than an individual.

  18. Instead of pushing political agendas in their movies, Disney should have prepared better.

    They should have had mountains of Baby Yoda merchandise ready at the beginning because people like the original trilogy and Baby Yoda is adorable.

    Disney has cost shareholders billions all to push a nonsense political agenda.

  19. M. Sams

    By the way Disney, instead of going after the small guy on Etsy, did you ever consider partnering with the little guys? They make better products than you do. They know what people actually want!

    No one wants Rey stuff or Rose stuff. Get that through your thick skulls.

    You could have made this a huge win win for everyone, but no, you are going after the small guy. That is insanity. Half your management team should be fired for shear stupidity.

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