Disney Shuts Down Banned Ear Seller in Federal Lawsuit

in Disney, Merchandise, Theme Parks, Walt Disney World

Screenshots from Christopher Martin's Tiktok

Credit: @originalchristmartin on TikTok

It’s been over a year since Christopher Martin and his wife, Hannah, received a lifetime ban from the Walt Disney World Resort. Their crime was selling unauthorized Disney World merchandise on their Facebook page and inside Disney Parks. 

Christopher Martin showing his Disney property ban notification
Credit: Screenshot from Facebook Live, Christopher Martin

It’s not unusual for small souvenir shops to sell Disney World merchandise, but what made Christopher Martin different was his brazen disregard for Disney and its rules. The Martins listed their business address as the Walt Disney World Resort and frequently held giveaways that included their items alongside officially licensed Disney World merchandise.

In January 2023, the Martins received a 700-page cease-and-desist order from The Walt Disney Company, which the couple promptly ignored. In the order, Disney claimed the Marti”s “has not only ignored Plaintiffs’ demand to surrender any and all infringing merchandise within its possession but has also used sales promotions to sell as many infringing products as quickly as possible—including as recently as November 2, 22.”

Even after Christopher Martin was banned from Disney World, he continued to taunt the theme park on social media by trying to sneak into the parks. Christopher and Hannah Martin had over 35,000 followers on their secret Disney group Facebook account, Sparkling Dreamers, selling Disney World merchandise.

Christopher Martin being escorted out of the Magic Kingdom
Credit: Christopher Martin, Sparkling Dreamers

After more than a year of drama, The Walt Disney Company, Christopher, and Hannah Martin finally settled their lawsuit. Under the settlement terms, the Martins agreed to shut down Sparkling Dreamers and pay Disney $100,000 if they ever infringed on Disney’s copyright again.

Darryl Wilson, the associate dean for faculty and strategic initiatives at Stetson University Law School, told Florida Politics: 

Disney is one of those entities that rarely file a case they don’t already know they’re almost certain to win. Especially when they’ve been in constant contact with the defendants as was the case here.

On the day the Martins settled their copyright infringement lawsuit brought by Disney, they celebrated at Universal Studios Orlando.

Screenshots from Christopher Martin on TikTok
Credit: @originalchrismartin on TikTok

Despite the apparent animosity between the Martins and Disney, Christopher Martin’s social media account shows that he and Hannah Martin spent some time this past week at Disney TokyoSea. While the Martins are banned from the Walt Disney World Resort, that ban doesn’t extend to all Disney Parks worldwide.

Disney went above and beyond with this particular copyright infringement lawsuit to protect its brand and send a message that it will not tolerate large-scale knock-off souvenirs. But has Martin learned his lesson? He teased his social media followers that he had a new project in the works, so maybe not.

in Disney, Merchandise, Theme Parks, Walt Disney World

Be the first to comment!