Disney Claims the Rights to a Photo of Denmark's Little Mermaid Statue and It's as Stupid as It Sounds

By Shabana Arif on at

The House of Mouse is having a grouse because of a photo that has absolutely nothing to do with its Little Mermaid IP - which, incidentally, it took from a book someone else wrote that's now in the public domain.

A woman with a RedBubble account had a listing removed following a takedown notice filed by Disney. Andrea Marie's store sells printed t-shirts, phone cases, mugs, and the like. The photo of the statue was taken by Marie with her own camera during a trip to Denmark, and the statue itself is based on the Little Mermaid from the Hans Christian Andersen.

Disney's complaint was that Marie's photo depicted a Disney princess, which is absolutely bonkers and fails to address the absolute hypocrisy of using public domain stories to make millions, and then doggedly pursuing individuals over matters like this. The message Marie received from RedBubble reads:

"We’re sorry, but we had to remove some of your artwork from the RedBubble marketplace because it may contain material that violates someone’s rights. We identified this material in your artwork based on guidance provided to us by the owner of those rights."

It wasn't too long ago that Disney was pissing everyone off over Baby Yoda toys. The company didn't have its own merch ready to go when The Mandalorian debuted last year, and independent sellers on marketplaces like Etsy stepped in to fill the gaps. When Disney finally got around to preparing for its own toy launch, it hit sellers with takedown notices, although in that instance, it wasn't massively overreaching.

This snafu was most likely down to the use of "The Little Mermaid" in the name of the photo, although as Marie points out, that's what the statue is called. Presumably Disney will realise its mistake at some point and Marie can start flogging her merch again soon. [TorrentFreak]

Feature image credit: Unsplash