A Ukrainian artist has had her work removed from TeePublic. Ukraine has been denied access to her work on TeePublic in response to a copyright dispute by Riot Games. The work is being the initial work, with Riot’s legal department allegedly seeking to sabotage the artist’s work because of the of the term ” Arcane“.
Riot has acknowledged it has been “made in error”, but the piece in question remains unavailable as of this writing. This raises questions about other artist who work independently because the issue was resolved by the company after it gained attention on Twitter.
“Riot Games claimed that my original artwork is their intellectual property” the artist KuttySark. “I’m just some girl from Ukraine and have no voice if such a big company as Riot Games claims that my work belongs to them, even if all facts prove them wrong.”
The takedown was carried out despite the fact that it is easily verified that KuttySark’s creation was made years before Arcane made its debut on Netflix in the year prior. The original upload was made to Tumblr with the date and time which indicates that it was posted in the year 2018. This isn’t even mentioning that the artwork on the t-shirt does not depict the Arcane character in any way It’s an inscription that refers to KuttySark’s initial tale, Arcane Flames.
Fans quickly rallied around Riot’s replies on Twitter with pleas to investigate the issue. It has released an official statement, stating the fact that “there are a number of teams and third party agencies working to protect our IP” however, it has not dissociated from the removal. It is also clear that the League of Legends developer has confirmed that it is aware of the problem and said the takedown was incorrectly issued. The statement concludes with the following statement: “We apologize for this experience and wanted to assure you all that we’re actively reviewing.”
KuttySark said that Riot has spoken to her on a private basis, and hopes that the illegal copyright claims will be resolved shortly. With the speedy response from Riot it’s likely that the artwork will be returned to TeePublic in the near future.