Blog / 2019 / #FixRedbubble

May 27, 2019

#FixRedbubble demands no more deleting artwork unless Redbubble either acknowledges its censorship or shares DMCA takedown notices with creators. No more doing the licensing companies’ dirty work and getting away with it!

#FixRedbubble will show us all the art that Redbubble has censored and start to give us an idea of the effect the company is having on creativity. Check out #FixRedbubble on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

Please share this meme with your artist friends!

Not selling through Redbubble but having similar issues on another print-on-demand site? Use #FixRedbubble as well as a hashtag that names your POD marketplace (#FixYourPrintOnDemandSite) and post about it! Then share your site-specific hashtag with me so that we can work together to force these marketplaces to recognize that they don’t have a business without us.

drawing of David Bowie
Gwenn Seemel
David Bowie
marker on paper
9 x 6 inches

This is the first of my designs that Redbubble censored back in 2016. I wrote about the idiocy of this choice in this post that also praises Patreon’s very sane DMCA policy.

After this design was removed, Redbubble didn’t censor me for three years.

the Little Prince escaping with parrots
Gwenn Seemel
Parroted Prince
acrylic on unmounted canvas
12 x 12 inches
(This image is an illustration for You Share Good, a book about why copyright is bad for creativity.)

Then, in March, Poopbubble deleted this image—a piece that is a critique of copyright! Corporate America is clearly too lazy to understand irony.

the Little Prince feeding a parrot
Gwenn Seemel
Feeding the Parrot
acrylic on unmounted canvas
12 x 12 inches
(This image is an illustration for You Share Good, a book about why copyright is bad for creativity.)

This is the third artwork Redbubble removed. I didn’t publicize this censorship, because I was too busy responding to my political art being removed from display at a public library. In other words, an IRL censorship at a public institution distracted me from a censorship via bogus copyright claim. Can I get a “#ArtistLife”?

Frida Kahlo with thorns around her neck and a hummingbird in her hair, next to her there is a roaring bear and behind her there is an old television
Gwenn Seemel
Frida with Television and Bear
maker on paper
9 x 12 inches
(Learn more about the Frida Kahlo reference in this drawing here.)

Then this piece was deleted, and I had a little twinge of “am I wrong?” With so many removals, I started to question myself. Which is exactly what Poopbubble wants, as it states so eloquently in its cowardly commentary about fair use, quoted from this page on its site:

A NOTE ON FAIR USE: You might be able to incorporate someone else’s copyright or trademark into your own work, if you do it in such a way that that is considered “fair use” or in such a way that qualifies as another permissible use. However, please be aware that “fair use” typically applies in limited circumstances and isn’t the same as “freedom of speech”. Quite frankly “fair use” is a difficult concept, even for the experts, and the scope of “fair use” is different in different countries. So even if you think you’ve created a work covered by “fair use” or another permissible use, you should talk to an attorney prior to using it in connection with the Redbubble service. While some uses might appear “fair” or permissible to you, we ask that you understand that Redbubble must act in accordance with its Notice and Takedown procedure when a report has been received. Additionally, certain works may be taken down without a specific report being received if we are otherwise alerted or aware of potential infringement issues.

Ultimately, you take full responsibility for the works you upload and display on Redbubble. This is reflected in the Redbubble User Agreement. Use of the Redbubble website indicates continued acceptance of this Agreement.

Donald Trump holding a syringe full of bull crap and surrounded by the destruction of his Presidency
Gwenn Seemel
Hello Sh*tty, Available in a White House Near You! (Grab Him by His Pussy.)
acrylic on canvas
30 x 30 inches
(Learn more about the Hello Kitty reference in this painting here.)

This was the fifth and final straw for me, removed just recently. You want to censor political art using some flimsy excuse and then refuse to show me the DMCA takedown that is supposedly motivating your censorship? You will regret it.


May 31, 2019

Redbubble is scared of #FixRedbubble—scared enough to try to appease me by reinstating one of my artworks! But that’s not going to shut me up. I will keep trying to organize with my fellow artists until the company changes its policy and starts sharing DMCA takedown notices with creators.


June 7, 2019

You can see more of the beautiful art that Redbubble is censoring along with an explanation of why the company is on shaky ground in this post and this one too.


November 12, 2020

Since trying to launch this hashtag campaign, I have deleted my Facebook and Instagram accounts, meaning that much of the content may have disappeared.

Maybe this post made you think of something you want to share with me? Or perhaps you have a question about my art? I’d love to hear from you!


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