Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Zazzling free speech

My email to Zazzle.com, where I have some T-shirt designs for sale:
Zazzle said:
Unfortunately, it appears that your product, Replication T-shirt, contains content that is not suitable for printing at Zazzle.com.
• Policy Violations:
o Design contains a trademarked image or text.

How was it unsuitable? If I remember right, the design was only text and read "Caution. Think before you replicate." It was a reference to the environment and the negative impact "baby booms" can have on it. Most likely a pregnant mother ran across my T-shirt design and it offended her, and you deleted the T-shirt at her request. Would you like to see my other product designs that would offend her as well? You could delete them too, but then where would you stop deleting designs that offend people?

You are probably aware that this deletion falls into the area protected by the First Amendment.

In your email, what does this mean? "• Policy Violations: o Design contains a trademarked image or text." What is the "o" for? Did the typist intend to type "0" (zero) but missed that key? Or is the "o" acting as a bullet in the list under "Policy Violations"? The design contained a trademarked image or text?? Do you have a copy of the deleted design in archives or backups? You need to show me what part of the design was trademarked. "Caution. Think before you replicate." What part of that text is copyrighted?

I think it's possible that an employee took it upon him/herself to delete the T-shirt because the message offended him/her. And because the list of reasons for deletion didn't include "It offended me," s/he selected "Design contains a trademarked image or text." Could the reason for deletion be a little more specific? What part of the design was trademarked?

Whenever I see an anti-Obama design on a Zazzle product, it really offends me, mostly because the designer isn't interested in the facts about the Obama Administration. They just want the guy outta there, and they'll say anything to discredit him. Have I complained about any of the anti-Obama products? Of course not. Free speech protects those designers as much as it does me. So why didn't free speech protect me this time? Because my design included child pornography? Of course not. My design simply included a message that offended someone.

Is this becoming a trend at Zazzle? You need to find out.

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