Is Disney Taking Action on Legally Purchased Figures?
Yesterday was a weird day for several news websites and it all centered around a particular figure. The figure in question was Rey in her Resistance Fighter outfit. Information came out that this figure was purchased legally at a local Walmart store. Once the news hit the web, it became the story of the week. The figure is considered a major spoiler due to the accessories included. I bet this sounds sorta silly right now but it gets worse.
Several sites, including a very vocal Star Wars Unity, received several DMCA Takedown notices. At first, several individuals thought Hasbro was the culprit behind this event. As it turns out, Hasbro was not behind the harsh Cease & Desist notices, Disney/ Lucasfilm was. Some in the community are calling these notices foul and I will agree if the figure in question was purchased legally. Yes, this is a controversy due to two facts. First, this figure was legally purchased at a Walmart. Second, once purchased the owner can share as many images of his find freely. However, there may be something else to look at. If this figure was obtained illegally from China, then Disney/ Lucasfilm has a case.
Supposedly, there is proof of purchase so we are not going to get into the possibility of a illegally obtained figure. Instead, we are going to look at the legality of Disney/ Lucasfilm attacking individuals who purchased this toy. Is it right for a corporation to go after a site for legally purchasing an item? Absolutely not. Is it right for a corporation to preserve their property? Absolutely, yes. The issue rests in how it is done. Of course no one is going to buck the mighty Disney but bullying is bullying.
There is another issue at play here,too. The Cease & Desist notices that went out to several news sites. For a corporation to bully journalists, even as frivolous as we might consider ourselves, is deplorable. We are reporting on a toy that appears to be readily available to anyone. This is not privileged information, and for a corporation to try to suppress news because it may spoil a surprise
It’s equally deplorable for journalists to cave to pressure from a corporation and silently capitulate to avoid being ostracized from future press releases, exclusives, and/or swag is equally offensive. It is understandable for a site to remove content that may get it sued, but to do so silently goes against everything a news outlet, any news outlet, exists to do.
How do you guys feel about this controversy? Should Disney have gone after these individuals? Let us know in the comments.