On 11/30/22 Timothy Renner, host of the Strange Familiar Podcast received a DMCA complaint notice from Teepublic. The notice claimed that one of Renner’s designs was in violation of copyright, and that the design had been taken down pending a full review. According to Teepublic, the complaint was filed by Last Podcast On The Left specifically against Renner’s “Flannel Man” design.
Communities within the fanbases of both podcasts began scratching their heads. LPOTL then responded to various social media threads and comments explaining that the notice was a mistake on the back end and that Last Podcast on The Left had not filed a DMCA complaint. Strange Familiars confirmed this shortly after.
Additional comments then began to roll in citing other instances where Teepublic has been at the center of similar disputes, many with recommendations for other vendors that provide comparable services.
This instance highlights how easily a creative work can be taken down via a DMCA complaint. Teepublic acted within the bounds of the law and their own policies, but the debate continues as to how copyright complaints on the internet should be handled. Is it the responsibility of the artist to protect their work, or of an alleged copyright holder to prove their rights to said work?