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Katy Perry’s lawyers go after artist of 3D printable ‘Left Shark’

Image used with permission by copyright holder
Rising in popularity after being featured in Katy Perry’s Super Bowl halftime show, the ‘Left Shark’ character is making the rounds within the Internet meme community. Fernando Sosa, a 3D printing artist that focuses on pop culture figures, attempted to capitalize on this trend with a 3D figurine version of Left Shark.

If you aren’t familiar with Left Shark’s rise to fame, the performer in the shark suit on the Super Bowl stage to the left of Katy Perry gained notoriety on the Internet due to confusion of the choreographed dance moves. While the performer on the right has the dance moves down perfectly, the performer on the left made a valiant, yet comical attempt to keep up.

Priced at approximately $25, the figurine was printed on sandstone in full blue and white color. Unfortunately, attorneys that represent Katy Perry weren’t as excited about the 3D figurine. A cease-and-desist letter was issued to 3D printing service Shapeways, the merchant listing the Left Shark figurine for Sosa.

Shapeways was forced to compile with the letter and take the listing down. However, Sosa responded by listing the 3D printing plans for the figurine on Thingiverse, a service that provides these types of plans for free to the 3D printing community.

In response to the letter, Shapeways released a comment to Gigaom which said “It’s a shame because we love our community and always want to be able to support their designs. That’s part of the reason why our work with Hasbro is so fun! It’s allowing fans to create products truly inspired by the things they personally enjoy. We know these things can happen when you have a lot of user-generated content, but hopefully more brands (and celebrities!) will take note and want to work together with fans to create amazing products!

Sosa also responded on Twitter indicating his disappointment in the removal of the figurine:

Of course, there are plenty of printable 3D figurines related to popular Internet memes as well as artist renderings of popular culture figures in movies, television shows and comic books. While takedowns of these figures can occur from time to time, it’s usually rare that an Internet meme is removed.

You can find the full cease-and-desist letter below:

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Mike Flacy
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