Etsy shops filling the Baby Yoda toy void were hit with takedown notices | Disney is coming for those unofficial Baby Yoda toys.

Etsy shops filling the Baby Yoda toy void were hit with takedown notices

Etsy shops filling the Baby Yoda toy void were hit with takedown notices

Etsy shops filling the Baby Yoda toy void were hit with takedown notices

Etsy shops filling the Baby Yoda toy void were hit with takedown notices

Etsy shops filling the Baby Yoda toy void were hit with takedown notices

Etsy shops filling the Baby Yoda toy void were hit with takedown notices
Etsy shops filling the Baby Yoda toy void were hit with takedown notices
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Etsy thrives on being the premier online destination for unofficial, fandom-related products; its creative seller base subverts professional retailers by filling the gap between sanctioned merchandise and what fans actually want to buy, and no recent example makes this clearer than the case of Baby Yoda.

To avoid spoiling his appearance, Disney intentionally held back from creating plushies, clothing, or any other merch bearing Baby Yoda's likeness before the November premiere of The Mandalorian on Disney+. In the time it's taken for the House of Mouse to get its production lines up, Etsy sellers have already shipped hundreds of little green aliens all over the world. 

The Verge reports that some of those sellers have begun to receive takedown notices from Etsy in reference to some shops' use of copyrighted terms, mostly over the past week. In the report, a shop called YourStuffedMemories said Etsy "deactivated her sales listing after getting a complaint from Disney over her usage of the words “Star Wars,” “Mandalorian,” and “Yoda” to sell the plushies." 

The deactivation caused issues with production and slowed down orders that YourStuffedMemories had already processed. Other shops reported receiving similar takedowns from Etsy, presumably via Disney, and had their production chains disturbed as well.  

Etsy did not respond to the specific claims in The Verge's article but directed its author to their takedown policy, which does allow the site to remove listings in response to credible intellectual property claims. 

Targeted sellers have been able to get their listings back up after removing the copyrighted terms, but euphemistic keywords like "the child" and "green alien baby" aren't getting the job done compared to the search power of "baby yoda doll." The proprietor of YourStuffedMemories noted in the Verge report that "not having the Star Wars keywords have made her product much harder to find, with views of her page slowing down to a trickle of two to 10 views a day."

Even though Disney is well within its rights to enforce its IP, the sudden crackdown appears to have been applied unfairly by either Disney or Etsy. Searching "Baby Yoda plush" on the site still brings up hundreds of shops that have not been targeted with takedowns, putting the seemingly random letter recipients at a clear disadvantage on the Etsy market. 

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