Copyright laws used to prevent major 'Force Awakens' spoiler, despite banned photos being legal ones of a toy that's currently for sale at Walmart
Image/Photo Credit: Lucasfilm
Lucasfilm, the makers of the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens film, has controversially used a DMCA take-down request to remove legally taken photos, in a possible bid to avoid a major film spoiler.
Walmart recently made the figurine for the upcoming film's main female character, Rey, available for sale still a week before the movie officially releases. Carelessly, the packing for the toy appears to reveal a major film spoiler regarding the fate of the character (a spoiler that will not be revealed in this news article).
It was then that Justin from the Star Wars fan site Star Wars Action News, who purchased the toy from his local Walmart, posted pictures of the toy and the box on Facebook. Shortly after, Justin received a notice from Facebook that his legally taken photos have been taken down after a copyright complaint, photos that were free of any copyright claim.
Jeremy Conrad at Star Wars Unity reposted the same pictures, and he too received a barrage of DMCA take-down notice, all were from Lucasfilm (via Irdeto). The notices refer to these images as that of "an unreleased figurine for Star Wars: Force Awakens", despite the same figurine being available to buy right now at all Walmart stores.
As Justin took these photos, the copyright on these photos belong only to Justin, and Lucasfilm has no legal claim. But the main reason for the outrageous DMCA request may have nothing to do with copyright, but everything to do with a major film spoiler that is revealed by text on the packaging for the toy. A toy that perhaps Walmart released far too early.
For fans unafraid of the spoiler, or for those that simply don't care much for the upcoming movie, you can view the original photo here (**Spoiler warning, click at your own peril!**) courtesy of TorrentFreak.