So, what’s the deal with Left Shark? He became a star, his fame spread across the globe, his copyright was disputed, he went into hiding…and now he’s back?

As we’ve outlined recently, Shapeways takes intellectual property very seriously, and while we respect the intellectual property of copyright holders, we also strive to put community first. We do due diligence on every single takedown we get, inform designers how to issue a counter DMCA if applicable, give them a 24 hour warning before removing models, and offer to put them in touch with the other party.

As a service provider, our liability is protected by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act under their Safe Harbor provision. We outline this detailed process and guidelines, and encourage all our designers and any copyright holders to follow it to ensure swift action on our part.

In the case of Left Shark, Fernando, the designer, chose to send us a counter DMCA Notice, disputing Katy Perry’s rights to Left Shark. You can read all about it on his blog. As per our Content Policy, once we receive a counter DMCA, we can reinstate the model while the two parties decide what to do. In this case, we encouraged Katy Perry to send us a properly formatted DMCA Takedown instead of a cease and desist. While we wait to see their response, Left Shark is practicing his moves for his next appearance.

Long live Left Shark, and may he herald in the proliferation of crowd-generated content!