The accused infringer, Redbubble, like many tech parasites before it, had built a valuable company by exploiting the work of artists and copyright holders without consent. The company sold shirts, hats, mugs, and various other types of swag bearing graphic designs that the company did not create. Atari, the brand responsible for such arcade hits as Pong and Breakout, filed a lawsuit against Redbubble because Redbubble was advertising and selling a wide swath of products bearing Atari trademarks and artwork.
As one wades deeper into the turgid waters of 2021, one is heartened to see the dovetailing of two welcome copyright trends. First, our elected representatives in Congress are working to revise the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the turn-of-the-century statute that Big Tech has hijacked over the past two decades to build billion-dollar valuations while trampling the rights of artists and creators.