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I Counterfeited Money
Or that time Zazzle falsely accused me of committing a crime just to censor my work
I was trying to work out a means to raise money, and figured I’d try my hand at creative designs on Zazzle, an online store that lets you make shirts, fridge magnets and quirky stickers. They had some pro-conservative stuff so I thought (mistakenly) they were pro-free speech.
I’m usually politically “neutral”, in the sense I’d fire shots at various political parties and pundits. Trump, Joe Biden, Obama, George Bush - especially George ‘Chimpanzee’ Bush - are all fair game. I take no prisoners.
But I wanted to be a little creative and take a jab at the “10% for the Big Guy” involving Joe Biden, and ironically set the royalty at 10%. You know, meta-humour.
So I got to work on a design. I figured it’d be ironic if it was a parody dollar bill, where it was a percentage sign, Joe Biden, some cliche American eagles, you know, an obviously parody bill that screams ‘Murica’. I figured, I’d put it on a shirt, and then I’d put it on a fridge magnet, maybe a car bumper sticker.
I spent hours on the design. It was quite fun experimenting, but it was from scratch, using either my own custom work or modified public domain, open source materials, from places like Wikimedia Commons or PixaBay. Transformative use and parody strongly applied.
I wasn’t really expecting to succeed or make much money. In-fact, the design languished in obscurity until some uptight liberal asshole likely reported it, ironically giving me a free Substack article later down the line.
The design got Zazzle’s heckles up. So first they sent me an email - insisting - without proof that my shirt was “copyright infringement”:
This was quite impressive given I retained the original .XCF file where I did all the custom work, and thus… it was my copyright they were claiming that I infringed:
I demanded proof from the assholes, whose copyright was I infringing, and how can they be claiming it if I have all of the original work? Faced with this embarrassing gaffe, did the corrupt and evil bastards at Zazzle admit error? No, of course not. They couldn’t produce any evidence of a copyright takedown notice because there wasn’t one.
Rather than admit they were wrong and trying to protect their butthurt feelings from the savage criticisms of Joe Biden in the form of parody (the most evil form of speech!), Zazzle instead decided to waltz into defamation territory and insisted the most absurd thing I read in my life:
They basically accused me of counterfeiting. Yes, hello officer, I’m trying to pass off this chunky ass fridge magnet (and shirt) as a 10% real US dollar note even though it clearly says the word ‘fake’ on it and depicts a non-valid person and uses a non-currency denomination.
When I replied sarcastically that I was flattered they thought so highly of the quality of my work, but there was no way anyone would - could - mistake a percentage sign image with Joe Biden’s face on it, on a fridge magnet, no less for an actual paper currency, they replied by repeating their incorrect, moronic assertion:
It is not surprising they sent someone called “Richard” to handle the issue, because it was clear Zazzle were being a dick. When I asked them which real world currency had a percentage for a currency Zazzle went very quiet.
They couldn’t answer a single question I had.
And before any law enforcement readers run off to grab their warrant to bust me for crimes against humanity, you will want to see the “counterfeit” note which is very accurately based on 10% real, actual paper currency (even though the real US dollar is half the width of the parody, and the parody literally says “The United Fakes Of America” in bold caps).
Zazzle couldn’t even say they were sorry they got it wrong, they just invented another excuse in order to engage in censorship. I’m trying to use their fridge magnets and shirts to start a paper currency counterfeiting ring, apparently.
After I remarked I was going outside of the reviewer’s abuse of power and escalating, magically they reinstated the shirt design and fled:
Meaning they knew what they were doing was wrong, I knew what they were doing was wrong, and they wasted everybody’s time suspending a design. They didn’t restore the fridge magnet or stickers, though. Goodness forbid I crash the US printer economy with some dubious fridge magnets down a side alley where you had to pay $20 to get something that… looks like a 10? Maffs.
Everyone should boycott the absolute s**t out of Zazzle.
Also, if anybody knows of any true free speech stores that would be willing to host political designs of this nature, hit me up.
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