Submission rejected due to copyrighted material?

Hi all, I've been buying Threadless pretty much since it started, but never submitted designs until very recently. This Death Star one was rejected, siting legal issues with pop-culture related designs. It has me a little stumped, only because I see pop-culture related tees printed all the time here. I'm not bitter, Threadless can reject or accept whatever they want. I'd just like to know if all pop-culture influenced tees are part of specific competitions?

Watch this

probably because of this (?):

melmike profile pic Alumni

oh wow, yeah cool. Didn't know about those existing ones.

The shape and shadows are taken from a pic of an actual chuppa chup I had that reminded my of the death star once I'd bitten into it, so it's all original in that sense. I only added the circular impression and the line across the equator, which was drawn "by hand" in Illustrator.

I'm not really keen on recreating it in a hand drawn style, was really hoping to have the whole copyright issue clarified. Thanks for your input guys, I have lots of ideas for the future, and am just happy to finally be submitting.

Morkki profile pic Alumni

Threadless has had problems with Star Wars related designs so I guess they are extra careful about those

digsy profile pic Alumni

^^^ that. They've printed several in the past only to have to pull them at a later stage presumably due to legal threats, so I guess they're reluctant to keep dabbling with it.

Morkki profile pic Alumni

This reminds me of Chewy, which was obviously not using any copyrighted SW imagery but still instantly recognizable:

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