Remember when one fed-up American artist sculpted a Donald Trump troll doll and launched a crowdfunding page to sell them? U.S. media organisation NBC Universal has triggered the campaign to be shut down amid a pending intellectual property dispute.
Former sculptor for Disney, Chuck Williams, 56, was behind the vinyl dolls which featured President Trump in doll-form with his recognisable blonde hair and a very not-safe-for-work visible penis. In February, Williams said he created the figures to "release some steam" over Trump's election to office.
"I was as surprised as everyone else that Trump was elected... I just found myself sculpting a caricature of him to release some steam," he said.
"I sculpted him NSFW to make it clear that I sculpted the entire figure and did not simply sculpt a head on an existing toy body... I wanted to be a bit insulting. Tiny hands you know."
But now, NBC Universal has shut down Williams' original Kickstarter page to crowdfund the production of the dolls, citing an intellectual property dispute around the 'troll doll' look.
"DreamWorks Animation L.L.C. ('DWA'), and its parent company NBC Universal Media, LLC, owns the associated intellectual property related to animated film franchise DREAMWORKS TROLLS," the copyright infringement notice read.
"This includes all of the original visual elements in relation to the Dam Trolls/Good Luck Trolls character, including the furry up-combed hair, naked and pot-bellied figure, and other distinctive physical features (collectively, the 'Trolls Property').
"This Kickstarter campaign is and has been infringing DWA's intellectual property rights, including copyright, in the Trolls Property by offering for sale Trump troll dolls relating to the Trolls Property without license or authorisation."
Supporters of the dolls took to social media to express their dissatisfaction with the legal move, with one person launching a Change.org petition to stop NBC Universal's copyright action against Williams.
@newscomauHQ Thats just undemocratic ... and unfair! Brother has a Thatcher jug, Mother Churchill and Charles & Diana collectables.— Jedi Sprocket Stuff (@janjewson1) March 14, 2017
@Complex talk about fascism— selln lean dm me😈🍼 (@whomstvedst) March 11, 2017
The petition currently has 350 backers and calls for NBC Universal to stop the move, saying the creation of the Trump troll dolls does not have an effect on the profitability of the 'Trolls' franchise.
"This political art does not harm your intellectual property and won't affect the profitability of your franchise. The purchase of this artwork isn't made at the expense of your merchandise," the petition read.
"By trying to prevent the dissemination of this art, you are [stifling] both political speech and artistic expression."
Williams also took to Facebook on Sunday to announce he will be fighting the legal claim against NBC Universal, saying he has called out to a "top notch legal team".