Hello, I read another person asking about this, ironically the same design that I got a violation for (it was Pugs Not Drugs) and got an image from Pixabay which clearly has "CC0 Public Domain - Free for commercial use - No attribution required" listed. Before making the design I checked with
uspto.gov, and there is no trademark for that phrase. I then checked
http://www.copyright.gov/ records and didn't find anything. Someone pointed out that there is a movie title with Pugs Not Drugs, which okay, I get but if it's not trademarked or copyrighted, especially for selling on T-shirts, I'm still confused why it's a violation? And more importantly, confused at how to do research on future designs when the most authoritative ones (uspto/
copyright.gov) showed nothing for this. I did not want to respond to the email to contest it, I'm fine with it being taken down, I just want to know how I can not do this in the future, if the relied on methods still don't help. In addition, I now have gotten two compliance violation emails. (The first was for a stupid mistake and it's clear why they were taken down. And for this, if the
imdb.com movie is the reason, okay.) And now I'm more knowledgeable about this sort of thing, but I'd like to know what I can do to not get another violation and stay in good standing? I feel nervous about even uploading another design after this, especially since one of them was one I checked for. Also, is there a number of violations right now that warrant closing an account? I don't see anything in the email of a number, and obviously I will be more careful than ever, as I am NOT violating on purpose at all and want to make a huge success of this. I even got tiered up and have a lot more design spaces available, but now I don't really know how to proceed.
Once something is publicly published, it is automatically copyrighted. No, it doesn't offer the best protection, and it can be copyrighted "officially", but once something is published publicly, it is automatically copyrighted; therefore, since whoever made the complaint was able to prove they came up with the idea first, then yes, your shirt design is in violation.