Riot Games have apologized after issuing a DMCA takedown for “Arcane” copyright after claiming a small artist’s t-shirt design was their intellectual property.
Riot’s League of Legends-inspired Netflix series, Arcane, exceeded expectations for many. Arcane not only brought fresh eyes to the popular MOBA, but made some fans fall back in love with the game.
Months after the show’s launch, Riot’s operations haven’t exactly gone swimmingly, as they issued a DMCA takedown to a small artist that created an “Arcane Flames” comic that has nothing to do with their IP League of Legends.
On January 28, Ukrainian artist KuttySark pleaded for help on Twitter after her t-shirt design was issued a DMCA takedown notice by Riot Games Inc.
“Riot Games claimed that my original artwork is their intellectual property,” said the artist.
“I’m just some girl from Ukraine and have no voice if such a big company as Riot Games claims that my work belongs to them, even if all facts prove them wrong.”
Riot Games claimed that my original artwork is theirintellectual property.I'm just some girl from Ukraine and have no voice if such a big company as Riot Games claims that my work belongs to them, even if all facts prove them wrong.The only thing I can do is to speak here. pic.twitter.com/I7InAI1uFl
— KuttySarkArt (@kuttysarkart) January 28, 2022
The artist continued in a thread by explaining she filed a counter-claim, but it was supposedly denied as “The claim from Riot Games is valid because they are Riot Games.”
Fortunately, the League of Legends community came together and had the artists back. They eventually brought enough light to the situation to resolve the issue.
Hours after KuttySark’s plea, Riot Games responded by thanking the community and noted the takedown request was made in error.
Riot explained there are multiple teams working to protect their IP, and they’ll continue to investigate to see what happened.
As mentioned by some members of the community, a lot of companies use AI to search for images and phrases that match their property.
“Big companies use AI scraper to search for key images/phrases that match their intellectual property,” said one commenter, adding that if a match is over a certain percentage, a DMCA request is sent.
Luckily for the artist, Riot has at least acknowledged that the takedown request was a mistake.