If you’re publishing products on the print-on-demand website Zazzle, it can be tempting to make jokes, references, and even bootleg designs relating to existing brands, movies, TV shows, etc. I’m definitely guilty of this on my stores, making designs that reference games I like. While I never used official logos or stolen images, I have used tags that contain words that are copyrighted or trademarked. And sometimes that has led to products of mine being taken down from the Zazzle marketplace. In this blog post I’ll share the keywords I’ve encountered that led to products being deleted. I will also share what happens when you do use those risky tags.
What Happens If You Use Those Tags?
My most recent takedown involved an artwork refering to the video game The Sims. I posted the product on 4 October 2023. On the 6th, two days later, I received the following email from email@example.com:
Thank you for your interest in Zazzle.com, and thank you for publishing products on Zazzle.
Unfortunately, it appears that your product, _, contains content that is in conflict with one or more of our content guidelines.
We will be removing this product from the Zazzle Marketplace shortly.
The details of the product being removed are listed below:
|Policy Notes:||Your design contains an image or text that may be subject to copyright. This may be due to the actual design of the product, description or search tags that are associated to your product. Please feel free to submit a new design to our Marketplace from original elements|
|Image:||View the Image|
We apologize for the inconvenience. A detailed description of the policies is located here.
You may redesign and republish your products following our content guidelines. Please be aware that continued violations of Zazzle’s User Agreement and Acceptable Content Guidelines may result in termination of your account.
If you have any questions or concerns about the review of your product, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be happy to provide you with additional support.
Please help us make our content approval process better by taking this short survey.
—Zazzle Content Review Team
The ‘Image’ link takes you to a small JPG image of the design you created. If your design was made purely from Zazzle geometric shape tool elements, that link will take you to a small white square image.
Unfortunately, you cannot tell from the email exactly what text or tag was the offender. You have to determine this based on your own understanding of what words you used. I know my offending tag in this instance was ‘sims’ because that was the only thing even close to a trademarked term.
My Tags That Led to Product Deletion
- Guy Fawkes and/or V for Vendetta
Others Tags That Led to Product Deletion
These are more keywords that led to products being taken down. The examples come from the Zazzle community, including the Zazzle forums.
- Buzz Aldrin and/or his footprint on the moon [source]
- Assassin’s Creed [source]
- Boy Mom [source]
- Confederate Flag [source]
- Country Girl [source]
- Salvador Dali [source]
- Eiffel Tower at night [source]
- M. C. Escher [source]
- F. Scott Fitzgerald [source]
- Far Cry [source]
- Farm Boy [source]
- Fight Like a Girl [source]
- Girl Dad [source]
- Girl Mom [source]
- The Godfather [source]
- good vibes / good vibes only (on clothing products) [source]
- Grill with 3 legs (design owned by Weber) [source]
- Grinch / grinches [source]
- Hocus Pocus (maybe) [source]
- Just Dance [source]
- koozie [source]
- Let’s Get Ready to Rumble [source]
- Lifeguard [source]
- Live, Laugh, Love [source]
- No One Fights Alone [source]
- Olympics [source]
- Onesie [source]
- Pantone [source]
- Pi. [source]
- Ben Potter aka the Flying Scotsman [source]
- Rainbow Six [source]
- Robert Frost and some of his poems [source]
- Shabby Chic [source]
- Smiley (word and classic design) [source]
- Thermos [source]
- Think Pink [source]
- Tik Tok [source]
- Mark Twain (some works under copyright) [source]
- Martin Luther King, and words from his Dream speech [source]
- UPS [source]
- very peri purple [source]
- Zentangle [source]
Baseball teams [source]
Names of universities, including Syracuse University [source]
Postage designs [source]
Accidentally Used Tags
One case study I want to bring attention to is a product by nikkileighthat was titled ‘Retro Rainbow Six is a Vibe Birthday Invitation’. It had nothing to do with the game Rainbow Six, but nontheless it was taken down by Zazzle for infringement. So this is
I also want to make a special note regarding the take down email. It specifies that it looks for offending keywords in the description of the post as well as titles and tags. So be sure to not use the offending keywords in any of theses areas.
Have you encountered any specific keywords that got your products taken down from Zazzle? Leave a comment, and I’ll add them to the list.
Peace, love and sunshine,