HBO has ordered an arts-and-crafts website to take down a 13-year-old girl’s digital painting because it uses the trademark Game of Thrones phrase “Winter is coming.”
The Register reports that HBO’s lawyers issued the order after the girl’s painting was discovered posted on the arts-and-crafts website RedBubble. Jonathan Wilcox, the girl’s father, tells The Register that his daughter wasn’t going to make any money from putting her artwork on the internet.
“My daughter, who happens to be autistic, was doing an art challenge… which consisted of doing a piece of art based on a different color as you worked your way round a color wheel,” he explains. “For this particular piece, she decided to title it ‘Winter is Coming.’ I do not believe she uploaded the picture to RedBubble to make any particular financial gain, she just thought it a sensible place to put it.”
Nonetheless, HBO’s copyright cops seem to think the painting was a significant danger to its intellectual property rights, which is why they’ve apparently been sending these orders around to all kinds of websites who are posting Game of Thrones-themed artwork.
“On further investigation, it appears HBO are doing this all over the place regarding this phrase,” Wilcox tells The Register. “It seems to have upset a lot of people on Etsy and elsewhere who have had the same or similar letter.”