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Published: January 31, 2022

Written by: Stoyan Todorov

  • Riot Games recently made a copyright claim on an artist’s original creations
  • This garnered a lot of attention from Riot fans
  • Riot reached out to the artist, explaining there is an error and they will look into it

A small artist creating characters for an original comic series called “Arcane Flames” has recently been hit with a questionable copyright claim by Riot Games.

Riot Makes a Controversial Copyright Claim

When it comes to fan-created content of a certain franchise and its accompanying copyright laws, the cases may become a bit mirky. Usually, fanart and such are “tolerated.” After all, it would be pretty silly to punish your fans for loving your product and spending time advancing it and etching its popularity in consumers’ collective memory. But what happens when a seemingly unrelated original creation’s name coincides with that of a popular franchise? Well, this is the case between Riot Game and an artist called KuttySarkArt.

KuttySarkArt is an artist creating content around an original character that does not seem to resemble any characters from the various games Riot has published. The issue seems to arise when it comes to the title of the comic series underneath the art. It’s called Arcane Flames, reminiscent of Riot’s very popular animated series that aired late last year. According to KuttySarkArt Riot sent a takedown notice through TeePublic, the platform the artist uses to sell their original merchandise, claiming that the intellectual property of the design belonged to the company.

“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,” wrote the artist on Twitter. Her problem was heard by many, who messaged Riot Games to look further into the case.

Riot Is Reaching Out to the Artist

KuttySarkArt’s original tweet explaining her situation garnered a lot of attention both from her own fans and from Riot fans. Many have got in touch with Riot Games, urging them to suspend the copyright claims. The company has since then acknowledged the problem, saying “It’s clear that this takedown request was made in error.”

Riot Games apologized for the trouble the artist had to go through, and also explained that “there are a number of teams and third-party agencies” that want to protect its intellectual property. Since then, the game company has contacted the artist directly to resolve the issue. KuttySarkArt thanked her followers for the support given. “Thank you all for your kindness and support! It means the world to me,” she wrote.

It seems third parties or automated systems are to blame for the false copyright claim. Even TeePublic responded with “We are unable to reinstate this design because it was a DMCA takedown from Riot Games,” when asked by KuttySarkArt about the claim.

While this particular case may be just a misunderstanding, some other cases Riot has been involved in recently may not be so straightforward. Riot Games is going to sue a Vietnamese game studio for IP infringement.

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