The Empire Struck Back

Believe it or not, the Office of the UK Secretary of State for Defense has objected to The Flying Cloud. What a very strange thing for them to do! Read the latest news and updates, offer support and suggestions, and post your comments here. But remember to be civil, because we're all gentlemen here.

Re: The Empire Struck Back

Postby PaulGazis » Sun Apr 01, 2012 2:24 am

Big Ralfie wrote:I believe someone is pulling your leg. I'm hardly put to believe that there's an "Office of the UK Secretary of State for Defense"...

That was my original impression as well, for this did happen suspiciously close to April Fool's Day.
But Zazzle did indeed pull every pretty much every picture of The Flying Cloud from the store,
and when I contacted them to ask why, I received this response. I've deleted the name of their
customer representative as a courtesy to the company.


Response Via Email([name deleted]) - 03/28/2012 03:05 PM
Hello Paul,

Thank you for being a Seller at!

We would love to offer every design that our users submit, however we must abide by all applicable laws and standards as well as our own content guidelines and copyright policies.

Unfortunately, it appears that your product did not meet Zazzle’s Acceptable Content Guidelines. Specifically, your products infringes upon The UK Secretary of State for Defence intellectual property rights of The Royal Air Force. This also includes all logos, insignias, badges, etc.

Zazzle has been contacted by legal and commercial rights representatives of The UK Secretary of State for Defence, and at their request, to remove products that infringe upon their rights from the Zazzle Marketplace.

We are sorry for any disappointment, but hope you will understand our position in this regard. For future reference, please review Zazzle’s Acceptable Content Guidelines at:

If you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.

Thanks for using Zazzle. We look forward to seeing more of your creative designs!

Best Regards,
[name deleted]
Content Management Team
Zazzle, Inc.


As I've noted before, I don't fault Zazzle for their response. It's not their job to fight these battles,
even when the challenge lacks merit. Please continue to buy their products. I certainly will. And I still
retain considerable admiration for the armed forces of the Crown -- these are brave men and women
who deserve our respect. But it's comforting to know that even in these difficult times, someone
anonymous bureaucrat seems determined to uphold the English reputation for eccentricity :)
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Re: The Empire Struck Back

Postby grumpy2 » Mon Apr 02, 2012 4:38 am

So I can go into any store with a hobby section and buy plastic models of aircraft with half a dozen different versions of the roundel on the boxes: made by Airfix (OK, that's "Brit"), two or three different Japanese firms, some Chinese ones, and in some stores ones of no discernable provenance. (And that's ignoring the toys.) But you can't sell a T shirt in America!

Maybe you should offer them US$0.05/T-shirt-sold to help them fund their fighter maintenance or their new carriers.

I don't think ownership of national insignia ever runs out (copyright or whatever). I know governments are fussy about their military insignia, and they should be, but this particular assault just seems ridiculous.
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Re: The Empire Struck Back

Postby Mutabilis » Tue May 28, 2013 3:11 pm

I still have to find a source to back it up, but here's a story i just heard.

The premiere of Mike Oldfield's "Tubular Bells III" at the Horse Guard's Palace was timed so Big Ben rung 10 o'clock when the number was finished (to be followed by an encore). there's no sound of that on the recording though, because someone made an unreasonable demand for royalties.

Paul, you're in good company with this
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