Feeds

RedBubble’s Nazi trouble

Arty Hitler humour draws fire

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Online arts community and digital darling, RedBubble, has attracted the ire of the Australian Jewish community and is suffering a membership backlash over its affiliation with New York based T-shirt and merchandiser designers Hipster Hitler.

The fuhrer furore has spilled overseas, sparking a PayPal investigation and prompting Facebook to pull HH's page. The art showcase and sales site RedBubble launched in 2006, and became one of Australia's most successful crowdsourced sites, offering free membership, creator retention of copyright, and fee-based online sales.

The row, which has turned into a near-riot on Oz art blogs, kicked off late last month when the site’s lawyers, Arnold Bloch Leibler, dropped RedBubble as a client over the Hipster Hitler merchandise.

The allegedly offensive T-shirts include slogans like “Three Reichs And You’re Out,” “Back To The Fuhrer”, “Catcher in the Rhine”, “You Make Me Feel Like Danzig”, “I Heart Juice” and “Whose Rhine is it Anyway.”

Mark Leibler, senior partner at Arnold Bloch Leibler, said “the firm has deep roots in the Jewish community and is extremely sensitive to the consequences of the Holocaust. Any implication that the firm is supportive of attempts to ‘reinvigorate Nazi ideas’ is false and unacceptable to the firm. ... Arnold Bloch Leibler does not currently act for RedBubble and will not act on behalf of RedBubble in the future; however the firm has previously provided corporate advice to RedBubble."

Leibler is also national chairman of the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council.

RedBubble CEO Martin Hosking defended the work in this interview, and said his site is against censorship.

“The right to free speech is a bedrock of our democracy and of creative freedom and any decision to censor has to be taken mindfully and with great care. We are working with these peak organisations to craft a solution which balances the right to free expressions against the legitimate restrictions on it. Along with these organisation we don’t believe a knee-jerk response is appropriate given the critical importance we attach to freedom of expression within legitimate boundaries,” Hosking said.

However, controversy now seems to be dogging the purveyors of Hitler chic, with Facebook removing the official Hipster Hitler page in mid-May, and PayPal is investigating whether the T-shirt designer should keep its account as a result of the Jewish community's outrage.

The creators of Hipster Hitler clearly state that their work, which includes a cartoon series, is satire and offers a new way of disliking Hitler. “In the process of satirizing Hitler’s thoughts, actions and logic, we’re taking a few digs at a contemporary subculture of urban, middle-class youth that fetishize the ‘authentic’ and conform to non-conformism. HipsterHitler.com is strictly a parody, satire and humor site, all content herein should be treated as such.” ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Spies, avert eyes! Tim Berners-Lee demands a UK digital bill of rights
Lobbies tetchy MPs 'to end indiscriminate online surveillance'
How the FLAC do I tell MP3s from lossless audio?
Can you hear the difference? Can anyone?
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.