Katy Perry’s Lawyers Shut Down Left Shark Art

Courtesy of David J. Phillip / AP
Courtesy of David J. Phillip / AP

In the eyes of some viewers, the Super Bowl halftime show was apparently stolen from Katy Perry, by one of her back-up dancers. These particular back-up dancers were dressed in shark costumes and are now becoming the next “Grumpy Cat” of the Internet, as they are now known as “Left Shark”. This name refers to the fact that of the two sharks flanking Katy Perry during her performance of “Teenage Dream,” the shark in question was on her left side. The shark’s rise to fame comes in the wake of it bumbling over its dance moves, as if it forgot all direction. Many YouTube videos labeled the shark as being drunk, though the man inside of the costume was professional dancer, Scott Myrick, who has said that the visibility in the costume was terrible, and that it was even worse than the Super Bowl cameras depicted because he ran into a palm tree.

One eager entrepreneur jumped the shark in an attempt to sell merchandise of “Left Shark” online. Edward Sosa of Orlando, Florida is an artist who makes 3D art. His print of “Left Shark” was a departure from his normally risqué and politically themed work. However, it wasted no time in generating more controversy. He put these prints on sale for $24.99 on Shapeways.com after the Super Bowl, and was receiving a cease and desist order from Katy Perry’s lawyers by Wednesday.

It seems “Left Shark” is the intellectual property of Katy Perry, thus all likenesses of said shark’s image or costume are owned by Perry. Under the United States Copyright Act, Sosa’s display and sale of “Left Shark’s” likeness infringed upon Perry’s right to display, reproduce and distribute the image of “Left Shark.” Sosa eventually complied with the lawyer’s demands. Before doing so, he wrote under the picture, “Apparently sharks, beach balls and palm trees are all now copyrighted.” He later posted a scan of the cease and desist letter on Instagram with the caption saying, ”I never mentioned her name or implied that I got her permission to make this.” Sosa later said that he is going back to making images of dictators such as Putin, Kim Jung Un and Chris Christie, since they are easier to work with.