Baby Yoda GIFs from The Mandalorian have been restored on Giphy after copyright confusion caused them to be taken down. The long-awaited Star Wars series revolving around an armored bounty hunter and his exploits after the destruction of the Empire has now arrived on Disney+, and there’s no doubt the breakout star of the show has been the small green alien child christened “Baby Yoda” by the internet.
The creature known as Baby Yoda made his surprising first appearance at the end of the first Mandalorian episode, and fully captured fans’ hearts in the second episode, which saw him engaging in all sorts of Yoda-like behavior including eating a frog and using the Force to lift a giant rhino-like creature called a Mud Horn that the Mandalorian was in the process of fighting. Indeed, so popular was Baby Yoda that fans couldn’t wait to post their Baby Yoda memes all over in the internet, including on popular GIF-hosting site Giphy. Unfortunately, all the Baby Yoda GIFs were quickly taken down from Giphy, and fans began expressing outrage at Disney for preventing them from offering up their tokens of Baby Yoda love in GIF form.
Now though, fans can resume sharing Baby Yoda on Giphy, as the service has restored the previously removed GIFs. In a statement (via BBC News), the site explained what happened to cause the takedown in the first place, and it seems Disney was not the culprit after all:
"Last week, there was some confusion around certain content uploaded to Giphy and we temporarily removed these Gifs while we reviewed the situation. We apologise to both Disney and Vulture for any inconvenience, and we are happy to report that the Gifs are once again live on Giphy."
Giphy’s statement mentions the website Vulture, which helped fuel backlash against the Baby Yoda takedown when they complained about it in an article. Fans were especially upset about the removal of the GIFs because, up until now, the creation and sharing of such files has always been protected under fair use provisions, and many wondered if Disney was trying to set a new precedent that would prevent people from sharing images from their favorite movies and shows. However, it seems Disney did not order Giphy to remove the images, and the site acted on their own out of an excess of caution. In the case of Baby Yoda, there may have been some concern about the spoilery nature of the GIFs initially, but Disney quickly shared their own Baby Yoda images, ending any worry about keeping the character a secret.
Indeed, Disney is now moving forward with putting out Baby Yoda merchandise just in time for Christmas, so the cat is fully out of the bag on the biggest twist The Mandalorian has pulled off so far. Fans are certainly hoping that Baby Yoda sticks around for the full run of the series, and doesn’t wind up suffering a terrible fate at the hands of the Empire, who clearly want to get their hands on the Force-sensitive little creature. At first Baby Yoda may have seemed like an extra-cheesy fan service move on the part of showrunner Jon Favreau, but the popularity of the character, and the merchandise sales that are sure to result from Baby Yoda mania, are now making Favreau and Disney look like geniuses.
Source: BBC News