Man who took photos of a $6.94 Walmart action figure gets banned from Facebook.

A Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) notice sent by the Walt Disney Company earlier this week seems to have truly awakened The Force, and now the company can’t seem to decide if it wants to be on the light side or the dark side.

Marjorie and Arnie Carvalho run Star Wars Action News, a podcast about Star Wars collectibles. Earlier this week, SW Action News staffer Justin Kozisek purchased an action figure of “Rey” in an Iowa Walmart. The figure, which hasn’t been seen elsewhere, was presumably put on the shelves by accident ahead of its official release date. An image of the figure was posted on the SW Action News Facebook page—and promptly subjected to a wave of DMCA takedown demands by Lucasfilm. Many of those who had spread the image on social media were also subject to copyright claims.

Marjorie Carvalho didn’t just complain, though. She wrote a polite e-mail to the Disney company e-mail address listed in her DMCA notice, explaining exactly what happened. While Carvalho didn’t get a direct reply, her message seemed to have worked. Last night her account got a late e-mail from Facebook stating that “The Walt Disney Company has retracted their intellectual property report.”

“All we did was write a letter, and a few hours later, it was retracted,” she said in an interview with Ars this morning, pleased with the result. “It pays to take the high road and get your facts in order, rather than overreacting. I feel good about it, and it’s nice that they’re recognizing they made a mistake.”

Images of the figure still abound elsewhere, for instance inthis “pre-order” eBay listing. (Before searching or clicking on that link, note that some hard-core fans consider Rey’s costume in this figure to have “spoiler” elements to it.) HaTTiP

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