My learnings of google's IP infrigement blanket ban.. Public Domain means nothing to

Hello, so first, let me explain… I managed to rack up 3 strikes in 5 years and I was banned for life several months ago. This is easier than it seems, but I digress. So check this out… my last strike was for IP infringement, and I got the standard canned message that covers almost anything. I appeal stating that all images are in public domain and provide a comprenhisive list of every image used in the app and it’s respective source and liscenece. About 12 hours later, I get a canned response denying the appeal and basically telling me to **** off.

Fast foward to yesterday… I’m republishing the same app that got suspended for ‘IP infrigement’ with the same public domain icon that it was published with 5 years ago.

This gets weird:

  1. App is accepted on first try
  2. App is rejected when trying to update the description (description only, and not images, etc)
  3. I scrutinize the screenshots, and remove an image that might not be PD, resubmit
  4. Update is rejected again citing IP infringement.
  5. I change the icon, which was well known public domain work
  6. accepted

It looks like Google does not know what public domain is, and the first person that uses a famous historical image (at least for an icon) is the only one that can do so. They will auto-ban subsequent users of the public domain icon.

Let’s talk about public domain for a bit… I’m talking about things like:

  1. Mona Lisa
  2. Abe Lincoln Portraits
  3. Any work taken by a U.S. service person taken or made as part of that person’s official duties

These things belong to humanity, not the first developer to use it!

What was that icon? Some images on openclipart despite stating they are public domain show trademarked elements like logos of companies etc.

A portrait of a well known historical figure produced over 200 yers ago.

Try appeal to Google?

Btw, Mona Lisa is available under public domain. But if you using modified/derived version of it, it could be copyrighted. See more on Public Domain Trouble Spots - Copyright Overview by Rich Stim - Stanford Copyright and Fair Use Center - Public Domain Works That Are Modified

Yes, I appealed and got the standard canned denial. As far as I know, the image was not modified (I didn’t copy anyone’s fancy border or anything). The image is nearly square to begin with, so I just put a thin border around it and resized it to 512x512. There was no croping (There would be with Mona Lisa) that would skew a perceptual hash.