Team Katy Perry takes snap at Left Shark vendor

Recording artist Katy Perry performs during the Pepsi Super Bowl XLIX Halftime Show on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona.
Kevin Mazur | WireImage | Getty Images
Recording artist Katy Perry performs during the Pepsi Super Bowl XLIX Halftime Show on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona.

The star of Super Bowl XLIX wasn't Tom Brady or Russell Wilson. It wasn't even Katy Perry. It was Left Shark, a seemingly uncoordinated backup dancer dressed in a felt shark suit.

Left Shark became an Internet sensation after appearing alongside Perry and counterpart Right Shark at the Super Bowl Halftime Show on Sunday.

Overnight, Left Shark memes, tweets, vines, and gifs were being shared all over the Web.


Within days the dancing sensation inspired cookie cutters, t-shirts, onesies, and a slew of other merchandise on craft and e-commerce websites.

This included Fernando Sosa's Left Shark figurines that were being sold on Shapeways, an online 3-D printing marketplace. On Wednesday, the site was served a cease-and-desist order from Perry's lawyers and immediately deleted the Left Shark design from its catalog. The company canceled orders for the product and refunded customers.

"I honestly don't know why they made a big deal of it. I sold like 10," Sosa told CNBC. "I asked if I could license them they told me they don't have any licensing right now. I wouldn't mind paying them royalties."

According to Sosa, the cease-and-desist letter stipulated that Perry owns the rights to the dancing beach balls, palm trees, and sharks that appeared in her halftime performance.

"I think there is more stuff that the lawyers can focus on," Sosa said. "Honestly, I think people should be able to make stuff out of props, and props should not be copyrighted. The palm trees and beach balls should not be copyrighted."

"Our community knows we take our legal responsibilities under the [The Digital Millennium Copyright Act] seriously, and will always comply," Shapeways said in a statement.

The company partnered with Hasbro in 2014 to launch SuperFanArt, which allows fans to 3-D print and sell their own creations based on Hasbro's intellectual property through Shapeways' site.

"Hasbro took a major step forward in realizing the creative potential of 3-D printing, to make products on demand that might otherwise never make it into people's hands," Shapeways said. "They have been incredibly forward and open minded to realize that the existing unmet demand within their fan base can be satisfied with the help of those very same fans."

Shapeways grants artists access to industrial 3-D printing technology that is able to manufacture complex designs out of a wide range of materials. Sosa's designs are produced by Shapeways and are made to order.

"One of the best things about Shapeways is our community and the creativity that comes from them. We love that when they find inspiration in something fun (like a dancing shark at the Super Bowl!) they are able to bring it to life right away."

Perry's legal representatives declined to comment.