Greenpeace's LEGO viral blocked by YouTube

Press release - 11 July, 2014
London, 11 July 2014 - Greenpeace's viral video 'LEGO: everything is NOT awesome' has been suspended by YouTube, following a copyright claim from Warner Brothers. The environmental organisation quickly transferred the film to Vimeo and strongly defended the work as a piece of satire that highlights a subject of significant public interest.

The film, made by BAFTA-winning creative agency Don't Panic, reached over three million views in less than three days. It depicts the Arctic, made of LEGO, being destroyed by an oil spill. The film aims to highlight LEGO's collusion in the threat to the Arctic by promoting the controversial Shell oil brand on its toys.

The film can now be seen on YouTube's rival video service, Vimeo:

Ian Duff, Arctic campaigner at Greenpeace, said: "Our film was designed as a creative way of letting people know about the threat to the Arctic from Shell and the role LEGO has in the story. It seems to have struck a nerve with some important corporate bigwigs, but this crude attempt to silence dissent won't work. We fully intend to challenge this claim, and we're asking supporters to upload the video wherever they can.  

"LEGO says it wants to leave a better world for children, yet it's partnered with Shell, one of the biggest climate polluters on the planet, now threatening the pristine Arctic. We're saying It's time for LEGO to finally pull the plug on this deal. We're calling on LEGO to stand up for Arctic protection, and for children, by ditching Shell for good."

Greenpeace intends to challenge the claim, which is expected to take around 10 days to resolve under YouTube regulations. It will argue the video uses satire and parody, is in the public interest, and thus protected under the right to free speech. According to a YouTube search there are 772 other videos on the site that use the 'everything is awesome' song and many more than depict characters from the LEGO movie.

Greenpeace has been subject to copyright claims in the past. A campaign video depicting Star Wars characters was pulled down but later reinstated after Greenpeace successfully challenged the claim.

Greenpeace has also uploaded the video to its Facebook pages and Greenpeace is encouraging members of the public to re-upload the video where ever they can.

It will email its millions of supporters asking them to share the video to make sure that the video about Shell and LEGO's partnership is seen by million more people.


Notes to editors:

Contact: Ellen Booth, Greenpeace UK on +44 7807 352020

'LEGO: Everything is NOT Awesome' Video:

See the petition page for the campaign for Lego to drop Shell at:

Read more:

LEGO is keeping bad company: no more playdates with Shell

Media briefing on Shell's threat to the Arctic

About Don't Panic

Greenpeace is only the latest charity to use Don't Panic for digital campaign work. The agency were recently awarded a Gold Cyber Lion at Cannes for their 'Most Shocking Second A Day' video for Save The Children which has, to date, been viewed almost 32 million times on YouTube.