This is deplorable. A blogger named Thomas organized a charity auction for his nephew, Ben, who is sick. He had friends in the comics industry who donated original art. Some of that art featured Superman, Thomas's favorite character. This caused Time Warner to call up eBay and cancel those auctions, citing intellectual property laws.
Problem being, artists sketch these characters *all the damn time*. It's a common practice, commissions and sketches, sometimes free, sometimes paid for, sometimes done at the official DC booth, sometimes not. It's a harmless, non-infringing way to spread awareness and positive impressions of their characters. My guess is, some douchebag in legal saw it, didn't realize this and decided to shut it down, never mind that the message being sent was "DC Comics, publisher of Superman and other comics about superheroes, doesn't care about your sick goddamn kids unless we get our cut!"
I know that some comic creators read this blog. I hope that possibly somebody at DC, maybe even Time Warner, is reading it today. If they're not, I don't have too much worry, because I'd bet this gets picked up by Newsarama or at least by Rich Johnston soon.
This is ridiculous. Time Warner needs to issue an apology and reverse this decision. They've already got so many holes below the waterline in their comics publishing right now, the last thing they need is a PR black eye to go with it.