I received an email from someone who found a RIP-OFF of my design Lil’ Soap being sold at HOT TOPIC’s website:
This is my origional design that was printed by Threadless.com:
The rip-off was designed by “Newbreed girl” who seem to have an under construction website. Hot Topic buys from many design companies and venders, this is just one of them and either they did NO back checking or they knew what they were ripping off.
I sent “Newbreed girl” a cease and desist email, and one to Hot Topic as well.
NewBreed girl’s president responded to say that is was unfortunate but probably the cause of hiring freelancers to do t-shirts for them, which was the same response Todd Goldman gave about his stolen designs, coincidentally he also pirated this design of mine for some paintings around the time of the Shmorky controversy.
(as seen here: http://flickr.com/photos/23184972@N02/2279191355/
However the soap in Goldman’s painting is not even nearly as similar as this design by “NewBreedGirl”. The facts in the case against Goldman are that he actually offered me a job and told me in email and in phone conversations that he loved my Threadless Lil’ Soap design BEFORE he took the idea and sold it for incredible amounts of money.
Everything on this Hot Topic design is similar, the soap is pink (soap in real life is most commonly white anyway) the hands and feet are done in the same manner, the word “Soap” is in the same place and the soap itself is in the same body position. The words even feel forced to include the word “butt” I mean, what does “I love your butt” coming from a soap mean anyway?
I’ve still not heard back from Hot Topic about this, and the design has NOT been removed from their website.
I do not want to put too much blame on Hot Topic for this, but the fact is that they have made money off of something that I own the copyright to. A soap cartoon is a soap cartoon, I do not claim ownership of any and all soap cartoons, but this design is so similar to mine specifically that it cannot be ignored.