Today's entry arrives by sea, from my hometown of Long Beach, California. In this saga of maritime misappropriation, the putative pirate is a well-known action sports brand who is alleged to have fallen for copyright infringement hook, line, and sinker.
From a legal standpoint, it is important to remember that copyright law does not protect fonts, no matter how stylized the letters. Trademark law, however, will provide protection for the stylized depiction of a word if that stylized depiction is associated with a certain brand by consumers.
In this case, however, it appears that not only has the font been misappropriated, but also the composition and design elements of the work at issue, which may be subject to copyright protection. Is there enough taken to be a violation of the law or a violation of the artists' moral code?
In April 2011, Port opened it's doors in Long Beach, CA—an unorthodox group of minds, set out to deliver our lifestyle through our product, creativity and store. A clothing boutique, selling small and larger brands as well as Port branded product with its wildly popular and successful logo.
The popularity of the logo led to Port branded product being the best selling product for the store.
With the brand, store and recognition on the rise, Port was delivered a despicable blow, when surfboard and clothing manufacture …Lost released an all but familiar tee shirt graphic, first spotted on the online retailer Swell, in May 2012. Now a tank top version of the stolen art is on Pacific Sunwear's site.
When put side-by-side, the gross neglect of trademark infringement is clear. The designer that presented this as an option should be ashamed of themselves. It is one thing to have reference, but to so blatantly rip off another's work is a different story.
The theft of intellectual property has left us baffled. Even more disgraceful is the fact that an established surf brand would steal from its own. The store is rooted in skate and surf culture. Everyone involved with Port is a steward of the action sports industry—the owners, art director, artists, employees and friends of the store. From shoe designers to marketing directors, we are all part of the industry we love.
It is so unfortunate that one of our own would stoop to a level so low, to blatantly steal and take potential profits from a small, independent shop.
It might be true that imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, but this flattery is just a cloak for theft and brand confusion.
One of the exclusive rights of a copyright holder is the right to create derivative works from the copyright holder's copyrighted property. In other words, if you create something, you have the exclusive right to create new works that employ that work, subject to a few exceptions. Below we have a report that Hook or by Crook has done gone and usurped Adam Jackson's right to create derivative works, and has knocked off his work. The evidence, for your viewing pleasure, is below.
So I stumbled across this guy through a mutual friend on facebook and then noticed something slightly familiar about "his" work, I've been a huge fan of Adam Jackson for years so would know his work when I see it, this is why I was amazed to see UK based "illustrator" Spencer "Hook or by Crook" Douglas claiming that the t-shirts he sell's via the HOCBC website are "original and unique".... hmmm..... anyway, I thought "Well somebody is bound to find out soon enough..." Then a few weeks later via Instagram I saw some work by OG Able which looked familiar... jumped on facebook and as I thought a Hook or by Crook "original" was staring me in the face on the "fan" page... wow, this guy is a dick! So here we are, a blog to name and shame all the rip off people around the globe, just hit me up if you have any similar stories of people who deserve to be outed!
See the examples below, considering they look to have been traced, all the originals have way more detail and better penmanship with shading and/or color that puts the shitty HOBC stuff to shame!
If you want to see or buy REAL ORIGINALS where I can only assume the quality of the garments and prints will beat the terrible Hook or by Crook stuff by a mile then check out the following links and support real artists creating real work.
Here was have a case where the two works are different, but share a certain tonality or feel. The copyright laws protect an artist from the copying of the "total look and feel" of his or her work, but do not protect against someone else expressing the same idea in their own way. Do you see copying?
Aha! Sweet Cavities, the acclaimed "first kawaii shop in Barbados~!" It's obviously been inspired heavily by well known QueenOfDorks who also owns a small online shop http://www.cute-plush.com/.
This particular design definitely reminded me of QueenOfDorks' t-shirt design "I love Japanese food", it has a few changes but still eerily similar even the phrase "おいしい" meaning delicious. Sweet Cavities is looking to sell this design on charms and t-shirts as well.
Sweet Cavities "おいしい" Design: http://sweet-cavities.deviantart.com/gallery/34821344#/d4v1n8d
QueenOfDorks "I love Japanese food" T-shirt design: http://queenofdorks.deviantart.com/art/I-love-japanese-food-150522630
Rip Off: http://www.blnts.com/eng/CMBlock/blue.cfm
Please post this, seeing how it's an entire line of clothing. Disgusting.
A local skater told me about this. Rather quick, too. Mikendo started these "Deadline" videos August 29th. I opened my Youtube account early July and posted my first "Flatline" video as early as July 14. It has nothing to do with money, fame, or subscribers...a bite is a bite is a bite.
If something is a parody, fine. Understandable. If it isn't obvious enough for everyone to realize it is a parody, give credit where credit is due. I feel, in this case, the coincidence excuse isn't an option.
I am sorry to say that I believe my friendly neighborhood cafe ripped off their logo (right) from the Rocket Dog shoe logo (left). Can't say for sure since I don't know how long the shoe logo has been in use, but Rocket Dog predates the cafe as an entity by about 10 years.
What do you think? It's clearly not just a cut-and-paste job but it's so, so similar I can't believe it's just a coincidence.
OBEY clothing has a knack for completely and blatantly ripping off artwork from people/cultures around the world. However, this never hit home like it did when I came across this Obey shirt in a Zumiez in NorCal. Blind Lady Ale House, a San Diego based Ale House/Eatery/Gallery space, is something special. I have had several art shows there, and the people couldn't get any friendlier. The owner is a great designer who actually does all of Jack Johnson's artwork. So when I saw OBEY clothing COMPLETELY steal his design, I was furious. See more of his image theft at http://www.art-for-a-change.com/Obey/index.htm.
I was sent a link to the Chinese shopping site TaoBao.com recently, where I discovered my designs being sold alongside designs by various other illustrators, on tote bags, handbags and cosmetics cases. These bags are being made by a company called Ufukuro who, although they have a Japanese name (presumably to sound more high end and legit) are actually based in Shanghai, China. I was shocked by the sheer number of rip-offs, which mostly are just directly copy-pasted (sometimes with a change of colour or layout) from the various artists' work. I can't post all of them here (there are 2-5 images stolen from each artist, and at least 14 artists affected), but here are a few of the stolen designs, shown alongside the original images. I'm pretty sure that ALL of Ufukuro's illustrated bags feature stolen images. Unfortunately, as it is a Chinese company, it is extremely difficult to take any legal action.
The bags are also for sale online at Dawanda.com and on Etsy.
The artists and designers affected include: Kate Sutton, Jim Datz, Jon Burgerman, Darling Clementine, Adrian Johnson, Marion Bantjes, Christopher Lee, Sanna Annukka, Andrew Holder, Andreas Samuelsson, Toru Fukuda, Lance Wyman, Krisatomic and lucky old me (Gemma Correll).
But it's very possible that there are others. Take a look - maybe you'll be one of the unfortunate folks that has had their work stolen by Ufukuro.
Twitter app for iPad. Released 2010.
When the app was redesigned last year, it revolutionized the way you read posts on the iPad. It made me smile the first time I use it and realize that this is original and made the experience unique..which to me represented Twitter's commitment to make something different and better for the sake of better usability. It was very well received and personally I love this interface. It's a trademark design.
It's also FREE.
MyPad2 for Facebook on iPad. Release April 2011.
Copied the whole look and feel, interface design, icon colors and style, the way you can scroll on one column opening up to the posts to reveal detailed panel on the right and pushes 2nd and third columns over to open up. Also name on icons are hidden once you view posts. Exactly and intentional copy. It's FREE for limited version but it comes with a big ad down the bottom of the 2nd column. If you pay original price of $2.99 you get it without ads. Seems like its getting bad reviews as lots of functional issues are problematic and crashes. Nevertheless it copied most if not all the design of Twitter app. I tried to post on their Facebook fan page but I was blocked and post deleted. Hence I am here now.
For those people who never used the app, the more subtle window bounces when flicking through posts, panels opening, way you refresh posts by pushing the column down, navigational design, and animation is more or less copied Download both apps to see for yourselves.
The image screenshot is borrowed from their site. This image doesn't show the detailed third column as posts, but it is more or less 99% copied from Twitter.
I wonder if/when Twitter will sue?
Not vivid ways