The famed Judge and writer with the almost-too-perfect name of Learned Hand wrote once in an opinion on copyright law that “no plagiarist can excuse the wrong by showing how much of his work he did not pirate.” That is to say, if one steals he expression from another, it often doesn’t matter if additional expression is added. It is important to note, though, that if no expression is stolen, then there is no legal claim for infringement. Also, style is not something that lends itself easily to copyright protection. With those things in mind, please consider the below.
Quite a simple story.
When confronted this person http://amburgerandfries.deviantart.com/ , the artist denied that she copied http://loish.deviantart.com/ ‘s style and even denies knowing her at all
Here is only one example of many from what she does with Loish’s works:
Not only exact copies are copies. A shaken hand in a stroke can change length and size of a feature and try to mock us.
Some people that are used to recolor other’s people pictures or google’ page 1 photos change little stuff and try to disrupt the original pictures so they can both disguise and own somehow the picture they’re blatantly stealing.
If you do this and keep it to yourself you might get some learning value from it, but using it to get work or to be famous it’s not only lame but morally wrong.
People, you can be so much better than this!!
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.
What do you think? Blatant rip or just innocent inspiration?
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
The below example illustrates what lawyers and judges refer to as the “idea-expression” dichotomy. Basically, it is perfectly legal to be inspired by the idea or ideas behind another author’s work, but it is illegal (a violation of the Copyright Act) to take the original expression from the work of another. Where does the line get drawn? That’s up to the Judge, but this case appears to me to be one where the expression has been lifted. Agree?
Infamous Apparel (owned by department store Tilly’s) stole a design I did for the Salvation Army’s Wardrobe Apparel. It is currently on their store racks.
100% of the proceeds generated from TSA’s clothing is donated to people in dire need, world wide. People holding onto their lives depend on this kind of support. For shame, Tilly’s, taking money away from those in need. Have you no heart?
My original design:
Their design (notice they didn’t even bother changing much):
In our everyone’s-connected era, there are an increasing number of ‘right-click cowboys’ that scour the internet for works to use on product such as clothing. All too often, they fail to seek a license from the artist to use the works. The below appears to be one such example.
DEAR YOU THOUGHT WE WOULDN’T NOTICE:
I recently discovered through a friend, that runs the fantastic site Sick for Cute website about a stolen design, when she unknowingly bought the stock for her shop.
The company involved in the stolen design is an LA company by the name of E-Klah. They’re selling a blythe shirt where the original image was based off my original painting as you see below.
My original design on the left and the copy on the right
(right image courtesy of Sick for Cute)
I’ve emailed E-Klah but haven’t heard a word back yet.
I actually wrote to them saying it’s uncouth to steal but I thought the designer involved did a really great job with my original design, which to be honest, had a pretty mellow life up to this point. In my email I said I would love to work with them in the future.
It’s a little bit sad that after a week they haven’t emailed me back. The best outcome for me would be a positive one where we could work together with total transparency. Failing that, if all that comes out of this, is that people are wearing a design that started off in my brain, then I can go to bed smiling
Some of you may recognize me as AttorneyScott, the guy that answered your most pressing copyright questions on the “ART LAW IN THE US” page on this site. Over the last couple of years I have been lucky enough to answer your questions and provide a little guidance through the murky waters of copyright and the law. Today, I can announce that my firm and I will be assuming the captain’s chair to lead YTWWN in a new and exciting direction. The focus of the site will still be on user-submitted examples of creative thievery, and community discussion of the rights and wrongs of being “inspired by” or simply taking another’s work. We will hopefully add a more coherent explanation of the legal rights and remedies that are in play when an artist’s copyrights have been violated. We will also explore copyright infringement examples from our firm case files, and discuss other copyright cases in the news. In any event, we should have fun.
You can contact me at [email protected] or learn a little bit more about our firm and some of our copyright cases by going to www.contentclash.donigerlawfirm.com