When you post something on the internet, you never know where it might turn up. In the below case, an artist's original embroidery design was apparently borrowed for the cover art on a book entitled, appropriately, "The Long Stitch Good Night: An Embroidery Mystery." The embroidery piece was apparently reproduced in graphic art form, but this, still would violate the original artist's exclusive rights to create derivative works from her original embroidery piece. See 17 U.S.C. 106 (2).
Maybe the "embroidery mystery" is how this usage made its way through Penguin's legal clearance process?
- Scott A. Burroughs, Esq. ( [email protected] )
I am an artist, designer and owner of a small business called SeptemberHouse. My business focuses mostly on needlecraft, specifically embroidery. I design and sell embroidery patterns and recently found out that one of them showed up on the cover of a mass market paperback without my permission.
The pattern was one that I had posted on my blog as a free promotional pattern. Pattern designers often do this to generate views as well as interest and buzz about their work. I always clearly indicate that they are for personal use and copyrighted. This particular pattern is called "She Scatters Shamrocks" and was released in February 2010 just before St. Patrick's Day.
A few months ago, a reader who is familiar with this pattern contacted me to tell me that she saw it on a book cover and wanted to let me know because she wasn't sure it was supposed to be there. I'm so glad she did this because it was NOT supposed to be there and had she not told me, I would have never known. The book is called "The Long Stitch Good Night" and is written by Amanda Lee a.k.a Gayle Trent published by Penguin/Signet books. It is part of a series of mystery books with a needlework theme. This particular one also had an Irish theme.
- Book cover containing artwork stolen from embroidery pattern designer
My embroidery pattern appears in the lower right side of the image. It's small but it is definitely there. I was never contacted by the publisher or illustrator, asked permission to use the image or given any credit or compensation.
I have distributed a number of DMCA notifications and the image has been removed from some sites. I am still waiting to receive responses on others. At this point I am still deciding on what other action to take.
I also wrote recently wrote a post about this situation on my blog, so september.
Copyright infringement cases relating to jewelry are on the rise, with retailers attempting to make an extra buck by having cheaper knock-offs made of trendy pieces they see in boutiques, magazines, or around town, and then selling those copies to the public. The sine qua non in such a case is substantial similarity, as any attorney with brains can tell you. Mmmmm, brains.
update: Hot Topic has pulled their necklaces from online and apparently from sales floors while they "investigate"
I'd love some outside opinions on this one. I've been making these I Heart Brains Best Friends Necklace Sets since 2010. Soon after posting them they were featured in a variety of different places online and I ended up with orders my two hands couldn't keep up with. This is the first green set I sold:
and hot topics recent version of the same thing:
The part that gets me the most is there are many ways to make brains and the way I've specifically chosen to do them isn't the same as a real brains texture. It's a technique I use because of my medium of polymer clay, which is not the medium they've used. It feels like a copy to me and even gave my guts a churnin' once I stumbled on them. After contacting hot topic and getting no response, I was wondering what others might think
I'm sure that The Gap has a totally awesome explanation for why this photo of mine, published under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) license, is apparently being used by babyGap on the Grey Pumice version of the "Thermal body double" onesie (SKU #785589) and the 2-in-1 moto one-piece at gap.com.
A couple of years ago I was asked to write and illustrate a tongue-in-cheek Popular Science/Mechanics-style book on how to build bongs for San Francisco based publisher, Chronicle Books. I'm no authority on the subject. Far from it, actually. They approached me with the idea because I had done technical illustrations for them before (mostly knitting and crocheting), and I can build just about anything. The book is called, Build this Bong.
The book had been out about two years when I thought I'd do an internet search to see how it was doing. Imagine my surprise when I noticed that in amongst the thumbnails of the book's cover were images of a black t-shirt with illustrations from the book all over it!
The company that made the shirt is called Upper Playground. Ironically, I live just three blocks from their original store in San Francisco. It even says I'm an SF based artist in the back of the book. They made no attempt to get permission, however, from either myself or the publisher.
Upper Playground is an SF based clothing company, which also operates art galleries that show work from artists that are featured on the shirts they sell. They cater to the hip-hop/skater/graffiti art/420/urban-hipster community. The owner/founder, Matt Revelli, likes to pay lip service to supporting artists whenever he is interviewed. In one interview appearing on SFGate.com, he said, "We're selling the whole idea of this creative lifestyle and supporting creative people and having their ideas and concepts come to life in a different form." My work certainly came to life in a different form.
Upper Playground's revenues for 2007 were reported to be $10 million. In another interview, Matt Revelli was asked about his company's five year plan. His answer, " In five years, we’ll be a $25 million to $30 million company. We’re working on saving the music industry. That’s what makes America great, if we don’t find a way to compensate artists, it’s not going to be an innovator of that industry anymore." He could have easily compensated me for my art, but simply chose not to.
Every drawing that appears on the shirt was lifted directly from the book. All they did was paste a portion of their walrus logo over the image in the center.
"I scour used bookstores for inspiration and ideas...I come up with ideas or concepts and have our designers or freelance people that I work with execute the concept." Matt Revelli
Designers keep an eye on this company..
Here is another copy from a Melbourne based print company called SHYE CLOTHING in Port Melbourne,Australia.
And be sure this is not the first time they have been involved in stealing designs..
They are also printing labels such as Miky6 ,GSE ,Miami if you have had artwork stolen by this company
make it known..
Back in august of 2006 I made this design for The Robot Assemblage Sticker Contest at stickerrobot.com. After that, I kept on using it for stickers of my own and wheatpaste.
Today a friend found this image on Flickr, my design on a t-shirt, for sale in Argentina. I talked to the person who owned the account, and they said that they didn't understand what the problem was, since they 'altered' the design a little, and everybody does it (by the way, they just removed the dotted line on the edge of the band aid, the rest is EXACTLY the same). Many people commented on the stolen image, but they have not admitted any wrongdoing, and sustain that they did it to sell shirts, and that I'm being too sensitive.
What do you think?