Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Umm, WTF??

I am very fortunate to have lots of 'angels' out there keeping an eye out for any ripoffs of my work. Usually it's something that looks quite similar but not enough to do anything about.

This time however was a completely different kettle of fish:



COMPLETELY UNAUTHORIZED use of my reindeer print on some keds on zazzle.com.




Here's the original version of my reindeer pattern on flickr.

I have contacted the relevant parties so hopefully this will be GONE very soon. Even though I must admit they do look cute.

Thank god I have some very 'pattern savvy' people out there who know my work and can alert me about these sorts of things. Thanks again (you know who you are) :)

UPDATE: Keds isn't actually at fault here. This is a shoe created through zazzle.com that allows people to customise products with their own designs. So it's the user who submitted it that's in the wrong.

40 comments:

Julie said...

Ugh! As a person who has had her copyright protected work taken and used without permission more than once, I can totally sympathize. Thanks goodness that even while the internet is a cause of these troubles, it is also the internet community that keeps us informed of these things.

Wendy said...

oh my gosh!! i can't believe someone did that! but yes, so glad that someone caught it and alerted you! i hope it gets taken down soon. (but yes, your pattern does look cute on a shoe..)

cindy said...

That is so (insert expletive) that someone would be that obvious. I hope you get it resolved, but I gotta tell you I'd buy a pair, if they were by you though. They look so cool!

Anna said...

Oh how infuriating! Even though it is a kind of backhanded compliment...

bamakko said...

BAH! WTF indeed!

And right after you made such a helpful post... maybe it should be revised as:

1) Don't practice
2) Rip off someone who has
3) Don't upset Dannii Minogue ;)

Hollabee said...

OMG! Is taking down enough though? Usually, in a legal kind of thing you should be compensated for it. I.e. If they have made money with your design, that's unfair and unlawful. Not totally sure, you'd have to ask a lawyer. Boo Lara, not cool! We're all behind you ;)

FaerySarah said...

Grr i am so angry after reading that! wow how dare they! agh! and man is that print cute~!

A Print A Day said...

oh my gosh!!! post this on http://youthoughtwewouldntnotice.com/

so not cool. this has happened to me a couple of times, and it's upsetting to see it happen to someone else.

i hope things get resolved!

Suzie said...

OH no that really sucks. I hate to think of all the other undiscovered rips out there. That reminds me, did you authorise your birch forest pattern to a pub in Richmond... i saw it when I was walking past. Can't remember what it's called but I can go visit (it's around the corner from work) if you didn't authorise it.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lara

With regards to copyright....

I've always liked the fact that you let people make bags or cushions or whatever and then re-sell them. That is, your shop says "it is completely fine for you to use this fabric in commercial projects".

However, as your business expands it might be worth your while getting someone with a bit of legal expertise in copyright to give you advice in how to define/phrase what is and isn't okay to do, and to clearly differentiate between the pattern itself and the fabrics as an end product.

Being generous and saying "fine for you to use this fabric in commercial projects" is such a general statement that it might actually create problems for you in the future?

Danielle said...

Oh my gosh! Such an obvious rip-off of your work... How frustrating!
Hope you get it all sorted out ok...

Anonymous said...

Also, I know it's pain but you might have to start watermarking your pattern designs on Flickr.

?

Drewzel said...

Crikey! I reckon you should beat 'em at their own game and start selling YOUR official version of these....we'd all buy 'em :P

lindsey clare said...

so cheeky! how can people not realise that patterns are the property of the designer, like all other forms of design?
i'm glad you outed them, Lara. it's just not fair, is it?

Fer said...

Bloody hell, what a slap in the face!

I hope it's sorted soon. You're right though, they are cute - maybe that could be a new avenue for you? ;)

ShiriMe! said...

well, what a shame. although it's so difficult for anyone to track the use of copyrighted images in those customize your own product things. or even when someone uploads a copy righted image onto their profile despite being forewarned that it is not allowed. such a shame indeed.

meanwhile, the first package arrived! thanks so much as usual and it made my day to receive the two cards from you. couldn't believe how big the birch print is! i knew it was a larger scale but boy was i in for a surprise! can't wait for the second package. :)

hope everything gets sorted out quickly.

Lexy. said...

Booooooooooo.

People suck.

Lucky you've got some hawk eyes out there. Good on 'em! But it's just unfair. Total slap-in-the-face material. And I suppose all you have to do on the website is tick a box to say that you are authorised to use the image. I guess they've got no way to moderate it.

(Even if they do make very cute shoes - ssshhh! I'd totally wear them. But that's only because of the awesome print, as designed by YOU.)

Jesse said...

Good to know that, thanks to the internet, it's harder for people to get away with this kind of thing.

edward and lilly said...

Thank heavens there are people on the lookout for you, what a shocker!

Fiona said...

Incredible. This kind of thing happens way too often. I hope you track down the person responsible. Good luck!

Corrie said...

oohhhh thats naughty!

Corrie:)

please sir said...

OH goodness! Good thing someone caught that. I bet you were shocked! How do you protect your work nowadays?

Tiffany Harvey said...

It's good to hear that someone caught this and let you know. People in general are really clueless about copyrights.

Let's hope it was just someone who wanted to make a pair of shoes for themselves and didn't realize they needed permission, not someone who wanted to sell massive quanities.

I've had a few incidents of direct copies myself, and luckily someone notified me. Who knows what else it out there?

Courtney said...

I guess it would be sort of flattering that someone loved your pattern so much that they'd like to wear it on their feet every day. BUT that is awful that it was taken without your permission. I'm very glad to hear that someone brought it to your attention and hope this will be remedied soon. Sadly this seems like something that happens all too often.

shannon said...

And now, if they asked you probably would have said yes - right?

Leslie said...

wow...crazy how easy it can be for your work to be used elsewhere. Great that one of your loyal followers spotted it and let you know. I guess its something that everyone posting work on blogs/flickr etc should think about..as not everyone has perhaps as many readers etc that would spot these things.
On a side note...they look super nice. I'd buy some!!

Emma said...

I'm so sorry to hear about this, Lara! Sucky people >_<

Although I have to that pattern of yours looks pretty great in shoe-format, you should branch out into footware too!

Heather Moore said...

Groo! Scary! Please, if you do make some decisions about copyright protection, do let us know. I'm horribly cavalier about it myself, and dread the day when I see my things ripped off. Anonymous's advice seems very wise.

Amy Nieto said...

I agree with the anonymous. In light of this, definitely look into detailing your copyright rules.

Though, darn, that print looks SOOOO cute in shoe! Branch out!! I want cute shoes!!

ShiriMe! said...

i just recently discovered sketchcrawl through random website jumping. thought you and other artists might be inspired to participate in melbourne's sketchcrawl. here's their blog for updates:
http://sketchcrawlmelbourne.blogspot.com/

Kat said...

Wow, that is shocking, especially when I know a company I worked for wanted their characters (created and solely owned by them) be be printed on tshirts. They had their own copyright on the designs and when they tried getting the shirts printed through zazzle, they got rejected (because of their own copyright). They ended up printing the shirts which ended up being inferior quality (really bad). I'm not trying to badmouth zazzle, but this is a true experience I've had before. Hope yours will get totally resolved.

minnie said...

omg. but they ARE super cute...

I don't know though... this doesn't totally surprise me. I see people downloading all kinds of stuff online and then printing it out and decoupaging it onto something else or whatever. People are confused about copyright in this age of easy downloading and high res images...

Angela said...

Thank goodness you have some good eyes out there. I can't imagine how one would keep track of this sort of thing. So happy your getting it taken care of...adorable print btw.

Lu. Lu. said...

people should be more careful, although those are indeed super cute. but hey, nice pattern!

habitual said...

Crazy that it happened - but also crazy that it was found!

I would love it if you offered these shoes though - I like the idea of your birch tree pattern in Black & White on some keds or vans. That would be sweet!

perspicacity said...

holy moses, that's insane... whoever said copying is the best form of flattery should be kicked in the head with a ked shoe.

psh.

cute design though, love the print :)

Anonymous said...

I'm taking some business courses right now and we actually discussed cases like yours a couple weeks ago. Companies are starting to realize that consumers ripping off their copyrighted images and music, while wrong, is inevitable. So do they spend the time and money fighting it? Or do they turn it into profit? Whoever made this shoe just made you a product, for free! You can't beat that. Look how many people left comments stating that they would love to buy these shoes. Instead of trying to get these shoes off the market, you could contact the company, get a link to your company on the product, or try to workout sharing profit from the shoes. There are so many options besides trying to erase new, desirable fan-made products. Yes, it is wrong for the person not to have asked permission, but I think the better way to stick it back to them is to make some money off it.

I love your work and do not mean this in any way besides supportive. Maybe you've already thought about this stuff and decided its not for you. I wish you all the best!

Sonya Lee said...

I agree with the comments by Anonymous. If someone knocks you off, it could very well result in making your products more noticeable and making YOUR genuine articles profitable. Certainly, if a potential customer or client approaches you and says "I saw your cool Keds on the Internet" you might want to say with a big smile "Why yes! You DID!".

Anonymous said...

Hi,

Did you give permission for this http://www.news.com.au/feature/1,,5014262,00.html?from=nationalbreakout - they look like the same reindeer... Just saw it today.

enterrement de vie de jeune fille Paris said...

J'adore... elles sont géniales...

Julia