Yup, it’s another sad tale of copyright abuse… Check out Eloise’s post Cannot chase Paperchase
She suggested we write to Paperchase using their online contact form so I did:
Paperchase. You are commissioning, stocking and selling products which use a copy of an independent artist’s work. She has contacted you expecting a rapid and amiable resolution but you have refused to desist.
As this artist cannot afford a lawyer, I am starting a crowdsourcing operation to attach photographic evidence of your sweatshop copy to every instance of the products as they appear on the social web.
This initiative has already started with the addition of a range of customer userpics to the Amazon.co.uk website.
This activity will continue until the offending products are removed and the artist has received compensation.
Incidentally, one of the reasons this makes a mockery of copyright law is that the ripoff team has judiciously changed 7 items in the picture (background, curl of hair, motif of dress etc) so that in court, a heavily-financed legal team could easily get a magistrate to find in favour of the retailer.
This is depressing because looking at the works as an ordinary human, it’s obvious one is a copy of the other. Heck the creative commons is about building on other artist’s shoulders, not looking over them photocopier in hand.
Emily riffs and builds on the work of the Pre-Raphaelites, of Dick Bruna and many others. As she does this, she creates her own individual vision which takes its place alongside the work that inspired her. This is why we need a Creative Commons and this is where the spirit of Copyright Law needs to move to.
The ‘artist’ who created this copied stuff didn’t riff or build, he simply cut, paste and twisted with a view to the bare minimum he could get away with. This is both sad and frustrating as it helps preserve the very copy protections that are hampering innovation and choking out our creative industries:-(
Also, please upload the following graphic to your Amazon customer pictures. Let’s see how long it takes them to remove the items:-)