Friday, November 08, 2013

When Big Companies Steal From Hand-Crafters

I just read about an etsy artist who's designs (pictured below) were stolen from Urban Outfitters.  Tru-Che came up with a line of pendants she called "World/United States of Love."  You can see some items from that line in her shop below.  Urban Outfitters decided these were nifty, and started selling ones like it...without any permission or payment to her.

Designs by Tru-Che on Etsy
I heart California. - truche
i heart the United States. - truche
i heart Texas. - truche

Now, I realize that a heart on a state may not be copyrightable design.  It's basic enough that many people could think of it, and state outlines are of course public domain.  Tons of other shops on Etsy have similar designs.  BUT, they not only stole the idea they actually stole the item name and some of her copy (the text that she wrote about her products).  THAT makes it clear that they  took it from her.  And this isn't even the only Etsy artist they have stolen from.  They are a large company which has enough revenue to pay artists for their ideas...if they wanted to use not just her designs but her copy/line name too, they should have compensated her.  

This is just one of a number of instances in the last few years I've come across of big, well established companies ripping off independent artists.  Urban Outfitters at least did take the item off their site after she complained. 

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