H&M does an Urban Outfitters - grovels on twitter after caught infringing designers copyright

Looks like H&M got caught with their hand in the cookie-jar, selling items that seem a tad too inspired by another graphic artists work. Doing an Urban Outfitters if you will, when their necklace-copy-cat was found it became a trending topic, even if one wasn't sure of who did it first...

In this case Regretsy found out that the Atlanta designer Tori LaConsay had found items at H&M carrying the statement "You look nice today" with a design so similar to her original little billboard love letter to her neighborhood that it could be mistaken for it. There's even a photo here of the billboard taken in 2009, proving the billboard was indeed there first. Tori further states:

An email to H&M received the following response:
“We employ an independent team of over 100 designers. We can assure you that this design has not been influenced by your work and that no copyright has been infringed.”

Of course, now that everyone and their aunt has seen this, the H&M facebook page manager is busy scrubbing it clean, while twitter is catching fire spreading the word of big bad corp infringing on artists copyrights.

And yes, H&M has had to reply on twitter, too, just like Urban Outfitters did:

We're looking into the situation concerning the issues many of you've raised, will contact Tori LaConsay directly for further dialogue.

Funny how people get so up in arms for copyrights in cases like this. Tune in next week when people are whining about Megaupload being shut down again.

Anonymous Adgrunt's picture
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cowboy's picture

Your snark is unflattering. Imagine if we didn't have copyrights, how the corporations would run wild and make profit from the little guy who's creativity works overtime. Get a grip, stealing is stealing.

Dabitch's picture

Indeed it is and that's my point.

AnonymousCoward's picture

Copyright occasionally works to protect the little guy (stops the big bad corp from infringing), but the little guy never actually gets paid anything material. For example, only the big time musicians actually get any royalties.

caffeinegoddess's picture

These brands have to stop thinking that no one will notice them ripping off other designers' ideas.

Dabitch's picture

Imagine if we didn't have copyrights...

You know what? I often do. I think that the pirate-movement (for lack of a better word) are doing us all a huge disservice when they want to abolish patents and copyrights, or to "re-write these laws" to the point of nullifying them. I picture a future where individuals such as you and I and this designer in Atlanta have no rights at all for work we've done, be it art, code, photography, illustrations, music or a massive tome of a book we've written. Today we can choose to give our work away, in the manner we see fit - like 'donating' it to a neighborhood just to make our fellow people smile in the example above. We can also choose to profit from it, either by selling it ourselves directly, or selling it to a corporation who specialises in producing and delivering art/books/music/photography.

So people have beef with how some of these companies operate. And everyone likes to point out how sharing on the web has changed almost everything. Sure, I can see that. But I can't see a future where our individual rights to our own ideas and work are stripped away in some strange effort to de-thrown the megacorps power. What I see is how this will backfire on us, as megacorps are already adapting to this brave new world, and soon the new megacorps are the ones who own the distribution channels. For example , Apple sells apps, and if you're not there you're not anywhere. A future with no copyrights for the individuals will only harm the people who might want to profit from their ideas, or might want to chose who gets to use it. It'll land all - now totally free for the taking - work in the hands of the new megacorps who run distribution channels instead. And in a time where we "make" less physical items, and now create a lot more in the way of ideas, art, words and code I think it's frankly insane to remove the rights of the individuals to their work. We're practically ensuring the next generation need to be corporate slaves.

But hey, that's just my two cents.

AnonymousCoward's picture

massive tome?

Dabitch's picture

Yep, Massive tome - thanks for catching that typo. It means you read it. :) WOOOOO!

Nate Dunham's picture

It is just right that grovel will be caught and legal actions must be done. Infringing designer's copyright is against the law.

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