10 March 2010

Aussie Indie Artists Ripped Off

{start rant}Every now and then I feel so strongly about something, that I have to speak out. One of them was when big US footwear company Deckers Outdoor Corporation (who bought the Ugg Australia in 1995) allegedly started suing small home businesses making sheepskin boots for using the word "Ugg" for their product. Hello! An Ugg is an Ugg is an Ugg, no matter who owns the trademark for the word. That's like trademarking the word "sandal"!

At the moment, I'm completely furious with the blatant copying of designs of independent artists. Only a few weeks ago I read about the forged versions of Ashley Anna Brown's Fern Animals popping up in retail stores with a "Made in China" sticker on their bellies (read story here). And today I've just read about enormous UK store TopShop stocking copied versions of brooches by our own Made By White.

These are not "inspired" products; these are replicas of original designs by artists who will never see the royalties from the sales of these imposters, and will have their gorgeous designs cheapened by inferior products. And do you know how hard it is to take on these copycats through the legal system? It takes a huge amount of time, costs a lot of money, and may never produce any results.

Here is a link to an article in The Age about the ripping off of indie designs, and more about it on the Made By White blog here and here. If you see something that you know is a copy, please alert the artist, and write to the stockist to let them know. Our designers need our help.{end rant}

Image: Made By White

13 comments:

  1. I read about both of these not long ago. It's absolutely infuriating!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Love the rant! The best revenge is to spend your money where you know it will fund future design. I bought a huge wall sticker from "Made by White" in response. Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wow. That is a blatant copy! Unbelievable and it does suck that independent designers often feel powerless against these giants that can often get away with it.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wow! Something seriously needs to be done but how frustrating that it takes so much time, money and effort. I'd rant too!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks for the heads up Steph (I too was outraged by the Ugg thing years ago). I agree with the anon poster - support our indie creators - blog about it, get the message out there and hopefully people with a conscience will support the right people..Top Shop - bah - their two week turn around in disposable fashion must make their 'creative' employees scour the internet for easy pickings to rip off rather than rely on their brains for creativity. OK, my rant over.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hey everyone, thanks for your additional thoughts. It's very tough for indie artists and designers. Have just been pointed to a similar situation with Hidden Eloise at Paperchase in the UK by Twitter friend @InnerCityChic. More blatant copyright infringement by a big corp; but heart-warming to see the strength of this designer to fight it and the support that she has had.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Wow, that is so many different kinds of wrong!!! That Made by White one is just shocking :{

    ReplyDelete
  8. Shame on them! And thanks for bringing our attention to this issue.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Absolutely disgusting and agree with anon. We just have to support our indie designers. I won't be supporting topshop - ever!

    ReplyDelete
  10. truly shocking.
    It will almost get to the point where you just can't fight the big fellas.

    ReplyDelete
  11. me too Steph! fed up with it.

    i'm a victim and am currently seeking legal advice!!!..and from a very large company.

    fingers crossed.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I have three beautiful Made By White swallows on my bedroom wall and am very dismayed to see such a great local company getting ripped off.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I will rant alongside...seriously how hard is it to contact the artist or designer and seek permission...

    ReplyDelete

Your comments make my day :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...