Déjà Vu: Instagram and Pinterest Artists from Around the World are Launching Copyright Infringement Claims Against the Fast-Fashion Giant, Zara

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Customers are threatening to boycott Spain-based, fast-fashion giant, Zara, after independent artists from around the world launched copyright infringement claims against the company. Artists from the US, UK, Europe, and Australia have launched an online campaign to “hold the company accountable” after many alleged the company copied their graphic designs, badges, and pins. Many of the artists are claiming that Zara and its sister-brand, Bershka, have directly copied their works from sites like Instagram and Pinterest, which many of these independent artists use as mediums to gain recognition for their work. Continuing to rely on the power of social media, these artists are using social media to draw attention to their complaints against Zara. Zara and Bershka’s parent company, Inditex has responded to these allegations by opening an investigation and suspending all the allegedly copied items from sale. One Los Angeles-based artist, Tuesday Bassen, claims to be particularly affected by the alleged copying, as she claims that her designs have been copied by Zara for the past year. Bassen alerted Zara of her concerns through her attorney but was told by the fashion giant that “the lack of distinctiveness makes it very hard to see how a significant part of the population in the world would associate the signs [with her].” The way many artists like Bassen learned of the alleged copying, however, potentially refutes Zara’s argument; fellow U.S.-based designer Adam J. Kurtz noticed his “original work” on Zara’s website after his followers on Twitter began tweeting about the remarkable similarity of the designs. Kurtz claims that Zara is using Instagram and Pinterest as a “built-in mood board so [they] can see which pieces the youth respond to best, and copy them.” Kurtz, whose works are carried by retailers such as Urban Outfitters, believes that the alleged copying is unacceptable, stating, “Clearly we are accessible full time artists … [t]here is no excuse for theft … [t]his laziness, it’s just being cheap.”

Many artists are concerned that their grievances against Zara will remain unresolved. Since most of these artists are small, independent creators, many don’t have the time or the resources to bring legal action against the fashion giant. However, some artists have been discussing the possibility of coming together to bring a potential class action against the company. Whether or not these artists will find a remedy in their claims against Zara remains to be seen, but until then, you be the judge, check out Kurtz’ website, http://shoparttheft.com.

Sources: http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/article/36884063/independent-artists-claim-high-street-chain-zara-is-copying-their-designs http://www.smh.com.au/business/consumer-affairs/zara-and-bershka-accused-of-copying-designs-by-independent-artists-20160725-gqdoos.html

For more information on this topic, please visit our Copyright Infringement Defense service page, which is part of our Software & Copyrights practice.

Klemchuk LLP is an Intellectual Property (IP), Technology, Internet, and Business law firm located in Dallas, TX. The firm offers comprehensive legal services including litigation and enforcement of all forms of IP as well as registration and licensing of patents, trademarks, trade dress, and copyrights. The firm also provides a wide range of technology, Internet, e-commerce, and business services including business planning, formation, and financing, mergers and acquisitions, business litigation, data privacy, and domain name dispute resolution. Additional information about the intellectual property law firm and its intellectual property attorneys may be found at www.klemchuk.com.

Klemchuk LLP hosts Culture Counts, a blog devoted to the discussion of law firm culture and corporate core values with frequent topics about positive work environment, conscious capitalism, entrepreneurial management, positive workplace culture, workplace productivity, and corporate core values.

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