Posh London retailer All Saints Apparel plagiarized a shirt design from the gaming site 4 color rebellion. The site originally unveiled the ‘You Complete Me’ tetris-heart figure for Valentine’s Day in 2006. Designer Mitch was surprised to find that All Saints had plastered the exact same design on a shirt selling for £40—that’s like, $90! Mitch asked All Saints for an explanation, which was enough to prompt a decent resolution.
Either way, I’m just a college kid who draws for fun. I don’t know what to do, what step to take next or even if I’d have enough support to really make these guys realize what they’re doing. I realize that this situation could possibly be a result of art scouts giving the corporation designs without really crediting anyone (and, as a result, not be any fault of the company themselves), but I feel like this deserves an explanation or an apology at the least. Maybe even compensation, since they seem to be making a Swiss mint on these things.
Talking is always the best start. If talking fails, lawyer up. Luckily for Mitch, the former was enough to extract a response from All Saints:
You know, I didn’t expect it to happen, but things actually did end up with (somewhat of) a happy ending. I managed to get back in touch with the head of Manches, the guys that do administrative or production or whatever for All Saints, and we managed to work out a settlement.
Because they deal with plagiarism of their stuff a lot, they were apparently very receptive and sympathetic. Apparently, designers get about 2 – 3 percent of the profits in royalties. I managed to squeeze 7.5% out of them. So, that equals out to about $2,400 with the weak dollar.
Long story short, I’ve licensed the design to them for this run, and I’m still in ownership of it.
All in all, they were kind to me about it – however, from what I hear, them paying me wiped out all of their profit on these shirts. Should teach their designers a lesson!
Zounds! We’ve Been Plagiarized! [4 color rebellion]