‘Tis the Season to Appropriate Art?


The cut (or silhouette) of a shirt, dress, tunic, tank top, or any other clothing item is not protected by Copyright Law in the U.S. of A. (though there is pending legislation that may change that). The graphic artwork on that clothing item, however, is subject to protection just like any painting, drawing, rendering or other form of 2-D artwork. The degree of protection that will be afforded that graphic artwork varies from thick protection to thin protection depending on the design at issue. In the below case, though, it looks like the alleged infringer took the whole kit and caboodle, which would make this a very sticky legal situation indeed.

- Scott A. Burroughs, Esq. ( scott@copyrightLA.com )



Not much to say here. As a fashion graphic designer myself, I was a little shocked when I walked into General Pants and saw this on the weekend. Something Else have directly ripped off independent artist Katie Scott, with absolutely no changes to the design. See below.

From the General Pants website, Something Else “Curiosity” tank:

From Katie Scott’s website, titled “Magic Science”:


Posted by catkinandteasel  |  7 Comments  |  in Design, Fashions, Uncategorized


  1. George P 03/13/2013 11:23 pm

    Just a shame the website can’t get its facts straight before they slander people. Unprofessional to the max

  2. katie 01/23/2013 12:23 pm

    Hi, im afraid there has been a mistake here. Something Else have paid to lease the design off me. I dont want them to get a bad name. Thanks for all of your concern though, it’s very comforting knowing this site exists!

  3. Sarah G 12/24/2012 2:14 pm

    This was a collaboration between Something Else and the artist Katie Scott.


  4. Charlie 12/14/2012 7:43 pm

    Agree with kb. Before the change-over an entry here would regularly receive 100 – 150 comments. I don’t know what’s responsible for the huge drop-off. Certainly the downtime did something but I can’t see how it alone can account for the drop-off.

    I used to post here a lot though and now I rarely come here either. When I think about why I guess it’s because no one comments any more. Kind of a Catch 22. The reason I originally stopped commenting though was because they were screening all posts at one point but not bothering to approve or even reject them. After my posts were awaiting moderation for literally weeks, the desire to carry on wasn’t really there anymore… I have to imagine others experienced this too and moved on just the same.

  5. Wolf Daughter 12/08/2012 3:33 pm

    They are selling a tank top for $59.95? That’s outrageous! They are making a huge profit, and they couldn’t even pay the artist. Outrageous!

  6. kb 12/05/2012 7:14 pm

    It’s a shame that this site lost so many visitors when it went through those months of down time. In the old days, a post like this would have received a lot more attention.

  7. George P 12/05/2012 2:37 am

    What I don’t get is why they made a shitty hand-drawn copy instead of just using the original.

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