If you create a derivative work based on the work of another, you will not be entitled to any rights in the underlying work, though you may claim rights in what you add to the work. This addition must be in and of itself protectable (i.e., created by you and possessed of sufficient originality).
See below for an allegation that there’s something rotten in Texas, and it’s not the Frito pie (this time).
Fine Southern Gentlemen screen prints and designs custom goods in Austin, TX. One of FSG’s designs garnered popularity via celebrity social media endorsements and a recent late night television appearance. FSG replaced the pulsars featured on Joy Division’s “Unknown Pleasures” album artwork with many overlapping and intertwined Texas shapes. Dubbed “Southern Pleasures,” the design is consistent with FSG’s southern aesthetic and local reputation. Skreened.com (what appears to be an outlet for serial infringers) is offering a complete knock-off shirt boasting the name “Southern Pleasure.” A quick look at the accredited artist will lead you straight to Curtis Eichelberger d/b/a “Curtshirt.com” and his related social media sites. As though this would excuse him from thievery, Curt slightly modified the FSG design. But prior to changing the design slightly, Curt made Instagram posts of what can only be a picture of FSG’s design. Curt thought we wouldn’t notice.
Check out FSG’s original design here: http://www.finesoutherngentlemen.com/store/southernpleasures
Check out the knock-off for sale here: http://skreened.com/curtshirt/texas-division
AN OVERLAP OF THE ORIGINAL AND CURTSHIRT’S POST: