The below situation dredges up the difficult issue of non-domestic copyright infringement, and how best to combat such conduct. The U.S. Copyright Act is (as the name hints) applicable only in the United States. Generally speaking, copyright infringement that is purely international cannot be brought to Court in the U.S.
So, the below artists, assuming they have infringement actions, would most likely have to take a trip to sunny Costa Rica to file their claims.
Plivertees is a Costa Rican t-shirt brand that has become very popular in this country, but that also has raised a little controversy on local design circles because of some of their prints. The doubts about their originality began a couple of years ago when the brand published their new logo which resemble a lot to a logo made by Kendrick Kidd for ‘Precision Ink and Stitch’ on 2011.
The situation was commented on facebook so much that they removed the image and then uploaded again claiming the following: “The circular logo is an adaptation of a proposal from designer Kendrick Kidd for Precision Ink and Stitch, purchased for exclusive use by Plivertees in September 2013.”
Apparently ‘Precision Ink and Stitch‘ is not using that version of the logo, so they should be ok with that.
But before the logo situation there where many other comments on how they use material without any rights, and specially about they selling t-shirts and getting income with images that are not designed for that purpose, like with the People for Bikes logo which they sell as ‘Smile and Bike’.
The organization behind the original image is advocated to improve the use of the bicycle as a main transportation method and invest money on trying to make cities better for the use of this vehicle. More about them here.
Plivertees is all about selling t-shirts and there is no link with People for Bikes at all, just the fortunated fact that PFB offers a downloadable free media kit with all their logos on high resolution so you can spread the word. Of course Plivertees made sure to erase the words of the original source.
Another t-shirt is printed with the full unedited logo of Vancouver’s Antisocial Skateboard Shop. The same ‘classic cloud’ t-shirt is sold by the canadian brand on their bigcartel, and its on the pictures of their shop and other products. Aparently Plivertees thought that people in Costa Rica wouldn’t stumble upon these things on the internet.
Another image found mysterious is an illustration of Bert tattooing Ernie which was originally made for a Sesame Street theamed gallery, I don’t know the name of the artist but here is the piece (It could have been purchased for commercial purposes but it’s hard to tell because of other cases).
The last case I’m exposing on this blog is one about a design that its very familiar with the style of known illustrator Jeremyville. Anyone who has seen his work can relate it to the t-shirt which not only uses the same imaginery (with the line value all wrong) but also its drawing style and themes. I don’t know what you think but for me it’s pretty obvious.
You can check out Plivertees facebook page for more images. All the t-shirts are for sale in Costa Rica and you can get them online also from their website.