How to deal with design plagiarism

Today, I stumbled upon this blog post by an artist named Dawn who has just found out that at least five of her artworks have been stolen and printed on shirts that are being sold in different countries. Click here to read the original post. Reading through the post, I found out that the original shop that plagiarized her artworks was actually a small shop in Chatuchak Market in Bangkok, Thailand. And since I myself came from Bangkok, I feel really ashamed about the whole situation.

I have always known that there is a lot of pirated stuff sold in markets just like Chatuchak Market all over Thailand. But I have only heard of copies of really famous brands, whose owners are so rich that I’m not so affected by the knowledge.

But this is different. This artist is actually struggling to make a living honestly from her talents. I know that it’s probably easier to do harm to those you don’t know. So I hope the person who started all this will get to read her blog post one day, and get to know her and how bad she feels about what has happened.

I also found a Facebook Fan Page for Designers and Illustrators Against Plagiarism, where people share links of articles regarding the topic and support each other. Even though I’m not really an artist myself and don’t think I will be affected by this problem, I “liked” or joined the page just to show support.

I also found this article about a famous brand name that was accused of ripping off a photo from Flickr and make it a part of their design. If a famous brand like that doesn’t feel responsible enough to give credits to those who deserve it, I think it’s a very bad example for other smaller clothing stores around the world.

Lastly, here is an article on another artist whose artworks had also been plagiarized by a stationery retailer whose products are sold both in the UK and the US. It features a story of how she found out, how she dealt with the problem, and how shameless and irresponsible the retailer was when they handled the confrontation. The article also mentions how important of a role social media can play in this kind of situation, as it empowers regular people to speak up and get their voices heard.

I hope this blog post has helped at least in some ways. Don’t forget to visit the Facebook Fan Page for Designers and Illustrators Against Plagiarism to support the artists and learn more about this problem.

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