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These Fast Fashion Companies Are In Copyright Trouble With An Artist, Again

by: Well Made Clothes Staff | 3 years ago | News

Image: Forever 21 store. Image source.

News about fast fashion companies ripping off independent artists isn’t exactly new. Last year, for example, LA-based artist Tuesday Bassen claimed that Zara had been ripping off her original designs for at least a year. Which prompted a slew of other artists to come forward, including Pity Party CorporationRosehound ApparelMokuyobi ThreadsAdamJK. “We were all surprised to find that our creative work was suddenly all over Zara product,” Adam J Kurtz wrote on his website. But now it’s Forever 21 and Urban Outfitters that are in the firing line and it’s photographer Danny Clinch that has launched a lawsuit against them both.

According to Teen Vogue, both brands are now defendants in a copyright infringement suit over photos they used on their T-shirts of Tupac Shakur. Clinch took the pictures in question on behalf of Rolling Stone and is now seeking $600,000 in damages from both of the brands for printing them on clothing without his permission. 

Fashion Law reports that the suit was filed last week in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and claims that each of the defendants has earned substantial profits from the sales of the T-shirt. Clinch is alleging that these garments were produced by Bioworld and licensed through Planet Productions LLC and Amaru/AWA Merchandising Inc, but that he never authorised Planet Productions LLC or Amaru/AWA Merchandising Inc to act on his behalf by selling those images to Forever 21 or Urban Outfitters.

As a result of these “deliberate infringements” of the photo’s copyright, Clinch is seeking injunctive relief (which would bar all of the defendants from immediately and permanently infringing his copyrights). All this follows a number of other accusations against Forever 21 — like claims that the company ripped off Rihanna's Fenty x Puma sandals — and Urban Outfitters, which was sued by Coachella in March over its sister company Free People’s Coachella collection, which was allegedly sold without the festival’s permission. The moral of this story, then? That big fast fashion corporations just can’t seem to help themselves when it comes to ripping off independent artists. 

Via Fashion Law and Teen Vogue

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