Like Forever21, Urban Outfitters has an uncanny knack of getting sued for infringement for the products it sells. This time its being sued for copyright infringement by print-based artist, James Soares, also known as Spires. Spires discovered that the hipster fashion brand was selling a skirt by a clothing line called Bambam Cloth, who apparently appropriated the design of his original print, tryppyzoyd, onto the design of a skirt. He posted this picture on his Tumblr, showing the uncanny resemblance between his work and the UO skirt.
This is a very strong case of infringement as it is undeniable that the design of the original artwork has been copyright onto the skirt. And, since works of art falls under copyright protection, Spires, is entitled to protection and therefore damages for the misappropriation as well as any potential lost profits, since he sells products, including clothing, displaying the design.
Urban Outfitters swiftly responded by taking the skirt down from its website. A spokeswoman for the brand stated that, “We take matters such as this very seriously and removed the product as soon as this was brought to our attention. Urban Outfitters has worked with Society6 since 2010 to help bring awareness and sales to their creative network of artists.”
It also shifted the blame to Bambam cloth, claiming that “The origin of the design is still being investigated with the designers at BAMBAM Cloth.”
So it will be interesting to see how this case moves forward since the retailer effectively admitted to the wrongdoing and took action to stop further infringement. Sadly, this isn’t the first time that Urban Outfitters has been accused of copying artists. The retailer has somewhat of a reputation of misappropriating original works of art into their products.
- “Urban Outfitters Sued For Copyright Infringement,” handbag.com
- “This New Lawsuit Makes Us Wonder If Urban Outfitters Enjoys Getting Sued For Stealing Art,” thegloss.com