RESOLVED: Kohl's and Mudd - stop stealing the work of independent artists
Update: the case has been settled. Thanks to everyone who signed, shared and commented!
This was posted by artist Lili Chin on social media today:
"You may have seen what happened to artist, Tuesday Bassen with ZARA stealing her designs and then claiming that she is not as famous enough (as ZARA) to matter. I have my own battles and here is another one that I am losing. MUDD the clothing label got back to my lawyer yesterday denying copyright infringement and basically saying "Go ahead and sue us". It would cost up to $60K for me to take them to court."
Lili Chin has been working professionally as an artist since the mid 1990's. She started DOGGIE DRAWINGS in April 2008 and this has become her full-time pet portrait and illustration business.
Her work includes:
- Custom pet portraits
- Illustrations and infographics for dog-related businesses, vets, professional trainers, animal care-givers and advocates, authors, and creatives. Her dog body language artwork has appeared in art museums, on television, in training programs (for children, police officers, prisoners, rescue groups etc.), and recently in a World Health Organization social media campaign.
- Dog Breed designs, that she sells as art prints, on t-shirts, and other merchandise. You may have seen her "Dogs of The World" series around the internet.
- Lots of drawings and products featuring her rescue boston terrier, Boogie.
Lili relies on her art to make a living. She has been incredibly generous in allowing the use of her work for educational purposes, as well as donating over $17.5K to rescue groups and fundraisers.
For Mudd to use her artwork to sell t-shirts without permission or compensation is nothing short of theft, and you can bet they've done the same to many other artists.
By their own admission, this t-shirt came from Kohl's own design team. I'd like you to join me in calling on Kohl's to withdraw the copied design from sale until Lili has been properly compensated for the use of her artwork, to issue an apology for the unauthorised use, and to discontinue the practice of ripping off the work of others for their own profit. If you're a Kohl's customer, let them know that their dishonest practices will cost them your business.
- Executive Vice President, Brand Management and Marketing Services
Carolyn D'Angelo, Iconix Brands
- Kohl's Vice President, Corporate Communications
- Board of Directors, Kohl's
Stephen E. Watson
Lili Chin is a respected artist well-known for her dog illustrations under the name Doggie Drawings. Ms Chin has many fans among the dog training community, and has been incredibly helpful in creating educational graphics for trainers and dog owners, including her poster on dog body language featuring her Boston Terrier, Boogie. She also contributes a large portion of her drawing income towards animal rescue.
As a graphic artist, Ms Chin relies on her art to make a living. This is why it is frustrating for her to see her artwork appropriated by others without permission, attribution or financial compensation. Put simply, this amounts to theft.
By now you should be aware that at least two items sold by Kohl's - Mudd's "Blue Toss Dog" t-shirt and Sonoma "Amphora Dog" socks - carry designs copied from Ms Chin's Doggie Language poster. The dogs on the t-shirt have had slight alterations made to eyes and ears but are still recognisably the same drawings, and no attempt has been made to hide the copy on the sock design.
Kohl's has advised Ms Chin's lawyer that the shirt graphic is the work of Kohl's own design team. This is demonstrably false, but tells us that Kohl's is aware exactly who is responsible for the theft of Ms Chin's intellectual property and have chosen to lie about it.
I call upon Kohl's to withdraw these items from sale and properly compensate Ms Chin for the use of her work. Furthermore, Kohl's should issue an apology to Ms Chin and commit to ending the practice of art theft in their design department.
Kohl's is vocal about their commitment to corporate responsibility - where's the responsibility in profiting off the hard work of others? Your website also mentions your "large talented design team" - where's the talent in copying somebody else's designs?
Please take the time to read the comments attached to this petition, particularly those from Kohl's shoppers who have withdrawn their business until this matter is resolved. The message is clear - theft doesn't pay!
Kohl's, we're waiting for you to do the right thing.
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