The discussion in class about copyright and plagiarism got me thinking about something I’ve seen circulating on the internet lately. The popular store Hot Topic appears to be stealing creators ideas and selling them as their own. Here and here are just a few examples of how they have been caught in the act of doing something wrong.
What really makes this frustrating is these artists are selling their designs on sites such as Etsy.com and this is how they are creating a livelihood for themselves, but this big chain store is taking their ideas, maybe changing them slightly and then selling them for a lot less. So there is a gray area of who owns the right. Do the artists have a legal right if there is no technical copyright or is their own creative license enough for others to take that idea and sell them?
Are these the same or are they different enough that there is no legal claim? Personally I believe that because the original artists believes that this is too similar that they have the right to claim an infringement on their creative ideas. And apparently Hot Topic does as well. Whenever they are brought up on these charges they will stop the production and in most cases cease to sell their remaining stock.
Then there is the this controversy, which states that they stole the hair bow scheme from this artist. But the artist is taking the ideas from Disney. So are they both wrong to be taking from other people? This one is the most gray area that I can see from this idea. Should Disney be getting involved as well? Hot Topic has since stopped production, but I hear tell they are selling their remaining stock instead. So it appears they know it is wrong, but are also passive aggressively saying that they don’t care.
The real question lies in, why do they continue to do this when it is inevitable that they will be caught in the end?