Kailua Kona & Honolulu Hawaii  – Renowned local Hawaiian Tiki Artist Brad Parker and his attorneys David E Smith and Schneider Rothman IP Law Group filed a copyright infringement suit in U.S. District Court in Hawaii against internet retailer CafePress.com.

Through his Big Island based company Tiki Shark Art Inc., Parker sells his paintings at galleries locally and around the world. His unmistakable lurid style of art reflects influences as diverse as the Flemish masters, comic books, and Hawaiian tourist kitsch. Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker is a world class, award winning creator of Polynesian Pop Surrealistic Art.

In May, the Dubai affiliate of surf goods giant Body Glove ordered from Tiki Shark Art some 25,000 towels featuring Parker’s painting “Forbidden Island.” However, the Middle East company cancelled when it discovered the image was already being reproduced on over 218 items by a Internet retailer CafePress.com

The lawsuit claims that CafePress.com removed Parker’s signature, and reproduced and distributed it on consumer goods without his permission.

“It’s unfair and deceptive for someone to take an artist’s work and sell it with no recognition and no remuneration,” Parker said.

CafePress.com Inc. encourages its members to upload logos and images that the company then prints on products such as T-shirts and mugs and sells on its website. For each transaction, the company pays a commission to the member who uploaded the image.

According to the lawsuit, CafePress did not investigate whether its members had licensing rights to Parker’s painting. Tiki Shark seeks injunctive relief, declaratory relief, and damages for the full amount of its losses, plus statutory damages for removing Parker’s signature.

“This is not the first time CafePress’ business model has landed the company in litigation,” said Joel Rothman, a partner at Schneider Rothman. “We are asking the Hawaiian court to order CafePress.com to stop all its unauthorized sales and pay Parker what he is rightfully owed,” added local attorney David E Smith

Comments

comments

7 COMMENTS

  1. "CafePress.com Inc. encourages its members to upload logos and images that the company then prints on products such as T-shirts and mugs and sells on its website. For each transaction, the company pays a commission to the member who uploaded the image."
    Cafepress encourages folks to upload THEIR designs.. and unless someone contact Cafepress they have no idea if the "DESIGNER" copied the art from the internet or not.. while this is unfortunate, it is NOT Cafepress who uploaded and created this image on products.. it was apparently a designer with a shop who either unknowingly or not decided to place this image in THEIR image basket and place it on products to sell. If ya don;t want it cooied.. don;t put it on the intertnet is a long time favorite piece of advice.. and while I DO NOT COndone stealing other's copyrighted artwork.. THIS was NOT the Company who did this.. it was an Individual who did this.. all this person needed to do was to contact Cafepress and ask for it to be removed and show proof of copyright.. 🙂 I find it hard to believe that Cafepress did not look into this as they have scrupulous rules about copyright.. Here are the rules set by Cafepress: http://www.cafepress.com/cp/info/help/index.aspx?…

    General Guidelines for Prohibited Content

    Content that may infringe on the rights of a third a party.
    Items that make inappropriate use of Nazi symbols and glamorize the actions of Hitler.
    Use of marks that signify hate towards another group of people.
    Hate and/or racist terms.
    Inappropriate content or nudity that is not artistic in nature.
    Content that exploits images or the likeness of minors.
    Obscene and vulgar comments and offensive remarks that harass, threaten, defame or abuse others such as F*** (Ethnic Group).
    Content that depicts violence, is obscene, abusive, fraudulent or threatening such as an image of a murder victim, morgue shots, promotion of suicide, etc.
    Content that glamorizes the use of "hard core" illegal substance and drugs such as a person injecting a vial of a substance in their body.
    Material that is generally offensive or in bad taste, as determined by CafePress.

  2. As a former employee in the quality department; I tried to educate them on the concept of copyright infringement. I was shut down and disregarded as an idiot 25 year old. I'm an idiot 25 year old with an MFA in media design and 25% of the degree program was ethics and copyright law. My final words leaving the HR office after they illegally withheld my personal time for leaving the company were, "You're all terrible people and you'll get what's coming to you." I felt like a witch casting a curse. The can of worms has yet to open for CafePress. ::sits back with popcorn and watches them die."

  3. By the way, I saw more than individual artists ripping them off. Maybe Lamborghini should get in, among other companies, on suing them for using their logos and likeness illegally. An associate asked me if that needed to go to order exceptions. I said yes and took it myself. ORDER EXCEPTIONS PUSHED IT THROUGH!

  4. IN MY HUMBLE OPINION: Cafe press is more than just providing a service. Like Storage. They are promoting, selling: taking Credit card payments, advertising, CAFE PRESS IS DOING THE manufacturing, packaging, shipping, taking up to (approx) 95% of the sale. Inside the box marked with a large font: "It's Here! CAFE PRESS" that the consumer receives, yes, inside is a CAFE PRESS INVOICE. The CAFE PRESS invoice does NOT mention a 3rd party in the transition. No where. Only that you bought your item from CAFE PRESS. (THIS IS ONLY THE HUMBEL OPINION OF AN ARTIST WHO'S ART WORK WAS STOLEN AND SOLD WITH-OUT HIS KNOWLEDGE OR PERMISSION BY CAFE PRESS.)

  5. Who Owns Copyrights?
    Copyright protection subsists from the time the work is created in fixed, tangible form. The copyright in the work of authorship immediately becomes the property of the author who created the work. Only the author or those deriving their rights through the author can rightfully claim copyright.
    Let's not forget this…PLEASE!

Comments are closed.