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