Thursday, 29 May 2014

What isn't a "rip off" these days..

Urban Outfitters are at it again. Following their recentcontroversies; graphic designer, James Soares has now accused the hipster clothing range for copyright infringement. Soares took to Tumblr after discovering his print had been used for the design of miniskirt, and has since reached over 90,000 notes from supporters.

Urban Outfitters have removed the item from their website, with their usual apology and slap on the wrist. However, what extent can inspiration be considered a “rip off”.
Below is Soares’ original print:

Now compare this to the UO miniskirt, see the resemblance? 

It is unquestionable how similar the two prints are and Soares has every right to be annoyed. However, lets take a step back to the 20s and admire the work of late artist, Paul Klee:

Note a remarkable similarity between Soares' concept and that of Klee, nearly a century earlier. In contemporary culture, especially with the rise of the Internet, it is often difficult to be completely original. Each print, song, movie - even this post is a replica of something else. Whilst I agree there needs to be a line between appropriation and theft – how can you tell the difference between original  or remixed? Lawrence Lessig shares interesting thoughts on the topic of copyright law, if you’re interested his book, Remix: Making Art and Commerce thrive inthe Hybrid Economy is worth a read.

I'd be interested to hear your thoughts.

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