Wednesday, September 22, 2010

pattern theft!



Yesterday, while visiting a lovely french blog I've noticed that one of the fabrics newly in stock in their store is very familiar. In fact, so familiar that I couldn't believe that I didn't do it. 'That's my dog' - I thought... 'and this is my bird and my elephant... and my shapes... and...' Anais was standing beside me and asked 'Mommy, is that your fabric?' ... and she's 4!
It feels awful. I've been trying to get a fabric like this out there for years... so unfair!
The blog owner informed me that she bought this fabric at KOKKA - a japanese company with a large choice of fabrics.
I'm still waiting to hear their explanation. Stealing is never OK!
I encourage everyone who feels that this is wrong to write an e-mail to KOKKA and let them know: info-os@kokka.co.jp

*In answer to some of your questions dear friends:
Yes, I'm aware that the problem might not lie with Kokka, but with the outside designer, and I fully understand that they might have purchased this design unaware. I haven't got an answer yet, but as soon as I do - I'll let you know:)

Sept 24th update:
Good news!
The fabric was purchased from a contracted outside designer and KOKKA was unaware of its origin.
KOKKA has decided to destroy any of the remaining stock and discontinue this fabric all together.
Thank You!!!

76 comments:

janel. said...

that is so sad :( I will definitely be drafting up an email. Im sorry that you are having to deal with this!
xo
janel

Kaye Prince said...

Omigosh, this is just terrible! The Internet is a lovely place for sharing ideas and designs and it is so unfortunate that other people use it to steal. I'm so sorry this happened to you!

emilymcd said...

Hi, Helen-

I've been a stalking follower of yours for a long time. Whenever I see your new patterns, they brighten my day and make me smile.

First, I am horrified that someone would steal your design like that. It's completely obvious and very unfair.

Secondly, I think your design looks far better. Better proportions and sizes. More whimsical.

Hope you get that fabric design gig you've been eyeing.

Emily Dykstra

Ashley • Fine Day Press said...

I'm so sorry this happened to you! I just sent them an email expressing my frustration and indicating that I would not purchase fabrics from them and would encourage others to do the same. Stealing designs is LAME!

Doug Cloud said...

Wow, what a blatant rip off. So did you speak with KOKKA?

Amy H. said...

Ok this is astonishing. I have seen at least four people admire and follow having their stuff stolen. Not sure if you follow Made By Girl but here is her blog post about this very topic:
http://madebygirl.blogspot.com/2010/06/copying-other-peoples-work.html

Can only imagine, how you are feeling right now. You pour your blood sweat and tears into your creations. And for someone to come behind you and just take them, is just crazy crazy.

I am going to spread your story and help generate support in emailing these criminals...

Doug Cloud said...

Oh and, by the way, I love your pattern. What fun and whimsical creatures. You're a truly talented gal. :)

Bella said...

Dear Helen.

Being inspired, is one thing. Stealing is another. Your ideas ooze from your imagination, with such ease, because you are so amazingly gifted......for someone else to simply use your work, remove a few stripes, here and there, is low. "Oh yeah, that'll do it. She won't notice if I just alter that little bit." It takes someone intelligent to create such intricate patterns (ie YOU). It doesn't take someone intelligent to copy and sell on.

Karma.....listen up....here's your next job.

Bella

P.s Joy The Baker (http://www.joythebaker.com/blog/off-the-menu/) also had someone steal something of hers yesterday. She blogged about it earlier.

P.P.S I am totally smitten with your work.

hollysarah said...

terrible! so sorry... :(

Anonymous said...

Hi Helen,
I'm so sorry to learn of this incident of theft.
Bad Karma for KOKKA.

I will be emailing them shortly, give them a piece of my mind.

Faithfully yours,
Melanie Martin

megan said...

This is so depressing. Tula Pink also just blogged about her designs showing up unauthorized at WALMART of all god-awful places. I purchase a lot of fabric from Kokka and will definitely be letting them know of my disgust over this. I have been hoping a Helen Dardik line of fabric comes out for awhile now, but I won't be buying any without your name on it!

Dolly Cool Clare said...

How awful you must be gutted. Someone tried to use my logo and brand to sell their products on a NZ auction website last week (im a UK based designer/maker). I complained straight away to the admin team who removed the lsiting right away and repremanded the seller. Not in the same league as your copy, but hopefully Kokko will have the decency to remove the fabric from sale. Fingers crossed.

Aimee said...

I just e-mailed them. Disgusting!

kristen tracy said...

I sent them an email. I hope this gets resolved and that you can sleep well again. This sucks.

Jane Foster Blog said...

That's awful - I really feel angry on your behalf. Will email them.

So Bella said...

That's terrible!! I'm writing them to say how disgusted I am!

I absolutely love all of your designs, I'd buy any of them in a heartbeat - I hope you get your own fabric line!

s a n s k u :) said...

terrible! i've heard there's lots of pirating going on in asia. designer bags... so not fair for the designers! i feel bad for you.

s a n s k u :) said...

i sent an e-mail to them. hope they get lots of complaints and feel what jerks they've been.

bybido said...

i'm so sorry this happened to you.

elena said...

This is terrible! How can they do that? Is a copy obviously!! You must contact to the company and let them now, someone is stealing your designs :(.

As many of your fans I will email Kokka

Amy (badskirt) said...

I'm on of the rare

Kelly Medina said...

Oh, wow, I saw that fabric on Olivelse and completely believed it was by you. Shameful that this has happened. So sorry this has happened.

elena said...

Just sent!!

orange you lucky! said...

Thank you so much for all the wonderful support! I can't tell you how much this means to me. Feeling a lot better about life after reading your comments!:)

Paula said...

Helene, that's just terrible! I hope there's some repercussion to this company and the designer who ripped you off.

You might want to check out the blog, "You Thought We Wouldn't Notice..." if you're not familiar with it already. It's a blog dedicated to just this type of thing--plagerism. It's an open blog with a large readership and you could post this issue there for more exposure.

http://youthoughtwewouldntnotice.com/blog3/

Best to you in regards to this!

Rachaeldaisy said...

This is so awful! It's such a blatant rip off! A similar thing has happened to Tula Pink, it's written up on her blog. I can't believe Kokka didn't simply approach you upfront and honestly ask you to design for them. Thanks for giving us their contact details, I'll send an email.

Abigail Shaw said...

I am so ticked for you! Stealing is never okay, especially when it's something the person crafted themselves! I hope everything gets settled and that next time around when you see your designs on some fabric you'll be getting the credit (and money!) you so so so deserve! <3

karura said...

this is so bad, when we find those things. Lucky for you, your things are fabulous and they can nver do it the same way as you do it!

Susan Briscoe said...

This is WAY to close for comfort! There are differences but it is pretty much minimal, tiny differences in the appearance of some of the animals (rabbit rather than cat, but SO similar).

Kori said...

I'm sorry. :( That's really awful. In case you want to see where it's being sold, I just found some here - http://www.fabricworm.com/kotrfufianbl.html

Jennifer said...

This breaks my heart for you!

stitchsister said...

That really stinks - absolutely no class. I too sent an email. We'll see if they respond.

Emily said...

That is awful! I'm so sorry this happened to you! :(

Carolyn Gavin said...

Helen, this happened to me and a couple of other designers a few months ago. The site was Shutterstock and I had a bunch of designs that were copied in a totally blatant way. So i know exactly how you are feeling. Its maddening but hopefully it will be sorted out. I just don't know how people can actually do this and think they can get away with it. its also surprising that it's a company like Kokka who is well known in the fabric industry. This will really hurt their reputation for sure. take care friend will chat soon. xxx C

Diana said...

That is absolutely disgusting and I will be emailing kokka. I think it is up to us creative bloggers to support each other when dispicable things like this happen. Stealing is never ok!

Anonymous said...

That is horrible! Please keep us updated. I personally will not buy fabric from Kokka again until I know that they have handled this situation fairly for you. To me that would mean discontinuing/recalling/destroying the fabric and compensating you.

sarah said...

That is obvious plagiarism. My guess is that a designer working for the company presented it as their own original work. It'll be interesting to hear what they have to say.

betsy said...

Oh, Helen, this is terrible. I'm so sorry this happened to you! Your design has clearly been stolen -- it is shameful! I hope you are considering your legal options. I'm completely outraged (and also saddened) on your behalf. I do hope KOKKA has the decency to respond. It is all so shocking really! Please keep us posted.

Ashley said...

Helen,

This is terrible!! My heart just dropped when I read your post. This is one of my greatest fears (and my stuff isn't nearly as awesome as yours). I am so sorry, I hope this is resolved quickly. I will be sure to send them an email as well.

Best Wishes!

tula said...

This is horrible, Helen! I'm so sorry and so angry.

Can you sue them? It's an obvious steal.

Writing letter now.

Amy @ Living Locurto said...

WOW! They didn't even change the colors. I've seen this happen to so many of my artist friends and it's happened to me myself as well.

So sorry this happened to you. Wishing you luck with all of this. I'll be sure to email them.

alexandra pillaert said...

It's awful and indeed very very unfair!
The responsable ones should be very very ashamed of themselves!!!!

You make such beautiful designs, you should be the one who is rewarded for it!

Caros Taschen said...

I'm so sorry that this happened to you. Have you thought about hiring a lawyer?

Anonymous said...

Out of curiousity has this design appeared on other products? Did you take it any design shows with you? And is it one your agent Lilla might have sent as a sample?

As a designer yourself, surely you are aware that Kokka could have purchased the design from another designer unless it was created by inhouse staff.

If they did purchase it from an outside designer, they are very much a victim like you. Do you think they should be expected to know the work of every independent designer in the world?

Before assuming the blame lies with Kokka, it would be nice to find out if they've purchased a design which they presumed was legal and they took have been victimized by a fraud artist or if indeed they are guilty and it's the work of an in-house designer.

Adriana said...

That's insane!
Such a blatant copy...
Your designs are amazing and it's so sad to see this happen.

Been hearing more and more scary stories about this kind of thing lately...

Hope it all gets worked out.
Wishing you luck!

Niin said...

I sent Kokka an e-mail.

ellencrimitrent said...

HI Helen,

As I said on Twitter yesterday- this is why I only put up designs that I have already placed on products. To let viewers and potential rip-off artists see your work before it is placed somewhere is very tricky. I personally only stick up stuff that I have already shown to many manufacturers and clients and when that is all exhausted then I put it on my blog. Its sad but true, that you have to protect every thing you design.

These are the sad lessons we have to learn in this world unfortunately and even when you have a design already placed on product it gets ripped off. My rug client finally settled out of court over rugs that were ripped off using the Paula Deen name. They used 2 of my designs and ripped of 11 other artists... thankfully they were caught and dealt with.

Its a never ending battle, think of all those designers who do handbags only to have them ripped off at Canal St. in NYC!

Best of luck to you Helen and hopefully they will take it off their shelves and product line!

Ellen

Anonymous said...

Of course Kokka isn't to blame yet. We're smart enough to understand that they likely didn't know that whoever "designed" this print for them ripped it off. However, Kokka is now responsible for making this right and compensating Helen. Many crafters will not be buying from Kokka until they fix this.

Shelley Laming said...

How sad!! :(
I hope they do the right thing and pull the fabric.
I am so sorry this happened to you.

hi-d said...

Oh my goodness! That is so awful. I hope that everything gets sorted out and the thief gets caught.

chetanddot said...

Oh my, and I was literally JUST going to order some of this fabric, I'm so glad I found out about this before clicking buy! I'm getting so tired of seeing designers I respect get ripped off like this.

Blueberry Park said...

Oh my...that is an exact copy! I'm really sorry, Helen. I hope you get the answers you are after and they print something of yours as an apology!

stitchsister said...

The company wrote back to me and I have forwarded their response to you. In a nutshell they said they want to solve the problem and are going to contact you. Good luck!

niinamaria said...

I received an e-mail from Kokka saying that they are contacting you and they want to solve this issue.

Kori said...

After looking at all your art I'm convinced that you should be designing fabric! I think Kokka should get rid of the designer who ripped you off, compensate you for that print and then hire you to design for them! :-) Kokka really is a reputable company that produces very high quality fabric.

Kori said...

FYI, it looks like they made it in more colors. The blue is almost sold out at this Japanese website. http://item.rakuten.co.jp/matsuke5/10000048/

lucy h said...

I wish someone could publicly name and shame this designer who sold a blatant copy to Kokka Fabrics. then we could check out their website/blog - who knows what else they have copied !
Unbelievable.

As some others have said one way to compensate Helen is for Kokka to give her a fabric line : )
they obviously like her style.

Anonymous said...

Seems like a perfect solution would be for them to buy your original design and start producing that!

Saila said...

Oh this makes me sick. Helen, I´m so sorry you had to experience this.

Margaret said...

I'm so glad that the company took this seriously and resolved the issue with you. I hope they will buy some of your designs soon and use them legally! That would definitely help make up for it. :-)

My hubby says they should pay you, since they did actually sell some product.

Ah well, if it makes you feel any better, remember that "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery". Of all the people to steal from, that contractor chose you!

Although now I'm thinking maybe I should figure out how to put in a copyright statement on MY blog....

Inner Toddler said...

That other designer is sure brewing up some bad juju. My first reaction is why wouldn't such a big company do a little due diligence but then how could they really. Yes, Kokka should pay you something, buy ten other patterns from you and press charges on the thief and give all the money to you!

And by the way, I FRIGGIN LOVE the pattern.

Kathy Weller said...

(I am late to the party.) That GOOD NEWS is GREAT. So glad... Congrats on the outcome!!

Sandra said...

Even though Kokka isn't really at fault, I think they could certainly help with reparations by contracting you to make some amazing work for them. And then I could purchase it and turn my world into a Helen Dardik-fest!

susie said...

I hope that KOKKA thinks about buying some of your designs for future fabric releases! THAT would be a smart move!

Lia said...

wow....but am so happy kokka was very professional about it...after all, I looove kokka and it would disappoint me miserably knowing they've stolen someone else's design...I hope kokka will buy some of your beautiful designs and print them :)

VINTAGE CURATED said...

Hi Helen,

You're my fave illustrator! I'm glad everything worked out with that unfortunate Kokka confusion! I wonder who that underhanded copycat is!?

VINTAGE CURATED said...

Despite Kokka's innocence in all this, I would think they would be aware of your work (its unmistakable) and be able to sniff out a copycat. I do believe they owe you one.

Claire Caudwell said...

This is terrible and I am glad that you found it so that you have the chance to stop them from manufacturing and selling the stolen design. I am glad that successful artists and designers like yourself are highlighring this publicly! Keep up the great work :)

Natascha Rosenberg said...

I'm happy for the good news!

Surya said...

So glad Kokka made good on this and everything worked out. Would have been highly disappointed had they blown this off. Yay!

anne said...

oh!

Anonymous said...

http://olivelse.typepad.fr/.a/6a00d83451dcc969e20147e0566545970b-pi
check this link, it's look like a copy of your work, isn't it?

rose said...

the comment right up is me!

Anonymous said...

more pattern theft:

http://www.modes4u.com/en/kawaii/p3445_blue-circus-animals-Japanese-Kokka-Fabric-Trefle.html

Rachel said...

Hi Helen,

I just came across this fabric http://www.etsy.com/listing/70097314/funny-animals , I loved it, and wondered if you had a fabric design deal. Anyhow I googled "orange you lucky fabric" and came across this post, I am so bummed that it is an obvious rip off, rather than a licensed design.

This must be so upsetting for you. BTW I love you work and would love it if you released a fabric range.

Consultoria RH said...

Este blog é uma representação exata de competências. Eu gosto da sua recomendação. Um grande conceito que reflete os pensamentos do escritor. Consultoria RH