his is the latest news and it is going to be a difficult post to write.
I replied this to the designer's first mail, whose identity I still chose to keep private since this war battle was never intended towards another indie artist. I wrote to her this:
"Hello there dear *redacted*,
Thank you for your mail. It is quite disappointing to hear, as a fellow artist that has created the Hidden Eloise girl from scratch, that you are denying any intentional imitation.
I would kindly ask that you allow me to mention your email and show your art to present you and your case, something I cannot do right now since your mail contains a protective footnote.
I have protected your name since the beginning even though I had full knowledge. People found your name on their own but I have never verified it. Please do verify if I can go public with your statements and/or identity and be sure that as I have not bad mouthed you until now, I still will not in the future.
Thanks again and wish you all the best.
I received a reply later and this time she decided to admit the fact. She has allowed me to publish her statement and the series of designs that the infringing work belongs to. I have added to her images my own artwork, the rest images are hers.
In her own words:
"Dear Hidden Eloise,
I am happy for you to post this statement on your blog in its entirety.Please use all the images attached.Im doing this off my own back in the hope that you will understand I have made a genuine mistake.When creating the group of designs bellow I used the outline pose of your Hidden Eloise Girl in one of the designs to create a new pose for my princess. I did not intend to copy your character but use its pose to create a new design for my own character, my intention was not to copy your character, I now realise the pose was too close to your Eloise and apologise to you for this, I also apologise to paperchase for the trouble this has caused."
Here are all the images attached plus the one of mine. I should note that these same images are the evidence Gathernomoss sent me earlier today as proof that the design was not a copy but a natural part of a set. Now the designer sent me the same images to explain the context in which the copying was made.
So there you have it... An admission and an apology and Paperchase gets the apology they always deserved too...
I know that the designer stops shy of mentioning tracing and copying but she says she used the outline pose so I will not ask for more.
So thank you Paperchase for throwing an independent designer under the bus to cover for your mistakes. You supported her when you wanted to keep selling the infringing designs but now that you are losing money you let her take the blame. You must be very pleased with getting your apology.
But I would hope you also regret, Paperchase, saying this to an international newspaper:
“If we had been plagiarising, I completely understand why we would have received so many emails and Twitter posts concerning our business but we haven’t”
...raised serious concerns about the “powers, and there in the danger of Twitter”.
“I am sure it can be beneficial but if you get an untruth (on it) it can be very dangerous,” he said
So: Paperchase was selling plagiarised items..... Check!
I informed them back in November.....Check!
Paperchase continued selling the items even after my mail.....Check!
Oh but wait! There is more! Gathernomoss also contacted me again after I verified to the designer that I will be publishing her mail and this time they allow me to publish their email as well. However, even though they are just a company of "2 designers that represent 7 other designers... have no legal team, no PR people", I am just one person and am tired of working hard for them. They can publish their own statements in their own website.
Briefly, Gathernomoss are saying that they believe everything the designer wrote on her mail (as in that she copied the character? they don't say) and that they know Paperchase doesn't have a PR or legal department (?). Gathernomoss "would like to state that Paperchase are completely blameless in this situation and bought the design in good faith, [they] would like to apologise to [me] and to Paperchase."
So there you have it. Another (possible?) admission and another apology to me and of course a second one to Paperchase.
Everybody is under the bus except Paperchase.
I never asked for anything from Gathernomoss or the designer and their reputations have only been tarnished because they either lied or withheld information since the moment of my first contact with Paperchase. Yet at least these two parties attempted to come clean, hurt as it may.
Come on Paperchase, your turn.
xxx Hidden Eloise xxx