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« Paperchase plays tag... | Main | The designer apologises »

February 12, 2010


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Kimmy M

That artist should be fired for copying IMO. You should receive all the profit they made from your design. Still a-tweetin' away for you. xo


I have huge respect for you for staying strong and being bold and vocal through all this. If you keep on blogging and tweeting with updates, I'm positive that the momentum will remain. Keep it up!


> Sadder than anything, Gathernomoss ask me now what I want them, Paperchase or the designer to do

Why don't you start with telling them to pull the items that contain this design so that they can't make money from it anymore?


Oh dear. Well, just make sure Paperchase don't put said items back on sale until this whole matter is resolved.


What you should do is ask for compensation....they made money off your hard work, hell - They paid the designer who ripped you off, why should you not get something.

Heres another thought

1 - So far this debacle has gone on for two days. Bill them for those two days (and an illustator myself) my day rate is £350.

2: fine out what the designer who ripped you off was paid, then double it and as for payment.

3: request commission on every item sold.

4: find out who "owns" the copyright on the images Paperchase used and bill them directly.

5: Think about joining the Federation of Small Buisinesses, they will offer free legal advice and in some cases free legal cover to pursue then though the courts if necessary.

Oh, good luck.


What? I am not a lawyer but I would consider publishing it or at least rewrite it and publish it lol or give it to somebody who will publish it - but then again many might question mopinion :)

Nevertheless I would have thought:

1. You should recieve an apoplogy
2. Your bank balance should have been recompensated by now in SOME way (if it's agreed any allegations hold water")
3. You all make friends
4. This goes away

Hang in there and good luck.

Why don't you phone around a couple of lawyers who specialise in these types of cases?

If I was one, Id consider taking this on pro bono for all the good PR it might get the law firm...

PS - All these links from Newspapers is really going to help your blog in Google - best kind of links on the net today :)



Oh, and contact/Join the AOI. They can also offer advice.


If GatherNoMoss is indeed blaming their independent designer, they should have no problem revealing the identity of said-designer or allowing you to publish the content of their emails with "proof."

Paperchase should be furious at GatherNoMoss for sending them the design, and GatherNoMoss should be furious at their "independent designer" for plagiarizing your work, but they have a responsibility as well to make sure their designers are producing their own work and not copying it off of others.

If Paperchase and Gathernomoss really support independent artists like they say they do, they should stick up for the true independent artist in this case, HiddenEloise.

What's sad is that they have the opportunity to turn this situation around and become knights for a good cause, if only they could admit their fault in the situation and start working for a solution instead of pointing fingers and shifting the blame in an round of "But-I-Didn't-Do-It."

Paperchase handled their end badly by dismissing your email, but your real qualm is with the "independent designer" who badly reproduced your work and is still trying to pass it off as their own.


unless you've signed an NDA (non disclosure agreement) i don't see how they can insist you keep any correspondence between parties private. Even if they claimed their words were "copyright" you can still have fair use to quote them. You are entitled to disagree with their demands if you warn them so. Just a thought. Not proper legal advice of course :)


Just in case Gathernomoss decides to not put their contact information back up, here is their contact page, as stored in Google cache: http://bit.ly/c88n8g

Just throwing it out there.


Elouise: Be VERY careful how you respond to that. This is where you need legal advice imo. you turn around to them and say "pull the design", they do that and then as far as they are concerned the case is closed. If it were me, I'd send them an email stating that you are seeking further advice on the matter and you will contact them soon. after that I'd make an appointment with your local citizens advice bureau and go through the whole thing with them and see what they say.


Its true you can't post their email to you or their images. BUT YOU CAN share in your own words what they wrote to you and you can describe in words what their evidence consisted of.


It is NOT fine and dandy to break the law and profit from your work without your permission.

This is the reason copyright laws exist and they shouldn't be allowed to get away with it. Whoever 'they' are.

This is the trouble - everyone keeps passing the buck. Don't let them. As a previous poster suggested, demand to know who 'owns' the copyright of this derivative work. They are responsible, whether they knew this was a copy or not.

And they are guilty of copyright infringement. The design is clearly derivative, and there's no 'fair use' defense as far as I can see. (I'm not a lawyer either, but have studied some media law.)

I wish you all the best in getting some recompense - you deserve to be paid for your work, and if you are not it sets a horrific precedent for truly creative people everywhere.

Good luck!


I read about this on the Guardian and was totally appalled by Paperchase. This is just typical.

I suggest the Shawshank redemption treatment. If one letter a week doesn't work up the ante to 2-3 letters a week.


Hi, stumbled across here from a forum,

Just wanted to say that I've emailed Paperchase and will do it again if they don't own up to their mistake. I don't think they can help it if the design was bought in good faith, but when you alerted them to the situation in November they ought to have taken appropriate action. The statement on their website is unbelievably disrespectful of you; they need to apologise and face up to their mistakes.

Good luck with it all. x


Can you start a fund for people to donate to to help pay the legal fees! It's half term coming up and I'd usually restock the pencil cases and notebooks with a quick trip to Paperchase but I'm no longer shopping there. I'm happy to donate the money to you instead!


Please do yourself a favor and hire an attorney. After all the attention you've received, I would think you have a few knocking on *your* door.

What you should understand is that you are NOT representing yourself very well. You believe your work was stolen, they don't. They want to know what you want to make this all go away but you are treating this as if it is some game of tag. It isn't.

Without the guidance of an attorney, you are jeopardizing your position. The more you keep talking, the less likely it is that you will get what you want and the more likely it is you will say something that comes back to hurt your argument.

So please for the love of god get some professional help.


Hang in there! Be clear about what you want from them, which, IMHO, should be more than simply taking down the items from Amazon.

(NB: I am not a lawyer! I have been a freelancer for going on 20 years, and am an independent book binder, businessperson and artist -- and these are my strongly held opinions about the Right and Wrong of this issue)

- Paperchase, as the "end user" of the copy of your work, is a responsible party - and they have made money on the items in question. They should have been aware that they were using work that bears a strong resemblance to an item that pre-dates the design they paid for.

They owe you a percentage of what they made off sales of items bearing what looks to be your image, as damages.

- your beef with Gathernomoss is that they too should have been aware that someone was attempting to make money on something that rightfully didn't belong to them. Their research department is at fault.

- Gathernomoss owe you an apology, and probably damages. But their actual beef is with the independent designer, who sold to them something they had no right to sell. They will probably fine/stop using/blacklist this person if it can be determined that they are in fact, plagiarists. They hurt you and your reputation by accepting for purchase the work that resulted from theft.

(as an aside : One problem might be that if they outsourced the design from Asia, copyright laws are different there, and people often use the designs of others for mass-copy - the feeling being that if someone has purchased an item with an image on it, it belongs to them. With full impunity to copy at will.

(There is a story of an artist who sold a work of art to a Japanese business man, and found the image slathered everywhere on a later trip to Japan, not a royalty in sight anywhere... could be urban legend, tho)

If nothing else, someone owes you an apology for making such a gross and vile cheezeball copy of your beautiful work.


I'm with the 'get a lawyer' crowd. I can almost certainly guarantee that everyone involved is stalling for time- and if Gathernomoss aren't telling you who this mysterious freelancer is, then I'd also be willing to bet that they don't even exist. Again, to echo others, find out who holds the copyright, but mainly- get a lawyer.

For future reference, it's worth joining the Federation of Small Businesses- as they would now be sorting this out for you. Well worth the investment of £100 per year. I *nearly* let my membership lapse last year because I'd never really used any of their services. Glad I didn't now!

Good luck with this- whatever you decide to do.


One more vote for "get a lawyer." This is the point where you do need to tell them what you want, rather than leaving the ball in their court, and you need to get it right the first time.

Best of luck!


Either ask them to compensate you and buy the design, or tell them to stop selling it.

The illustrator clearly ripped you off. It's understandable and believable that Paperchase would buy a design in good faith, thinking it was original. Likely that Gathernomoss, the agency they bought it from, also thought it was original. Only the individual who ripped you off knows they did.

But once it was brought to Paperchase's attention in November, by you, then it is their responsibility to pull the line permanently. "Unfortunately similar" my ass, even her socks are the exact same length, come on. That didn't happen by magic.

It might not be Paperchase's fault this occurred, but this is the risk they run by not designing everything themselves. It's the cost of doing business, you have to ensure the integrity of your supply chain. The buck stops with Paperchase, they're the ones selling a design they never rightfully owned.


I have worked with Gathernomoss and wouldn't have had them down for this sort of thing. Wonder what brief or inspiration they were given by Paperchase.


I don't get it, GatherNoMoss asked you what you want, why don't you just tell them? They seem to want to resolve this, you seem to want to drag it out and martyr yourself. Paperchase and GatherNoMoss, you claim, have 'teams of PR people and legal advisors'. Are you sure??? If so why have they had the MD make panicked statements? No one seems to know how to settle this but at least GatherNoMoss are asking what to do to help resolve it. Why don't you just talk to them? It's old news now I'm afraid, soon your Twitter backers will be tweeting some other song. Make the best of the situation while the offer is on the table, don't blow your hand.


I don't agree with Objective Observer. Gathernomoss didn't step up to the plate, and didn't admit anything until they were pushed into a corner. I can't believe that a design company is allowed to conduct its business in such a shoddy way. (Your twitter backers WILL continue to support you - whether they are tweeting some other song or not, btw!) Paperchase and Gathernomoss have acted unprofessionally and have made untrue statements. Paperchase categorically denied using your design. Both have profited from your work and should, at the very least, offer some compensation.


Two aspects here -

1) Work was copied without compensation.

2) Work was copied and messed up.

Important before proceeding further - decide what you want. Do you want this item pulled? Do you want it to continue to be produced with compensation? Do you want punitive damages?

When you think you know what you want, you will almost certainly need legal advice. What people tell you on the internet is worth what you pay for it.

Then you need to consider whether the trouble and expense to get what you want is worth it. What you will settle for.

On the plus side - this has been nothing but good publicity for you, and bad publicity for the people who apparently wronged you. This gives you some leverage.

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