Hidden Eloise

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« Paperchase has tagged Gathernomoss but I'm not playing | Main | My last advice #Paperchase »

February 12, 2010

Comments

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CeccaArt

Wow, I thought that design looked familiar! Sounds like you've done exactly the right thing contacting Paperchase about this. Congratulations for getting this far! I can't believe Paperchase still haven't apologised!?

Carl

Well I think that at the minimum Gathernomoss should pay you every single penny they made from the design, at least they have admitted fault. Paperchase on the otherhand, should stick their hands up and admin some responsibility in all this, the way they treated you at the start is a disgrace and although they may not have done the copyright theft themselves, their attitude is enough to stop me every buying anything from them again, they need to take a look at the big picture, compensate you for their arrogance and apologise, only then will they gain some respect back.

Ed

David:
"it's actually you who are throwing the designer to the wolves, though probably you didn't realise it at the time you posted this.

By persisting again and again and again, even when you found out it was an independent agency who supplied the images. Even when they told you that they're just a couple of people representing a few independent artists, you went ahead with this."

1) It doesn't matter how independent the designer is, plagiarism is plagiarism.

2)So when HiddenEloise found out that it was via an independent artist that paperchase were making money from HER designs she should've stopped caring?

Though your post does logically make sense, you seem to think that capitalising on someone else's work suddenly becomes OK, or that somehow it's the original artist's fault?

Sebastien

I think paperchase should step up and apologize for carrying plagiarized work and being slow to respond once they heard your legitimate complaints. While every party has a different amount of blame, it doesn't mean that some should apologize and others not. I'm not into holding grudges against people and companies, mistakes can be made. But when they are made and one realizes a mistake has been made it is crucial to accept responsibility for the mistake.

Kudos to the designer for admitting what she did was wrong and apologizing to you. I respect that.

Very happy to see you defend your work Eloise.

Leanne

I really am glad that you have at least received an apology from both the designer and the agency but I do still firmly believe that Paperchase need to acknowledge that perhaps the "reasonable precautions" they claim to have taken when buying the design amounted to no more than asking how much the design cost and forecasting how much profit they could make off the back of it.

I wouldn't concern yourself too much the comments of former lawyers. I even spoke about this with a friend yesterday (current lawyer) and fortunately he doesn't still reside deep in the dark ages like most. He understands, as should all lawyers that 'the law' and the general public's perception of the law are two entirely different things and that while, yes Paperchase do likely have their little indemnity tucked away safely in a filing cabinet and that at least from a legal point of view that does give them the upper hand and the right to wipe their hands of the whole thing, if this is the road they choose to take, to refuse so blindly and arrogantly to accept any blame in all this will leave them lookinig like a bunch of assfaces in the eyes of the public.

At least now that the designer has admitted to copying aspects of your work (although I'd have to say the design comes a little closer than just the outline pose) you can keep in mind that while Paperchase paid the designer in cold hard cash, they paid you with something far more valuable, their reputation and integrity. Paperchase need to apologise for this, for starters, and then begin the long hard climb ahead of them to restore their reputation with the people who really matter, the public not some bunch of solicitors.

Steve Thompson

Why are you still attacking Paperchase? I suggest you have your own agenda & you know this would give you maximum publicity. I have read all your blogs & you have contradict yourself over & over again (I urge everyone to read all of them). By what I can gather, you contacted them last year, they investigated & responded to you but you say you didn’t reply. You then left it for two & half months & decided to shout about it over twitter this week. Why didn’t you just push Paperchase in December & ask to speak to the company they bought the design from? It clearly isn’t paperchase’s thought, they wouldn’t buy a design that would get them in trouble & it isn’t humanly possible to research every design to make sure it does already exist. I actually think you should be apologising to Paperchase for slander. I have a friend, who use to work for Paperchase & I know they are not the huge company you are making them out to be, they definitely wouldn’t have a Huge PR team or Law team like you said in your blog, they are not Tesco. You have actually attacked a small team of people like yourself , young artists, designers who just don’t work in the way you shouted. I suggest to everyone reading this, don’t just jump on the bandwagon please look at the facts & then review your thoughts. Plagiarism is very wrong, but who actually did the copying, not Paperchase, but I guess that just makes this a boring story....... Hidden Eloise, Hows Business?

Former Borders Employee

"... that they know Paperchase doesn't have a PR or legal department (?)."

Gotta call BS on this. Paperchase is owned by Borders Group. Borders Group sure as heck as both a PR and legal department, which paperchase should be able to make use of.

Steve Thompson

To the Former Borders Employee, Borders closed down before Xmas. The point I am making above is that Eloise keeps changing her story & I would actually question what she reports! Plus lots of the tweets suggest she stole the design from other artists, I guess this could be said about any design. Everyone’s inspiration comes from somewhere! I don’t actually care about Paperchase or the Design Company, I just feel she could have sorted this last year without being so aggressive. She may have wrecked an artist’s career when she could have sorted this out as an adult in December & maybe even got some compensation back then. Now it’s very messy & turned into Chinese whispers on the net.

Kitty Mason

Dear Hidden Eloise,

Please post this email on your blog (I have added as a comment)

I really appreciate your response to my last email, you not mentioning my name earlier and your forgiving attitude towards me. I was really hoping my last email would clear things up. When Paperchase replied to you I had told them via gather no moss that I had not copied your character which I believed to be true at that time, I now realise that my pose was too close to yours, put my hand up and admit I made a mistake. I am very very distressed by peoples continued criticism of Paperchase. please please please can everyone stop blaming Paperchase for something that was my mistake, they have only acted on the information provided to them.

Again I would like to apologise unreservedly to you, Paperchase and gather no moss.

Best regards
Kitty Mason

Matthew

Steve, it's very simple. Paperchase were given evidence in November last year that the design was stolen. We've all seen that evidence - the copyright violation is obvious. They should have acted then. Their response wasn't "please give us more information" it was "there is no violation here". That puts them firmly in the wrong.

Eloise has no obligation to Paperchase's reputation at this point. Even if she was obliged to press Paperchase for details of the design company, would they have responded? I doubt it.

"Good faith" is not a defence, selling material based on a copyrighted work is illegal. The only debate is whether or not Paperchase have infringed Eloise's copyright. In the absence of affordable legal redress, putting that debate into the public domain is entirely reasonable. Especially as it's so clear that Paperchase are infringing copyright.

If Paperchase had bought, in good faith, a design that featured an obscure character from the Star Wars movies then LucasFilm would have sent them a letter pointing this out. You can bet, at that moment, Paperchase would have removed that product from their outlets and investigated. If they thought they had a case that it wasn't copied they would have used it, but they wouldn't have argued "good faith" or tried to shift the blame to the studio that did the design. As the people selling the goods, they have a responsibility. They, in turn, can seek redress from their suppliers - but the primary responsibility is theirs, as the people selling the goods.

It's entirely reasonable that they should be subjected to public scrutiny. The only concern would be if anything that Eloise said about this was factually incorrect. Can you prove that it is? As long as the facts are correct, Eloise (and anybody else who cares to comment) is perfectly entitled to her own interpretation of what went on and why.

As for why Eloise waited so long, it looks to me like she'd decided to let it go until Paperchase launched a load of new lines. Frankly, your insinuation that this is all a publicity stunt and that Paperchase are the victims here is nothing short of disgusting. You should be ashamed of yourself.

It always amuses me that the "look at all the evidence, I'm the voice of reason, don't jump on the bandwagon" posts are always full of spin, distortion and innuendo.

Kitty Mason

Dear Hidden Eloise,

Please post this email on your blog (I have added as a comment)

I really appreciate your response to my last email, you not mentioning my name earlier and your forgiving attitude towards me. I was really hoping my last email would clear things up. When Paperchase replied to you I had told them via gather no moss that I had not copied your character which I believed to be true at that time, I now realise that my pose was too close to yours, put my hand up and admit I made a mistake. I am very very distressed by peoples continued criticism of Paperchase. please please please can everyone stop blaming Paperchase for something that was my mistake, they have only acted on the information provided to them.

Again I would like to apologise unreservedly to you, Paperchase and gather no moss.

Best regards
Kitty Mason

Matthew

Steve,

The UK Borders stores closed down, but they weren't owned by the Borders group. They had been bought by a private equity company. The Borders Group still exists and still owns Paperchase.

What makes you so certain that Eloise could have sorted this out "as an adult" back in November/December? Paperchase sent a pretty obvious "go away" letter back then.

In the circumstances, going public with an obvious case of plagiarism seems fair enough.

Kitty,

I'm sorry, your explaination doesn't wash - you obviously traced the image and Paperchase would have realised this when Eloise pointed it out them. It wasn't a "mistake" you made - it was theft of another artist's work. Now that you've come as clean as you have, I'd suggest not getting involved any further, keep your head down and hope you can salvage some of your career.

Matthew

I missed some more innuendo and spin from Steve:

"The point I am making above is that Eloise keeps changing her story & I would actually question what she reports!"

She doesn't and you've basically just said she's lying about this. Can you give any specific examples, or you a despicable individual?

"Plus lots of the tweets suggest she stole the design from other artists, I guess this could be said about any design. Everyone’s inspiration comes from somewhere!"

Lots of tweets from one deranged individual:

http://twitter.com/amypamyp1

Go to http://www.jencorace.com/ and you'll see that she and Eloise do have a similar style. It's similar to a lot of other illustrators to, that's the way it tends to go in art.

The fact it that the Paperchase design features a girl that is exactly the same shape as Eloise's original. That's clear cut theft and would have been obvious to Paperchase back in November when they tried to deny that there was any infringement.

It's so clear-cut I can't believe that anyone is trying to argue about it.

Leese

I second everything Matthew said.

Cat

I'm floored that as Paperchase continue to treat Hidden Louise, the design agency and the unfortunate artist in COMPLETE CONTEMPT, people are still running to their defence? Paperchase have pointed the finger in every single direction but their own, even attempting to blame Twitter for 'misinformation' and 'ill will', when all of this could have been resolved at the outset by their own thorough investigation and appropriate response.

Paperchase don't deserve an ounce of pity. They may be standing back now and hoping everyone forgets they ever played a part in this mess, but the simple fact is that they CAUSED this mess, and it won't be over until they apologise.

Yzzy Howell

HMMmmm things seem to be changing, do you and Kitty not have lawyers that can sort this out... I can see this getting messy if left to Tweets, emails & Blog Posts..Someone soon is going to say something daft and end up regretting it.... Too many 'parties' involved and they don't seem to be synchronised in what they say.

Hidden Eloise

Dear Kitty,

I'm very sorry that you are taking this new stance now. I don't know what to think.

You mailed me directly yesterday and said: "When creating the group of designs bellow I used the outline pose of your Hidden Eloise Girl"

Now in your new mail (that you have protected legally from publication) you say that you were not trying to emulate my girl in any way.

This last mail of yours seems mechanical and legalistic, reiterating Paperchase's original story of no plagiarism almost to the letter. It has blatant inconsistencies with your previous mail.

I do not know who is advising you but stop taking their advise. You are about to destroy your name forever and it might be well deserved. More lies will not correct previous lies.

Please give me permission to publicise your latest whole mail dated 13th February and timed at 09:53. I will send you the same reply through mail.

Bear hugs,
Hidden Eloise

**** Correction
The designer's mail does not contain any legal protection from publication, the protection was attached to the footnotes of previous mails attached to the mail in question. I retract this statement, The designer did allow for publication and she practically did it herself.

Lee Griffin

To those saying Eloise caused all this...Of course she did, and she has every right to do so as a person wronged. Has the independent artist been "thrown to the wolves" because of Hidden Eloise? No, she has been because they (according to her own statement) took a trace of someone else's work and then didn't do enough to make the resultant work their own. Without this lapse in judgement there would be no Hidden Eloise causing a fuss.

So why is Hidden Eloise still banging on at Paperchase? For the same reason most of us would be, rather that take the claims of plagiarism seriously they relied solely on a statement of "truth" by another party. When comparing the artwork it is beyond doubt they are tied to one another, yet for Paperchase a single statement by a company partner was enough to ignore this evidence?

Paperchase continued to sell products with the plagiarised work because of this, they intentionally left the ball in Hidden Eloise's court as to the type of (legal) action she could take next knowing full well the likelihood of that ball being played was next to nothing.

Then Hidden Eloise did the right thing and went very public with it, and STILL Paperchase chose to ignore for a good length of time, and when the chorus got too loud they apologised to their customers about how THEY were feeling (wrongly) about someone elses (wrong) accusations.

There has still, as far as I can see, been no retraction by Paperchase who essentially called Hidden Eloise, and all those that backed her, a liar.

There is every reason to still bang on about this type of company, because there is all so much that is wrong about their involvement and reaction in this issue.

Bohemiacademia

Well done on getting an admission at least. Now it's just Paperchase's turn to come out of the woodwork and admit they did wrong... which, as you rightly point out, they really should have done in the first place.

Navyandblack

Whoever thinks a 6-8 million pound company with a 20% gross profit margin is small is extremely naive.

gabor

Kitty - your earlier e-mail to Eloise was clearly the truth. Your comments here are an unworthy attempt to dig yourself out of a hole. And when you are in a hole, the best advice is to stop digging.

Lee Griffin

I agree with Yzzy, this issue between you, Hidden Eloise, and Kitty needs to now be taken private I feel. If you have no issue against her after her apology let that be.

Equally, Kitty needs to realise this is less about copying and more about companies acting like "old boy's clubs", stifling the rightful accusations of plagiarism where proof is available, and continuing to profit from wrong doing that allows designers like you to make lapses in judgement like you have.

The copying is one issue, and it is one that should now be resolved (regardless of whether kitty INTENDED to copy your character is irrespective to her also admitting that she now see's she did) or you need to deal with legally and very much away from the public domain.

Paperchase's actions and continued stance is a completely separate issue. (and for what it's worth Gather No Moss are stuck between a rock and a hard place on the matter and can hardly be blamed)

sarahcopywriter

What has happened here is a serious copyright infringement. In reality it doesn't matter how sorry we might feel for any of the parties, it's all about legal infringement of someone else's Intellectual Property.

See: www.ipo.gov.uk/types/copy/c-ownership/c-creator.htm

Eloise is the Creator. Eloise did not transfer ownership of the copyright to anyone - nor did she license her work to Paperchase - therefore what has been done is illegal.

www.ipo.gov.uk/types/copy/c-applies/c-artisticworks.htm

Yes, it's also not nice & upsetting & all those other things. But it is, at the end of the day illegal.

Eloise, you need legal advice from either AOI or a solicitor specialising in copyright law. You need help to work out what monetary compensation is owed to you by Paperchase. Forget who did what when, don't get sidetracked or start analysing it. Get professional advice NOW.

Take care, Sxxx

tornmage

I was turned on to this by Neil Gaiman and am glad that I was. I side with Hidden Eloise. A copy by hand is still a copy, and certainly treating it like a coloring book does not make it right. Turning a profit based on someone's else's work, which has been admitted, is unethical and wrong. Paperchase had communicated the extent of their desire to work with Hidden Eloise by saying they'd looked into it, found some similarities, but felt that it was different enough to not be an issue. I am not sure that there is anything else she could have accomplished by continuing to talk to the company. They brushed her off, and legal action would have been her next option, but lawyers are prohibitably expensive for the average person. The response of Paperchase does not differ greatly from the extortion cases started by the RIAA with it's legal campaign, though in this case, instead of using the stick of high bills to extort a settlement, Paperchase relied on the high entry point to protect them. Matthew's point that if this had been Lucas Films contacting them, they would have quickly withdrawn the items, settled, and double checked is correct. I'd like to point out that the letter would have been sent from Lucas Film's lawyers. Lawyers would have been involved before contact had even been made. Where money fails, public attention may succeed as it has here.

Also, for those who are plants and attempting to intimidate Hidden Eloise, please keep a civil tongue. Paperchase may have all their ducks in a row, and a case might be water off their back because of it, that only makes them legally right not morally or ethically. Yes, sometimes those distinctions are important. Welcome to an imperfect world.

(A case against the design firm on the other hand....)

Paul Mackenzie Ross

Eloise, you have operated eloquently & admirably, if only there were more good people like you in the world. Good job :-)

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