Hidden Eloise

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« My last advice #Paperchase | Main | This is a deep Cadmium-Red card for you... »

February 20, 2010


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I guess that demonstrates how much they truly value design. That cheque basically says 'Here's what we paid initially, but forget the massive profits we illegally reaped from YOUR design!' What a pathetic 'gesture' - definitely not in "good faith"


On top of that, could you even credit your account with a check payable to "Hidden Eloise"?

Lee Griffin

The gesture is one of good faith, in fairness. By giving the amount of money they profited from Paperchase by selling the design they are basically writing off the benefits of having sold the copied design in the first place.

Please, everyone, don't confuse the profits that Paperchase will have made with the money that Gathernomoss will have been paid for their services (and the smaller amount still that Kitty will have been paid for her contribution).

Gathernomoss, in this situation, are the only ones actually making an absolute financial gesture. Kitty has not (to our knowledge) given the money back that she was paid by Gathernomoss, so they may well be out of pocket for her expenses on top of trying to give you their fee.

I believe you're right, Hidden Eloise, that they're trying to tie you in to a position of not being able to take legal action, however that doesn't necessarily mean their offer isn't fair.

Would you legally fight that Gathernomoss were the ones that were at fault, or Paperchase? I would argue that Gathernomoss are stuck behind a rock and a hard place of not having any control over what Paperchase chooses to continue to sell, and having to take the word of their designers. When this sort of thing comes along they have no authority nor power to stop selling the goods they have passed on, so I'm not entirely sure what else they can do in this situation.

Aim the necessary anger where it is intended, I think you were right to not accept the cheque, but that doesn't mean Gathernomoss were necessarily trying to do wrong by you with it either, aside from not listening to your request!

Carlotta Valdes

Whats wrong with them giving you all the profit they made from the sale of the copied drawing as an act of good faith? Its pretty obvious that they were lied to by an illustrator who signed a declaration stating that the artwork was original.

Legally, you seem a bit naive. I'm not going to give you free advice as its something I make my living from, but suffice to say the advice you have received (or assumptions you've made) in terms of the legalities are incorrect.

But anyway, if you don't want the money simply write back and say 'Thank you for the gesture but I don't want the cheque'...why is it such a drama?

I get the impression from your post that you didn't reply to their email saying that they were going to send you a cheque but rather, you just explained that you didn't want the money in your blog. Do you honestly think that is an effective method for replying to a personal email from gathernomoss?

Hidden Eloise

Dear Carlotta,

What is wrong with them giving me the profits is what i wrote in the post. You just ignore it.

Saying that you have better and more correct legal views to give but not actually giving them is a poor trick of you trying to sound knowledgeable without really proving it.

You do not even make an effort to be polite and you don't sound like a lawyer to me. I have taken my advice from lawyers and you are the first to claim that i am wrong in the legal aspects of this matter.

I don't mind being wrong but i need proof and you are just giving vacant and patronising opinions. Tell me in what i am wrong cause i'm not convinced by your claims, or please stop trying to ruin my weekend further.

jenny b harris

I am just now learning about your horrible situation, and I am so sorry you have been put through this ordeal. It is so unfair.

Carlotta is the one who is naive and clueless if she thinks any artist who has been ripped off could be mollified by a check like that.

The fact is, £350 is a pitifully low amount considering the ultimate usage by Paperchase. Since you did not have the opportunity to negotiate a FAIR price for the licensing of your image, merely sending you the fee that they accepted for your plagiarized image does not make it right!

Shame on them.


I'm not an expert in legal affairs. BUT by cashing the cheque, it may imply that you have accepted their 'compensation'. Especially if the cheque have been addressed directly to HIDDEN ELOISE.

IF ever you do decide in future to take further actions/compensations from any parties, they or their lawyers can argue that by cashing in the cheque, you have 'agreed/accepted' their recompense. Thus, the case is closed and you're not entitled to any more monies etc. even from the profits or for any loss of income/pain/suffering etc.

I think in UK, cheques are valid for 6 months. If the cheque have yet to be banked after 6 months, they can be re-issued subject to the agreement of the cheque issuer if you showed them the proof of original cheque.

Off-topic. I like to see people's writing. I think it's written by a guy. :)


Just read your article again. Maybe you should just hang on to the cheque and accompanying letter. You could even frame it and who knows years down the road show to your children/grandkids your victory..How mummy 'fought' the giants and won with a help from her cyber friends.

If you do decide to return the cheque, make a photocopy for your own reference. And make sure it's sent by registered delivery. Things do get lost in the post as they say.

Indie Art

I first must say, much respect to that fact that you , on person have taken on and "won" against the corporate giant. I say "won" in quotations only because you really haven't won anything.
I think that you are doing the right thing by not cashing that check. So that they cannot say that you have been "compensated" for your artwork.
You should send that back to them first thing Monday via Certified Mail, so that you have a signature of receipt. Also, your images as well as "artist name" is definitely worth more than $540 dollars. If they truly want to make it right they should add at least another zero to that number.
Obviously they will not donate to charity, I mean really, they didn't do the right thing when they found out they were selling plagiarized designs, so what makes you think they will do the right thing and donate to charity? It would be better for them to give you the money and you donate to the charity of your choice, but they should definitely be compensating you in the thousands of dollars, not hundreds


My first comment was a little misguided but the sentiment still stands - this may be 'in good faith' from Gathernomoss, but it wouldn't surprise me in the slightest if Gathernomoss have been 'advised' by Paperchase's band of lawyers to 'resolve' the situation in this manner.

Paperchase however are the ones who sat back and reaped profits from YOUR work, instead of thoroughly investigating your claim. It's all well and good for people to say "Oh they took Kitty's word for it", but LOOK AT THE DESIGNS! There's no plausible way they wouldn't have seen the plagiarism if they actually took a moment to look for themselves, which they clearly didn't.

Paperchase can try to wash their hands of all this, but they are at fault as much as the designer or the agency, and they have yet to make amends.

Jane F

Would you have sold your original design via Gathernomoss to Paperchase for £350 in the first place? If yes, then take the cheque and spend the money! BUT, then Paperchase are likely entitled to continue to use the design and not to compensate you for use before now. If no, then return the cheque and ask Gathernomoss/Paperchase for the amount you would have sold your work for and see what they say. I know what you said in your blog, but after all, why shouldn't you be paid for your work?!

On another note, I do think that the artist that plagiarised your work in the first place should be the person who pays you, rather than Gathernomoss, but given her obvious ethics, I guess this is unlikely!

Sally Byrne

Dear Eloise,

Have just stumbled upon this fiasco from your etsy site, having been unaware of it up to this point. Have written a strongly worded email to Paperchase and I hope they seriously consider the proposals you set out in your blog post dated 15th Feb.

I have much admiration for your conduct during this whole affair - good on you.

Kind regards

Terri Conrad

Brava, brava for your media campaign. While it does not lessen the pain of the violation experienced at having one's art infringed upon, know that you are not alone. There are many an artist, including myself, who have had their work infringed (ours at the hand of a former licensee). Often, however, it is at the hands of an artist-want-to-be who copies the authentic work and tries to pass it off as one's own.

As you state, legal fees to assert and protect one's copyright are well beyond the means of a sole proprietor/artist. We cannot and must not let that fact render us powerless.

We can and must speak to the facts when these injustices occur, as you have, and as we diplomatically expressed our concern over the lack of integrity in business in this post

We have not gone public naming our infringing party - if we do so, I cannot help but wonder the outcome.

We as artists must stand up, let our voice be heard, and the truth be known.

My hope for you, is that something positive will come your way, that you will see the silver lining of the cloud that has covered you and be wildly blessed thru its passing.


I still don't get it, you are drawing this out and reveling in your martyrdom. I wouldn't imagine there is anything 'sinister' in sending the cheque, seeing as that's what they said they'd do. Send it to charity if you don't want the money. It's highly unlikely that anyone is worrying you'd sue, you don't have any legal rights as copywrite is complex and the designs are suitably different - same as the person you copied your designs from couldn't sue you. Get over it, you're making yourself look like a right paranoid tosser. Everyone else has moved on, you should too or you'll look a sad fellow forever.

Hidden Eloise

ObjectiveObserver, as you said, you just don't get it...
Sorry to burst your bubble but i was advised by lawyers before i wrote my post so i'm sorry for not taking your "objective" opinion too seriously.

Anyway, i have no time to reply to anyone that hides behind anonymity just to throw accusations and pointless comments so i'll just quote Matthew who hit the issue on the spot for persons with spare time n issues like yours:
Matthew:"I think whenever someone gets some Internet attention there's always someone else with a pathological desire to tear them down - and reasoned argument rarely comes into it..."


I don't understand why it is impossible to sue Paperchase. Or at least have a good lawyer to set up a meeting with them. If I were you (which I'm not- I know *lol*). I would want to discuss the future of the stolen design- are they in the right to keep using it? How much money did they make from the sales of the items with your design on it?

And by the way.. 350 seems like a very small amount of money for the designs.


You're a fine one to talk about hiding behind anomynity! LOL - 'Hidden' Eloise? Want to give your real name? No, I didn't think so. Otherwise the person who created these designs :

http://tinyshowcase.com/artwork.php?id=1456 http://www.flickr.com/photos/daciaray/1343365272/ http://myloveforyou.typepad.com/photos/uncategorized/2007/12/27/jencorace.jpg

- might be coming after you! As you can see from the other comments from legal representatives it doesn't matter what 'a lawyer' told you before you wrote your post. The fact is if you had a legal case, someone would have offered a 'no-win, no-fee' deal, and if the moral high ground was really yours, I am sure pro-bono. However for all the support there's nothing *legally* that you can do, and you know it, and so now you can stop milking the situation. If you're in it for the art, make art. If *you* don't have a 'pathalogical desire to tear them down' you are going a funny way about demonstrating it. Give it up. Give the money to charity. Stop being such a martyr - and if you've no time to respond to 'anonymous responses' don't bother responding to mine! Again, quit milking it!!

Hidden Eloise


I don't moderate comments so you can continue making a fool of yourself in public and celebrating your ignorance.

No one can claim originality:

But tracing is illegal:

Stop making it difficult for the other artist though. I heard she got complaints because of the crazy behaviour of you and a spammer at Twitter (that sounds exactly like you).

And don't think that just because you change email address and IP every time, you can stay anonymous forever.


hmm.. my comment seems to be lost from before d'oh
anyway - just dropping by to wish you the best!
(if i double commented pls forgive!)

Hidden Eloise


You are not doing a good job "hiding behind anomynity"[sic]. Your latest IP address resolves to the SMTP server of Paperchase.co.uk.

To my understanding this can mean either of two things:

a) you are someone that has access to Paperchase's servers (for example an employee or something)


b) you have used insidious hacking to appear as if you are someone that has access to Paperchase's servers (for example an employee or something)

So which one is it you big, ugly, green troll (with warts)? You'd better get out of my forest either way!

Jane F

How sad that this has descended into a slanging match, when actually someone has been hurt by the whole situation. You should remember that, Objective Observer! HiddenEloise has every right to feel aggrieved by all three of the other parties involved, and throwing her £350 as a sop really doesn't cut it - I'm sure you'd agree if you were in her shoes! She made a very dignified offer to Paperchase/Gathernomoss - far more dignified than I know I would have managed - and they have basically thrown it back in her face.

Suing for copyright is a very costly business and that is the only reason she didn't sue before or now - if you bothered to look at the pictures then you would see that the girl in the Wonderland design is a DIRECT COPY of HiddenEloise's design, not just similar - there can be no argument, and indeed the artist who sold the design to Paperchase has admitted that she copied it. What Paperchase did wrong was that they failed to act correctly once HiddenEloise had brought this fact to their attention, and continued to sell the merchandise. From the time that HiddenEloise told them about the issue, continuing to use the design was clearly a copyright infringement.

Objective Observer, maybe your lawyer "friends" are telling you what you want to hear rather than the legal case?

As HiddenEloise says, get out of her forest! She's the one in the right round here.


Congratulations on being able to have your story heard. That counts for a lot. There's an odd 'art theft is OK if it's from the internet' vibe going around at the moment, and the more people speak out against it, the more can be ultimately done about it, which can only benefit lone designers. I'm sorry this happened to you, and I hope it doesn't affect your clear passion for your work at all.

ObjectiveObserver- Honestly, if you put years of work striving to improve yourself at something you love and enjoy to do, and someone comes along and claims all your hard work, all your drive, all your passion as their own, can you say you would not be upset? Would you 'give it up'? Anyway, it's not as she's been pioneering a Paperchase Hate Group, she's made 4 blog posts.


You Go Girl! HiddenEloise - you are a shining light and I think what you have done is brilliant. I hope there is a silver lining from this horrid situation you found yourself in and more people discover your wonderful, original drawings. Pppttthhhhttt to ObjectiveObserver.

cari-jane hakes

Horray for HiddenEloise! and well done for unmasking ObjectiveObserver!! Honestly, I will NEVER be using that shop again. And yay for the power of the internet. Just for the record...I have no legal knowledge whatsoever but looks like Paperchase were just trying to wash their hands of the whole thing by passing the buck to the GatheringMoss guys. Both parties are guilty in my eyes, Paperchase obviously didn't know at the time when they bought YOUR design from GatheringMoss...but they KNEW when you contacted them and just thought the whole thing would go away. But is didn't. And so they are guilty also and should be offering some kind of compensation / allowing you to sell the design to them that they have profited from. Just my casualobservation. Glad ObjectiveObserver may have been given his/her P45! Get going on those orders girl!!

kimberly shaw

It's a little late for a "design fee" after it's been stolen. Can car thieve after he is caught offer the owner a rental fee for the stolen car and get away with it?

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