Sunday, August 19, 2012

Grandin Theft-Again!

I only have a couple of minutes to pass this on, but I think it's worth doing.

Last year, Grandin Road released a cloaked ghost design based on Grim's cloaked ghost:
Grim's Ghost
Grandin Road's offering
 This year, they've stolen William Bezek's Dead Dolls:
Bezek's Dolls, which were used for the faces
These Bezek dolls were used for the clothing
Grandin Road's dolls

At even the most casual of glances, one can see they are copies of Bezek's work.

Bezek wrote a blog post about the theft, which he was later ordered to remove by Grandin Road-most probably by their legal department. You can read more details over at Pumpkinrot's blog, where Bezek, himself, made a brief comment.

I went to Grandin Road's Facebook page and privately messaged them a polite but firmly worded message of disappointment, accompanied by the usual futile "I'll not be purchasing from YOU PEOPLE this year, or any year, until you make restitution!"

I'm certain they'll giggle as they hit the "delete" key and wander down the hall to roll in all the money they're pulling in from ripping off artists' work. 

We all know they won't, and that they'll continue to rip off our work (by "our," I mean the Hallowe'en community at large) because they can afford to pay their lawyers to stall long enough for the opposition to run out of money. (My divorce lawyer cost me $300 an hour, and I didn't even fight for anything. I can't imagine how much it would cost to actively fight a copyright suit!)

If I were sure that Bezek would not suffer serious repercussions, I would encourage everyone to bomb their Facebook page with politely worded expressions of disappointment. After all, a corporation's image is important in this economy, is it not?

But there is a possibility they could sue him for that, and I'd be very upset if I caused that kind of grief for him. 

Thoughts?

As an aside, Spirit Halloween, we suspect, has done the same thing to Hauntcast. They were a sponsor of the show for a season, and right after they sponsored us, this product came out:
Yes, that's our tag line.

And now, they have a "Hanging Faceless Specter", which they undoubtedly got from the same manufacturer as Grandin Road's ripoff.

Deplorable.

7 comments:

  1. As artists, it is our responsibility to copyright, trademark and/or patent our work. No, that will not stop the Grandin Roads and Spirit Halloweens of the world from ripping off our designs, but if we post pics of our work with the notice that "all items pictured here designed/created/manufactured by YourNameHere, all rights reserved," it will give the scavengers and evil legals pause.
    Had to look this up myself just now to be clear: Copyright applies to written works,including movies, songs, books, plays, sculptures and computer software.
    A Trademark protects a word, symbol, device or name used in commerce. (For example, the Nike swoosh...or Hauntcast's "Stay Scary," if it were trademarked.)
    A Patent is a form of legal protection for an invention.

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  2. Designs are copied all the time and sent offshore to be reproduced cheaply. With tiny alterations from the original design. There is a difference if Grandinroad specifically hired a designer to make a copy and have it manufactured or if they just ordered from a wholesaler that had already copied the work. Factories overseas set up and make a bunch of Halloween and then disappear. By the time someone tries to go after them the doors are locked the cheap labor has disappeared. I'd want to know before boycotting Grandinroad what happened. It doesn't excuse what happened but its not black and white either.

    There was a case where Katherine's Collection went after Walmart for having their Kissing Fish ornament copied. They won an injunction but but by that point the ornament was seasonal and out of the stores. There were no damages just the injunction. Two major companies going head to head and not much to show for it. Its really hard to be the little guy that gets copied. Its rampant in every industry.

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  3. Sorry that I do not have a Facebook account for I am a very private and shy person(hence the name Jayshadow) But if I did, I would put a "polite" post on their page.

    Maybe when I receive their catalog, I will make a video(and put it on my Youtube channel) of me making a comment of what is going on and for them to contact however they are getting these knockoff products from and tell them they(Grandin Road) are no longer going to purchase these said products from them anymore. Until they do, this is what I will do to their catalog when I receive it(this is when I burn their catalog) and mention that I will no longer purchase Grandin Road's products anymore.

    Videos can be pretty powerful also.

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  4. I've had some of my ornaments copied by artists on the internet almost to a T. right down to the same color clothing and or things they carry! One even used the same exact wording in the title! Its one thing to get an idea from someones work and make it in your style, its another to just down right copy someones work. Everyone has their own style, I don't appreciate seeing what looks like my ornament in someone elses shop!

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  5. That stinks! I once had an idea of mine ripped off by a well-known textile creator. Several years ago, I emailed the guy, telling him my idea and asking him to create the fabric design for me, as nothing like it existed. I heard nothing back, then several years later, I see my same exact design used by him.
    Anyway, sorry to hear about your incident; I will definitely NEVER buy anything from Grandin Road.

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  6. Thanks for spreading the word on this... I'm interested to see what gets ripped off next. I kind of wish I still had that ghost, but I gave it away to another yard haunt down the road the year after I had it in my haunt. I still get to go visit the original every year, and it's cool to see it in someone else's haunt.

    I should mention, too, that my ghost was inspired by Pumpkinrot's Cloaked Ghost. I just tried to put a unique twist to it when I made it, and evidently whoever created the copy didn't have many unique twists to add to it. :)

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  7. thanks for sharing.

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