Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Indie Artist Lili Chin 2016 lawsuit against Kohl's, plus links to 2013 UK case -- This post UPDATED 2.16.2020

Lili's lawsuit against Kohl's was settled out of court. Her lawsuit still a fantastic case study. Her case just one of many that are getting the attention of large chain retailers... and making them realize art theft is serious business.

Updates on Lili's battles against art theft can be found on Lili's blog: 

For years now, Lili has been a frequent target of art theft. The most notorious case happened in 2013.... when the thief showed off stolen images as original work on TV in the UK.

You can read more about that case in these links from Lili's blog:


Artist Lili Chin has filed a lawsuit against retail chain Kohl's.

In the photo below,  the shirt on the left shows Lili's art is on the t-shirt she sells. The blue shirt on the right is the disputed shirt sold at Kohl's.

Journalist Issac Kaplan has written about art theft before, and he features details of the Lili Chin case in this editorial on Artsy.com  https://www.artsy.net/article/artsy-editorial-artist-sues-kohl-s-for-allegedly-stealing-drawings

To read the Press Release on the lawsuit, which includes a link to the filing, click here:

UPDATE 10.7.16

Another article on Lili's case..
"Illustrator Lili Chin Files $1 Million Dollar Copyright Infringement Suit Against Kohl's
10.5.16 editorial by Brian Boucher on artnet.com

The headline on this story is a good reminder that headlines are not written by the author of the article. Headlines are designed to catch the attention of readers. They usually grab the most sensational elements of the story. While the story itself only says that the lawsuit could amount to damages in the $1 Million dollar range, the headline gives the impression that Lili is suing for $1 million, and that's not the case. Read the link for the complaint for details.

UPDATE 10.4.16

Jezebel.com (10.4.16)

"Lili Chin is Suing Kohl's" article by Madeleine Davies

UPDATE 10.11.6

Dogster.com 10.11.16
"Here's How You Can Support Doggie Drawings Artist Lili Chin..." by Chris Hall

UPDATE 10.18.16

Grossman LLP Art Law Blog....  

This is a great article.. choice summary at the end highlights Lili Chin's copyright savvy, and how indie artists are fighting back... 
"For one thing, as we’ve observed before, independent artists are increasingly taking their claims not only to the courts, but to the press and social media. This case is no exception; here, the story of Chin’s battle has been covered by multiple media outlets, spawning, among other things, a Change.org petition and an article on popular dog-lover website Dogster about how its readers can support Chin. Effective public-relations campaigns can impact how corporate defendants respond to such claims, since the “cost” to an infringing defendant may suddenly include not just legal fees and a plaintiff’s potential damages, but also the cost of negative publicity for a defendant’s brand, not to mention direct pressure from consumers.
For another thing, Chin is a good example of a more copyright-savvy artist-plaintiff. Importantly, Chin had registered the copyright to “Doggie Language” in 2013, and the poster has for years borne a conspicuous copyright notice. The fact that she had taken these affirmative steps before the Kohl’s dispute arose may mean that she has more options for potential relief. For example, should she prevail on her claim regarding the removal of copyright information under § 1202, she could be entitled to additional statutory damages. And the fact that she had registered the copyright prior to Kohl’s alleged infringement may mean she is eligible for statutory damages (which can be an attractive option for plaintiffs where actual damages may be difficult to prove) and attorneys’ fees under 17 U.S.C. § 412. Her claims have a long way to go, but Chin’s diligent copyright practices as an artist may increase the likelihood of a more satisfactory outcome for her."

UPDATE 11.4.16

Post on CartoonBrew.Com
"Mucha Lucha" co-creator Lili Chin Files Copyright Infringment Suit Against Kohl's" by Brian Gabriel

For more case studies of art theft ... its impact on indie artists and how fans and artists can fight back... see these previous posts on the blog:

Lili Chin's free downloadable info-graphics on Copyright Basics (above is 1 of 2 info-graphics you'll find in the post)

Combat Art Theft and Taking Action http://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2016/09/combat-art-theft-case-studies-and.html

Copyright Guidelines -- chart by Ginger Davis Allman

Art Theft Editorial on Artsy -- Fighting Fashion Industry Plagiarism.

Copyright Info for Artists

Fanbase Press Interview on Art Theft and how Indie Artists can protect themselves

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