Talking about intellectual property and what we can and can't use is one of my fav convos. As someone who has worked with logos/celebrity for years and how it gets thrown in a big social media blender - I love having been on both sides of the coin. @sethbogartofficial and I are continuing the conversation by opening our own @zara store inside of Peggy Noland/Wacky Wacko. We bought our own rip offs from all over the web (some rip offs of rip offs) and are selling them for thrice the price. If you know anyone else selling Seth or I's work, please keep letting us know. AND if you have been ripped off by Zara, and want to sell your stuff here- let us know! See you today from 12-6 at 1361 Sunset Blvd.
Noland has also seen her illustrations end up at unsanctioned retailers (and isn’t afraid to call it out). “[Seth’s and my] work gets ripped off a lot,” she wrote on Instagram. “We usually don’t even post about it — our time is better spent making the next thing than chasing a notoriously difficult and costly [intellectual property] lawsuit.” Instead of documenting every single instance she’s seen her work pop up elsewhere or even pursuing legal action, she’s more interested in examining what parts of her work are protected. For instance, so many of her prints draw from pop culture and advertising and use recognizable and trademarked logos. So, are copies of her work technically rip-offs of other rip-offs?
Mine vs. Theirs. Part 2 These rip offs feel different to me- less personal I suppose. This is from some company called @7mang . They actually made it cuter lol, but so strange they replaced FANTA with SUNKIST! Why just that one lol? Anyhoo, @sethbogartofficial and I's work gets ripped off a lot- we usually don't even post about it- our time is better spent making the next thing than chasing a notoriously difficult and costly IP lawsuit - especially with these (pictured) rip offs from some no name factory in China. But that's not the fun part of this convo for me. This is: The content of this shirt is my paintings of soda cans. Can I claim intellectual property rights when I have used someone else's intellectual property? (Not talking about parody, changing 40%, legally, etc...) Talking about the PRINCIPLE of the issue, that's the fun stuff, cause there is not an answer. Sure, there is a difference between me and Pespi. I am an artist who still has trouble making rent sometimes and they are a billion dollar co. But do the same rules apply? I never asked to be advertised too, the Pepsi logo is planted firmly in my brain. Isn't it inevitable that it will come out of my hands? Is the principle of 'ripping off' the same in both directions? When a 12 year old tags me on a photo of something they made that was inspired by or even a copy of what's I made, I love it. But when a company (even mine) stands to make money off of something they clearly deem valuable without paying for that value, it's different. So one would conclude it's about the money... right? I am clearly missing a buisness gene here, because for me it's not. If it's in a gallery/museum the convo is also way different that if it's in a retail store. I want to be clear I am speaking specifically about rip offs of 'rip offs.' When original artwork is stolen it's a completely different convo. This is my original artwork, as I spent time and thought creating it, but the content of my original artwork is someones elses' original artwork. You see what I'm saying? Does it matter is the artists that is being ripped off is creating in their bedroom or a boardroom? These are honest questions. What do you think?
The garments on display are sold at the fast-fashion retailer for $20 to $40, but, for the pop-up, Noland and Bogart repriced them for $200 to $400. They are very much aware of the outrageous inflation, but the proceeds from this pop-up will go to the people who actually bear the burden of cheap clothes: garment workers. “The reason the cost of rip-offs is so low is because of the working conditions in the country they are produced,” Noland reasoned. “I worked in a factory in Delhi before I made my own clothes, and I know firsthand that not all factories are sweatshops, but there’s a good chance they are.” Despite increased awareness of the working conditions in garment factories following 2013's tragic Rana Plaza collapse, upsetting reports still emerge of how little the industry has progressed in the years since — not just in terms of working conditions for the people actually making your clothes, but also in terms of environmental impact. Noland and Bogart plan to donate the money from their pop-up to Labour Behind the Label, a U.K.-based organization that campaigns for workers’ rights worldwide.
It can go in the other direction, too, especially for Noland, who often draws from ad culture in her work: Both artists have received cease-and-desist letters from brands in the past (and they say they wouldn’t be surprised if they received something from Zara regarding this pop-up), and they’ve conceded to the requests. “Trends move so fast now that by the time the company catches up to it, it's usually lived and died on Instagram anyway,” Noland said. Still, it’s when the roles are reversed that the situation becomes fraught for independent creators. “Generally speaking, it’s unreasonable to expect that an individual would have the resources to fight a major company,” she explained. “At the very least it takes a lot of time, and usually a few thousand dollars, to even start the conversation with a lawyer. The only way I have been able to pursue anything is through the kindness of pro-bono lawyers, and only then in specific instances.”
More importantly, Noland and Bogart hope to highlight that the rip-off culture we're seeing in fashion has ramifications beyond just indie designers versus corporations. "Our participation in fast fashion is keeping millions of people trapped in horrific working conditions," Noland explained. We all play a role in this cycle, she admitted, but seeing how small brands have been able to initiate an industry-wide conversation speaks to how much power a consumer actually has. If we can build momentum, Noland explained, "we could actually change something that affects peoples' lives positively, not only their livelihood."