::Copycats..er, Copybunnies?::

Youtube Sony Bravia Commercial::

My parental units and other authoritive figures used to say to me as I was growing up “Imitation is the highest form of flattery, take it as a compliment!”… that is all well and good but at what point should you consider hiring an IP lawyer?

The work in question is not my own but has had me thinking long and hard all week about what I would do should it ever happen to me. Should I just be flattered and carry on? Or should I fight the powers that be, in this case, (shiver) an advertising agency?

The work is in fact that of ‘Kozyndan‘, a panoramic from some years back… you can see here. The ‘inspired’ advertisment is from Sony promoting their new TV. You can watch the ad here here.

To me its obvious, in fact I am sure no one can deny the ad was inspired directly from the work, and then this from Kozyndan:
“To add insult to injury, someone representing Passion Pictures contacted us almost two years ago asking to see samples of our work (including this panoramic) as they were interested in working with us. We sent them samples and then heard nothing from them ever again. (It should be noted though, that the more likely culprit is the ad firm who hired Passion Pictures, Fallon)”.
Which, I am sure, slams the door on any doubts you may have had. The concept relating to the rabbits rolling into a wave has also obviously been ‘borrowed’ from their work “Uprisings” which is a homage to Hokusai’s “The Great Wave off Kanagawa” , which, by the way, at 150 years old is free from copyright. I am a firm believer in that it is the arrangement and blend of images/sounds/food/whatever that you can make your own. You can’t claim to be the first person to draw a coloured bunny but you can be the first to blend it with a wave or have them take over New York city. What happens when that gets ripped off…. well, actually I don’t know…. who would I speak to? What would I do? Would it make a difference?
I really feel they should teach this stuff in school, intellectual property, creative commons, copyrights, trademarks, registrations, signing release forms, writing contracts, or at least spend some more time on ‘creative thinking‘ so that desperate advertising executives wouldn’t have to ‘borrow’ other peoples concepts at the 11th hour.

I am not going to further examine the issue as others have been much more eloquent, such as here. In fact so much has been written on the subject that if you google ‘sony kozyndan’ it contines for well over 20 pages (of which I will now be included), I am beginning to believe that old adage again, imitation is indeed the highest form of flattery, especially when it leads to that other well known adage ‘Any publicity is good publicity”!
Kozyndan can has publicity!

BTW Kozyndan are speeding towards us as we speak, for this show at Outre Gallery. YAY!

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7 Comments Add yours

  1. Adrian Hogan says:

    Hey Andrea!
    My illustration tutor (Ned Culic) gave me the heads up on the ‘festival of illustration’ that’s coming up soon. I read the guide and was excited to see that you will be one of the speakers there. I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts on ‘the biz’ and the path that you have taken so far (and seeing your amazing work on a big screen as well!). Cheers.

  2. innocentgirl says:

    Adrian – Hey there! Been checking your blog every now and then, love your recent ‘karate fox’! Thanks so much, I was so flattered when they asked me! I will be speaking about how to survive as an emerging illustrator and diversifying your biz as well as how to make the most of the internet! I’ll try my best to make it interesting/informative/entertaining! Make sure you introduce yourself to me, I’d like to put a face to the blog!

  3. Wow, someone else noticed this! I have a signed “Uprisings” hanging on my wall. A friend of mine told me about the Bravia ad and how it’s “similar to that picture on your wall”. I saw the ad yesterday. I would say it’s more than “similar”.

    –Joe (big guy from the “Connected” seminar who knew what “otaku” meant)

  4. innocentgirl says:

    Joe – Yes, most disappointing I was considering asking the legal eagle at the Connected seminar about it even …. they were recently here for an exhibition opening at Outre gallery.. have you seen it?
    Nice to meet you btw, and remember ‘otaku’ is not a dirty word!

  5. Couldn’t make it to the opening, but yes I have seen the exhibition. Beautiful stuff.

    Just blogged some of my thoughts on and after the seminar: http://neapolitan500.blogspot.com/

  6. ellyy says:

    I saw this ad a couple of days ago and also wondered if Kozyndan was involved in the making of it. So disappointing that big companies can get away with this kind of thing. :/

    If anything now seeing the ad makes me wanna buy another Kozyndan print, not a Bravia Flatscreen!

  7. innocentgirl says:

    ellyy – Absolutely! Incredibly blatant, but from what I hear the publicity has been nothing but good for KD…. the only problem is do they want to be mistaken for representing Sony? Surely you could sue for misrepresentation on top of copyright. Go ahead and buy another KD print!!!

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