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Zazzle accused of using Filipino artist’s painting without permission

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Zazzle accused of using Filipino artist’s painting without permission

New York-based Filipino painter Bienvenido Bones Banez, Jr., has filed a lawsuit against global online marketing company Zazzle for copyright infringement.

Zazzle is accused of using a photo of Banez's large canvas in its marketing materials from 2017 to 2022 for a variety of products without permission.

The painting in question is titled “Satan Inspiring the World,” a hermeneutic visual reaction to the Book of Genesis.

“While he has shared this work, it was never a work for hire. He has always shared it as his work product, with his name on it. He has never relinquished his ownership, in this his own creation,” his lawyer said.

In response, Zazzle said that it enters into an agreement with “Creators,” which also includes an undertaking from the creator that images he uploads for merchandising through the Zazzle website are his own.

The company disclosed the name of France-based creator Malleret Romuald to the lawyer who submitted Banez’s piece of art.

At the same time, it informed the creator about the copyright infringement claim and that the disputed product line has been removed from Zazzle’s website.

Banez said he attempted to get in touch with the creator, but had received no response.

Banez, in the meantime, has asked Zazzle for sales data for the contested product over the previous five years.

PitchMark previously covered a story about American artist Maggie Stephenson suing Chinese fast-fashion retailer Shein for more than US$100 million in copyright infringement as it used her bestselling artwork without permission.

PitchMark helps innovators deter idea theft, so that third parties that they share their idea with get the idea but don’t take it. Visit PitchMark.net and register for free as a PitchMark member today.

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