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26.2.16

Loungewear and Legalities



“It's easy to attack and destroy an act of creation. It's a lot more difficult to perform one.” 
― Chuck Palahniuk







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Céline Céline Sunglasses (Similar)
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It's been a strange week. People and brands that I've long respected have all got in touch to voice their support of my Instagram plight. Not for the first time I found myself asking the question, "Do I keep my head down and my mouth shut or do I stand up for myself and weather the inevitable counteraction?" Morals or Peace?

On Sunday I posted a photograph I took of myself, in my dressing room, wearing my new Loungewear from MissPap. In case you moved to another planet this week, Loungewear is the hottest trend of the moment and by Wednesday I'd been inundated with messages from my followers tipping me off to a whole host of big name brands and seedy "boutiques" using my image to flog their wares. This happens. Promotion and blogging breeds a corner-cutting culture of laziness and contrivance in social media and us as the artists are supposed to just lie down and let these brands make sales, quite literally, off the back of us.The formal legislation surrounding the reproduction of images of social media is shady. Few can fork out for legal aid when it comes to reproduction of our content and images so most choose to ignore it when it happens. But how long are we supposed to just lie down and take this for? How do we affect change when our employment so often hangs in the balance of numbers? 

I decided to take a stand, to confront the issue head on, with interesting consequences. I tracked down the brands in question, leaving polite comments below my reproduced image "Could you please tag me in my own photo?" "This is my photo, please tag me in it." These comments were met with a host of responses, apologies, feigned shock, even the total removal of the image in some cases. Others deleted my comments and blocked me, some even fired off abuse, questioning my attitude in the search for culpability. Bigger brands were more conciliatory, offering future collaborations and fearing discord. Indeed I've been flooded with collaboration offers this week. Proof that the hard work does pay off, but only after the vultures have picked over the carcass of your creative works

What do you think? It's just a black tracksuit right? Should I have just kept my mouth shut like so many others choose to? It's not the first time this has happened and it won't be the last. Is it right to perpetuate a culture of theft and fraud? Intellectual and creative appropriation? Is it acceptable for brands to dupe their customers out of their money with advertised products that don't match what drops through the letterbox? Is it unobjectionable for brands to rob bloggers of stats-based employment opportunities? In my opinion, if we don't stand up for ourselves and safeguard our work then this entire issue becomes yet another sad, negative reflection of today's social media culture







3 comments:

  1. I think you were completely right to stand up for yourself and ask them to either remove the image or tag you in it, and give credit where it's deserved. It's your photo and your image - and your brand. Beyonce didn't stand for it when another brand used her image without permission, why should anyone else have to? Good for you!! x

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  2. Good on you for doing this! It is a very grey area indeed but using your image as advertising without your knowledge is plain wrong. Thank you for leading the charge to stand up against this sort of thing. Maybe you need to watermark images? You shouldn't have to though. It's horrible and lazy on their part. I see lots of small brands that are clearly ripping off someone's insta usually very cheap Chinese wholesalers x

    Sarah | www.seriouslyshallow.co.uk

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