Plagiarism schmagiarism

The social media design sphere has been awash with controversy this week amid claims from independent designers that high street retailer Zara has been directly copying their work. It’s not the first time Zara has been involved in plagiarism claims. Zara was embroiled in a lawsuit with Christian Louboutin back in 2012 over the use of ‘red soles’ on shoes being sold in Zara stores, which Louboutin maintained it owned the rights to. Zara won the case. All this raises an interesting question. Why aren’t more fashion retailers being held accountable for plagiarism?

Last year we saw unprecedented controversy surrounding the design of the original Tokyo 2020 Olympic logo, which bared a reasonable resemblance to Theatre De Liege’s, and saw Japan’s Olympic organisers change the proposed identity, despite no legal action. Is it fair that retailers are getting away with directly profiting from ‘borrowed’ creative, just because they have higher monthly website visits, as Zara’s lawyers suggest?

This originally appeared in Moving Brands Wednesday 20160727.

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