Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Great Oscar Wilde Rip-Off


My cover for "Oscar Wilde: Stories for Children" was another of my paintings that shows the influence of Edmund Dulac.
So maybe I should have been more understanding when I saw this book cover.
Someone named Owen Cook was credited as the cover artist on this Wordsworth Classics edition of Wilde's fairy tales.
He has taken my inside illustration of the Happy Prince and combined it with the cover image .


The only element which I am happy to ascribe to Owen is his daring use of colour.
When I discovered this I got pretty mad about it, but now I can see the funny side.
The publisher was quite good about owning up and paying compensation. They said that Owen was a student who briefly passed through their design studio.
I've since been told that this is a fairly standard excuse when unethical publishers get caught out ripping people off.
So be warned!

11 comments:

Kendra Melton said...

It's so sad that this kind of stuff happens. I wish people were more ethical, they already try not to pay you what you deserve and then some avoid paying by just stealing it. That happened to a friend of mine not too long ago, some online company was trying to sell t-shirts with an image of his on it. ugh. People are stupid... but what can you do.

PJ Lynch said...

Hi Kendra
And it is will always go on.
A friend of mine has just sent me this link.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/2010/feb/11/paperchase-design-hidden-eloise
All the best
PJ

Mother (Re)produces. said...

scary thing is, there are tons of young designers out there who would be willing and able to come up with cracking original designs for these companies if they were just given the chance!

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Peyton said...

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, what is unashamed theft? I'm sorry to hear it but glad you could get it resolved!

Ciaran Hughes said...

Chancers - but then they get away with it more often than they get caught

Ciaran Hughes said...

Chancers - but then they get away with it more often than they get caught

Ciaran Hughes said...

So important I told you twice as well. But then that's just the kind of swell guy I am

PJ Lynch said...

Thanks for the comments guys.
It obviously irritates a lot of people to see rip-offs like this.
Most people working in illustration know of a few similar cases, and often the copyright thief will just brazen it out and the illustrator gets shafted.

I remember one case where an artist had been dumped half way through a job and his very detailed roughs were finished off by another person.
When the offended illustrator protested he was told.
"Sue us if you want, but you'll never work in this town again"
He did sue, and I was told he won about 17 grand. That was 20 years ago so it must have been a big job.
Don't know if he got any work in London after that.
PJ

Ben Hatke said...

Ah! First of all I should tell you that I think your painting/illustration is great. I checked this book out some time ago and enjoyed your work.

As for rip offs, I've found my fair share and finally just decided it's hilarious!

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