Brands that post artists' work uncredited
April 17, 2018

Brands that post artists' work uncredited

I've touched on the topic of people posting artists' work uncredited to social media before (here) but today I'd like to go into more depth as to why I find it sketchy when businesses do it.

For example, when clothing brands post images of my hand embroidered designs uncredited to their followers, they're misleading them into believing it's their product and they're selling it.

Evidence of this is in their comments, where their followers ask if it's for sale by them. This generates interest and traffic to their shop. This is wrong as they're using my intellectual property to market their business.

It benefits their business to slyly try to pass the work off as their own, even if they're not brazenly ripping it off and physically selling it.

Businesses posting artists' work uncredited is detrimental to the artist in so many ways. Most importantly they're erasing ownership of the artist over their own work and claiming it for themselves instead.

It's not enough to just tag the artist, if you don't clearly @ them in the caption, it's not obvious it's not the brands.

Also, in my many years of experience of this happening, brands don't just stop at posting my designs uncredited to promote themselves.

They see the demand it creates from their followers and see £££ signs. The next thing you know, not only have they stolen your copyrighted images to slyly market themselves for free, now they're ripping off your designs for profit. 

This is why I find it sketchy when brands post my work uncredited. I know they have ulterior motives. 

Alien Outfitters and Missy Empire both posted my copyrighted images to their social media uncredited, only to create very similar designs weeks later. Not even paraphrasing my words but directly copying them. More recently the brand Branche did something similar:

branche clothing art theftbranche art theft

If you were one of their followers, would you be lead to believe it's their design and that they plan on selling it? They're also using their businesses # to promote themselves.

To other artists:

If you find your work being posted by businesses uncredited, file a copyright report form with whatever social media platform they're on. It's easy and most posts get removed within hours.

I always politely reach out to brands to ask if they can credit or remove my copyrighted images but they ignore me the majority of the time.

If they get back to you half a day later the damage has already been done, in the world of social media, posts get buried within a few hours, by that time potentially tens of thousands of people have seen your work uncredited, or worse, been given the impression your work is the brands.

To people who just want to support artists from theft:

Just let artists know when their work is being posted uncredited, it's a big help! Sometimes these businesses have blocked the artist pre-emptively.

To brands:

Social media managers should know better, you're using people's copyrighted material to promote a business FOR FREE, you should at the least find attribution. 

If you're going to use others copyrighted material to promote your business, credit them clearly in the caption, it's free, it's easy.

If you can't find who made it by left clicking "search google for images" just don't post it.

It's the least you can do, if artists' work is good enough to promote yourselves, they deserve attribution. 

I can't speak on behalf of other artists but I'd venture a guess that most people don't have an issue with their work being shared with credit, it's when it isn't you create problems. 

So please make everyone's lives easier by simply crediting. It makes such a big difference to just credit.