Often we sponsor pup contests and give a hood to the winners of those contests. We do this chiefly to raise awareness of the Wruff Stuff brand. Those winners are in a position where they can promote Wruff Stuff simply by wearing our products. Usually there is a promise to promote the product, to wear it at upcoming events, etc etc.
Recently a rather upsetting situation has happened. I gave a few hoods to someone who I’ll call Z, in return for the promise that it will be worn for some time, promoted, and talked about, even on TV.
Instead, shortly after receiving it, the hood was taken apart and he stole the pattern to make other hoods.
I challenged the Z on this and he told me that his friend made the hoods, and that my hood had never been in the hands of his friend who made the others. He even sent an Ebay screenshot of a product that doesn’t exist being sold by a seller who doesn’t exist. I know my pattern, literally inside and out. The one in the photo wasn’t it. The one in his photos was.
I work with that shape week in, week out, I developed it. I know the specific differences between it and other hoods. I know the distances between the rivets. I created this thing, I tweaked it, I know my work. There have been so many minor changes that I am aware of that I could even date the pattern by looking at the constructed product if I hadn’t spotted it already.
Not only is this intellectual property theft, it’s hurtful. Very hurtful. I consider myself an artist. I come from a creative family, I have always been creative. I focused on art throughout my entire education, and worked in creative jobs throughout my career.
The hood that you can buy from Wruff Stuff took weeks of development, and has been tweaked to perfection for over around an entire year.
And then, with the promise to help me out when I was new, he just stole it to make money. He’s not an artist; he’s a thief.