Many artists in California work hard to receive recognition for their work. However, these artists also expect to be properly compensated by the companies that use their work to promote their products, for example. Unfortunately, an artist in another state was forced to turn to litigation when she claims a producer of herbal health products used her work without her permission.
The lawsuit was filed by the artist in May 2015. A year before the lawsuit, she had notified the company that it was infringing her copyright and asked it to stop, but a representative for the company claims that the company continued to use her artwork and had used it as recently as Jan. 2017. Court papers indicate that the woman had been hired by a third party design firm to complete advertising projects for the defendant, Flora Inc. However, she claims that her designs were used for unauthorized purposes, specifically in online advertising.
She ultimately chose to seek a copyright for the work and notified the company of such. She sent the firm a proposal for compensating her for the use of the designs, but it counteroffered with an offer $2,000, which she declined. The artist claims that her work was then used in several international advertising campaigns. A jury has recently ruled in favor of the artist, awarding her $4 million; Flora is expected to appeal the verdict.
Issues regarding intellectual property can be complex. In order to protect themselves, many artists in California seek advice from professionals with experience with such issues. In the event of copyright infringement, for example, the only path to a resolution may ultimately be through litigation.
Source: wiscnews.com, "Jury awards Baraboo artist more than $4 million over corporate copyright infringment", Steven Elbow, April 22, 2017