Artist in plagiarism stoush

A TASMANIAN graffiti artist's stoush with an international clothing company over design copyright is gaining traction through social media.

Devonport artist Laura McMahon, who signs her work as Brain Foetus, has been in dispute with Brandy Melville over a popular T-shirt design she claims has been downloaded from her blog on the internet.

Claiming plagiarism of intellectual property, McMahon has been in discussion with Brandy Melville administration since April 19, demanding the company halt production of that particular T-shirt. As yet that has not happened. 

Brandy Melville is an Italian brand operating from California and online.

McMahon says she created the design in April last year and uploaded it to her blog, which is where she believes Brandy Melville ``plucked it from''.

Initial attempts to resolve the matter through negotiation began in early May, when the company acknowledged wrong-doing and said it was keen to ``form a relationship with the true owner of this graphic''. 

``I feel I have been stolen from, I've been exploited,'' McMahon said.

``I don't want to be associated with any company that does this sort of thing to any artist, it is morally corrupt.''

McMahon said she decided to post news of the dispute on Instagram and Tumblr this week because copyright and plagiarism affects so many artists.

``The bad side of social media is that as an artist you are vulnerable to plagiarism,'' she said.

``But the good side is the sense of community and the willingness of people to join the fight against intellectual exploitation.''

The Examiner put a call through to a Brandy Melville product manager in California yesterday, but conversation was cut short. Within minutes McMahon had received a call from the same manager demanding to know why she was ``spreading propaganda'' about Brandy Melville.

Devonport artist Laura McMahon is in dispute with a clothing company about alleged use of one of her designs.

Devonport artist Laura McMahon is in dispute with a clothing company about alleged use of one of her designs.

Smartphone
Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide
Desktop