Friday 9 August 2019

organised crime

 The screenshots above are from

The photographs of the garments circled have been appropriated from my blog, without my knowledge or permission. One of the pictures shows a top I made in 2013.


Not one of these pictures shows what the buyers really receive. Modarie has never designed or made a single item of clothing on any of the pages of this online shop. They have never seen or handled any of the clothes shown there in real life because every picture was taken without knowledge or permission from the original makers.

The big clothing companies like Magnolia Pearl and Tina Givens have already succeeded in getting their pictures pulled down from these Chinese websites. I wouldn't be surprised if they have full time legal depts dealing with stopping people making fake copies of their clothes. So now it's small artisans and individual designers like myself who are spending days and days of our precious time filing copyright infringement notices and trying to negotiate the labyrinthine documentary evidence we are asked to provide.

We have all heard horror stories of people who had their identity stolen on the internet then spend years having to prove they are themselves...? I'm now in the position of trying to "prove" that I made these clothes and photographed them. The mass manufacturing model of clothes production is so ubiquitous in the contemporary world that the people I make complaints to don't seem to be able to get their heads around that I MAKE ONLY ONE THING. There is no production line, I don't manufacture at any level. Ipso facto, if there is a photograph of that garment on my blog, then I have taken it because there is only one single version of that thing that exists in the whole world that was made by me.

I must be vastly more stupid than I ever realised, because it seems logical to me that if I give the people who process the copyright complaints a link to my blog post from 2018, 2017 or 2013 where there is exactly same the photo that is now in the Modarie shop (and show them many more photos of the same garment taken from different angles and also the back of it - the back of the garments are never shown by Modarie because if I didn't publish a picture they have no idea what that looks like) they still don't think this is sufficient evidence to "prove" that I am the copyright owner. It's utterly bamboozling to me why it isn't the obligation of Modarie to provide an example of their fake. Even blind Freddy with frontal lobes removed will immediately realise that isn't a picture of what they sell.

This business model isn't a casual advent. They have spent months, possibly years, appropriating  pictures and designs from numerous international websites. Factories and workers had to be organised for manufacturing at scale. They had to create patterns for every individual stolen design - all graded into numerous sizes. They had to employ IT specialists who have been able to fake photographic reproductions of the surfaces of the clothes they stole. Business names were created to set up online shops and people are employed to maintain them with pictures of the appropriated creative production stolen from other people. People have jobs to process the mail orders and there are others to package and send out their fakes. The hapless and innocent people who buy those fakes are getting a shitty reproduction resembling nothing like what is being shown. 

This "business model" is a carefully crafted organisation, possibly employing hundreds of people, that is based on consciously seeking out and stealing images that don't belong to them. Modarie, Barbring, Cocochic, Tusancat and the myriad other cover names they use are defrauding buyers of tens of thousands of dollars and polluting our world with their nasty crap, all for their own enrichment. It is quite simply organised crime.

It makes me furious. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

If you are interested in buying an artwork or booking a commission, please email me at