Japanese artist, Yoshitomo Nara, who is famous for his prints, drawings and sculptures of large-eyed, discontent teenagers on his website has been sued by W.Lab, a Korean cosmetic retailer. Nara had originally asked the Korean cosmetics firm to recall the W-Honey Beam products due to the likeness between the creation W.Lab had used on their cushion compact line and one particular piece of Nara’s artwork.
In a series of Tweets, which have since been removed from his Twitter account, Nara stated that he was surprised that he was one being sued and not the reverse.
“I thought this crossed the line of mere resemblance. While I’ve turned a blind eye to small works and signboards that contain slight copies (of my works), I thought this one was pretty severe, so I sent the company a letter of warning. I was expecting them to revise the image and not have them go to court over it, but instead, the company filed a counter-claim, saying ‘they were the author of the work’, and ‘Nara has no right to claim restitution’. I’ll be corresponding with them in consultation with a copyright lawyer.”
W.Lab’s product currently retails for around 35,000 Korean Won (US$29.08) and the company claims it has been on the market for at least a year.