Filipino artist slams store for allegedly stealing her artwork for commercial purposes

September 11, 2022 - 6:01 PM
Lock chain copyright via Pixabay

A Filipino artist called out a store for allegedly stealing her artwork and selling it as its own product.

The artist named Gail Purisima or Pureautumnarts accused an online store of stealing her artwork of BTS member, Jungkook. 

In a post on September 4, Purisima said that one of her followers informed her artwork is being sold at a store in SM Southmall.

She uploaded photos of a scanned copy of her artwork in an L&R sticker form that her follower had sent her in a private chat.

“A counterfeit of my L&R Jungkook Sticker was found at a store in Southmall. It’s a scanned copy of my work and they are selling them at a much lower price,” Purisima said.

“Obviously, this is not the quality of my stickers. The print is dull and they used a canvas photo top which I never used for my stickers. Please do not buy from them,” she added.

Purisima also thanked her follower for informing her.

“Thank you so much to my follower who recognized my work and also to those who support us (the original artists and creators) you are much appreciated,” she said with a heart emoji.

On September 5, Purisima shared an update about the situation.

She said that she had already reached out to the store management about her artwork.

They were initially surprised about it because they thought their own artist created it for them.

“I showed them the proof that I am the orig artist behind this JK L&R artwork,” Purisima tweeted.

“They said sorry naman and will pull out the JK (Jungkook) stickers from their store. But I know matatagalan pa but they promised na tatanggalin sa display,” she added.

The public pages of the online shop on Facebook and Shopee can still be accessed as of writing.

Purisima’s stickers, however, could not be found there.

On stealing art, literature

Purisima then questioned the store’s supposed artist.

The digital illustrator alleged that several of her other BTS artworks were also traced and copied. She also accompanied her post with a screenshot of a gallery of her illustrations.

“Pero I was too bothered by their artist kuno. How can you call yourself as an artist if you are just tracing and copying someone’s art style? The owner showed me several works submitted by this person and I was too speechless when I saw na hindi lang yung L&R Jk ko yung traced,” her tweet reads.

In a separate Facebook post, Purisima discouraged her followers from buying stolen drawings or illustrations, especially those made by artists like her.

“Please please please!! If you see someone selling stolen artworks do not buy from them. Also sa mga nakikita natin sa pinterest, instagram and twitter, wag naman po natin iprint yun tapos ibebenta pa. Have some respect naman po sa mga small artist like me. Big deal po samin to coz we worked hard on this,” the artist said.

“Buy directly from the artist,” she added.

Art plagiarism

CIIT College of Arts and Technology defined art theft as “the obvious stealing of artwork and publishing it as your own art.”

“Without seeking consent from or giving credit to the source, the act is an indirect claim of the stolen piece. Art theft isn’t limited to simple posting of others’ artwork. Tweaking it to make it look different is also an act of plagiarism,” CIIT said.

“On the other hand, tracing is an act of duplicating the original artwork either with little or no change at all. Like art theft, tracing also goes beyond the traced copy as it also involves enhancements. Even after tracing the original piece, putting color doesn’t make it yours. Flipping the traced piece backwards, altering details, and changing the original hues don’t make it unique,” it added.

Art plagiarism is a form of cheating and is an illegal act, according to the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines.

“Though it violates the author’s or artist’s right and goes against the law, plagiarism is not a serious criminal offense; but since it amounts to copyright infringement, the act is still punishable by law,” CIIT said. 

Copyright refers to “the legal protection extended to the owner of the rights in an original work.”

The entire IP Code can be read here: Main Philippine Laws on Intellectual Property – Google Docs.