Artist Points Finger at Internet Retailer, Turn Up; Public Outrage Results

The online party wear boutique was falsely accused of stealing designs from a well-known visionary artist. The accusations spread quickly through Facebook.

A complicated copyright dispute between well-established artists Randal Roberts(http://allofthisisforyou.com/ Android Jones (http://androidjones.com/), and a well-meaning small business, Turn Up (http://www.turnupgear.com/) has been stirring since Turn Up purchased t-shirts from vendor Kayden K and posted them for resale.

On March 31, 2014, Turn Up responded to an influx of feedback from agitated fans regarding the shirts from Kayden K, claiming the designs were stolen. The events that followed ironically occurred around April Fool's Day. Turn Up proceeded to investigate the matter but was unable to get in touch with Kayden K.

In less than 12 hours, the situation escalated. Both artists were contacted by Turn Up CEO Andrew Laine and told, "At Turn Up, we do not produce any of our own clothing. When these items are purchased, it is assumed they are… not pirated…. We do not support copyright infringement or taking credit for anyone else's work. [We] would be happy to assist if this is the case. [We] have contacted the manufacture to get to the bottom of this. [We] must ask you to sit tight until [we] can receive more information"

Prior to hearing back from Turn Up , Android Jones publically posted to his Facebook fans of over 80,000 that Turn Up was guilty of theft. Fans became enraged and proceeded to flood Turn Up's communication lines, unaware that Turn Up had requested time to fact-find before pointing fingers, even at Kayden K, the vendor in question.

Turn Up's Facebook page received over 100 negative comments. Facebook fans also reported seeing the said shirt posted on other retailing sites.

Shortly thereafter, Turn Up was emailed by Eric Flint, Android Jones' manager, that he "just got off the phone with Ray at Kayden K and he admitted he stole those images". When asked to comment further on the issue, Android only said, "Thank you for being proactive," and according to Mr. Flint, Android was too "busy making art" to provide further comment. There is no word whether he intends to pursue Kayden K or other retailers in this matter.

A copy of the mentioned Facebook post, as of April 8th 2014, still remains posted by Android Jones on Randal Robert's Facebook page. It has received over 400 likes, 137 comments, and 74 shares.

Randal Roberts commented via email, "I will be pursuing Kayden K for the royalty on the shirts," because "they're the ones who messed up." Roberts also added that he was "truly saddened by everyone giving [Turn Up] a hard time on Facebook"

The designs in question were Fawkes by Randal Roberts and Monarch Dragon by Android Jones. Turn Up has since obtained the rights from Randal Roberts to sell his Fawkes shirt design, and it is available for purchase at turnupgear(dot)com/products/fawkes-randal-roberts.

Concerning the Monarch Dragon Design, Turn Up CEO Mr.Laine stated, "It is a shame that this copyright theft occurred. Copyright exists not only to protect creativity but also to inspire it. I hope this can be a cautionary tale for other retailers, big and small, to be wary of copyright. The only way to make this right is by donating the shirts to charity in Androids name." Turn Up has since donated the shirts to The United War Veterans Council charity. Turn Up will be keeping three of the shirts to give away on social media. Those interested in entering to win one of the remaining shirts can visit http://turnupgear(dot)com/pages/win-android-jones-shirt.

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Apparel