Swipe File: Robynn Raye and Michael Strassburger Vs Disney and Target

From the book Modern Dog by Robynn Raye and Michael Strassburger,

From the Disney/Target D-Signed T-shirt, from the Sharpay line designed to promote High School Musical spinoff Sharpay’s Fabulous Adventure.

Robynn and Michael write;

On September 12th, 2011 I received an email from a designer working at another design firm who said he saw our dogs on a product being sold through a major retailer. At first, I was skeptical: I had to see the actual item to make sure for myself. A few days later, as I waited for a flight to take me to an AIGA event in Nebraska, I was sent the image that contained what the person thought was our dogs on my iphone. Even though the image was tiny, I immediately recognized my best friend’s Dalmatian Rudy, my business partner’s Whippet Rosie, my client’s Poodle Albert and my own Cairn Terrier pup Conan. I also thought I recognized other dogs so I ordered the shirt on-line.

When I returned from my Nebraska trip, the shirt was waiting for me at my office. The hangtag on the shirt was also part of an advertising campaign for a movie. We believe that all 27 T-shirt dog images came from our poster art book.

They are suing Disney and Target for copyright infringement, with a jury trial set for September 2013. And have sold their house in the process. Their case can be funded here.

In Swipe File we present two or more images that resemble each other to some degree. They may be homages, parodies, ironic appropriations, coincidences or works of the lightbox. We trust you, the reader, to make that judgment yourself? If you are unable to do so, please return your eyes to their maker before any further damage is done. The Swipe File doesn’t judge, it’s interested more in the process of creation, how work influences other work, how new work comes from old, and sometimes how the same ideas emerge simultaneously, as if their time has just come. The Swipe File was named after the advertising industry habit where writers and artist collect images and lines they admire to inspire them in their work. It was swiped from the Comic Journal who originally ran this column, as well as the now defunct Swipe Of The Week website.

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