When Walmart uploaded unauthorized and uncredited prints by Oakland artist Eddie Colla and put them up for sale on Walmart.com, attributing them to Banksy, Colla and his partner, 5733/Lokal owner Loretta Nguyen,  figured out how they were going to fight back.

Rather than go immediately to the media, Colla created a a limited edition print called “It’s Only Stealing If You Get Caught,” which quickly sold out on 1XRUN.com.

Colla told BuzzFeed in an email that he felt it was an infringement for Walmart to sell the product through their marketplace. “[R]egardless of who made the actual product (and I don’t know that answer yet), Walmart is certainly helping them reach a much bigger market,” he said. “I would never agree to have my work sold through a company like Walmart. As the creator I have the right to decide who and where my work can be sold. I was not given a choice in this case.”

Interestingly, the manufacturer that allegedly copied Oakland artists Lisa Congdon’s work–Wayfair– was also cited in this case.

 

 

About The Author

Susan Mernit is editor & publisher of Oakland Local (oaklandlocal.com) a news & community hub for Oakland, CA. A former VP at AOL & Netscape, & former! Yahoo Senior Director, Mernit was consulting program manager for The Knight News Challenge, 2008-09; was a 2012 Stanford Carlos McClatchy Fellow; and is a board adviser to The Center for Health Reporting at USC, Annenberg School of Journalism. She has consulted with many non-profit organizations on strategy, product development and social media/engagement, including Salon.com, TechSoup Global, Public Radio International and the Institute for Policy Studies/Economic Hardship Reporting Project, led by Barbara Ehrenreich.

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