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{Copy Cats} Stolen Designs

Why the grumpy face you ask? I can only think that he must be responding to my stress level these days. The holiday rush of Christmas orders, the long lines at the post office & the overwhelmingly sad and staggering recent events in the news are enough to make me a bit on edge. But add a large, South Korean company stealing KLTworks designs and it’s enough to make me a little bonkers with frustration. I’ll be honest, after events this last Friday, I didn’t even want to say anything about this issue because it really didn’t seem that important in comparison and I didn’t want to add to the stream of bad news. But I know I need to say something – so here it goes…
There is a large, South Korean company called The Jany that seems to be making a habit of stealing independent designers and small shop’s designs. I found out on Thursday from a favorite blogger and KLTworks supporter that while she was looking up some Seventy Tree designs that had been stolen by this company, she found that my kitty tee was ripped off. 

Wow, she wasn’t kidding. This favorite KLTworks design was one of the first drawings I had screen printed on tees back in 2007. It’s actually a drawing of our cat Kiki. As I scrolled down the page, I noticed that my owl and rabbit drawings were also stolen! It’s hard to make sense as to why large companies feel the need to steal from smaller designers. I’m sure if they put their heads together someone within their company could come up with some interesting ideas, wouldn’t you think? It’s an integrity issue that is all to common. The internet is an amazing place- I love all of the opportunities that it brings, but it’s also is a breeding ground for situations like this to happen. 


While spending some time on The Jany website a few things were clear. They are very vague about contact information and I could easily find at least eight other designers that had their designs ripped off.  The list of designers that The Jany has stolen from is getting longer …

While companies overseas are more difficult to work with and abide by different copyright laws than we do in the US, there are some things that we as designers and owners of small shops can do to make a difference. Some of the artists I mentioned are keeping in contact  and supporting one another in efforts to putting a stop to this company’s stealing. By working together we can hopefully get The Jany’s attention. A “cease and desist” letter is in the process of being drafted as well. Social networking is proving to be extremely beneficial too. In the short time after Stacie (Gingiber) posted her blog post on this subject, she noticed that The Jany had removed her design (the red fox plush) from their site!

Here a few things you can do to help if you are interested:

Write to The Jany directly and complain about their business practices. Their email is enhelp@thejany.co.kr

Utilize the power of social media and share this story everywhere so our chances of getting our products removed from this site increase.

Write a review on their website– you can post it under the stolen design while mentioning that the design is stolen. *update 12/18- it appears that The Jany has made it a bit difficult to leave feedback due to the number of people that commented (thank you for your efforts). Apparently you need to make up a password now. 

Things like this happen all of the time, I know. A little different situation happened to me a few years ago- it leaves a person feeling helpless and violated. It’s so wonderful to have a network of fellow designers, and social media savvy friends at times like these. If you are an independent designer with a small shop, you might want to keep an eye on this company. Thanks so much for your support! It truly means the world to me.  -Kristin

* (12/20/12) Just a quick update: Everyone that wrote to The Jany, re-posted our photos, tweeted, blogged, or pinned-  please take a minute to give yourself a high five or a pat on the back-  anything that gives you a warm feeling. Hopefully you received a response letter from The Jany today. Because of all our collective efforts, they are now pulling all of the stolen designs from their sites & stopping production of the products in question. They were polite & understanding in their response to the feedback. I am still waiting for my letter & will update when I know more. Thank you, thank you from every part of my heart. I ‘m overwhelmed with gratitude & amazement. Social media is truly amazing… 





50 Comments

  1. KERRY
    18 December 2012

    Well done! I'm going to do a post like this later. They have also ripped off many Soft Gallery designs and also Emile Et Ida πŸ™

  2. KERRY
    18 December 2012

    Well done! I'm going to do a post like this later. They have also ripped off many Soft Gallery designs and also Emile Et Ida πŸ™

  3. KERRY
    18 December 2012

    Well done! I'm going to do a post like this later. They have also ripped off many Soft Gallery designs and also Emile Et Ida πŸ™

  4. KLT
    18 December 2012

    Thanks Kerry! It feels good to stick together. πŸ™‚ I added Soft Gallery & Emile Et Ida to the ever growing list.

  5. KLT
    18 December 2012

    Thanks Kerry! It feels good to stick together. πŸ™‚ I added Soft Gallery & Emile Et Ida to the ever growing list.

  6. KLT
    18 December 2012

    Thanks Kerry! It feels good to stick together. πŸ™‚ I added Soft Gallery & Emile Et Ida to the ever growing list.

  7. Gingiber
    18 December 2012

    So happy that you wrote this, Kristin! We will fight this!

  8. Gingiber
    18 December 2012

    So happy that you wrote this, Kristin! We will fight this!

  9. Gingiber
    18 December 2012

    So happy that you wrote this, Kristin! We will fight this!

  10. David Ridgway
    18 December 2012

    Posted a review stating it was stolen and asking them to remove it. Good luck, David
    Looks as though it may be under review.

  11. David Ridgway
    18 December 2012

    Posted a review stating it was stolen and asking them to remove it. Good luck, David
    Looks as though it may be under review.

  12. David Ridgway
    18 December 2012

    Posted a review stating it was stolen and asking them to remove it. Good luck, David
    Looks as though it may be under review.

  13. celina bailey
    19 December 2012

    Oh no way!!! This s awful! I can't imagine how angry you are… I'll share the news for sure. Thy also copied some April Showers by Polder and so many familiar designs. This really makes me upset. I wish courage and lot's of luck on your side t get ths resolved πŸ™‚

  14. celina bailey
    19 December 2012

    Oh no way!!! This s awful! I can't imagine how angry you are… I'll share the news for sure. Thy also copied some April Showers by Polder and so many familiar designs. This really makes me upset. I wish courage and lot's of luck on your side t get ths resolved πŸ™‚

  15. celina bailey
    19 December 2012

    Oh no way!!! This s awful! I can't imagine how angry you are… I'll share the news for sure. Thy also copied some April Showers by Polder and so many familiar designs. This really makes me upset. I wish courage and lot's of luck on your side t get ths resolved πŸ™‚

  16. Mari
    19 December 2012

    Best of luck Kristin, I've run into Korean companies like this before, but I'm hoping the squeaky wheel approach will work for you! Is legal action an option? Even a threatening letter with a lawyer's letterhead might help …

  17. Sari - MrsAgatha
    19 December 2012

    I just sent them an email and I've left two different reviews under your products.
    It's still possible to write a review, you just need to invent some password in order to get it through (you can write whatever in the password-field, I wrote something like kdlahtit and it went through). πŸ™‚

  18. Sari - MrsAgatha
    19 December 2012

    I just sent them an email and I've left two different reviews under your products.
    It's still possible to write a review, you just need to invent some password in order to get it through (you can write whatever in the password-field, I wrote something like kdlahtit and it went through). πŸ™‚

  19. Sari - MrsAgatha
    19 December 2012

    I just sent them an email and I've left two different reviews under your products.
    It's still possible to write a review, you just need to invent some password in order to get it through (you can write whatever in the password-field, I wrote something like kdlahtit and it went through). πŸ™‚

  20. KLT
    19 December 2012

    Thanks so much David! I really appreciate it.

  21. KLT
    19 December 2012

    Right back at ya Stacie! Thank you! Fingers crossed… πŸ™‚

  22. KLT
    19 December 2012

    Right back at ya Stacie! Thank you! Fingers crossed… πŸ™‚

  23. KLT
    19 December 2012

    Thanks Mari! We'll see. Still working on strategies. At least they know that I know… for whatever that is worth. This topic sure would be a valuable summit of sorts wouldn't it?

  24. KLT
    19 December 2012

    Thanks Mari! We'll see. Still working on strategies. At least they know that I know… for whatever that is worth. This topic sure would be a valuable summit of sorts wouldn't it?

  25. KLT
    19 December 2012

    Thanks Mari! We'll see. Still working on strategies. At least they know that I know… for whatever that is worth. This topic sure would be a valuable summit of sorts wouldn't it?

  26. KLT
    19 December 2012

    Thanks Celina! Yeah, I don't really care for copy cats- particularly in this magnitude. Seriously, I don't think anything on their site is original. They cruise Etsy (a lot of companies do) & I think that is so crappy. If anything else, it's good to make sure people are aware of this stuff. I appreciate your support. πŸ™‚

  27. KLT
    19 December 2012

    You're the best Sari, thanks! I'm so grateful that you let me know. I'm glad you were able to leave a comment too. I updated your input. πŸ™‚

  28. KLT
    19 December 2012

    You're the best Sari, thanks! I'm so grateful that you let me know. I'm glad you were able to leave a comment too. I updated your input. πŸ™‚

  29. KLT
    19 December 2012

    You're the best Sari, thanks! I'm so grateful that you let me know. I'm glad you were able to leave a comment too. I updated your input. πŸ™‚

  30. BoysBeCool
    19 December 2012

    Great work, Sari! I can identify with your pain and frustration, KLTworks! Unfortunately, this is standard practice of big companies that have vast resources and all they need is an inspiration to get the manufacturing wheels spinning. We all need to stick together against the copycats.

  31. BoysBeCool
    19 December 2012

    Great work, Sari! I can identify with your pain and frustration, KLTworks! Unfortunately, this is standard practice of big companies that have vast resources and all they need is an inspiration to get the manufacturing wheels spinning. We all need to stick together against the copycats.

  32. la casita
    19 December 2012

    These companies don't hire designers I guess, it's a cost they cut down, why hire people to actually design something when the web is just a galore of "free" designs? Allow me to add that some independent designers and bloggers steal too and have little ethics as well, but no one seems to notice or prefer not to say in the blogosphere. Anyway this is another story, what happens to you it's terrible and shouldn't happen, I will write to them. (I found you through Deborah beau who put a post in her fb).

  33. la casita
    19 December 2012

    These companies don't hire designers I guess, it's a cost they cut down, why hire people to actually design something when the web is just a galore of "free" designs? Allow me to add that some independent designers and bloggers steal too and have little ethics as well, but no one seems to notice or prefer not to say in the blogosphere. Anyway this is another story, what happens to you it's terrible and shouldn't happen, I will write to them. (I found you through Deborah beau who put a post in her fb).

  34. la casita
    19 December 2012

    These companies don't hire designers I guess, it's a cost they cut down, why hire people to actually design something when the web is just a galore of "free" designs? Allow me to add that some independent designers and bloggers steal too and have little ethics as well, but no one seems to notice or prefer not to say in the blogosphere. Anyway this is another story, what happens to you it's terrible and shouldn't happen, I will write to them. (I found you through Deborah beau who put a post in her fb).

  35. KLT
    19 December 2012

    Thanks! Yes, I know all too well that the stealing & questionable ethics happens with bloggers & independent designers too. It's really unfortunate people feel the need to act that way. I appreciate your support. πŸ™‚

  36. KLT
    19 December 2012

    Thanks! Yes, I know all too well that the stealing & questionable ethics happens with bloggers & independent designers too. It's really unfortunate people feel the need to act that way. I appreciate your support. πŸ™‚

  37. KLT
    19 December 2012

    Thanks! Yes, I know all too well that the stealing & questionable ethics happens with bloggers & independent designers too. It's really unfortunate people feel the need to act that way. I appreciate your support. πŸ™‚

  38. KLT
    19 December 2012

    Yes! Isn't Sari the best? I know it's standard practice -but I'm always baffled given that bigger companies have all the resources they need at their finger tips to get things done. To steal from designers that don't have the same resources is just amazing. I agree- sticking together is the way to go! Thanks for the support!

  39. KLT
    19 December 2012

    Yes! Isn't Sari the best? I know it's standard practice -but I'm always baffled given that bigger companies have all the resources they need at their finger tips to get things done. To steal from designers that don't have the same resources is just amazing. I agree- sticking together is the way to go! Thanks for the support!

  40. Chantale Park
    19 December 2012

    Hey Kristin.. I had posted a comment yesterday. I guess it didn't take. It's good to see you all band together and support each other (all you small/big biz + artists). You know the saying, nothing is original.. however, this goes way behind the line. I can understand a company wanting to use a terrific art in their line-up but not going through licensing or approval and not paying for the artwork is unforgivable. I hope they take down yours and everyone else's designs off their site soon. The blatant rip-off is just unbelievable.

  41. Chantale Park
    19 December 2012

    Hey Kristin.. I had posted a comment yesterday. I guess it didn't take. It's good to see you all band together and support each other (all you small/big biz + artists). You know the saying, nothing is original.. however, this goes way behind the line. I can understand a company wanting to use a terrific art in their line-up but not going through licensing or approval and not paying for the artwork is unforgivable. I hope they take down yours and everyone else's designs off their site soon. The blatant rip-off is just unbelievable.

  42. Liz
    20 December 2012

    So horrendous Kristin, and such an awful feeling–it's not just your creativity it's your livelihood! I'm so glad to hear they're taking them down and apologizing. Gah.

  43. Liz
    20 December 2012

    So horrendous Kristin, and such an awful feeling–it's not just your creativity it's your livelihood! I'm so glad to hear they're taking them down and apologizing. Gah.

  44. KLT
    20 December 2012

    Thanks Chantale- It's a good feeling to attack this sort of thing as a group. I know – that many people's designs stolen is pretty crazy. I wonder what would be left once stolen designs are removed. So glad that this social media thing got their attention. It's really empowering!

  45. KLT
    20 December 2012

    Thanks Chantale- It's a good feeling to attack this sort of thing as a group. I know – that many people's designs stolen is pretty crazy. I wonder what would be left once stolen designs are removed. So glad that this social media thing got their attention. It's really empowering!

  46. KLT
    20 December 2012

    I know- the emotions are so mult-faceted! Isn't it cool to know that the little guys can actually make a difference in something like this? I'm really quite amazed by The Jany's reaction. Thanks! πŸ™‚

  47. KLT
    20 December 2012

    I know- the emotions are so mult-faceted! Isn't it cool to know that the little guys can actually make a difference in something like this? I'm really quite amazed by The Jany's reaction. Thanks! πŸ™‚

  48. KLT
    20 December 2012

    I know- the emotions are so mult-faceted! Isn't it cool to know that the little guys can actually make a difference in something like this? I'm really quite amazed by The Jany's reaction. Thanks! πŸ™‚

  49. Helen
    21 December 2012

    Kristin I'm truly amazed by all of this! I've only just spotted it as I've had my head down the last few weeks working away. It must have been quite a shock, but brilliant that you've had such a wealth of support. Well done to all of you for sticking together and forcing them to act. Big thumbs up! x

  50. Helen
    21 December 2012

    Kristin I'm truly amazed by all of this! I've only just spotted it as I've had my head down the last few weeks working away. It must have been quite a shock, but brilliant that you've had such a wealth of support. Well done to all of you for sticking together and forcing them to act. Big thumbs up! x

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