Hairdresser Wins Copyright Battle

Melanie Armsden a hairdresser from Leeds, West Yorkshire was stunned to discover that Shop Direct were selling t-shirts with her selfie. The 28 year old regularly posts pictures online of interesting hairstyles that she creates.

A customer of hers first noticed a photo online that looked a lot look like Miss Armsden, so she forwarded it on to her. Miss Armsden who runs the Le Keux vintage hair salon in Leeds, commented that “the customer said it reminded her of me and I was looking at it thinking that it is me. It took me totally off guard. Quite a lot of people have said that I should take it as a compliment, but when I first found out it was quite shocking. The idea that I could have been walking through town and seen someone wearing a t-shirt with my face on is pretty weird”.

It is understood that that the picture was taken from the internet and subsequently printed on to the t-shirts without permission from Miss Armsden.

Miss Armsden discovered that the t-shirts had been made by a manufacturer from India and she argued that the t-shirts in question infringed her copyright. As such she sought legal advice and threatened to sue the overseas based company for copyright infringement. The matter however was settled outside of court and the 267 garments that were on sale have been given to Miss Armsden. Miss Armsden is selling the t-shirts for £10 each in order to raise money for the Little Princess Charity- a charity that provides wigs crafted with real hair for children who have lost hair due to a medical condition or as a result of cancer treatment.

Miss Armsden commented “I had all the evidence that I was the copyright owner and that they had produced the t-shirt without my authorisation”.

The company that were selling the t-shirts- Shop Direct, said that they had purchased the t-shirts from the manufacturer in good faith. They removed the infringing items from sale and passed them onto Miss Armsden.
After the settlement of the case Miss Armsden commented: “After the case was settled I decided that rather than the [t-shirts] just being destroyed, which is usually the case, I could put them to much better use.”

A spokesman for Shop Direct said: “We bought the items in good faith and as soon as the issue was brought to our attention we immediately removed them from sale. The remaining stock was returned to Diablo Rose and it’s great news that she is using them to raise money for charity”.

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