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Mainland Law Firm “Fears for Their Safety in Hawaii”

I mentioned a few months ago about a lawsuit that local artist Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker had filed against CafePress for copyright infringements.

Illegal  “knock off” Slippers with “Forbidden Island” original art by Brad Parker.

Illegal “knock off” Slippers with “Forbidden Island” original art by Brad Parker.

Looking at a motion filed in Honolulu Federal Court last month, it appears that Greenburg Traurig LLP,  one of the largest law firms on the planet “fears for their attorney’s safety due to threat of violence against them in the State of Hawaii, especially in Kona!”

What the heck… this isn’t the Christopher Deedy trial or anything like that.

With over 35 offices and employing 1700 + attorneys globally, Greenburg Traurig is a massive law firm who is currently defending the highly publicized copyright infringement lawsuit filed against their client Cafe Press by Big Island based Tiki Shark Art Inc.

“It is astonishing to see what legal maneuvers these big law firms pull out of their hats to try to outspend a small company like mine when money is no object”  Brad Parker Owner and Artist at Tiki Shark Art Inc. said.

Brad at Capital

Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker at the Capital

“However, for the sake of all my fellow artists who Cafe Press has ripped off, I feel obligated to see this case to its end to the best of my company’s financial ability” Parker told me.

Despite several unsuccessful legal tactics used by the Mainland law firm to move some of the motions to Los Angeles – California, the case is set for a jury trial in Honolulu in February 2015.

Big Island Artist Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker Files Copyright Infringement Suit Against CafePress.com

Renowned local Hawaiian Tiki Artist Brad Parker and his attorneys David E Smith & Schneider Rothman IP Law Group filed a copyright infringement suit in U.S. District Court in Hawaii against internet retailer CafePress.com.

Through his Big Island based company Tiki Shark Art Inc., Parker sells his paintings at galleries locally and around the world.  His unmistakable lurid style of art reflects influences as diverse as the Flemish masters, comic books, and Hawaiian tourist kitsch.  Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker is a world class, award winning creator of Polynesian Pop Surrealistic Art.

Brad holding his original art piece "Forbidden Island".

Brad holding his original art piece “Forbidden Island”.

In May, the Dubai affiliate of surf goods giant Body Glove ordered from Tiki Shark Art some 25,000 towels featuring Parker’s painting “Forbidden Island.” However, the Middle East company cancelled when it discovered the image was already being reproduced on over 218 items by a Internet retailer CafePress.com.

The lawsuit claims that CafePress.com removed Parker’s signature, and reproduced and distributed it on consumer goods without his permission.

This looks familiar!

This looks familiar!

“It’s unfair and deceptive for someone to take an artist’s work and sell it with no recognition and no remuneration,” Parker said.

CafePress.com Inc. encourages its members to upload logos and images that the company then prints on products such as T-shirts and mugs and sells on its website.  For each transaction, the company pays a commission to the member who uploaded the image.

Brad drawing "Forbidden Island"

Brad drawing “Forbidden Island”

According to the lawsuit, CafePress did not investigate whether its members had licensing rights to Parker’s painting.  Tiki Shark seeks injunctive relief, declaratory relief, and damages for the full amount of its losses, plus statutory damages for removing Parker’s signature.

“This is not the first time CafePress’ business model has landed the company in litigation,” said Joel Rothman, a partner at Schneider Rothman. “We are asking the Hawaiian court to order CafePress.com to stop all its unauthorized sales and pay Parker what he is rightfully owed,” added local attorney David E Smith.

About Tiki Shark Art Inc:

Tiki Shark Art Inc is headquartered in Kailua Kona, Hawaii.  Their art business is heavily represented locally on the Hawaiian Islands, on the Mainland – especially in Southern California, South Florida and Internationally in over 13 countries including Middle East, Australia, Japan, Canada and The British Virgin Islands.  The company has been quoted by Hawaii Style Magazine “as one of the fastest growing Island lifestyle companies in Hawaii”.

Statement from Former Governor Linda Lingle on Internet Piracy Legislation

Former Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle released the following statement today  on internet piracy legislation:

Gov. Linda Lingle Proposes Industry-based Guidelines

“I have been monitoring the issue of how best to address copyright infringement and intellectual property piracy occurring via foreign websites.

“Two current bills pending in the U.S. Congress, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA), would give broad reaching powers to the Department of Justice to shut down or severely curtail American internet companies, search engines, and sites who connect to these foreign sources.

“I share the concern of many internet users and members of Congress, that these legislative proposals have not been thoroughly vetted.  I am strongly committed to the protection of intellectual property and believe those involved in the industry are best suited to work together to develop policing and enforcement systems that can address the perpetrators.

“International examples exist for setting standards and allowing industry officials to use independent third parties to ensure these standards are adhered to.  Underwriters Laboratory and ISO 9001 (International Organization of Standardization for quality management controls) are two such examples.

“As Senator, I would work to develop public-private cooperative efforts that address piracy and copyright infringement without the potential of government censorship that the current legislative proposals would permit.”

-Gov. Linda Lingle