Artists are campaigning to boycott H&M, after it used a graffiti artist’s work without his permission.
Jason Williams, popularly known as Revok, sent the brand a cease and desist, calling H&M out for not asking to use his mural in a new campaign for a sportswear line. Williams didn’t want people to think he made the mural for H&M, but the company’s response was unexpected. They turned around a sued Williams, saying that because his work is illegal, it can’t be protected with a copyright and also stating, “The entitlement to copyright protection is a privilege under federal law that does not extend to illegally created works.”
H&M said it asked NYC Parks and Recreation whether it had to pay the artist royalties and they say the department responded saying the graffiti was unauthorized and considered vandalism and that they didn’t know who the artist was. But once news broke of the surprise lawsuit, artists began protesting H&M. Popular artist KAWS even shared an Instagram image of H&M’s tombstone.
H&M released the following statement on Twitter: “H&M respects the creativity and uniqueness of artists, no matter the medium. We should have acted differently in our approach to this matter.”
NowThis also reached out to H&M and confirmed that they dropped the lawsuit.