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It is reported that an American freelance artist sued Chinese fast fashion retailer Shein for $100million, accusing the company of copying her works without permission.

The plaintiff Maggie Stephenson is a magazine advertising freelance illustrator with 110000 fans on instagram. His clients include Sephora, Urban Outfitters, net-a-porter magazine and Mr Porter.


According to the indictment, Shein copied her work "one is good, more is better". Since its creation in April 2019, this work and its derivatives have been widely circulated on the Internet. It is one of Stephenson's most popular and best-selling original works, and its market price ranges from $19 to $300.

However, Stephenson only registered the work with the U.S. Copyright Office in 2021, complaining that sheen sold a "replica" of this artwork in the form of "frameless abstract pattern mural" in the past three years. The picture of Shein product page also shows the same wall hanging as "one is good, more is better". The product is available in two sizes at $4: 30 × 40 and 39 × 60, much lower than the price that Stephenson allows authorized retailers to sell.

It is reported that Stephenson has attached various forms of copyright management information (CMI) to all licensed prints, reproductions, derivative works and related packages, including her name and signature, creation date, brand name, logo and social media handle.

According to the complaint, the defendant never tried to contact the plaintiff to seek authorization, and made artistic copies for commercial use without authorization, which infringed the plaintiff's creative rights and economic interests. In addition, sheen also deliberately deleted Stephenson's CMI and "intended to induce, facilitate, promote or conceal their infringement". The image used on the sheen product page lacks the signature of Stephenson himself and the licensed copy.

The complaint further argued that the defendant also pasted the name and logo of Shein on the package of the suspected infringing works, which was to add false copyright management information. In doing so, the defendant not only mistakenly regarded Shein as the original author and copyright owner of the infringing work, but also confused consumers' cognition of the author and copyright owner of the original art work.

At present, Stephenson has filed a lawsuit against zoetop Business Co and Shein distribution Corp, which are headquartered in Hong Kong and trade in the name of Shein, including four claims: copyright infringement, substitution and / or joint infringement of copyright, deletion of copyright management information and false copyright management information.

This is not the first time Shein has been accused of plagiarism. Levi Strauss filed a lawsuit in 2018 and settled out of court. Other brands to be prosecuted include Dr Martens and stussy. According to Stephenson's lawsuit, Shein and Shein distribution Corp. were also sued for infringement and unfair competition in more than 30 separate lawsuits in central California.

Stephenson also asked the court to permanently prohibit the defendant from copying or using her copyrighted works of art in any way; Destroy all infringing products and all relevant marketing, advertising and promotional materials; And compensate us $25000 for each violation of us copyright law, plus reasonable attorney fees and costs.

In March this year, according to the foreign media the fashion law, the famous fashion brand stussy filed a lawsuit against sheen trademark infringement and counterfeiting in the federal court of California.

According to the indictment, stussy claimed that its well-known trademarks and products were "deliberately" infringed by sheen without authorization, in order to confuse "fake products" and infringe stussy's interests.


In the lawsuit, stussy claimed that sheen faced trademark infringement due to the sale of "stussy trademark copies", which constituted unfair competition.

It is understood that Sheen's trademark used in clothing and footwear is almost the same as the stussy logo, but the price is cheaper, which has been obviously suspected of trademark infringement. Unlike other trademark infringement cases, Shein's sale of goods suspected of infringing stussy's trademark has a greater negative impact. According to stussy, because its brand trademark has higher value, stussy logo "has represented and symbolized the good reputation of (ITS) products and its valuable reputation in the public all over the world" and "is more valuable than ordinary logo".


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