Shehzil Malik is an illustrator from Pakistan. Even if you don’t recognise her name, you’d know her art. It’s the type of art that hits you and makes you think, her captions take those thoughts to another level,
As spring rolls around, clothing brands are rushing to get their 2020 Lawn Collections out. One of these brands in Gul Ahmed. This is one of Pakistans major names in clothing. You’d think they must be doing something right to have made a name for themselves that has lasted from our mothers’ generation, into ours.
Or have they just been stealing and no one has noticed?
Shehzil took to social media when she noticed something familiar on some of Gul Ahmeds Lawn Collections new catalogue – her literal profile picture was on one of them.
She went through more pictures to find even more of her illustrations meshed into other designs and made into Kameezein.
Intellectual Property ethics are basically non-existent in Pakistan. People forget that you can’t just take someone’s work and make it look like your own.
That isn’t okay.
Soon after we saw another artist Mahrukh Mansoor exposing how on those same articles and a few others were the designs she had made for her Thesis. They even straight-up copy-pasted the name “Desi pop” with the same designs and posted them like it was no big deal.
Just when you thought it couldn’t get worse. Gul Khan Truck Art, a company that sells various products with the Truck Art theme, put up a post of their own too. The post showed how their literal logo was on one of the designs too!
News Flash Gul Ahmed: Rearranging multiple artists designs doesn’t make them your own.
The fact that Gul Ahmed is a well-known brand with the budget to hire actual artists to design their clothing yet they’ve hired people that are getting a paycheck to just download images off of Google and slap them on shirts is insane.
The official Gul Ahmed page issued a statement later on saying that they realise that Shehzils design had been used without her knowledge and that they are “disciplining” their designer. They also went on to say that they’re “trying” to reach Shehzil to which she commented under their post that she hadn’t even been tagged in that post and that up until that point, she hadn’t been contacted by them at all.
How hard can it be to find the artist you stole material off of? Surely you can Google her name again to contact her like you did to find her designs.
A couple of hours after this Shehzil posted an Instagram story saying she was finally contacted and that they were working on figuring out compensation.
I wonder if she never spoke up against the corporation, or if social media didn’t blow up in her support the way that it did, would anything even happen to put an end to this? Will Gul Ahmed individually reach out to every artist they stole from and compensate them all? Or is it finally time that they start hiring the artists they’ve been ripping off and pay for the work they want?
Will Intellectual Property Laws ever be taken seriously in this country?