The good news for little-known Atlanta artist Tori LaConsay was that she finally got her big break: Mega-retailer H&M appears to have scooped up her original design and was plastering it across a wide range of their merchandise and apparel.
The bad news is they are being accused of swiping it, dishing out neither cash nor credit for their ' You Look Nice Today ♥' line, which features a design remarkably similarto one LaConsay whimsically painted on a sign in her East Atlanta neighborhood three years ago. Same words, same font, same cutesy heart.
Oh, and there's also some bad news for H&M: They're getting ripped across the Internet. "'You look like a thief today' Put that on a f****** doormat ♥ " reads one message board post. (Careful, they just might)
From another Internet proponent of not stealing things: "They are deleting (Facebook) comments like crazy. The sad thing is that the person deleting those comments makes more per hour than they've even offered Tori."
The artist says she "painted the message on the sign to make people feel good."
But did H&M steal it? Well, in their first response to the accusations, they wanted to make sure people knew they absolutely, definitely did not completely rip-off the design and then mass produce it on a variety of products without giving any credit for it.
Regretsysays H&M e-mailed LaConsay declaring "We can assure you that this design has not been influenced by your work and that no copyright has been infringed."
Has. Not. Been. Influenced. Except, you know, like maybe a little? Shortly after, the retailer posted this since-deleted message on its Facebook page: "We have merely been inspired ... to create something similar."
OK. So they were inspired by it. But not influenced. And supposedly that's the difference between paying somebody for their work, and not. LaConsay says she'd been saving up to help a good friend pay for "expensive surgery for her dog and I can't help her" and that's why she'd been hesitant to make a legal fight out of all this.
Back on their Facebook page, H&M says they are now "in contact with Tori LaConsay and will continue the dialogue with her directly." To which someone responded: "It is noble of you to contact the original artist, and even if is a little late, you deserve credit for doing the right thing."
In other words, H&M, you look nice today.
Now how about a little help so an artist can help pay for a dog's surgery?