I think the majority of my days the last two weeks, if I had to describe them, would end with, “…and then we got drunk.” My work brought in a grief counselor on Monday, and I didn’t find it particularly enlightening, mostly because it’s a) hard for me to appreciate group therapy, and b) one of her sage nuggets of wisdom was that the worst thing we could do right now is get drunk. We all kind of gave that suggestion the side-eye; clearly she didn’t know Dave very well. That’s exactly what he would want us to be doing, so that’s exactly what we’ve been doing. Yesterday was the viewing, and then we got drunk. Today is the funeral, and afterwards we’re getting drunk. If you know a more appropriate way to handle things, keep it to yourself.
On a slighter more sober note, in my Internet Squirreling recently I uncovered a painfully obvious copyright infringement case. But I’ll start at the beginning: I’ve loved artist Matte Stephens’ work for a while now. It’s whimsical, sweet, and most the pieces have rhyming names.
Adorable, right? He even has a book coming out! I’ve kind of had a soft spot for a particular print of a jaunty Frenchman riding a bicycle while smoking a pipe, called “Monsieur Hulot Mon Oncle.” In fact, I’ve stared at it longingly often enough that when I was browsing Zara Home (fine, Zara Home Kids, if you want to get particular) earlier this week, I immediately recognized the print on one of their pillows:
It’s identical, except the kid isn’t holding an umbrella. So I did what any concerned Internet Squirrel would do: I wrote Matte an email that said, “Hey! Love your work! Pretty sure you’re being ripped off!” and he wrote back that he indeed did not give Zara Home permission to use his work on a pillow, they just figured they could steal it and get away with it. That still happens these days? Seriously? With people as well-versed in the internet as I am who took one look at it and recognized the print immediately? Apparently so, and it happened last year when H&M Home ripped off an designer’s work for a door mat. RUDE.
Matte must have acted quickly, because the pillow has since been taken down from their website (it took less than 12 hours), but I bet it’s still available in stores. Super shady, right? Internet Squirrel doesn’t stand for blatant copyright infringement, but totally stands for getting a huge ego thinking she’s done her noble deed for the month.
If you need me, I’ll be patting myself on the back. And getting drunk.