Forever 21 Sued for Using Pirated Copies of Photoshop

Fast fashion giant Forever 21 has been sued by Adobe, Autodesk and Corel over its alleged use of pirated software, including Photoshop. In the lawsuit, which was filed yesterday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, Adobe and co. claim that they found 63 instances of copyright infringement for software such as Photoshop, Acrobat and Illustrator and Autodesk and Corel found instances of pirated copies of Autodesk, 3D design software Autodesk and zip utility tool WinZip. Adobe alleges that Los Angeles-based Forever 21 illegally reproducing copies of Photoshop and other programs, violating the companies’ copyrights, and  “continued their infringing activities even after being contacted" by Adobe about the alleged piracy.

While Adobe alleges that Forever 21, an apparel chain with nearly 500 stores and $4 billion in yearly revenue, copied and reproduced various creative programs offered by Adobe, the retailer claims to have registration numbers and dates for each instance of piracy. According to Adobe's complaint, Forever 21's actions amount to  "willful, intentional, and malicious copyright infringement," and have caused the plaintiffs “repeated and irreparable injury." As a result, the companies have asked the court for an injunction and damages to cover lost revenue, court costs, and additional damages for willful infringement.

It is unclear how Adobe discovered its software was allegedly being wrongly used by Forever 21, but in recent years it has actively encouraged people to turn in employers who are using pirated software, offering a monetary reward ($500, reportedly) in exchange for such information.

As for what a damages amount will look like, Adobe asserts in its complaint: “It would be difficult to ascertain the amount of money damages that would afford Plaintiffs adequate relief at law for Defendants’ continuing acts and omissions complained of herein, and a multiplicity of judicial proceedings would be required.” More to come …