We told you about Hudson NYC earlier this month when streetwear collective brand, Been Trill filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against the New York-based brand and e-commerce site, Jimmy Jazz. A closer look into the company, which appears to be a wholesaler, reveals some other problems. The Givenchy, KTZ, and Marcelo Burlon copies are nothing if not utterly obvious. What caught my eye, however, was the "Show Girl Tee", which almost certainly amounts to blatant copyright infringement of Seoul-based designer Juun J. (See the side-by-side pctures after the break below). Fans of the designer, which include G Dragon, Rihanna, Pusha T, and of course, Joseph Quartana (the mastermind behind the late Seven New York), know that for Fall/Winter 2012, Juun J. collaborated with Swiss photographers Alex Gertschen and Felix Meier for the prints adorning his wares, which have since spawned an array of garments spanning a few seasons and even an exclusive capsule with ssense.com - which sold out. The Alex & Felix prints, dubbed 13 Queens, are derived from original photos by the duo, making Hudson NYC's version indisputably copyright infringing. It is just a matter of who holds the copyright in the finished product.
I'll spare you most of the details of the joint work vs. collaboration discussion and the effect that the determination has on copyright ownership. What we need to know is, for the most part, what the two parties (Alex & Felix and Juun J.) decided in regards to the ownership because per the rules of copyright (in the U.S., at least), a copyright holder is free to assign his copyright to anyone, and so, a written contract can change the basic rules that establish ownership. Since we don't have the agreement that was used in this case, we will just leave you with this: One or both of the parties here very likely have a cause of action against Hudson NYC, JimmyJazz.com and any of other the e-commerce sites offering the design for sale.