Friday, April 25, 2008

Plagiarism?

A few weeks ago I ran across a new t-shirt design on shirt.woot.com. It was titled "Mr Toast" and the story on the site goes like this "he was just a simple slice of bread, traveling with his loaf to start a new life in the place they called “The Wild West”. They caught up to his wagon just outside of Kansas. Kid Marmalade. Jesse Jam. Pat Butter and Layer O’Cheese. They took everything he had. Crumbled up his family and left them for dead. Only he wasn’t finished with them yet."

Maybe they did well selling this design but it is not really cute or fun or even interesting. So I didn't really give it a second thought.

Then right before I was leaving for NY I ran across this on Flickr.

Two bogus Mr Toasts in less then one month, who would have guessed. This one was for Threadless and it ended up scoring a 2.12 out of 5. The funniest thing was that in the comments section someone wrote "dope illustration, too bad mr. toast already exists."

It is impossible for me to know if either of these is actual plagiarism. The one thing I do know is that Mr Toast is not just one time silly image for a t-shirt. He is a character with a history and story. I am going to keep making real Mr Toast t-shirts and hopefully these weak, fake ones will disappear.....

7 comments:

modbetty said...

There is only ONE TRUE Mr. Toast!

The rest are just "crumby" imitations!

Natalie said...

I think the 2nd one is highly suspicious as it adds the elements of pie and cream-filled snack cake to the mix...hmmmm...

Spy in the camp, I say!

Major Pepperidge said...

Arg, this must be so frustrating. But we all know the original and BEST Mr. Toast!

Viewliner Ltd. said...

Not to worry...I know where I need to go for the real "Mr. Toast".

Chris said...

That stinks. Do you have any copyrights or trademarks for Mr. Toast?

Larry Marder said...

It's true that they are crummy and will disappear but you should STILL send them a cease-and-desist letter--establishing your previous claim. The rule of thumb is: "Can this be mistaken for my product at the point-of-purchase?"

Bradley said...

Agreed, Larry.
Time to lawyer up on this one.
But on the bright side, you're becoming so popular that you've spawned your first wave of imitators!