UK artist Eleanor Tomlinson has been left “devastated” after she found dozens of counterfeit copies of her famous artwork featuring the Queen and Paddington Bear for sale on eBay by numerous sellers.
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The artwork titled Jubilee Ma’amalade Tea showed her sketch of the Queen, Paddington Bear, and one of the Queen’s Corgis following her Platinum Jubilee Celebrations.
Following the death of Her Majesty the Queen, Eleanor has seen a surge of counterfeit copies of her artwork being listed for sale across both eBay and Facebook.
Eleanor’s artwork can be found on a range of products including tea towels, t-shirts as well as standalone prints. None of these are sold by Eleanor herself as the only place to buy her artwork is through her own website here. Since the passing of the Queen, Eleanor has issued a statement that she doesn’t believe selling these items is in good taste and as such is no longer selling her artwork featuring the Queen.
“I cannot reiterate enough, I have given NO ONE PERMISSION to recreate or sell my illustrations under any means or on any items and in any capacity. Anyone who is printing, recreating ANY of my work (jubilee/HM related or not) on a commercial basis is doing so without ANY permission or my knowledge.” said Eleanor Tomlinson
“The pieces being stolen and sold on are made worse by the recent events following the loss of our Queen Elizabeth II. As a small business owner, I have not wanted to benefit commercially from these illustrations following last week’s events and are pleading no one else does either.”
The eCommerce Counterfeit Problem
Sadly Eleanor’s experience is not a rare occurrence. Thanks to the ready availability of print-on-demand services these days, many opportunistic and unethical “sellers” can very quickly create products and list them for sale with artwork that they have no ownership of.
The tricky part is, due to the quick listing capabilities of online marketplaces it is very hard for the likes of eBay or Facebook to catch them before the items go live and sales start rolling in, often relying on the original artist to report the counterfeit products before any action is taken.
Not many artists have the bandwidth available to constantly monitor all of the online channels available for their artwork, to then file report requests for counterfeit products to be taken down.
At the time of writing a quick eBay UK search for “the Queen Paddington bear” shows a sponsored listing for a t-shirt featuring Eleanor’s artwork for £6.99-£7.99, and an A3 poster for £14.99 both of which are counterfeit products.
Whilst many marketplaces claim that they take action against counterfeit products, there is still a long way to go and clearly, a solution is still needed to stop instances like this from happening.
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