H&M
via MediaPhoto.Org / CC-BY-3.0

H&M has issues with Los Angeles artist REVOK, after his works appeared in a recent campaign for the retailer.

The campaign in question features imagery as well as videos of a male model rocking H&M’s “New Routine” sportswear line. In the background is a graffiti piece by REVOK, painted on a wall located at the William Sheridan Playground handball court in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

In January, REVOK fired off a cease and desist letter sent to H&M pointing out their “unauthorized use of his original artwork, and the manner in which it is using the work, is damaging and is likely to cause consumers familiar with his work to believe there is a relationship between the parties”.

It also urges H&M to “immediately cease” use of REVOK’s work, calling it copyright infringement.

This week, H&M responded with a letter, saying that because the art work is illegal, REVOK has no legal claim to it.

“Under the circumstances, in which your client’s claimed ‘art work’ is the product of criminal conduct, Mr. Williams has no copyright rights to assert. The entitlement to copyright protection is a privilege under federal law that does not extend to illegally created works.”

Elsewhere in the letter, H&M says it hired a third party production agency to capture the campaign at the handball court. And, that it contacted the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation (NYCDP) to find out where they need the permission of the artist for the mural on the wall. They said the NYCDP said that the “graffiti on the park handball wall was unauthorized and constituted vandalism and defacing of New York City property.”

Stay tuned for further info.