By Susan Mernit
When Walmart uploaded unauthorized and uncredited prints by Oakland artist Eddie Colla and put them up for sale on Walmart.com, attributing them to Banksy, Colla and his partner, 5733/Lokal owner Loretta Nguyen, figured out how they were going to fight back.
Rather than go immediately to the media, Colla created a a limited edition print called “It’s Only Stealing If You Get Caught,” which quickly sold out on 1XRUN.com.
Colla told BuzzFeed in an email that he felt it was an infringement for Walmart to sell the product through their marketplace. “[R]egardless of who made the actual product (and I don’t know that answer yet), Walmart is certainly helping them reach a much bigger market,” he said. “I would never agree to have my work sold through a company like Walmart. As the creator I have the right to decide who and where my work can be sold. I was not given a choice in this case.”
Interestingly, the manufacturer that allegedly copied Oakland artists Lisa Congdon’s work–Wayfair– was also cited in this case.