A photographer has secured a legal victory over high street fashion retailer Next for unauthorised use of one of his images following action by Black Country law firm FBC Manby Bowler.
Allan Potts, who specialises in taking pictures of extreme sports, has prevented Next from continuing the illegal use of a photograph he took during the Shropshire County Show in June 2010.
The picture was found on the internet by Next, which placed the head of a chimp on the shot of a biker and put it on a Next child’s t-shirt, known as ‘Blue Bike Monkey.”
The t-shirt was on sale this year in the fashion retailer’s directory, on its website and in its 500 UK high street stores.
Charlotte Clode, an associate in Wolverhampton-based FBC Manby Bowdler’s litigation department, forced Next to accept Mr Potts’ ownership of the image and to acknowledge that he had not consented to its use.
Next accepted this and agreed to remove all stock and to pay for damages and costs.
With Mr Potts’ approval, as part of the legal settlement, Next also agreed that the remaining t-shirts be donated to Oxfam for its charity work abroad.
Miss Clode said there were clear parallels with pop singer Rihanna’s legal victory earlier this year over clothing retailer Topshop about a t-shirt bearing her image. “They serve as warnings to retailers and designers to ensure that they acquire clearance to use any image.
“Otherwise it could end up costing them dear.”