Paperchase’s position regarding the allegations of ‘copying’ made against the Company today is as follows:
Above all, we would like to apologise to any customers upset or angered by this allegation against us. Paperchase takes all reasonable precautions to check that designs we source or buy from individual designers or agencies are from reputable sources. In this case, we would like to confirm that Paperchase bought the artwork in question, in good faith, in October 2008, from a well-known central London Design Studio along with a number of other designs.
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The illustrator who is making the allegation made us aware of her concerns in November 2009 and we duly responded to her in early December, since when we had heard nothing….until today. Back in November 2009, we spoke at length to the Design Studio in question and they categorically denied any plagiarism.
It is worrying that such an allegation can create such reaction and again, Paperchase apologises for any ill-feeling caused.
(my bolding in the last sentence)
“Reaction! Pitchforks! Mobs! Opinions! Time to get OTHERING! PANIC!”
Seriously, Paperchase, you don’t share the ‘reaction’ of people outraged by the thought that a major company *might* have been involved in plagiarism? Or is it the scale of the reaction you’re worried about, and the fact that you’re suddenly in a world you don’t understand and can’t control, and therefore PANIC.
FYI, the ‘reaction’ will almost certainly die down faster if you react in an investigatory manner rather than a categorically denying manner, and if you bring the company who brought the design to you over to your website to answer the allegations rather than just shunting it off to them.
So how about you go for something like, ” We understand the reaction of those who have long enjoyed Paperchase’s products, and we would ourselves be horrified to think that we had unwittingly copied someone else’s work. When we investigated the original claim, the designers XXX categorically denied it, this is their response…” Or some variety thereof. Telling the people reacting against the alleged wrongdoing they’re reacting wrongly? Your strategy, it is ineffective.