Sweetflower had very recognizable billboards up around Los Angeles in 2020. You may have seen it with its beautiful flower images and bright colors that jumped out and got them quite a lot of attention and for a very good reason. They didn't actually have permission to use the photos on their billboards and they were infringing on the photographers' copyright. They had not paid for the use of the photos on billboards around the city so you can imagine the SHOCK when people started to see the beautiful and very distinct photographs in 6 different locations and start texting the photographer - as well as seeing them themselves. The sad reality had emerged: a local LA artist was once again stolen from by another Cannabis company making horrible decisions and opting to steal work instead of paying the artist outright for the usage. Instead, they made the choice to use the photos without permission and even put them on billboards thinking they would not be seen. The audacity is really quite alarming.
The photographer has done work for multiple other brands including name-brand celebrity beauty care products. The photographer hired a lawyer and they threatened to sue Sweetflower. Sweetflower settled out of court in 2021 for an undisclosed amount that we know is more than $5k but less than $25K. That's a very expensive marketing campaign that isn't tax-deductible. Moral of the story: If you steal work - you will have to pay for it one way or another. Show this to your marketing team and don't be a Sourflower. Protect your IP.
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