Local artist sues popular online retailer Shein for $100 million in damages

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JACKSONVILLE, Florida. – A Jacksonville freelance artist claims Shein stole his designs. Now she is seeking over $100 million in damages for copyright infringement.

Shein is a China-based online retailer that has become popular in recent years for selling accessible and affordable fashion and lifestyle items.

News4JAX partner Jacksonville Daily Record said the lawsuit filed Wednesday included a registration certificate from the US copyright office for Magdalena Mollman’s work.

In the complaint, Magdalena Mollman, professionally known as Maggie Stephenson, alleges that the China-based online retailer took her artwork from her Instagram without her permission and began selling copies.

The Jax Daily Record reported that Mollman allows his authorized retailers to sell his works for between $19 and $300. However, Shein is not listed as an authorized seller for Mollman.

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Sephora, Urban Outfitters, Elle Magazine and Harper Collins Publishing are authorized users to sell his work.

The lawsuit alleges that “Defendants copied the original copyrighted materials of Plaintiff’s original work without Plaintiff’s permission and created from them one or more art prints, including the defendants then advertised, marketed and sold on the SHEIN website under the description ‘Abstract Pattern Wall Frameless Painting,’ reported the Jax Daily Record.

If you search for the description “Frameless Abstract Pattern Wall Painting” on the retailer’s website, you won’t find any items with that name.

The lawsuit goes on to allege how the company took his copyrighted work on his Instagram from 2019 to 2021 and sold them for as little as $4 per impression.

Mollman wants the court to permanently ban Shein from copying or using his copyrighted work in any way and is asking to be paid $25,000 for each violation, according to the Jax Daily Record.

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News4JAX contacted Mollman for comment, but she referred us to her law firm. We are still awaiting their return.

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