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A detail of Yoshitomo Nara’s painting Another Girl Another Planet, 2002, and the logo of W.Lab’s W-Honey Beam Cushion.

Korean Cosmetics Company Sues Yoshitomo Nara for Copyright Infringement

Japanese artist Yoshitomo Nara, known for his cartoonish images of simultaneously cute and angry adolescents, is being sued for copyright infringement by Korean cosmetics company W.Lab, H. G. Masters of ArtAsiaPacific reports.

Nara’s lawyers had written to the company requesting that it recall a product featuring the head of a large-eyed girl with a sour expression that looks remarkably similar to the artist’s work. In response, the company is suing Nara over authorship. The lawsuit states that the “bee girl” depicted on its W-Honey Beam Cushion makeup compact was developed by its own designers.

In a series of tweets that have been since been deleted from the artist’s Twitter account, Nara said: “I thought this crossed the line of mere resemblance. While I’ve turned a blind eye to small works and signboards that contain slight copies (of my works), I thought this one was pretty severe, so I sent the company a letter of warning. I was expecting them to revise the image and not have them go to court over it, but instead, the company filed a counter-claim, saying ‘they were the author of the work,’ and ‘Nara has no right to claim restitution.’”

Nara said he is not interested in receiving monetary compensation and is more concerned with fighting for artists’ rights.

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