Tabasco Hits Sket One With Cease and Desist
Breaking news! Sket One has revealed that Tabasco hit him with a cease and desist for releasing 10 toys using their logo. Sket’s Tabasco Dunny, as seen on Kidrobot’s blog, is an 8-inch toy that he modified in an edition of ten. The custom Dunny followed up his previous condiment-themed toys, which included spins on ketchup, mustard and relish.
Acts of appropriation and homage are part of the fabric of pop art. Nothing’s changed about that. We’re just silly with lawsuits these days. Remember Andy Warhol’s Brillo Boxes? I can’t find any indication that Brillo had beef with Warhol. In fact, what I did find was that Jim Harvey, the abstract expressionist painter and commercial artist who actually designed the box for Brillo “laughed it off”. That was in 1964. Flash forward to 2009. The Associated Press wasn’t laughing when Shepard Fairey used one of their photographer’s image of Obama. They got litigious.
It’s been alleged that Tabasco has a history of going after folks who mess with their trademark. To be fair, you can see why Sket’s figure might have caught their attention. I count four Tabasco logo hits on the toy and packaging, plus there’s an actual bottle of travel-size Tabasco included in the box. Although only ten of these figures were made, they’re each priced at $475, which means at the time they sold out, $4,750 had transferred hands. Could this have been avoided if Sket One had switched up the logo to “toybasco”? Maybe.
All of that said, I think it’s LAME for Tabasco to come after an artist releasing an ultra-limited edition of toys as a homage to their product. How has Tabasco been “damaged” by this? Big money (which is rent and food) to an artist is peanuts to a brand like Tabasco. The only thing publicly accomplished by this is a barrage of “you suck” tweets directed at @tabasco. And that’s pretty much where I’m at, too. Pick your battles, hot sauce.
What do you think? Leave a comment.
Honestly I think doing 10 should be fine, but it is misinterpreting that Tabasco was a part of the collab. I think thats why sucklord gets away with it. It in no way says Starwars. If Sket would have changed the label he would have been fine.
i guess if anything it’ was free advertising for tobasco… but i guess with the buzz of the cease and desist it’s even more advertising for tobasco… how many tims is their name mentioned just in this blog post ? any press is good press, no ?
P.S. toybasco… pretty clever jeremy !
Well Sket ma’ son. You do know what this means….
time to make 10 more exclusives of course!!!
I see a t@b@sco dunny marked on the face with a big red stamp on logo. It should say:
‘FIASCO’ instead of Tabasco
then where it usually says
‘Brand’ it should say ‘Band’
Also, he should be wearing a t-shirt that says either
‘i love hot-sauce’
‘Danger, criminal art in progress’.
oh, and if you use my idea, i won’t sue you…at least not yet : )
at least its just a “cease and desist” and not a law suit. although seeing how he already sold out it seems a fairly ridiculous move on tobacco’s part.
funny thing is i got the same treatment from Kozik when i try’ed producing my custom “labbit links”
a few years back
lame. it does look like a tabasco product so i can see where they could be upset but the figure in no way diminishes the product. If a simple cease & desist letter is the only ramification, this seems like a non issue.
Yeah it just a C&D, legally it’s a non issue. Sket sold the edition, keeps the money, end of story.
It is pretty cut and dry. In business if you don’t protect your copyrights they become unenforceable and stop meaning anything. As this isn’t the first run of brand “homage” pieces by Sket he should have had the foresight to get permission ahead of time. If he didn’t think it’d be a problem, then all the more reason to get the permission. And if he didn’t for fear of being told no, then, you he got what he bargained for.
To be honest he should have just been clever with the design, like the idea of ‘toybasco’.
If it were a big company ripping off a small artist, the toy community would be up in arms about it, so you can’t really change the rules just because one side has lots of money behind them and the other doesn’t.
Copyright is copyright, and i’m sure Sket one must have known the risk involved.