Billie Eilish anime merch collection removed after plagiarised artwork controversy
12 August 2019, 15:31
A Billie Eilish collaboration with Siberia Hills has been removed after the brand apologised for "taking from" a popular online anime artist. The merch featured fan art of Nozomi from 'Love Live'.
Items from the Billie Eilish X Siberia Hills collaboration have been pulled after the brand admitted to "taking from" an artist's work for the capsule collection. The anime-inspired streetwear collection was available through Billie Eilish's merch portal, however, the designs have since been taken down following the revelation that Siberia Hills used the artwork of a creator known as @m_qurokawa on Twitter.
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Billie previously promoted the collaboration on Instagram and Twitter, though Siberia Hills make clear that Billie and her team were unaware of the stolen artwork.
In Siberia Hills' apology, they wrote:
"To the talented artist Mr. Qurokawa, we apologize for taking from your artwork for our merchandise collection with Billie Eilish. Billie and her team were not aware that we used your art, they just believed in the product.
"We were the creative force behind this collaboration. To Billie and her fans, we apologize for causing this issue. These items will not be released. To those who already purchased, you will be refunded."
@m_qurokawa also addressed the situation, tweeting that he had been made aware that his fan illustrations of Nozomi from Love Live! (an existing copyrighted character) were being used without his permission.
I was informed that a company used one of my fan-art of an existing copyrighted character on the clothes for sale without permission. I didn't permit them to use my fan-art for their design work. I didn't permit them to use my fan-art for merchandise.— 黒河真琴 (@m_qurokawa) August 10, 2019
(continued from previous tweet)— 黒河真琴 (@m_qurokawa) August 10, 2019
My fan-art is a fan-art of an existing copyrighted character. The copyright belongs to the original holder.
Unauthorized merchandise is not allowed.
It seems the promo tweet was already deleted and the merchandise was removed from the online store.
Before Siberia Hills admitted to using the artwork without permission, plenty of people called out the blunder.
Billie Eilish is selling stolen Nozomi art in her merch what the fuck— Nessie (@nestuur) August 8, 2019
This is peak 2019, in a bad way pic.twitter.com/XD1VHa2siO
billie eilish’s new merch line was created by an art theft 💀— nemui (@nemukuteh) August 8, 2019
they deadass used some sexy nozomi tojo love live art in order to make billie eilish merch. what a shame
Billie Eilish has merch pulled because she recolored merch of Nozomi from lovelive and this makes me super happy lol, it’s not her fault, just an unfortunate situation on trusting the wrong people— Sick Of Your Poor Attitude Nico (@Niiveon) August 12, 2019
All mentions of the collaboration have been scrubbed from Billie's social media accounts, though she has not addressed the artwork blunder, specifically.
Siberia Hills have also promised refunds for those who ordered items from the capsule collection.