In America, the ability to protect artistic intellectual property through copyrights and trademarks is guaranteed right, yet if H&M gets its way how that protection is interpreted may be changed forever.
H&M is embroiled in a heated lawsuit with street artist Jason “Revok” Williams. Revok attracted major headlines when he took Roberto Cavalli to court back in August 2014, for copying his artwork. He is back as a major news story after H&M used his artwork as the backdrop for a new promotional video for their website. H&M contested that since its illegal artwork it, shouldn’t be protected by law. They also argued that they already cleared use of a handball court in Williamsburg, Brooklyn by the City of New York, that never gave Revok permission to create the piece. As of 24 hours ago, H&M seemingly dropped the countersuit against the artist saying they didn’t want to participate in a dangerous precedent in how artist work is protected in America.
Enter Swizz Beatz.
For those of you not in the know, Swizz Beats is an accomplished visual artist besides being one of the best Hip-Hop producer of his time. If anyone has ever seen @TheRealSwizzz it is dazzled with his artwork as well as story of his time at Harvard Business School. Swizz is an avid protector and advocate of the arts and has funded many arts driven programs, fund raisers, and donations to save the arts in Bronx schools. Apparently when he heard the plight the of young artist Revok, he through his gloves into the arena to support the street artist and speak up against corporations that seek to abuse and steal from fellow creatives in the artistic community.
That support apparently got Swizz Beatz BLOCKED on Instagram by the H&M account.
They blocked me for speaking up for the artist ! 🤷🏽♂️😂 It’s also CONFIRMED THEY DID NOT DROP THE CASE as I said !!!!!!!! I’m not going to do much more talking on this i will let our actions speak now ! It’s time for all creatives to get what they deserve and earned !!!!!! #Thecreativeswillwin Blessings 🙏🏽
As posted above, the signature “No Posts Yet” with a circled lock is the infamous sign you’ve been blocked on the “gram.” The most telling part of this story, the On To The Next producer claims that H&M never dropped their countersuit against Revok. From Swizz’s post, they have ignited a fire of support from the recent Harvard grad that comes in the wake of calling for a boycott of the European clothing companies brand.
We will see how this affects the brand financially. H&M already lost many of their Urban celebrity brand partners such as The Weeknd and G-Eazy after the “Coolest Monkey In The Jungle” hoodie incident. Rihanna going off on Snapchat recently has already affected the stock evaluation of the social media giant on Wall St. A similar fate could await H&M financially if celebs stand up in support against them.