Nova Scotia

N.S. artist says company ripped off her work for blanket cover

A Halifax artist said her image of cats was stolen and printed on bedding being sold by an online company. 

Shelagh Duffett’s signature appears on bedding featuring her art

A Halifax woman says an online retailer, Azcozy.com, is using her original artwork on a bedding set without her permission. (Azcozy.com)

A Halifax artist says her image of cats was stolen and printed on bedding being sold by an online company. 

Shelagh Duffett's image of five black and white cats on a red background is being sold as a blanket cover and pillow case set on the website Azcozy.com without her permission, she told CBC's Maritime Noon on Wednesday. 

"There's no question that it's mine," said Duffett. 

Her signature is included on the blanket cover. 

Duffett said she emailed the company asking them to take the product down, adding that she would get a lawyer involved if they didn't.  

The company emailed back thanking her for letting them know, but offered no direct response to her complaint, she said. 

Shelagh Duffett’s original artwork. (Submitted by Shelagh Duffett)

Azcozy.com did not immediately reply to a request for comment from CBC News on Wednesday. 

The bedding was still available to purchase online on Wednesday. 

The company was founded by Brayden Rogers in Cochise, Arizona in 2014, according to the website. 

'It's not really fair'

Duffet said her work has been copied without her permission onto products before.

Another company was selling the same image on handbags and clothing on the online retailer Shopify.com. When she notified Shopify, the company removed the products from the site, she said. 

Her art was also spotted on items in a shop in Venice, Italy, she said. 

"I love seeing my work all over the place. It is wonderful to send it out and have people admire it," she said.

"If someone's profiting off of what I've done it would be really nice to get a percentage of that, even if it's small. They're earning money from my hard work and I'm not seeing any of that.... It's not really fair." 

Duffett said she also finds it frustrating when people take photos of her paintings, instead of buying the work or a $3 postcard. 

She sells her work at a farmers market in Halifax.

"I think it's a case of people really not being aware of the ethics of what they do," she said.

"Some people will take their cameras out and they'll just zoom right in and fill the whole frame with that picture and then I sort of have to pop in and say, 'Please don't. That's stealing'.... This is how I make my living." 

With files from Maritime Noon

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