is snapchat stealing its filter graphics from makeup artists?

Several makeup artists are claiming that Snapchat has copied their designs, without giving them any credit.

by Annie Armstrong
21 June 2016, 5:35pm

Image via @argenapeede

Most makeup artists who upload video tutorials hope that viewers will copy them - that's the nature of their art. However, Snapchat has allegedly taken this sentiment too far, by stealing designs from artists for use in their interactive filters. According to The Ringer, at least three of these filters (and a sticker graphic) have been plagiarized from different makeup artists, who, according to the article, all found their work on the social media app by coincidence.

Most recently, makeup artist Argenis Pinal took to Instagram claiming that one of his original makeup designs, which emulates Batman character Two-Face, was copied for a Snapchat filter. The side-by-side comparison is uncanny.

Unfortunately, intellectual property copyright laws for makeup artists are underdeveloped, The Ringer reports, after speaking with patent lawyer Steve Schlackman. The cost to copyright one look is $35. Meanwhile, for a photographer to copyright a portfolio of around one hundred photographs, the cost is similar, at $55. On top of that, copyright law for graphics only allows you to claim infringement for three months retroactively. In other words, if you were to recognize your own art on a T-shirt or a Snapchat filter, you could only claim it as your own if you had designed it in the last three months.

Snapchat has since responded to the controversy, stating, "The creative process sometimes involves inspiration, but it should never result in copying. We have already implemented additional layers of review for all designs. Copying other artists isn't something we will tolerate, and we're taking appropriate action internally with those involved."


Text Annie Armstrong

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