Sunday, October 24, 2010

McLaren action curtails #F1 artist's business #supportunlap

One of the regular contributors to the F1 discussions I enjoy on Twitter has been the artist behind the Unlap website, Luke Pollard.

He produces excellent motorsport related prints, mugs, t-shirts, often with a very humorous side to them. Remember the Ferrari team orders fiasco at Hockenheim?  Well, this design was his response.

Word reaches my ears that McLaren, a large, rich company with a gleaming "technology centre" from which David Coulthard has been broadcasting for the BBC all weekend, has taken legal action against Unlap which has meant that Luke's had to stop selling his McLaren merchandise.

As he says:
I take copyright very seriously. This is why none of my designs carry any form of original logos, team names or driver names. 
At this time, we have no choice but to suspend the sale of the Unlap designed McLaren based items (cars, current and ex-drivers).  You may continue to purchase other Unlap goodies though!
When I have had messages of praise from other drivers and teams in F1, this has really come as a big kick in the teeth, especially as I *was* a life long McLaren supporter.
One of the things that really makes my blood boil is when large corporations take on small traders like this. I've certainly never seen anything that I would think was an infringement of copyright on this site. It seems spectacularly mean to take this action in the run up to Christmas, the busiest time of the year, when these products have been for sale for quite some time. 

I hope that F1 fans who believe in the right to be original and creative will boycott McLaren's own overpriced merchandise. Hitting them in the pocket is the only way to tell them that picking on small traders in this way is completely unacceptable.

If you want to show support for Unlap and you're on Facebook, there's a group here

I hope that we hear very soon that they have withdrawn their legal threats and that Unlap is free to sell his full range of merchandise again.

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