Ukrainian steampunk mask-maker gets plagiarized by Skymall stalwarts Design Toscano


23 Responses to “Ukrainian steampunk mask-maker gets plagiarized by Skymall stalwarts Design Toscano”

  1. go go internet justice! (someone rectify this.)

  2. lafave says:

    Response from Design Toscano
    Design Toscano, 1
    December 19, 2012
    To clear up the issue on the Steampunk piece that has some of our customers questioning our motives we would like to explain. The statue was produced and offered to Design Toscano as one of a portfolio of new sculptures to review. There was some confusion between Mr. Bob Basset and the factory that produced this piece for Design Toscano. Mr. Mike Stopka, president of Design Toscano, spoke directly with Mr. Basset and explained that Design Toscano had been mislead in the creation of this piece. Mr. Basset and Mr. Stopka have worked out a generous plan that the artist will get compensation for his work and Mr. Basset has graciously allowed Design Toscano to continue to sell his fantastic work of art. Design Toscano is appreciative to its customers who informed us of this oversight and as always we celebrate artists and their creative works.

    In the reviews

  3. Asmodeus says:

    When musicians and filmakers have their intellectual property infringed upon we blame those artists for clinging to their failed business models, but when it’s another type of artist we instead declare that artists “live or die by their sales.” 

    • TaymonBeal says:

      I think this is a bit of an oversimplification.

      On the one hand, I don’t think any of us would argue that it’s acceptable for a company to commercially sell a song or film created by someone else without getting that person’s permission (which would presumably involve compensating them). The same principle applies here.

      On the other hand, existing copyright restrictions aren’t reasonable. It shouldn’t be illegal to copy a CD for a friend; that’s how people discover music. (Admittedly, it gets more complicated when your friend is the entire internet.) Terms are too long and fair use is too narrow. And the collateral damage caused by enforcement is nothing short of appalling.

      • That_Anonymous_Coward says:

        You mean like when the cartel membership was making all of those compilation albums in Canda and never paid the artists?
        And when they got caught the rough back of the envelope math for damages on the same level they demand from normal people was 6 billion?  Then they settled their oopsie for $54(ish) Million… Oh and one of the cartel members sued their insurance company to force them to cover their share of the settlement?
        Yeah thats tots different.

        If this mask is considered fashion, there is no fashion copyright.  Its why Diane von Fürstenberg keeps lobbying Congress to do something about people stealing her designs… that she has been stealing fair and square from fashion students. 
        Ever notice the ones screaming they are getting ripped off, rip off way more stuff themselves?

        This was a crappy thing to do by this company, and they need to explain themselves.  In the mean time we can roast them on the internet until they decide making things right is less costly than all of the bad PR.

      • Shuruppag says:

        You’re both right. And I have no idea what should be done about it. The only real difference is, music and movies can be digitally shared, physical objects can’t (yet…just wait until every punk-ass teen has a 3d nanoprinter hooked up to his iPad)

  4. EH says:

    What’s the name of the factory, and/or do they still produce anything for DT? At any rate, I wouldn’t call this controversy a product of “confusion.”

  5. WebSorcerer says:

    I just sent a message to Design Toscano ( ) via their “Contact Us” link at the bottom of their home page.

  6. sdmikev says:

    skymall.  where I can buy a hot diggity dogger and a steampunk mask.  

  7. Tom Morgan says:

    As an artist, Mr Basset should be upset that his design was ripped off – not because of any putative lost revenue, but because it associates his work with such a hideously unmitigated collection of poor taste as provided by Design Toscano. It is staggering in the arcane complexity of its tastelessness – no mere absence of discrimination, here, but a real positive ability to flaunt all notions of balance or material honesty or … 

    …oh god is that a Patriotic Eagle? What does that have to do with a creepy dryad face? Why is there is a resin american zombie gothic?

    Is this ironic? Do people buy these things? Do these fulfil the same role as byzantine religious icons? Why is there a sultry angel? Where would one put a sultry angel, anyway? On top of a sultry Christmas tree?

    (… they don’t sell a sultry Christmas tree, thank Gods…)

    I’m going to go and find some stark modernist lines to look at for a while, until my body regains design homoeostasis.

  8. orangedesperado says:

    Have a look at the thieving thieves of India/Pakistan that not only replicate fetish designs and products from companies that have produced them for many, many years, but do so for pennies on the dollar AND will put the  photographs from the individuals/businesses they steal from on their sites ! They won’t even bother to take their own photos ! Then pretend manufacturers purchase the crapola in bulk, and represent it as their own “custom” products. 

  9. John Smith says:

    Ha Ha, exit through the steampunk shop, Bassett’s designs weren’t exactly exclusively original in the first place, and if I read this right, he wasn’t selling cast statues.

  10. bolamig says:

    Plagiarize seems like a strange word choice; I’ve not heard that used outside of academic contexts.  “Fake” is the derogatory term used in the art world and nobody is claiming this is a fake.

    Every day I buy generic products at the drugstore, grocery store, and even electronics store that are knockoffs of the brand name products.  This is apparently advertised as a replica rather than an original.

    Sure, it’s not a kind thing of this company but I don’t expect companies to be kind.  Shaming them with this article is all well and good but expecting anything better is false hope.

  11. franklynblack says:

    Odd question, the person who pointed out this injustice knows of a Steampunk Cruise using the images of celebrities in order to post pictures advertising the Cruise itself, but says nothing because they may profit from it, but when someone else infringes upon one of their friends the attempt to raise hell about it. Interesting, pot meet kettle. 

  12. Dave Faris says:

    Pffft. It’s not plagiarism. It’s a “mash-up.”

  13. Daemonworks says:

    By calling it a “Design Toscano Exclusive” they’ve certainly declared their product to be fraud.

    Also note – it’s possible to leave product reviews on their site without purchasing anything…

  14. creamneuron says:

    Oh thanks BB. I did not know the shop until now. now i am financially ruined.

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