Is Zappos Ripping Off This Naked Lady?

rsz_ericasimone_jogging2009.jpg
Simone's photo
Erica Simone is a French photographer who recently published a Not Exactly Safe for Work photo collection called Nue York: Self-Portraits of a Bare Urban Citizen, in which she does average daily New York City things totally nude -- jogging, riding the subway, riding a motorcycle, buying a hot dog, and so on. Her show ran from April 14 through April 28 at the Dash Gallery, and got, as she wrote us, "quite an extensive amount of press in May/April." We even covered it on this blog. Now Simone has gotten in touch to let us know that Zappos may be ripping her off in a campaign that looks kind of a lot like at least one of her photos, in so much as it is of a naked lady, running. (Note that in the original photo of Simone running, she does not have her lady parts hidden with any bars, much less ones that advertise clothing.) Simone writes of Zappos, "Their campaign is scheduled to fully run in August. The copyright issue is significant and a lawsuit may result from it."

Here's one of the Zappos ads in question:

2011_07_Zappos-Ads.jpg

We're almost always on the side of the little guy in situations like these -- take, for instance, Forever21's beef with satire site WTForever21 or Urban Outfitters seemingly grabbing local artists' designs. But, at the same time, and as every blogger knows, sometimes ideas can happen simultaneously among different people. And though we feel Simone's pain, can you really own "being naked and doing everyday things"? If so, what does that mean for those Bluefly ads, which go all the way back to 2005? Or...for our lovely topless lady of the Bowery, for that matter?

And, yet, when we look at the catalog of Zappos ads, which also include riding a Vespa and hailing a cab, all shot in Manhattan locations, there does seem to be a certain similarity. Although Simone's photos are prettier, and more authentic: During the Zappos shoot, reports the New York Times, "the models wore pasties and thongs or tiny bikinis, which were edited out later."

We've contacted Zappos for comment.

[JDoll / @thisisjendoll]



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8 comments
Descent
Descent

If I am not mistaken, Zappos didn't steal her photo, they did their own photo op for their commercial. So from now on Erica holds a copyright on the naked female form in urban setting? Get real.

If they stole her picture and photoshopped the ad - that would've been a different thing. I like the Zappos lady better, looks like she's got a more voluptious form anyway but I think we need to see more of both so we can compare. I'd love to be a juror on that trial.

FrenchFriesForever
FrenchFriesForever

In and of themselves, Simone's photo are not interesting.  They just go to the old French thing of when you don't know what to do because your talent is thin, use women as sex objects.  You have to ask yourself why she didn't use older people, or men, or who knows what a creative mind would have come up with but only did shots that would fit right into any nudie magazine.  And could any of these magazine sue her for copying them?!  Actually where her shots look posed and badly acted, the Zappos shot does what Simone tried to do and failed: make someone look like they're doing an everyday activity naked without being self-conscious or looking like a cheap tart.

Chimpydork
Chimpydork

Naked advertising - works for me!  Where can I buy your products and how much do you want?

:D

Brandon L.
Brandon L.

In summary, everything has been done and nothing is new.

TyalerSalas
TyalerSalas

I just paid $22.87 for an iPad2-64GB and my girlfriend loves her Panasonic Lumix GF 1 Camera that we got for $38.76 there arriving tomorrow by UPS. I will never pay such expensive retail prices in stores again. Especially when I also sold a 40 inch LED TV to my boss for $675 which only cost me $62.81 to buy. Here is the website we use to get it all from, GrabPenny.com

Dr. Jimmy
Dr. Jimmy

Blatant plagiarism, plus Erica is So much hotter.

Chimpydork
Chimpydork

I'm sorry - Erica who?   Please supply link.  If "Erica" is better, I want to see it.Thanks

Fuckyou
Fuckyou

are you fucking retarded?

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