Urban Outfitters is denying that it copied Truche designer Stevie Koerner's state-with-a-heart-in-it necklace. The company, which is owned by prominent Republican donor Dick Hayne, points out that many designers have made jewelry that includes a heart and a representation of a geographical place, and that the combination of the two elements is essentially generic. (Which it probably is — no matter who came up with the design first, it is probably not copyrightable under U.S. law.) "We are not implying that Koerner stole her necklace idea from one of these other designers, we are simply stating the obvious — that the idea is not unique to Koerner and she can in no way claim to be its originator." Urban Outfitters, which has a long and well-documented history of pilfering designs from less well-known artists, also mentions that it wouldn't ordinarily stoop to publicly discussing this kind of thing, except that "the media response to her campaign is threatening to impact the dozens of independent designers we work with on a daily basis. For many of them, having their work sold at Urban Outfitters is a very positive turning point in their careers, and we will not allow their hard work and commitment, or ours, to be undermined by these false allegations." We reckon they're just afraid of Miley Cyrus. For a catalog of other, similar jewelry designs sold on Etsy and elsewhere prior to both Koerner's and Urban Outfitters' versions, check out this post on Regretsy. [Urban Outfitters]
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