Case of Copy : LeekeWorld Mikhaila

Here is the mail, wich we send to Leeke after the update of their doll : Mikhaila on their new Art Body.

After mails they received from their customers, They also posted this page on their website.


Dear Madam, manager at Leekeworld,

After all the pleasure the Ldoll provided (october 9th and 10th, Lyon, France) as the first french event entirely dedicated to the BJD, the encounters that occurred thanks to this convention, despite all the difficulties the organizers met, we are terribly disappointed as we answer to your email. If you admit that you were at the Ldoll, you never mention the fact that your stall was right next to ours, so we were neighbors during this event.

Repeatedly, members of your staff came to talk with us and stared at what we were displaying on our stall. We remind you of the peculiar infatuation you showed, you insistence to take pictures and the fact that we gave you the business cards you asked from us. You seemed really appreciative of our friend Lillycat’s work too, who shared our stall. Consequently, it’s with stupefaction and not absent dread that, on the 15th of March, we discovered your new doll, which preview was already showing too many similarities with our work.

The day after, as you were posting the remaining pictures, the whole community reacted before us and in such a spectacular way that you couldn’t point out a lack of objectivity on our side.

We really feel betrayed. Your infatuation that we naively took for a sincere and honest esteem of our creation led us to let you take all the pictures you wanted. The very nature of a convention being to allow encounters, discoveries and sharing our experiences, we can’t let these events become a living opportunity for some malevolent companies to steal, copy or scavenge the creations of young and innocent artists.

Our current standing is justified by the very nature of your plagiarism. Your copy is so obvious and striking that in addition to hurting us, it directly jeopardize our future. In fact, we are two young artists, our BJD are handmade, which represents, as you should know, a lot of personal and financial investment. Our social position makes our creations more expensive and rarer than products made by companies such as yours. Your competition on a similar product allows you to sell a more affordable production, which endanger directly and irremediably our commercial prospects. But the most important point is the respect of the right of individual property. This right is and must remain universal. To not stand up for it would mean denying creation in its whole, furthermore any cultural representation of a country or a nation.

You took the initiative (on march 15th, 2011) to send us an email with breathtaking content. You’re developing arguments that the pictures you add clearly contradict. Here are the highlights :

You wrote :  » I have update Leeke’s new doll today, and get some emails from another customers.
And I found your website. »

Let us question you honesty on that point : you knew of our flickr gallery since the Ldoll, as you had our business cards in your possession, given during the convention. We remind you that you even asked us where you could get more infos, and we showed you the address on our card.

You wrote :  “This doll based M type gentle girl body”

This is untrue. You should use more specific terms : The M type gentle girl body and the art body are of the same size and are sculpted by the same person. Contrariwise, the art body is based on the body of our doll, called Püns. You used the gentle body arms and the same knee joint, as if adding some differences to your plagiarism would be sufficient to cover it.

You wrote :  “Customers said it’s copy doll from your doll. How do you think about this situation ?”

As we underlined it before, you can’t deny our good will and objectivity, considering the support the community gives us through its many interventions, as they decided to denounce their discovery even before we stepped in.

Here are some comparative pictures made by customers :

How do you explain that so many people recognize the plagiarism in your new doll, notice it and, furthermore, name the original doll and even publicly express their denunciation before the legitimate owners could express themselves? This isn’t simply a unilateral finding but an obvious general finding.

Just face it: your new doll strictly has a body copied from our doll, Püns. The general shape of the torso is the same. The hips and pelvis are strictly identical, to the shape of the navel! And suddenly you use the same inverted joints on the thighs, which is a new and sudden conception on you line of dolls. The thighs have the same shape as our creation, the calves alone are a bit slender. Event to the beige resin color, the copy is obvious. Regarding the head of your doll, we’ll let our friend, Enaibi, the other french artist concerned by your plagiarism (also present at the Ldoll) step in.

You wrote :  « I found your doll is 26cm and our doll is 40cm. »

We wouldn’t dare accusing you of recasting our doll. We simply speak of a strict copy. Whatever the size is, it’s the whole outline which is plagiarized, even in the placing of certain joints. The possible interpretations and translations of body outlines on dolls willingly stylized are infinite. This multiplicity also applies to pear-shaped body, and to see you going down to such an excess of conformity with our creation could only make us suspicious regarding your sincerity. On the contrary, we think that you willingly brought some personal touch (on the hands, the knees with the inverted cut, the slender calves) only to “muddy the waters”. But as we already reported it, no one was fooled.

You wrote :  « But the designs are similar. So I have to do something for this issue. »

We notice that you agree on the fact that the two bodies are similar and you want to do something. Does that mean that you recognize the huge similarity?

You wrote : « I am asking to our doll designer for this doll. She told she didn’t know about your website. »

How could we trust you when we discover on one of the picture you sent us, a printed copy of our Püns (picture that you can find on our website), lays on the table next to your prototype.

Here is the picture :

Here is the original reproduction of our creation, compared to the print found on your picture :

The most obvious detail is the knee joint on the printed picture, which is reversed compared to your prototype, and thus in the same cut as on our doll.

You wrote :  « If you think this doll is copy your doll, what situation from Leekeworld? Leeke staffs are shocked see your doll and customers email.

Our outfits designers, faceup artist, photographer and doll designers. Everybody working hard for project doll. » Due to the standing of your company you probably have at disposal some other financial means to generate benefits. We’ve been working for several years for this doll to be born. So we won’t pity anyone, but determine our respective positions. It’s not a matter of who’s miserable or not, but who’s respectful or not.

You wrote :  « So what should have to do for this doll? I need your opinion. Because it’s very similar design and customers need answers. You are the first one who designed the doll. So if you need commission, I will think about that. »

Unquestionably, we are the original creators of the model and its proportions. Seeing the contradictory arguments your giving, it seems to us very inappropriate for you to pretend that this situation is fortuitous, when you communicate on pictures from your workshop in wich we can clearly see pictures of our doll next to your prototype, during its sculpting. You will understand that we don’t ask for a financial counterpart as a compensation for your mistake.

You wrote : « Please don’t think bad side and feel bad about Leeke doll. Please think good side. Leeke staffs didn’t copy your doll. You can see the pictures as Gentle girl body. »

Far be it from us to emit a good or bad opinion about your company or the dolls you produce. Nevertheless in this problem, concerning us despite our own will, we have to admit that your posture plays against you. Willingly, you take away from us five years of hard work and personal investment. Any supplication could only discredit your speech.

You wrote :  « I want to resolve this problem with you for good both of us. Please kindly, send any opinion for both of us you and Leeke. »

The only reasonable solution, fast and efficient to put an end to this situation, is to withdraw definitely and without any condition your Art Body from sale, as it is presently realized. If you try to add further modification to the actual mold (?) in attempt to calm things down, you would not get our approval anyway. On the contrary, if you consider using the name Art Body for another original creation from your artists, we wouldn’t interpose with it.

On the morning of the 16th of March, you posted on your website some documents illustrating the conception of your doll. That is when you publicly showed the picture in which we can see the legs of our dolls on the table… And you added a picture where we can see, on the left, the same sheet with printed pictures. We can also see the legs of our Püns, from the same picture than before and an original doll design from Lillycat (Cerisedoll), the French artist sharing our stall during the LDoll festival.

Here is a photo montage made by Lillycat, showing the two documents we can see on your picture.

On the same day, at 15h17, you sent us a second email asking us to answer quickly. We see in this hurry a strategy to clear from any doubt by insisting bluntly to cause the defender to stumble.

You wrote :  « If you see that URL, you will know. We didn’t copy your doll body. But end of making doll, the doll body look similar with your doll body. »

Once more, you produce two shots clearly showing that you had in your possession some pictures of our dolls in the workshop were the prototype of your Art Body was made. You perfectly know about our creations and everything shows evidence that you intentionally used it to plagiarize them.

You wrote : « A plan of Mikhaila, we planed she will sell from next monday in Korea time. ( It was planed last month ) »

To be clear: we want the Art Body to be taken off the shelves now. Such a case is not new to you. As a matter of fact, in 2009, the case of plagiarism on the Russian photographer Oleg DOU’s work led you to renounce to sell your doll Milch.

Given the seriousness of the situation, in case you wouldn’t accept our request, we can’t guarantee what is to be expected.

Given the context, we inform you that all the information you gave us have been forwarded to the administrators of Den of Angels and Materiel Celeste, and that this message will be displayed publicly on internet.


Dust of Dolls

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