Eddie Colla achieved minor internet fame a few years ago when he first created his street art, "If You Want To Achieve Greatness Stop Asking For Permission."
Wayfair, a Walmart Marketplace retailer, seems to have taken the quote's advice to heart, and is not only selling Colla's print without permission, but also claiming that it was created by Banksy.
Walmart's Marketplace allows companies they have a partnership with to sell products through walmart.com.
In response, Colla created a limited edition print called "It's Only Stealing If You Get Caught," which quickly sold out on 1XRUN.com. The artist said the profits will go toward his legal fees.
The print isn't the only Banksy knockoff being sold in Walmart's Marketplace: They're also selling the "Life Is Beautiful" print by Thierry Guetta ("Mr. Brainwash") from a 2008 art show.
And even Banksy has spoken out (indirectly) about the reproductions.
"The Banksy canvases you showed me are counterfeit reproductions and we are currently dealing with Walmart about them," the artist's publicist said, according to LAist.
Colla told BuzzFeed in an email that he still felt it was an infringement for Walmart to sell the product through their marketplace.
"[R]egardless of who made the actual product (and I don't know that answer yet), Walmart is certainly helping them reach a much bigger market," he said. "I would never agree to have my work sold through a company like Walmart. As the creator I have the right to decide who and where my work can be sold. I was not given a choice in this case."
In an interview with 1XRUN, Colla pointed out the irony of the situation.
"I made a piece about individuals controlling their own fate and not making their success contingent on the approval of others," he said. "It then gets adopted by a neo-feudal corporation like Walmart."
Though it's arguable that the art was created in the public and could be public domain, Colla said he accepts the art will be shared -- he's just not OK with it being through one of the biggest corporations in the world.
"Getting ripped of is one thing," Colla said. "Getting ripped off by the wealthiest family in the country is inexcusable."
When reached for comment, Walmart spokesman Bao Nguyen said they were just alerted to the problem today. "This item in particular we're still discussing and we're looking into with our partners at Wayfair," he said.
Update, 10 p.m., ET: Walmart told BuzzFeed the poster would no longer be for sale starting at midnight. "We’ve taken action to disable that item," spokesman Bao Nguyen said.
Update, Dec. 3, 11 a.m., ET: Wayfair told BuzzFeed they also have taken the print down.
"We immediately removed the prints from our site and our partner sites as soon as we became aware of the issue," said Jane Carpenter, head of the website's public relations.
Rachel Zarrell is a news editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Rachel Zarrell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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