ZJ Sparks to take legal action against website - Online store making big bucks illegally using DJ's image
Female disc jock ZJ Sparks is the victim of a copyright infringement, as an image of her has surfaced on numerous merchandise being sold online.
Sparks told THE STAR that T-shirts, hoodies, cups, phone cases and baby clothing bearing a single image of her have been raking in big bucks on the website, Spreadshirt.com. Checks to the website show that items have been attracting a cost from anywhere between US$23 (J$2,950) and US$50 (J$6,411). The website also credits the design on the items to a United States designer who goes by the moniker Nerdsbyleo.
"I was actually ordering some T-shirts off Amazon, just regular graphic tees, when one of my friends sent me a message, saying, 'Hol' on! Yuh nuh see somebody a sell T-shirt wid yuh picture on it?' I was, like, 'Really?' She then sent me a screenshot of it. I said, 'What!' When I looked at the site, they were selling dog scarves, baby onesies, men's hoodies, all kinds of male and female T-shirts and accessories like water bottles, cups, everything," Sparks said.
"The tags that they have under these items read: 'Hot Seller Reggae'. That image has been around for a minute. That picture was from when my hair did just start grow. I don't know this person (the one selling it) and I gave no one permission to print anything using my image," the DJ expressed.
The DJ says she believes the owner of the website and the person selling the merchandise with her image may have got a hold of it on the Internet and just ran with it.
"I was shocked. I would not have had a problem with granting a licence for them to use the image, but no one contacted me," she said.
"Me lawyer a go deal wid dem because dat a copyright violation. You can't take my image and do as you like. Nobody can't take Bob Marley image and do as dem like. It's not questionable whether it's me enuh, so I have already contacted my attorney and we are going to put some things in place."
When asked whether she would serve a cease-and-desist order on the persons responsible, the DJ said that what she does is dependent on how they respond. "I'm going to have discussion with them and my lawyer and see how they respond. I'm not going to make an emotional response. We do things logically and based on business," she said.
ZJ Sparks also encouraged celebrities and popular personalities to know their rights and to take the potential business pull their brand may bring. Pointing out that Brand Jamaica is in high demand across the globe, Sparks says it is high time Jamaicans recognise it and seek to capitalise on their brand before the rest of the world does.