What you need to know

  • Xiaomi was using a stolen image on its Spanish website to promote its products.
  • The image was a compilation of three separate images hosted on Peter Tarka's Behance page.
  • Two of the elements used were stolen from pieces Tarka had created for LG.

Xiaomi just stole an artist's work to promote products on its Spanish website. The images in question were stolen from Peter Tarka's Behance portfolio without any credit or payment. To make matters worse, some of the elements used were actually commissioned pieces for Xiaomi's competitor LG.

Unlike Xiaomi, LG actually paid Tarka for his work and time, instead of ripping off his Behance page. The images used are not direct copies, as you can see Xiaomi has tweaked them ever so slightly by replacing some elements with its products and increasing the saturation. Just because it's not an exact copy, doesn't mean it's a blatant rip-off of Tarka's original work though.

Not content to simply copy one of Tarka's pieces, Xiaomi actually uses two elements from images he created for LG's marketing. In the images below you can clearly make out a chair and lamp that were repurposed in the collage of marketing piracy.

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The Verge originally reported about this on June 18, and as of June 19, the stolen artwork has been removed. As we all know, however, nothing from the internet is ever really gone. Speaking with The Verge, Tarka had this to say:

I'm 100 percent sure they've used my pieces cause everything matches perfectly, they only changed the saturation and retouched [a] few elements to not make it so obvious

China isn't exactly the beacon of copyright protection, in fact, it's rather infamous for how cavalier Chinese companies are about copying products and services. That doesn't make it right though, especially when it happens outside of China.

Xiaomi is one of the largest mobile phone manufacturers in the world, actually outranking LG. However, if it wants to compete on the global stage, it's going to have to play by the rules and that includes honoring copyrights and not plagiarizing others' work.

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