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Designers Sue Shein Over AI Copies of Designs

Designers sue shein

Shein, the Chinese fast-fashion firm reportedly valued at $66 billion, is facing a lawsuit from a group of designers who accuse the company of repeatedly stealing independent artists work “as part of a long and continuous pattern of racketeering.” Designers Sue Shein because they see AI generates the same designs.

The designers Krista Perry, Larissa Martinez and Jay Baron allege in their lawsuit that Shein’s design “algorithm” generates exact copies that can harm an independent designer’s career, as Shein’s artificial intelligence is advanced enough to misappropriate pieces with the most financial potential.

Designers Sue Shein Over AI Copies from lawsuit
Image Credit: Lawsuit

Shein’s use of artificial intelligence is the focus of the lawsuit. It is unclear how Shein utilizes AI in its design process, though it does not seem to be employing it to create the claimed copies. The lawsuit contains several comparisons, such as one between Shein’s design and that of another company.

Designers Sue Shein Over AI Copies
Image Credit: Lawsuit

Additionally, the lawsuit states that Shein’s practices breach the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), a law passed in 1970 that was initially used against the American Mafia.

The designers claim in their suit that the fast-fashion giant’s “misconduct is committed not by a single entity, but by a de-facto association of entities” and they are requesting a jury trial.

They argue that RICO is applicable to this case because it was created to “address the misconduct of individual culprits in a larger enterprise.” When contacted for comment, Shein sent TechCrunch a boilerplate response, emphasizing that they take such claims seriously.

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Shein stated that it will “vigorously defend” itself against allegations that it has habitually mistreated artists, workers, and the environment, despite having previously admitted to violating local labor laws. Despite these reports, Shein has attempted to present itself as an environmentally-minded and socially conscious company.