AceShowbiz - Harry Styles is dragging unauthorized online merchandise sellers to court. The "As It Was" hitmaker has filed legal action against specific URLs, as opposed to real people and named operations, in a bid to prevent the sale of the fake merch on the Internet.
On Tuesday, January 10, lawyers representing the former One Direction star filed the suit in a Chicago federal court. It states, "Plaintiff is forced to file this action to combat defendants' counterfeiting of its registered trademarks, as well as to protect unknowing consumers from purchasing counterfeit products over the Internet."
It's said that the fake merch products have been listed on legitimate online marketplaces such as Etsy and Amazon. The lawsuit further explains that the items make it "difficult for consumers to distinguish such stores from an authorized retailer."
The 28-year-old pop star's legal team have requested a sweeping takedown of the unauthorized items. The document also cites specific URLs rather than actual vendors or individual people involved. "Tactics used by defendants to conceal their identities and the full scope of their operation make it virtually impossible for plaintiffs to learn defendants' true identities and the exact interworking of their counterfeit network," it continues.
Additionally, the paperwork notes that many of the fake pieces are being listed by internet sellers based mostly in China and "other foreign jurisdictions with lax trademark enforcement systems."
The most recent case was that of Johanna Donnelly, who was ordered to pay £140,000 (around $170,000) within three months to compensate for the whopping £250,000 (around $305,000) profit she made selling counterfeit music T-shirts online over a three-year period. Johanna sold unlicensed merch of bands including Foo Fighters, Led Zeppelin, The Clash, The Stranglers and The Stone Roses. If she fails to pay back, she could face a five-month prison sentence.