21/06/2016
A win for the little guy.

Words by

Giulia Brugliera

Four days ago, an article surfaced which posed the question “Is Snapchat stealing filters from makeup artists?

In short, the article highlights a number of similarities between select Snapchat filters and the work of independent makeup artists as posted publicly to platforms such as YouTube and Instagram. A quick glance shows these similarities are a little too close to just be a coincidence... if you know what we mean.

Naturally, the people wanted answers. Including @mykie_ who called out the copying via her Instagram over seven weeks ago. 

So Snapchat delivered a written response to the allegations. A very carefully-worded written response. A written response that attempts to avoid admitting any wrongdoing.

Yet for all its tact and creative wording, it seems to be a clear admission of guilt.

Snapchat wrote:

“The creative process sometimes involves inspiration, but it should never result in copying. We have already implemented additional layers of review for all designs. Copying other artists isn’t something we will tolerate, and we’re taking appropriate action internally with those involved.”

So yep, that’s that. 

However some are arguing that “appropriate action internally” is not enough. Exhibit A: Back in May, Snapchat was accused of copying the work of Russian artist, Alexander Khokhlov, with its filter of a geometric mask. After the social media outcry that ensued, Snapchat admitted it was an "embarrassing mistake" and was quick to release the following statement: 

“We agree that this lens is similar other artists’ creations and we have removed it. We are sorry for this embarrassing mistake and we are taking action to make sure it won’t happen again.”

Enough said. 

You can (and should) read the full article, along with Snapchat’s response, here.

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