Meet Jeff Gluck, Streetwear's Favorite Lawyer

The lawyer helping your favorite artists and designers fight against copying.

Fashion 
12,911 Hypes 0 Comments

The mind of an artist or designer is a constantly running machine of creativity, whether it’s looking through the archives for inspiration or sourcing fabrics for their next collection, but it’s the small details, which produce a functioning business that are more often than not, overlooked. In the contemporary world of streetwear, we’re seeing a rising number of talents that seemingly appear out of nowhere and as they put the finishing touches on their latest graphics or are sending out the sample to be produced on a large scale, they are rarely concerned with protecting the work they’ve created from a legal standpoint. Imitators, bootleggers, artists that pay homage, or whatever you want to call them, will always be out there and ready to jump on an opportunity to ride the wave and make a quick buck. A sound business structure and plan is usually the last aspect that concerns creative individuals and within the street culture realm, this lack of foresight has given birth to countless disputes, as well as cease and desist letters. However, what happens when you’re just making stuff you like and you weren’t thinking about developing a business in the first place but then it starts to take off? Chances are you don’t even know who you can go to, who not only understands the intricacies in creating a sound business plan, but also understands and respects what you’re trying to do.

D*FACE, “As a visual artist working in public, you can be an easy target for copyright infringement, it’s reassuring working with Jeff to know he has your back and is looking out for you.”

Combining a passion for streetwear, culture and art with a passion for legislation Jeff Gluck is the lawyer that streetwear brands and artists have gone to for anything from corporate structure to disputes. His record includes cases against the likes of Roberto Cavalli and Moschino, and his focus involves intellectual property litigation, protecting artists, as well as designers against copying. We took the opportunity to sit down with Jeff and pick his brain about what these creative individuals face and what they need to prepare for if they don’t want to face problems down the line.

It is important for anyone who believes they may have been copied to contact a lawyer, and resist the temptation to lash out on social media. Be smart.

How did you decide to go into this route of law where you’re working with streetwear brands and artists?

I met Curtis Kulig through mutual friends and he became my first client when I opened my own firm. He recommended me to other artists and other brands, which helped everything grow. I soon realized how often artists and designers get copied and ripped-off, and no one was helping them, so that became my focus.

What’s your connection with the streetwear community?

Growing up, I was always interested in counter-cultures and skate culture, as well as the role they play in fashion and art. I went to NYU in the late 1990’s. Every weekend, my friends and I would be downtown going to Supreme, Clientele, SSUR, and Union. There was always something about what those brands stood for that resonated with me. It was an attitude. I am grateful to be representing some of those brands today.

Russ Karablin (SSUR), “Jeff is not only an amazing sounding board for legal issues for me, but also has an intelligent understanding of the artist environment. We artist types understand and appreciate him very much.”

Can you share some of the most common mistakes in terms of structuring, legal etc. brands make when they start out?

Many brands start out as “bedroom t-shirt companies,” which seems to give young designers the environmental freedoms needed to create something raw and authentic. The problem arises when the brand experiences huge growth seemingly overnight. They have to play catch up and get organized very fast, which often results in missed opportunities, ordering too much or too little inventory, signing ridiculous contracts, negotiating bad deals, unprotected intellectual property, shipping and logistic failures, and fighting between partners. Organizing and structuring your company properly, and securing trademark and copyright protections, should be just as important as your first drop.

When do legal disputes most commonly occur within streetwear and can you share some examples?

My focus is intellectual property litigation. The most common dispute stems from copyright infringement allegations. This occurs when an original work is allegedly copied and exploited commercially without permission from the author. Recently, this has been happening quite frequently in contemporary graffiti culture. For example, I represented Revok, Reyes, and Steel against Roberto Cavalli, as well as Rime against Moschino.

KESH, “Jeff delivers. He understands and respects the emotional connectivity between his clients and their artwork. He approaches each case with passion and recognizes that it’s more than just a stolen image”

What is usually the process when there’s a legal dispute?

The process usually begins with a Cease & Desist Notice from an attorney, which is a formal demand laying out the allegations and asking the infringing entity to cease and desist the unlawful use. It is important for anyone who believes they may have been copied to contact a lawyer, and resist the temptation to lash out on social media. Be smart.

For most people, there’s a fear that it costs exorbitant amounts when hiring lawyers, is it possible to get legal advice without paying?

For litigation purposes, I often work on a contingency fee basis. My clients only pay me if I get them paid. There are no other costs or fees. By doing this, I am able to level the playing field and empower them to take on larger corporations who rip them off.

In the realm of streetwear right now, we’re seeing a lot of “parody” work such as directly copying logos or graphics, maybe sometimes changing them around a little bit, how is this all possible without legal disputes arising?

There is a fine line. Parody is an exception to copyright infringement falling under the legal doctrine called ‘fair-use.’

How has the legal landscape in fashion changed over the past few years with the rise of the internet and access to all this free information?

The internet has obviously changed everything. It has been an important catalyst for creativity, enabling designers to find influence and collect inspiration like never before. However, it has also become an easy and fast conduit for copying and stealing designs.

 Jeff will be available to answer any questions you have about the legal or corporate side of your work in the comments section.

These testimonials or endorsements do not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter. The materials presented are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice.

Read Full Article

What to Read Next

Rotterdam Will Take Apart a Historic Bridge to Allow Jeff Bezos' Megayacht to Sail Through
Tech

Rotterdam Will Take Apart a Historic Bridge to Allow Jeff Bezos' Megayacht to Sail Through

The steel industrial structure was originally constructed in 1927.

Blue Origin Ramps Up Rocket Production to Meet "Robust Demand" for Space Tourism
Tech

Blue Origin Ramps Up Rocket Production to Meet "Robust Demand" for Space Tourism

It currently owns two operational New Shephard rocket boosters.

Jeff Bridges Runs from the Law in FX's 'The Old Man'
Entertainment

Jeff Bridges Runs from the Law in FX's 'The Old Man'

Based on the bestselling novel by Thomas Perry.


Jeff Koons Will Launch His Sculptures to the Surface of the Moon
Art

Jeff Koons Will Launch His Sculptures to the Surface of the Moon

As part of a hybrid NFT project in conjunction with Pace Verso.

'Good Cop/Bad Drop' Reviews the AJ12 "Flu Game," the Neymar Jr. x Jordan Collection and More

'Good Cop/Bad Drop' Reviews the AJ12 "Flu Game," the Neymar Jr. x Jordan Collection and More

And we’re giving away a pair of Air Jordan 11 Lows in “Varsity Red.”

Matthew Miller Imbues Skinhead Culture for 2017 Spring/Summer Collection
Fashion

Matthew Miller Imbues Skinhead Culture for 2017 Spring/Summer Collection

A mad palette of inky hues, flowing garbs, and butterfly badges.

'Quake' Is Finally Making a Comeback
Gaming

'Quake' Is Finally Making a Comeback

Bethesda and id turn their attentions to ‘Quake’ after resurrecting ‘DOOM.’

The Liberty x NikeCourt Collection Finds Inspiration in UK Summers
Footwear

The Liberty x NikeCourt Collection Finds Inspiration in UK Summers

From the garden to the court.

Shoot Your Way to the Top in the Latest 'Mafia III' E3 Trailer
Gaming

Shoot Your Way to the Top in the Latest 'Mafia III' E3 Trailer

How long can you outlast the crime-ridden streets of New Bordeaux?


MCM and Christopher Raeburn Debut "Made to Move" Line With Immersive 360 Installation
Fashion

MCM and Christopher Raeburn Debut "Made to Move" Line With Immersive 360 Installation

Wind, sun and rain all digitalized to help illustrate the collection’s story.

Adele Dedicates Her Live Show to the Victims of the Orlando Shooting
Music 

Adele Dedicates Her Live Show to the Victims of the Orlando Shooting

The singer paid a tearful tribute to those who lost their lives at Pulse during her concert in Antwerp.

Microsoft Just Dropped a Ton of Cash to Buy LinkedIn
Tech

Microsoft Just Dropped a Ton of Cash to Buy LinkedIn

Microsoft enters the world of social networking.

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson Is an Oceanic Demigod in Disney's 'Moana'
Entertainment

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson Is an Oceanic Demigod in Disney's 'Moana'

The Rock stars as Maui in this upcoming animated nod to Polynesian mythology.

EA Sports Introduces 'FIFA 17'
Gaming

EA Sports Introduces 'FIFA 17'

The flagship footy franchise gets a new engine and its first-ever story mode.

More ▾
 
Subscribe to our Newsletter

Gain access to exclusive interviews with industry creatives, think pieces, trend forecasts, guides and more.

By subscribing, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Looks like you’re using an ad-blocker

We charge advertisers instead of our readers. Support us by whitelisting our site.

Whitelist Us

How to Whitelist Us

screenshot
  1. Click the AdBlock icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Under “Pause on this site” click “Always”.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the AdBlock Plus icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Block ads on – This website” switch off the toggle to turn it from blue to gray.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the AdBlocker Ultimate icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Switch off the toggle to turn it from “Enabled on this site” to “Disabled on this site”.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the Ghostery icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Click on the “Ad-Blocking” button at the bottom. It will turn gray and the text above will go from “ON” to “OFF”.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the UBlock Origin icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Click on the large blue power icon at the top.
  3. When it turns gray, click the refresh icon that has appeared next to it or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the icon of the ad-blocker extension installed on your browser.You’ll usually find this icon in the upper right-hand corner of your screen. You may have more than one ad-blocker installed.
  2. Follow the instructions for disabling the ad blocker on the site you’re viewing.You may have to select a menu option or click a button.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.