Banksy Opens a Fake Shop for Dull Non-Artistic Legal Purposes

By Gary Cutlack on at

Street artist friend of the super rich "Banksy" is finally opening a high street shop, although there's a catch. A very boring legal catch to do with merchandising rights.

The shop, called Gross Domestic Product, only exists for the purposes of technically offering Banksy items for sale, so that the artist can protect his catalogue of work from being ripped off and sold by a certain popular greeting card company. Selling his work himself, even in a closed-off temporary shop people can only look through the window of, grants the artist protection from rival merchandise sales, hence the establishment of the... establishment.

Copyright lawyer Mark Stephens explained to the Mirror that: "Banksy is in a difficult position because he doesn't produce his own range of shoddy merchandise and the law is quite clear: if the trademark holder is not using the mark, then it can be transferred to someone who will."

So now he is, and they can't do their own birthday cards with girls and balloons and ironic messages of protest. [Instagram via Mirror]