Brad "Tiki Shark" Parker sues CafePress.com for unauthorized use of artworkUPDATED 6:57 PM HST Dec 04, 2013Video Transcript
A jaw dropper for a Big Island artist. His painting goes viral on more than 200 items, but he doesn't get a single dime. Good evening, I'm Yunji De Nies. And I'm Paula Akana. Self-proclaimed tiki artist Brad Parker says he's lost out on more than a quarter of a million dollars! But Parker is fighting back... KITV4's Andrew Pereira spoke with the artist -- and joins us with tonight's top story. Paula, Yunji... Parker has filed suit against CafePress.com ... alleging the internet giant turned his hard work into a cash cow. BRAD PARKER: "HE LIVES IN THIS HOUSE AND HE HAS ROBBY THE ROBOT." Brad "Tiki Shark" Parker... an unusual name for an uncommon artist. His work on display at the Wyland Kona Oceanfront Gallery is known as low-brow art or pop surrealism. BRAD PARKER: "AND I'M ACTUALLY A SUB-CATEGORY OF THAT, I'M ACTUALLY A POLYNESIAN POP CULTURE." One of Parker's most famous paintings is called Forbidden Island. In May, Parker was approached by the Dubai affiliate of Body Glove to reproduce Forbidden Island on 25,000 towels. It was the big break Parker has been working toward for years. BRAD PARKER: "AND FINALLY I GOT TO A PLACE WHERE A LARGE RETAIL PLACE THOUGHT I WAS IMPORTANT ENOUGH AND UNIQUE ENOUGH TO ORDER AN EXCLUSIVE IMAGE. AND THEN THE DEAL WAS HAPPENING AND I WAS SO EXCITED AND THEN IT FELL THROUGH." The Dubai company cancelled the order for thousands of towels because Forbidden Island was already being used by California-based CafePress.com. Parker lost the $257,000 contract... enough to make anyone scream. BRAD PARKER: "IT WAS DEVASTATING. I FELT LIKE SOMEONE CAME INTO MY STUDIO AND GRABBED A PAINTING AND RAN OUT AND STOLE IT." As Parker went online, he found his Forbidden Island on all kinds of products ... Slippers, bags and more! The only change, his signature was removed. BRAD PARKER: "I KNOW THERE WAS OVER 200 ITEMS. I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT ALL ITEMS THEY WERE USING THEM ON 554 I KNOW THERE WAS LITTLE BAGS AND THERE WERE LIKE THONGS AND FOOTIES AND STUFF, ALL THESE THINGS." Parker was determined not to let his artwork be carried away without a fight. He filed suit against CafePress.com in late October. DAVID SMITH: "ESSENTIALLY HE'S SEEKING COMPENSATION FOR THE LOST CONTRACT THAT HE HAD AND FOR THE COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT 1338 AND THE EXACT AMOUNT OF THAT IS TO BE DETERMINED." Parker says even his eclectic creativity is suffering... BRAD PARKER: "AND NOW WHEN I SIT DOWN TO TRY TO WORK I THINK, 'WHAT AM I PAINTING FOR, IT'S JUST ALL GOING TO BE STOLEN.' I MEAN IT'S DEVASTATING. IT'S DAMAGING MY CAREER; IT'S DAMAGING MY ABILITY TO PAINT." We reached out to CafePress.com about Parker's lawsuit, but so far have not received a response. Parker's attorney says CafePress.com has removed all of the items from its website that feature "Forbidden Island." Yunji?