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The Boston Globe

Business

Copyright case shows art, retail can be difficult mix

Painter settles copyright claim with TJX’s HomeGoods

Tom Fleming received the kind of e-mails that most artists dream of: They were from people who purchased his work and wanted more. But there was a problem — Fleming’s fans had bought the pieces at California HomeGoods stores and he had no idea the chain was selling his paintings.

Fleming, who lives in North Carolina, made calls to the West Coast stores and confirmed what the messages claimed — unauthorized 6-foot-tall reproductions of “Depths of Love” and “Spirit & Life” were being offered for $99. In fact, both pieces were so popular that they had quickly sold out at the home furnishing retailer, which is owned by Framingham-based TJX Cos.

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