VCSO Sues PicsArt Over Allegedly Stolen Filters

By Kehl Bayern / April 12, 2019

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Popular photography app VSCO is suing PicsArt for stealing some of its filters according to court documents.

Apparently, employees for PicsArt signed up for VSCO using easily identifiable email addresses and proceeded to copy VSCO’s signature filters.

Image via Mauricio Mascaro from Pexels.com.

The lawsuit states that PicsArt employees signed up with what we assume are company email addresses. 17 accounts were created in total and 19 filters were taken from VSCO and debuted on PicsArt shortly after these accounts signed up for the service according to the suit.

VSCO’s “color scientists” then determined that PicsArts’ new filters copied 19 presets, FStoppers reports.

VSCO describes how they uncovered their allegations with the following statement: “Specifically, VSCO determined that those PicsArt filters have a Mean Color Difference (“MCD”) of less than two CIEDE2000 units (in some cases, far less than two units) compared to their VSCO counterparts. An MCD of less than two CIEDE2000 units between filters is imperceptible to the human eye and cannot have been achieved by coincidence or visual or manual approximation. On information and belief, PicsArt could have only achieved this degree of similarity between its filters and those of VSCO by using its employees’ VSCO user accounts to access the VSCO app and reverse engineer VSCO’s presets.”

PicsArt responded thus: “VSCO is not a direct competitor, but they clearly feel threatened by PicsArt. VSCO’s claims are meritless. It’s disappointing that they have made these false claims against us. PicsArt will vigorously defend itself against these baseless claims and all options are under consideration.”

Guess we'll just have to let the courts decide – or for the two parties to come to some sort of agreement.

As of press, FStoppers states that 17 out of the 19 filters in question were removed from PicsArts’ offerings.

Do you use VSCO or PicsArt? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.


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About the author

Kehl Bayern

Kehl Bayern is our staff news writer and has over a decade of experience in online media and publishing. In terms of photography, he is interested in architecture and modern design. Kehl Bayern is also the author of science fiction thriller Animus Proxy. He is based in Boston, Massachusetts and studied politics at the University of Virginia and, later, Harvard University for graduate school. He spends much of his time traveling up and down the east coast of the United States. You can follow him on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

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