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TIME Magazine

Grumpy Cat Photo Rip-Off

Was a 'Coincidence'

3/30/2013 9:40 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

0329_grump_cat_bullet_articleTIME magazine is offering a limp excuse for its new Grumpy Cat photo spread -- telling TMZ the fact that it appears to be a flagrant and shameless rip-off of some lesser known feline photos is a total coincidence.

The other spread -- featuring an Internet celeb cat named Lil Bub -- first appeared in Bullett Magazine back in October. The TIME piece ran last week.

And the similarities are glaring -- down to the actual poses and the matching pink backgrounds.

The people at Bullett are understandably pissed, telling us, "Inspiration is one thing, but some of these photos are nearly identical. If it was indeed a copycat, it shouldn't have happened in the first place."

The art director behind the Bullett piece adds, "It's not about the money. It's more the lack of journalistic integrity and general laziness, the mere audacity that they thought no one would notice.”

For TIME's part, the mag's rep would only call the similarities "a complete coincidence."

We've reached out to Elizabeth Renstrom, the photographer of the TIME spread, so far ... no word back.

So we gotta ask ... you buyin' what TIME's sellin'?


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Who really cares?

535 days ago


i think this is a perfect example of why we connect with innocent little animals.

535 days ago

Tammy LM    

Good Grief TIME. How hard is it to photograph a damn cat? Get an original idea please. This cat's forwning. And you couldn't come up with something original? Even I could take a better photospread. He's frowning. It never occured to you to put a spilt bowl of milk in front of him with some milk on his whiskers and shoot him that way? Or set him in some foaming soap suds and have soap on his head like he's having a bath? Get a clue. You people are pathetic. He should have been in Cat Fancy instead.

535 days ago


Come on ! It's Lil Bub !!! lol

535 days ago

Your S&M Girlfriend    

There's a celeb.

535 days ago


Cuter than Lindsay for sure.

535 days ago


There is only one Grumpy Cat and she can't be imitated, thanks to some congenital deformities ( this is not a diss, she's beautiful and adorable in her own unique way). People have been posting funny cat pictures on the net ever since it became possible. Funny internet cats are more popular than porn. The other spread is just full of ordinary adorable funny cat pictures. No lawsuit here.

535 days ago

Wendy Croom    

Just watched an episode of Animal Planet's "Too Cute" dealing with kittens. The pose shown here is a classic one that kittens are trained to tolerate for show purposes. Pink is a pretty common color backdrop for kitties. What's the problem?

535 days ago

judy jetson    

I love grumpy!!!!

535 days ago


Bullet mag doesn't look like a grumpy cat!

535 days ago


Yeah...maybe the folks at Bullet should be a little more concerned that no one has ever heard of Bullet

535 days ago


All cats are a**holes

535 days ago

_][ Character_Assassin ][_    

Original IDEA's are officially DEAD.

535 days ago


Is this what the world has come to?

535 days ago


I want to know the net worth of the grump cat. I'm pretty sure it's worth a pretty penny

534 days ago
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