Thursday, May 1, 2008

The Bright Side of Stolen Artwork

If I stumbled across this book in a shop, I'd almost definitely buy it. I reckon you might too. Cover to cover, it is full of a whole host of amazing artists and illustrators. Including a few artists that will be taking part in ivoteforart.com.

But if you do stumble accross it. Don't buy it. It's a fake.

It's been one of the big news stories in my next of the interweb woods in the past few weeks. All of the content in the book has been taken, stolen that is, from Darren Di Lieto's awesome illustration portal, Little Chimp Society. This includes images, interviews ... everything.

A publisher in Hong Kong ripped everything from the site, and re-packaged it into this book, which they are selling for $100. You can read more about it over at Darren's blog, Apefluff.

Understandably, Darren isn't happy. He's tried to contact the producers in Hong Kong, without much success so far. And it's looking pretty doubtful that he will get anywhere with this.

But is their a bright side? I think so. This has been a newsworthy story, picked up by artists and bloggers all over the place, which, in turn has probably generated some good publicity for Darren, and spread the word about some of the great artists that he's featured. Here's what I said on his blog:

Darren,

I’m a bit late to comment on all of this, but it’s such a shame that you had to experience this.

Having said that, you’d have to agree that the whole story has created quite a storm on the web. So, to look on the bright side, I’m hoping that you’ve picked up some new regulars over at Little Chimp, and gained some good publicity in the past few weeks.

In the process, the artists that you’re so passionate about have probably picked a whole lot of new fans as well. Surely this isn’t a bad thing?

It’s terrible that they did this without your knowledge or permission - but they did it because the content on LCS is so good. A back-handed compliment for you no doubt, but I hope there has been some positives that have come out of this experience for you.

Now I'm not saying it's a good thing that this happened, and I completely understand how dissappointed he must be.

But this sort of thing is happening a lot these days. It's like music piracy. You can try and stop it, but that hasn't exactly gotten anyone anywhere. Or you can accept that piracy like this isn't going away, and be happy that your music (or in this case, artwork) is potentially getting greater far greater exposure, to a wider audience.

What do you think readers?

2 comments:

Liss said...

what you have said reminds me of a news article I read today about Frenzal Rhomb.

http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2008/04/30/1209234943373.html

its says "Record labels are seen as the big losers from music piracy. While artists benefit from having their music distributed to as many people as possible and are able to reap significant returns from merchandise and concert ticket sales, record label revenue is dropping rapidly as people buy fewer CDs."

its another way of looking at things...almost the Paris Hilton idea of any publicity is good publicity.

The Creep said...

Yeh this sucks, I mean it is exposure. But its quite tough when thief's are making money, and the artists see none of it.