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corporate copyright complications complete complexity coefficient

This Magazine Staff

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(image courtesy Urban Counterfeiters blog)
Okay, let’s see if I can follow the thread here:
Boing Boing, famous for championing the copyleft reaction to corporate cultural lockdowns such as the well-documented Disney protectionism over the Mickey Mouse image (draw Mickey without pants; enjoy expensive philosophical discussions with Disney lawyers), has recently taken up the cause of independent artists who have their images used “without permission or payment” by corporations.
Boing Boing links to Urban Counterfeiters, a blog seemingly dedicated to outing the retail company Urban Outfitters for unlicensed commercial use of artists’ work. The t-shirt logo shown above has apparently been remade by Urban Outfitters and is being sold without the permission of the original artist, Michael Leon.
Checking out the Michael Leon link provided by Boing Boing, we see the following image of some of his t-shirt designs.
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(image courtesy commonwealthstacks.com)
Note the Mountain Dew (TM) logo “homage” in the bottom right corner. The Urban Counterfeiters blog also shows a t-shirt design utilizing the famous John Deere deer logo (with the deer producing a musical note fart) on a t-shirt intended to criticize the tractor company for tractors “polluting nature with their toxic farts.” UC criticizes a company called Esprit Sport for using the same concept (moose farts this time).
So, am I getting this right? It’s not cool for a retail corporation to use an image or concept created by someone else for commercial gain, especially if the image or concept uses an image or concept created and owned by a corporation AND is being used by an individual artist for commercial gain?
If only Walt Disney were around to create a simple line drawing of this based on someone else’s simple line drawing. It would probably look like a goofy Arabian genie escaping from a bottle.

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