Thursday, November 4, 2010

Rip-off Artist: Hack Job FAIL

There’s a frequent poster from North Pole on the comment threads at the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner by the user ID name of "Tea Party Patriot" (aka "The Sourdough Thug") who frequently uploads Photoshop hacks: here's a few screen-grabs of the more egregious examples of their blatant thievery for public display.
I remember working for years at a local Xerox copy center, and once rang up a customer that had photocopied one of my weekly panels in the newspaper to mail out (remember mail?) to family members. I stayed anonymous, being somewhat flattered at the time at what I saw as promotion of my work at the grassroots level: however, there would have been a big difference had they brought in one of my books and began methodically reproducing the entire thing. That’s theft, and ripping me off directly, even if it’s one of my self-published titles, or a collection put out by another publisher.

What’s arguably even worse, adding insult to injury, is when someone’s artwork is clumsily butchered by some fool, well-intentioned or otherwise, and they try to feebly cover it up. Too bad that doesn’t work when it’s a readily identifiable style, such as the case with Clay Bennett of the Chattanooga Times Free Press (shown above - the original is viewable here.) Schmuck didn't even change anything on this particular one, just digitally removed the copyright notice, credit line for the paper and the artist's name. What the hell was that suppose to do, somehow assuage your total lack of a guilty conscience? Alleviate your complete absence of ethics?

It especially fails when the original work was done by an immediately recognizable local Alaskan cartoonist, as in this pathetic example of mutilating one of Peter Dunlop-Shohl’s pieces (original here). Repeatedly.

The schmuck's images are posted here on this page, which'll  hopefully be taken down soon, since it's assumable this person isn't abiding by any usual user agreement not to infringe upon the rights of creators and violate content ownership. Clearly it's not within the parameters of fair-use nor does it alter the original image anywhere remotely enough to constitute appropriation. And hopefully it'll get it got his dumb ass banned from posting such aesthetic barbarism on the News-Miner site. Much as I might personally agree with the sentiment (trying to be) expressed, talentless hacks who commit such fraudulent plagiarism run the risk of really pissing off artists. If you haven't noticed.
Knock it off, and learn how to draw yourself if you really feel that strongly about it.
Or, as succinctly put by Peter himself: "I have to feel sorry for someone who has to use someone else's art to express himself."

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