Friday, April 20, 2007

He's a blade, he's a renegade

What happened to my blog? i seem to have abandoned it over the last couple of weeks. I don't suppose anyone really wants to read about how I am eating some Easter eggs very slowly, or how I planted a rhododendron today. These things aren't the fiery facts that force recumbent internetters off their asses and out of the front door full of jellybeans.

I don't think I have any projects to tell you about. I haven't forced another rusting appliance into my back yard.

I did want to say a brief word about t-shirt artist/painter Todd Goldman and his Dave Kelly art-stealing saga. It was a blatant and ugly steal, but the red-faced, hysterical table thumping from the webcomics community, a community that frequently feeds upon licensed properties (when not feeding upon itself), was a bared backside begging to be struck with a banjo.

No one is innocent. Todd Goldman was undoubtedly handed that picture by a studio assistant. When a web cartoonist who has made a tshirt with a Star Wars related design gets a cease and desist letter, it's a badge of honour. When the shoe's suddenly on the other foot, there's a collective move up onto the table with skirts raised - and let the screaming commence.

Go crosseyed talking about "fair use" if you wish, but you'll waste a lot of breath. It's the same thing.


Tanukitsune said...

It's true some of the people who came in Dave Kelly's defense are actually selling Star Wars or something similar, but I don't think that the majority of the community is "leeching" from others, excpet maybe gaming and "geek" comics...

Tim said...

Good Point.

I think the main beef here was the exactness of the copy. Variations on a theme can be snarled at, but it's like yelling into the storm. It's when an exact copy surfaces that it's just wrong.


The Gigcast
NightGig Studios

Virtualbri said...

Maybe some of the shrillness should be tempered, but I agree with Tim above that it's one thing to take something iconofied in pop culture and make a funny shirt, and another to *trace* an entire piece of art nearly exactly.

John A said...

It was a pretty wobbly copy, I thought. But if someone paints a slightly wobbly copy of the Sgt Pepper album cover, should they give all the money to Peter Blake?

Of course I recognise the difference between those two examples.

My beef is not with the crime itself - it's with the disproportionate hysteria that seemed to come as part and parcel of the response. To the outsider, suddenly it's one man versus a howling "community". It has achieved the seemingly impossible and made Goldman look like the David rather than Goliath.

Anik said...

Nobody has said anything about the rhododendron -- I worry about people's priorities here.

Tom said...

I hope that you weren't eating those Easter Eggs for your dinner.


Daniel said...

it made me chuckle that you refer to David And Goliath.

Scientivore said...

Here is a more comprehensive revelation of Todd Goldman's plagiarism.

Yes, the response had some shrillness to it. I consider it justified. He didn't just make unlicensed reference to a copyrighted intellectual property as some webcomickers have done. (Although, it has been alleged that he also did that, with an Absolut Slut T-shirt.) His design plagiarism assaulted the idea that originality of design has value.

You're one of the most original designers on these here interweb pipes. He insulted your value.

John A said...

Don't get me wrong, I think what Todd Goldman does is awful. The response has equated to the high school nerd committee finally being given the opportunity to whale on a jock. In becoming a part mob, from my point of view whatever made you righteous is lost.

Leon Watkins said...

I think you need a new blog - John A: Voice of Reason. Oh wait, people would think you're being conservative with both little and capital C's. So scrap that idea. Still, I like your thinking on these things.