Tuesday’s Rant: Appropriation

Posted in Tuesday's Rant by DCroy on 9 February 2009

What else – more Fairey shit. Hopefully this’ll be the last I’ll say about it. I have the attention span of Tom Arnold after nine speedballs and a six pack of Jolt, so I’m already tired of thinking about it.

My new clothing line.

My new clothing line.

So anyway, he’s suing now. Good strategy, if irritating. I just hope he doesn’t win. And I think it goes beyond whether adding “Hope” makes it something other than the photo. It’s that he did it for money and we’re supposed to pretend otherwise.

“Appropriation” or not, valid or not, why not just pay the photographer?* Plus, isn’t it a tiny bit absurd that Fairey’s claiming the photographer has no right to be paid, when he himself is most certainly paid? And, seriously, that stuff about him being a street artist is a bit tough to take when you look at his client list.

I wonder how far his defense will take us. Buy some shirts and let’s find out. 


*I understand the Creative Commons argument, but a nagging part of me wonders how the (reductive) “information wants to be free” argument can be implemented in real life. I  have a difficult time envisioning a world where creatives–and other generators of information–aren’t paid, because you have to eat to continue the making of the stuff.


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