Artists Infringing Copyright To Protest Damien Hirst Bullying A Teen Over Copyright

from the solidarity dept

Damien Hirst, a rather well-known British artist, recently threatened to sue a 16-year-old designer (who goes by the name Cartrain) for creating a collage he was selling, which used (in part) an image of a diamond encrusted skull that Hirst made (which apparently sold for £50 million). Rather than fight Hirst, the kid gave up, and even forked over £200 to Hirst. This seemed pretty ridiculous to a number of well-known artists including Jamie Reed, who designed the Sex Pistols’ sleeve for the single God Save the Queen, and former KLF band member Jimmy Cauty, among others. So they’re striking back purposely creating a bunch of artwork using images of the skull which you can see on a site they specifically set up for this, called Red Rag To A Bull. The artists are selling the artwork, and they claim that if they can make (ha ha) £20 million, they’ll make an identical diamond encrusted skull, and sell it for another £50 million… out of which they’ll pay back Cartrain the £200 he had to pay to Hirst. They’re also asking for others to create collages using the skull and to send them in to the collection. As for copyright? Cauty, for one, points out that copyright should be “abolished,” and it doesn’t sound like the folks behind the site plan on backing down if Hirst decides to bully them.

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Comments on “Artists Infringing Copyright To Protest Damien Hirst Bullying A Teen Over Copyright”

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Anonymous Coward says:

I rather doubt anyone had any idea the kid was a teenager, so now focusing on his age seems a bit silly. Would the self-professed protectors of artistic rights who want to flood the internet with infringing works have done the same had the person been in his 20s? 30s? 40s?

Look on the bright side. For a modest “fee” the kid got a ton of free publicity and noteriety for his other art work.

Ryan says:

Re: Re:

Who’s focusing on his age? The techdirt post mentions that he is 16 once, and I didn’t even see the age posted on From the site:

We would like to point out however, that although this appeal was focused on the Hirst vs Cartrain episode, it was intended to be a creative excerise that mocked and exposed the idiocy an overbearing and thoughtless approach to copyright control that creates fear and censorship in the arts. It was and is not a critical crusade against Damien Hirst as an artist or the nature and degree of his success.

Killer_Tofu (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

So you assume that since they call it a horrific story that they are focused on his age?
I would think from Ryan’s post it is quite clear what they mean by horrific, and it has nothing at all to do with his age.

I am glad they took a stand though. It is good to see those who are in the field stand up for logic.

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