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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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Feb 2009 @ 11:26am

    Seems like its already over and done with. This is posted at www.redragtoabull.com

    On Wednesday 18th Feb at 11am Cartrain will collect his compensation cheque from the L-13 Light Industrial Workshop in Clerkenwell. After that we will draw this project to a close to make way for new and better ideas.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    R. Miles, 16 Feb 2009 @ 11:48am

    And to all a good night!

    Wow, this was certainly entertaining. I wish more people took action against copyright stupidity as this group did.

    Maybe then, people would start to get the message.

    So, why didn't Techdirt post one or two of the images to help fuel the fight against copyright stupidity?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Feb 2009 @ 12:09pm

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Ryan, 16 Feb 2009 @ 12:49pm

      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 redragtoabull.com. 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.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 16 Feb 2009 @ 1:03pm

        Re: Re:

        I didn't even see the age posted on redragtoabull.com

        Not directly, they just say "for the full horrific story click here" and then provide a link to it.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Killer_Tofu (profile), 16 Feb 2009 @ 1:10pm

          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.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 16 Feb 2009 @ 2:13pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            So you assume that since they call it a horrific story that they are focused on his age?

            So you don't think they linked to information about his age? I suggest you actually check the link before commenting on it.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Lucretious, 16 Feb 2009 @ 12:12pm

    I know Techdirt isn't exactly a place for high humor but I'd like to think theres a few decent smartasses around here.

    Here is a picture of Damien Hirst:

    http://www.artnet.com/newhomeimages/main61407.jpg

    Lets do a few photoshops a-la Fark.com

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Feb 2009 @ 12:45pm

    Rich(er)

    Seems to me Mr. Hirst and his attorneys are about to get rich(er).

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    d4m4s74, 17 Feb 2009 @ 1:02am

    what ever happened to fair use?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Feb 2009 @ 8:49am

    Well, actually, since the lawyer for Hirst did meet with the kid, it would seem they were fully aware of his age. Be that as it may, I think their actions qualify as horrific, regardless of the age of the individual involved.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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