Having trouble deciding if you should totally steal someone else’s artwork and then be a complete butt about it? For those coming late to the story, frat-fave DJ Diplo last week totally ripped off the work of Brooklyn-based illustrator Rebecca Mock for one of his promotional videos. When she called him on it, he kept it classy by responding with creepy misogynistic taunts, which some might consider an interesting tactic with a person who now totally has the legit right to sue you.
Now, the usual defense in this kind of case is for the perpetrator to claim that their blatant theft of a hard-working artist’s sole means of support is actually NOT theft because it gives the artist free publicity. It’s like stealing a pizza from a restaurant but claiming that other people will see you eating it and be so impressed that they’ll decide to go themselves. Of course, the “…but it’s free publicity” defense starts getting kind of funny when the publicity is obviously not the type the artist would ever have wanted. We all read a lot about privilege, but one good definition would be, ‘I’m so great, of course I can take anything I want because anyone would be proud to be associated with me.’
It’s funny to think that folks in the music industry, which spends a serious amount of time making a big-assed deal about their own copyright issues, should be such douches about other people’s, but them’s the crappy crappy breaks. In any case, on the off chance that there really is a big community out there who is struggling with understanding the basic, 5-year-old morality of this issue, read on!