BoredPanda

Artist Shows How This Film’s Creators Plagiarized His Original Idea And Did Not Even Credit Him

With success comes imitation—and it really can be the highest form of flattery… if it’s done right. This isn't one of those times when it's done right. The post Artist Shows How This Film's Creators Plagiarized His Original Idea And Did Not Even Credit Him first appeared on Bored Panda. ...

With success comes imitation—and it really can be the highest form of flattery… if it’s done right. Unfortunately, the line between inspiration and plagiarizing can become blurred when there’s poor communication. This is one of those times and it involves webcomic legend Adam Ellis whose cartoons you’re very likely to have seen in your social media feeds.

Ellis, who has over 1.7 million followers on Instagram alone, detailed how co-directors Andrew Butler and James Wilson allegedly ripped off (or were strongly inspired by, depending on your point of view) one of his comics for their movie ‘Keratin.’ Ellis explained all about the filmmakers’ poor communication with him and their seeming unwillingness to at least credit him.

Several festivals have already pulled their support for Butler and Wilson’s film. The co-directors had previously overtly told Ellis that their short movie was inspired by one of his comics; however, they appear not to have asked for his permission and allegedly ignored his further concerns. Even though Ellis has been contacted by some lawyers, he doesn’t plan to pursue litigation against the pair. Ellis also told Newsweek that even if the filmmakers had asked for permission, he wouldn’t have given it to them. Both Butler and Wilson appear to have completely shut down all of their social media accounts and other ways for the public to contact them.

We wanted to learn more about what artists can do to dissuade others from stealing their work, so we reached out to the Freelancer Club which fights for the rights of creative freelancers and against unpaid work. Matt Dowling, the founder of the Freelancer Club told Bored Panda that in the creative industries, having your ideas taken without permission or credit is “extremely common.” According to Dowling, “Many companies and individuals assume they can simply Google a photo, video clip, illustration, or animation and use it without permission.” Read on for more of his insights.

More info: Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | LizardKween.com | Patreon | Book

Well-known comic artist Adam Ellis claims that two filmmakers plagiarized his comic to make their short film ‘Keratin’

Image credits: Adam Ellis

Ellis gave examples of how the film copies his comic shot for shot

Image credits: Adam Ellis

Image credits: Adam Ellis

Image credits: Adam Ellis

Image credits: Adam Ellis

Image credits: adamtots

He also shared how the filmmakers contacted him about having been inspired by his comic. However, Ellis wasn’t too happy they didn’t ask for his permission and didn’t credit him properly

Image credits: Adam Ellis

Image credits: Adam Ellis

Image credits: Adam Ellis

Image credits: Adam Ellis

Image credits: Adam Ellis

Image credits: Adam Ellis

Image credits: Adam Ellis

Dowling, the creator of the Freelancer Club and one of the leading voices in the creative freelance community, explained to Bored Panda the first course of action that artists can take to protect their work is preventative. “Digitally watermark your work and use an online tracking tool that will show where images are being used. This method isn’t yet 100% foolproof but it’s a good starting point.”

Once an artist has found out that their work is being used without their express permission, they can take “a bold approach” by sending them a legal letter demanding payment. More commonly, however, artists tend to send ‘cease and desist’ letters asking that their content be taken down. You can download a ‘cease and desist’ template right here.

Dowling stressed that it’s vital that you protect your creative work, no matter if someone using it without your permission was just being naive or trying to make a quick buck. “Each case is individual and certain factors need to be taken into account. Firstly, one must determine if there is a case to begin with. Has an infringer blatantly published copyright material or plagiarised work? Has it been used in a global ad campaign or on a personal blog? Have they damaged your brand? Based on the severity of the case, you can decide how you wish to proceed.”

He pointed out that things get complicated when a piece of work has been altered: “In cases when it’s unclear if copyright has been infringed, for example, a company has altered a piece of work or taken a section of content and repurposed it, things get a lot more complicated.”

Dowling continued: “Once you’ve determined that there has indeed been an infringement, it is up to the copyright holder (the owner of the work) to decide how to proceed. Perhaps it was an honest mistake in which case they may wish to send a gentle email outlining what has occurred and request the infringer take down the content, or in the case of a blatant rip-off, they may wish to pursue legal action. Often, a resolution can be found in clear communication.”

A lot of Ellis’ fans were angry that his work was plagiarized

Image credits: arashikagetom

Image credits: RobCabrera

Image credits: NyraGaia

Image credits: theonlykroywen

Image credits: Casey_Jacked

Image credits: APB_art

Image credits: leszy_

Image credits: Phiasco9

Image credits: _TheCrazyBear_

The backlash against Butler and Wilson has been pretty huge. Their movie has already been downvoted to heck on IMDb—it holds an aggregate score of exactly 1 star out of 10.

However, not everyone thinks that Ellis is in the right. For one, some claim that he doesn’t appear that he has proof that his idea is completely unique. While some internet users said that it might be better to call Butler and Wilson’s work derivative rather than straight-up plagiarizing. In this particular case, however, there isn’t a shadow of a doubt that Butler and Wilson were directly inspired by Ellis’ comic.

But the idea that Ellis drew is something that plenty of people could have (and definitely have) come up with independently. With the internet helping more and more artists and creatives share their work, ideas are bound to repeat. It’s an offshoot of the simultaneous invention aka the multiple discovery phenomenon.

There’s nothing new under the sun, after all. And it’s a pretty comforting idea that we’re all very alike. Though it does make being completely original far more difficult. What’s more, with how open and accessible the internet is, everyone’s constantly getting inspired by everyone else and working with multiple ideas that they found online. It’s pretty much impossible to live in a bubble where you don’t have access to such inspiration unless you unplug from tech and head off into the woods.

But, at the end of the day, this story is a lesson about the importance of asking for permission and giving proper credit to artists. How those artists respond to inspiring other creative folks is another thing entirely. What do you think of the situation, dear Pandas? Are there clear black and white sides to this story or do you see the situation in shades of gray? Do you think all of this drama could’ve been avoided with better communication? Share your thoughts in the comment section below. And remember—always give proper credit where it’s due.

However, not everyone was so quick to judge

Image credits: cocoa_anim

Image credits: cocoa_anim

Image credits: Adam Ellis

Image credits: cocoa_anim

Image credits: cocoa_anim

The post Artist Shows How This Film’s Creators Plagiarized His Original Idea And Did Not Even Credit Him first appeared on Bored Panda.

Source

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: