Marius Sperlich is currently in a plagiarism clash against the producer of Chris Browns latest music video ‘Wobble Up’ feat. Nicki Minaj and G-Easy. Two concepts have been stolen, One being ‘Turn Me On’, a piece that was originally posted on Instagram by Marius on Wednesday 17th October 2018 with forty-six thousand likes. However almost seven months later, a mimic of the original image appears within ‘Wobble Up’ without credit or permission.
“For many, the internet is just an open source of concepts, ideas and free content. Few people care about creation, originals and credit anymore.”
Marius took the issue to 396k followers on Instagram. The German photographer and producer urged fans to help combat the problem with the #changeindustry. Claiming this wasn’t the first or last time plagiarism has cast shadows over his work. The 28-year old isn’t alone, and the issue doesn’t just affect him, but a whole generation of digital artists flooding the scene. It’s a barrier to the industry, with a slack ruling by people outside of the business and disregard from those in it. Inspiration is used to denounce copyright and IP claims. It leaves credit laying in the dirt along with an appreciation of the original concept. Tony Futura and Vanessa Mckeown- both renown artists, have also found carbon copies from their unique style throughout the video. Leaving the question, what can artists do?
“It’s not easy to claim your rights these days. People easily stay anonymous. It’s frustrating. It kills the vibe of an artistic soul, and this is the most fucked up thing about it.”
Art plagiarism is acknowledging the concept of an artist, using the idea to impersonate the original but not a blatant copy and paste it in fear it would infringe copyright laws. Instead, tweaking colour, lighting, subject, etc., to create offbeat versions, but that’s still not enough to call it your own. It even contains a relevance towards the original. This is where the argument of inspiration and impersonation comes in. It’s walking on thin ice as copyright lives within every creative outlet; It’s born alongside your work to protect you and your livelihood but doesn’t safeguard style or concepts. IP (Intellectual Property) does. It’s important to understand as a digital creator; it protects a unique style if already physically created. It coincides with copyright, making you eligible by creation.
IP covers the names of your products or brands, your inventions, the design or look of your products and things you write, make or produce.
Although legally you’re protected by Copyright and Intellectual Property, finding funds to invest into an often long and taxing lawsuit isn’t an option for many artists. Instead, the integrity of the artist is cast aside as they watch on, unable to represent themselves. The #changeindustry movement could pave the way to enlighten artists of their rights and consumers of their negligence. Time will tell.