Saturday, 18 October 2014

This has been bugging me...

I've had a niggle in my mind for a while about something I just don't 'get'. It's probably not even occurred to anyone else as it's so minor a thing to be bothered by but I feel the need to vent.

Fan art. There's a lot of it about. People expressing themselves through art inspired by their favourite characters from pop culture. That in itself is a wonderful thing and I'm astounded by some of the incredible talent out there.

What bothers me is when people use works inspired heavily by other people's creations to turn a profit. A site called TeeFury.com is the most prominent example of this, at least as far as I can see. There are some brilliant designs on there, mainly referencing Doctor Who, Sherlock, but also making Mash Ups, where the TARDIS might land outside Ariel's sea cave for example. Again, the artwork itself is usually brilliant and there are some really cool ideas, and I've no doubt that the work comes under the heading 'tribute' rather than blatant knock off, but they are standing on the shoulders of other people.

Look at it this way. A small, independent artist creates a fun character that captures the imagination. A large company take that character and make clothing featuring it. The internet would be full of people demanding that the large company pay their dues, claiming that this was theft of intellectual property.

Just because the roles are reversed, should that mean that it's ok?