In Real Life

8-bit Chiptune Cover Art Cost This Man $32,500

Chiptune artist and tech guru Andy Baio released an album last year called Kind of Bloop, an 8-bit tribute to Miles Davis’ jazz masterpiece Kind of Blue. Yet despite receiving permission to cover the songs, Baio still found himself in court. What gives?

While Baio got the blessing of Davis’ publisher to cover the songs, and donated any money he got from a Kickstarter fundraiser away, he didn’t even think to ask about the cover art. Deciding it was most fitting given the nature of the album, he took the original art from Kind of Blue and made it all 8-bit. Appropriate and cute!

Not in the eyes of the lawyers representing the man who took the photo that adorns the original album cover, though, who took Baio to court. Unable to afford the cost of fighting them, he eventually settled out of court and agreed to pay $US32,500. And to never use the artwork again.

I get it, copyright law is important, but using it as a truncheon to bludgeon those who can’t afford a legal battle is about as shitty as the law gets.

Kind of Screwed [Waxy, thanks everyone!]


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