Wronged Chiptune Artist Gets Some Revenge

Last week we brought you the sad story of chiptune artist Andy Baio and his run in with the legal system over an album cover. Opponents of current copyright laws will no doubt then get a smile out of this.

An anonymous sponsor in New York City paid people to put up posters of the album cover on the home of photographer Jay Maisel, who sued over Baio's work (he took the original photo of Miles Davis used on the chiptune album's cover), the art adorned with the text "ALL ART IS THEFT".

The person responsible, writing anonymously to Hyperallergenic, says:

I hope that every time Jay leaves the house, he sees these posters—and as he looks at them or tries to tear them down he thinks about how evil what he did was. Maybe he'll realise that at some level all art borrows from other art, and suing another artist for fair use appropriation undermines all artists. Maybe he'll feel guilty about being such a thief. And then maybe he'll think about giving that money back—or donating it to charity or something. But probably not.

Maybe not the most constructive protest, but then, you can rarely make an artistic statement by being constructive.

Breaking: Millionaire Extorts $$$ From Artist, Street Artists Strike Back [Hyperallergenic]


    Sounds a bit like sour grapes, a couple posters isn't really going to do anything. Maybe next time he'll actually try and ask for permission before hijacking someone else's expression.

    ....oh, c'mon. It was a tribute, if anything, to include the digitally downgraded album art on the cover for the chip-tune artist's album and the fact that he allowed use of the music (arguably the actual part of the product that the original artist contributed to) but sued over the cover art is just bad form and petty.

    I doubt the protest is going to change anything though...


      First off, the album that Baio covered was "Kind of Blue" by Miles Davis - the rights to the audio are owned by Sony.

      Baio (correctly) sought and obtained permission from Sony to create his 8-bit chiptune cover versions of tracks on the album. To the best of my knowledge, Baio has not disclosed the terms of that arrangement.

      What Baio forgot (or chose not) to do was to contact Maisel and seek permission to create a derivative work of his photograph which was the original album art.

      Baio knew well enough not overlook a license for the music, but disregarded his obligation to license the use of the album art.

      Lastly, Baio wasn't left penniless by his decision to settle out of court. He sold upcoming.org to Yahoo in 2005 (so he knows the value of IP) and was a CEO of kickstarter.com... I have no doubt his decision to settle was predicated on knowing that a court case would find against him.

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