One of our very own Met members, Alex Brown, is in a pickle. One of his very cool photos, of a kid in a Darth Vader mask, has been recreated (without Alex's permission) as a sculpture.
New York City-based photographer Alex Brown recently discovered that a pair of Glaswegian artists, Craig Little and Blake Whitehead, known as Littlewhitehead, had “appropriated” an image he made of a young boy in a Darth Vader mask sitting in a diner booth.
The artists created a sculpture that copied Brown’s image without making any successful effort to contact the photographer.
After Brown confronted Littlewhitehead, they claimed in an e-mail to Brown that “it is never our aim to copy the work of other artists,” but then added, “we wanted to appropriate an image with a large internet presence as our starting point.”
“On all the blogs we found it on,” the artists continued, “none of them mentioned the maker of the image. We never knew the image had been taken by a professional photographer.”
Brown also takes issue with the artists’ claim that by creating a sculpture based on his image, they have created something new.
“My main objection to all of this is that I exhibit this image in galleries and sell limited edition prints,” Brown says. “By appropriating it, they directly undermine my ability to do so.”
Brown says he isn’t sure what he’s going to do yet besides draw attention to what he considers plagiarism by contacting galleries where Littlewhitehead will be showing the work. He says an intellectual property lawyer friend in London told him that, because of a precedent setting case, he would likely have no legal recourse under UK law."
My questions to you: What's Brown to do? Should he go after the sculptors or just let it go?