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Aaron Carter is catching flack online after publicly berating an artist who accused the singer of using his work to promote his clothing line without permission or credit.
On Friday, Carter tweeted out a link to his website, noting that the hoodies he sells are in stock. He attached a beautiful drawing of two lions going head-to-head, which he also made his header photo on Twitter.
“Two lions at war can reach an understanding. I have my lions den, you have yours,” he wrote.
two lions at war can reach an understanding.— Aaroncarter (@aaroncarter) January 17, 2020
I have my lions den, you have yours. https://t.co/UYrZmZDJfl Hoodies are BACK UP!!! all un received orders contact Dawn in my contacts on my website. you can reach me directly too. xo pic.twitter.com/dJB7LcRWcC
Eventually, the tweet got around to Jonas Jödicke, who appears to be the original artist and sells prints of the artwork in his Etsy shop.
Jödicke tried to explain to Carter that he needed permission to use his art in such a way.
“You are using my artwork to promote your merchandise,” Jödicke wrote. “I have not given you permission to do so. My art is being commercially exploited by people on a daily basis. We artists have rights, too!”
Hey @aaroncarter .. You are using my artwork to promote your merchandise. I have not given you permission to do so. My art is being commercially exploited by people on a daily basis. We artists have rights, too!— Jonas Jödicke (@JoJoesArt) January 18, 2020
Iˋd really appreciate if you could retweet this so he‘ll see it. https://t.co/ktusJEo3dz
While a rational person might apologize or offer to credit Jödicke, if not remove the tweet entirely, Carter hasn’t exactly been known for his rational behavior over the last few years.
And the “That’s How I Beat Shaq” singer decided this was another moment for a completely inappropriate and over-the-top reaction. He attacked Jödicke for daring to claim any type of ownership over his art.
“You should’ve taken it as a compliment dick a fan of MINE sent this to me,” Carter tweeted. He then appeared to insist he could use the image because it was available to the public and mentioned something nonsensical about small claims court.
you should've taken it as a compliment dick a fan of MINE sent this to me. oh here they go again, the answer is No this image has been made public and im using it to promote my clothing line https://t.co/lgrQOZMPAq guess I'll see you in small claims court FUCKERY https://t.co/MG78rgCwZr— Aaroncarter (@aaroncarter) January 18, 2020
Carter’s tirade didn’t sit well with almost anyone, and people were quick to note the hypocrisy of a musical artist thinking he doesn’t need permission to use someone else’s creative work for his own gain.
“Check out my song ‘Aaron’s Party’ that I just released,” Twitter user @bear_onica sarcastically wrote, referencing Carter’s 2000 single. “A fan gave it to me. Besides, the song has been made public and I’m using it to promote donating to Bernie Sanders. Don’t worry Aaron, it’s mine now, you should be [thanking] me for the compliment.”
Hey seriously though,🚨don't repost art online without permission or credit from the artist.🚨— Very Short, Very Evil @C2E2 (@bear_onica) January 18, 2020
Proper attribution with exposure can help artists get more work in the future. I've had my name stripped from my art and blow up and it sucks.
Yes, but then we'd have Aaron Carter's music.— Ryan Haywood (@RyanTheTwit) January 18, 2020
Others pointed out the obvious legal issues with the whole situation.
“That’s not how any of this works,” Twitter user @10ampuddingcups wrote. “And with this tweet and evidence I’m sure you’d lose in court.”
There’s a new law too that all digital work uploaded to the internet gets a digital copyright. He would lose in a heartbeat— Dave Cole aka Davey Painting (@DaveyPainting) January 18, 2020
Since he just admitted to willful infringement, $150k per infringement is available as statutory damages. 17 USC 504 https://t.co/ZQUrB7q7hs— TNCannuck (@TNCannuck) January 18, 2020
I fully agree. He will lose in court and he's just a greedy child star who has NO IDEA how copyright works at all.— Grid21 (@_Grid21) January 18, 2020
It's called being a damn adult and not an entitled brat.— Momma Pharma (@MommaPharma) January 18, 2020
I hope this guy sues, I wonder how many $100 hoodies it will take (if anyone is dumb enough to pay that much for a hoodie) to settle up his stealing this guy's stolen artwork. This response is BEGGING him to sue, which is amusing given Aaron Carter probably can't afford a lawyer.— Bravo Me Loves Cupcakes (@realityaddictx) January 18, 2020
This illustrator asked Aaron Carter to stop using his work without permission or payment and Carter told him to get fucked. Any IP attorneys out there want to spank this twerp? Contact the artist below. https://t.co/llSbYhASyE— Andy Khouri (@andykhouri) January 18, 2020
And, strangely enough, it appears this isn’t the first time Carter has allegedly stolen lion artwork.
you remember aaron carter? what do you think he’s up to now?— lacey (@byelacey) January 18, 2020
stealing art of lions and going batshit when he gets called out on it wasn’t my first guess either pic.twitter.com/WZOxH2NUJy
Jödicke has continued to push back against the use of his work, even saying that a similar situation happened previously with Madonna taking his work.
“I am so fed up with people taking my hard work for their own purposes without even asking,” he tweeted. “If [celebs like Aaron Carter aren’t] held responsible, people won’t stop treating artists like crap.”
Celebs like @aaroncarter should set an example, especially since he’s also from a creative background and knows copyright laws. If they can take art and do whatever with it, anyone can and will do it. If they’re not held responsible, people won’t stop treating artists like crap.— Jonas Jödicke (@JoJoesArt) January 18, 2020
And to make this clear: I would have been happy to handle this issue differently, had he reached out privately after my tweet. But the way he responded is making a mockery of the artist community and I can’t sit with that. I‘ve had enough of people treating artists that way.— Jonas Jödicke (@JoJoesArt) January 18, 2020
Again, thank you all so much. I‘m literally shaking because of how crazy this situation is. Still a bit confused as to the next steps, but I‘ve had tons of professionals and media people reach out.— Jonas Jödicke (@JoJoesArt) January 18, 2020
Even the face tattoo might have been a better idea than this.
Rachel Kiley is a writer who sometimes writes things and sometimes is based in L.A., but is definitely always on Twitter @rachelkiley.