Art theft is a problem that you will find all over the internet: Facebook, DeviantArt, Twitter – the list is endless, so long as there are sharing platforms. The most recent upheaval is on Instagram, where music artist Chris Brown cropped the watermark from a cosplay photo and posted it on his own account, crediting neither the artist nor the photographer.
A Social Media Faux Pas
Soon, the cosplayer himself – CosPlayNay – commented on Brown’s photo.
CosPlayNay asked that Brown credit himself and the photographer, jscosplayphotog, for the work he had shared. The photographer also posted – noting specifically that he would prefer no one attack Brown – but to leave comments letting people know the source of the work, very gracefully letting people know it may be an Instagram tagging issue before getting upset about credits and tags not showing up properly.
It’s the cosplay and Instagram community, so of course there was backlash. Brown replied – throwing a bit of a hissy fit at the cosplayer, photographer, and those calling for him to properly credit work. Brown phrased his sharing of the artwork (without the sources) as a “favor” to the artists involved. How he “got them out there” for people to see without attributing the work may be one of the great mysteries of our time.
One could assume that being an artist himself, Brown would understand the problem here, but apparently not. CosPlayNay responded in kind – and the backlash moved on to him.
As of yesterday, CosPlayNay posted that he will be taking a break from cosplay. Due to the clapback, defenders of Brown have dogpiled his social media. I applaud him and jscosplayphotog for standing up to bigger artists who see fit to just hijack their work. Which is something that Brown has been called to the carpet for previously with other artists.
What do you think? Sound off in the comments!