Stealing art is rude.

Check this out;

This is a friend of mines street art which he gave me permission to turn into a t-shirt, I am the only person anywhere that has permission to use his concept.

The original design, featured all over the net and in Street Art Books.;

killing people is rude

and my t-shirts;


And here is this rip off we found, not exact rip but he obviously got the idea from my friends work, I actually like the design, though for mine I stayed true to the original work. cafepress is a pain to get stuff pulled down…


Posted by sink  |  31 Comments  |  in Fashions, Graffiti


  1. Shammo 10/20/2009 10:56 pm

    You’d think that some of you street artists are so full of yourselves you believe that painting your shit on a wall comes with automatic copyright. That is more than sad: it’s funny.

  2. Cool a flamewar! 10/10/2009 6:57 pm

    Henry, you’re no amatuer asshole. You’re a seasoned pro.

  3. snark 10/06/2009 3:29 am

    youre just pissed cause the ripped tee is better & probably had worldwide distro.

  4. Jackie 09/21/2009 12:36 am

    @Say What?

    I get the feeling that you missunderstood somewhere along the line. Pretty much I think that sometimes people need to stand back and look at the bigger picture than just hey it looks like mine so it’s a rip.

    Yes, I think that it is possible for two people out of the millions on this planet to be inspired by the same thing and create something similar. If we think other wise then that’s a wee bit self indulgent, don’t you think?

    I would still like to know if the people who have supposedly ripped the design have been contacted?

  5. Maria 09/18/2009 4:53 pm

    Assigning automatic political messages or a desire for political change through viral spread -is- quite a generalization; especially now a days.

    But for many it really is simply “another space to work upon”. And they want everyone else to treat it as if it was a pre- purchased or pre-made medium. In reality, to my mind at least, it seems like such a different space much more complex then any other. It’s not just the space itself but even the claimed access to the space is different then any other medium. That discussion goes beyond the content, whether it be political, insipid, cool or aesthetic and this blog is probably not even the venue for it.

    But it is that discussion that gets glossed over in the debate about cases of specific content infringement. This public space is not just another space, it is the Commons. A street artist claims for themselves the right to infringe and alter this commons wherever, however and with whatever they wish. Logically and morally shouldn’t the inhabitants of the commons be able to react to that alteration as they wish? Why are the inhabitants of the commons bound by legal edicts if the street artist sees themselves as beyond them? This is eggshell territory because it touches upon all types of rights.

    It seems that street artists who have made the successful step into commercial ventures understand that while they can remain quite active in the commons they also need to baptize their creations within the private sector. In essence straddling and owning both spheres.

  6. Henry 09/14/2009 5:58 am

    I’m not at all saying that for all it’s just another space to work upon and that there’s nothing more to it. If I were saying that I’d be making a sweeping generalisation as stupid as the one you made, Bobvious. All I’m saying is that there is no automatic message that comes with drawing on a public wall, that you’re making silly assumptions. You talk about some sort of walk they must walk, and a manifesto, it’s just nonsense. For a lot of people, maybe even the person whose work we see at the top of the page, a public space can be just a space to write on, something they know an incredible lot of people will see while out, simple as that. To work in this way says nothing of being a “real artist” or not.

    I never said you were stupid, also, by the way, Mr Sensitive. I said your idea, what you were saying, was stupid. I do actually think that you are stupid though, if you must know, but I didn’t write that, heh… You’re the one unable to consider things can be anything other than what you have in mind, with your talk of “definitions” that everything is working within and “points” artists are missing in their own work. You don’t seem to have the slightest idea that these “points” and “definitions” exist only in your head, instead you talk of them like you’re reading from some authoritative book.

    This is a silly argument, I think; and you’re a silly person, too. Just open your mind and consider that not everything is as you see it, Bobvious. It doesn’t all fit into categories and boxes that you have ready-made in your mind.

  7. nomad 09/13/2009 11:24 pm

    “By its definition, it is intended to be copied”

    W.T.F? Why do people so obviously not involved in a scene (a massively diverse and varied one at that) feel like they can claim the surrogate spokesperson role?

  8. bobvious 09/13/2009 3:33 pm

    Henry, thanks for reminding me that you and many others here are at the “you’re stupid” level of debate. For a split second I forgot that this isn’t a place for mature, intelligent discussion. It’s a place to accuse others of being stupid, and that one’s own opinion is the only right one. Silly me, for a second I really thought this was a cool discussion. My mistake.

    Had this been a more accepting and less insulting place, I might point out that graffiti art is a long tradition and that it is very political. Just the fact that an artist is “vandalizing” private or public property makes it so. I know you’ll find plenty of mindless, apolitical and non-political examples of street art, but the real artists know what I’m talking about. Just continue to believe that it’s “just another medium” and that any other point of view is stupid, and you should be just fine in your own head.


  9. Henry 09/13/2009 9:21 am

    Yeah, well said, Bobvious, like the Martin Luther King or art you are, bringing us your wisdom… Posting on the street does not automatically mean there’s a “political statement” being made. Public walls and whatnot are just another medium. To many it’s just a public canvas, simple as that. To say that’s there’s some sort of automatic intention/agenda in street art, that there’s a ‘manifesto’ all are tied to, is as stupid and absurd as saying, ‘Working in watercolour paints means you are pro-union.’

  10. Christine Griffin 09/12/2009 2:43 pm

    I agree, bob. Well said. I also wonder if it’s wise to claim copyright/credit for vandalism. *muses*

  11. bobvious 09/11/2009 8:53 pm

    For years I’ve seen, read and heard the standard manifesto about street art. So if street artists walk the walk and talk the talk, graffiti art is a political statement intended to “go viral.” By its definition, it is intended to be copied, to get into the mainstream. That for many would be success. That it doesn’t profit the artist is due to the artist’s practice, not to some intelligent if non-creative rip. Street artists who have an issue with it getting snagged are missing the point of their own work. They need to “check their head.”

  12. Henry 09/11/2009 12:43 am

    We didn’t get closure on Sam Flores, did we? Heh. I’m imagining that next time he does an interview or something it’s gonna be brought up, there we’ll get our sweet schadenfreude relief.

  13. Kirvi 09/10/2009 7:40 pm


  14. Flores sucks. 09/10/2009 7:17 pm

    I miss Sam Flores and his sucking.

  15. Say What? 09/10/2009 8:45 am


    So now an artist is not allowed to depict any manufactured object without crediting the manufacturer?

    Can’t wait for all the “Those were my haystacks in the background” lawsuits.

    Also, a fluke? Really?

  16. Jackie 09/10/2009 5:14 am

    Do we really need to go through various cases where street artists have successfully made claims against people ripping their works from the street? Get a grip people!

    Have you contacted the people you are claiming have ripped the design?

    Yes, it is too close for comfort. Though I’m thinking due to the generic feel of the whole thing I can’t help think it’s a fluke that the two designs share such similarities. Then again they may have been inspired by the t-shirt/stencil and created a similar yet different one.
    In saying that too, did you mate take a photo of a gun, use his own image or an image with the permission of the owner to create the gun stencil or ask the owner of the font? Before getting too nit picky about someone possibly being inspired, do the reverse and look at where you/your mate got inspired.

  17. free hidden object games 09/09/2009 11:13 am

    Basically, if you create something, you automatically hold the copyright (being able to prove conclusively that you created it helps though, obviously). Shouldn’t matter where you display that creation.”

    norman says it all man.

  18. sink 09/09/2009 5:13 am

    maria, you bring up some really interesting points, and I honestly enjoyed reading it. unlike most internet-tainment i think it may have actually increased my brain activity rather than just you know made me drool on the keyboard…

  19. nomad 09/09/2009 12:08 am

    Basically, if you create something, you automatically hold the copyright (being able to prove conclusively that you created it helps though, obviously). Shouldn’t matter where you display that creation.

  20. Maria 09/08/2009 6:44 pm

    If these guys saw your t-shirt and copied the thing you have every right to bitch; but that’s going to be hard to prove. If they saw the stencil and did a t-shirt based on it? Is that lazy? Sure, but your buddy should probably think about doing his own fashion line or posters/prints to cement the ownership of his imagery. That’s just my two cents. I’m not trolling, I just see a lot of street art posts on this site and find the whole culture quite interesting.

    The following is something that I can’t wrap my little head around even though I’ve been debating it with others for a while.

    In every jurisdiction I’ve ever lived, the painting on someone’s property (private or “public”) is a crime. In essence, the canvas you’re using isn’t yours. Not only is it not yours but you are committing a crime by using it. It’s part of the genre and probably why the stuff is so popular. Of course, engaging in a criminal action shouldn’t invalidate the legal rights to the work created nor the creative sweat equity put into the work. I don’t know of any jurisdiction where it does but I’ve heard of court cases revolving around the idea. Plus, I think such removal of IP rights would be a terrible precedent leaving the door open to stripping artists of their rights due to subject matter or political ties. Anyways….

    But, here’s the thing, I keep hearing from street artists that the streets and walls are public and anyone should be able to use them. I wholeheartedly agree with this; in theory.

    But I’ll also push that thought a little further, along that logic shouldn’t the work created by a street artist belong to everyone as well? The street artist pushes their stuff on the public, the public should have every right to take it and do what they will with it. That’s the point that rankles most street artists. As a side note, I feel this “fair use” should be applied to advertising in the public space as well, but that’s another topic.

    I’ve has some really good conversations but mostly the answer has been “’Cause it’s not fair!” And so in the end, it really feels like most “street” artists want to keep their cake and they want to eat it as well. The world is their canvas but the world better keep their paws off what they put on that canvas.

    I’m curious as to what court cases are out there on use of public but copyrighted art because I doubt it’s been a simple legal ride.

  21. reminds me 09/08/2009 4:55 pm

    you cant just go around stealing peoples art because its on the street. just because theres a nike logo in times square or on tv doesnt mean you can steal it.

    you need to check your head brad.

  22. Henry 09/08/2009 10:35 am

    Stencil lettering is a style, not a particular font, and the gun is the same type. Very obviously the entire design was remade by someone looking at the other shown, that is why it’s on here. The ripper not being able to find the exact same font and gun graphic doesn’t mean it becomes an original creation…

    The point of this site, also, for some of you nincompoops posting above, isn’t to judge whether a design is “interesting” or “creative” and it isn’t to say whether the original medium makes it free for the taking. This site is about pointing out those lazily copying the work of others and passing it off as their own, a pretty simple concept that is somehow lost on a few of you. Whether you like the original or whether you think it’s somehow ‘public domain’ doesn’t enter into it.

    Brad: You admit that it’s unoriginal and yet you say he must “cop this one.” What on earth do you think this site is about then if not for pointing out unoriginal work?

  23. sink 09/08/2009 4:29 am

    hah, im sure there are many artist that create work in “temporary” mediums that would have a problem with this statement. the point of the post isnt that there is some great travesty going on.

  24. BRAD 09/08/2009 1:06 am


    1. Actually sink it’s not the same typeface, which is very obvious in the G, K and R.
    2. Your last point is ridiculous. If i saw a picture of a moonwalking cat “ON TV” and consequently made a print containing just that (a moonwalking cat) there is nothing wrong with me doing that. If i was to cordon off the street art in question and charge people to see it then that is obviously not right.

    That’s a bit of a roundabout point but you might get what i mean, i can’t be bothered making it any clearer lol

    It’s street art, you gotta cop this one sorry buddy, If the artist was concerned – put it on canvas.

    Weak if they copied your shirt but if they saw the artwork
    on the street and thought hey that would make a cool t shirt
    its legit. It’s just unoriginal that’s all.

  25. sink 09/08/2009 12:19 am

    It actually is the same font, it is just condensed horizontally, and if you overlay the gun you will see the similarities. ours doesnt have a trigger, and the edges were rounded

    and the canvas you use doesnt make something public domain. thats like saying by broadcasting something on TV it is free to use, since anyone that turns on a tv can see it.

  26. george 09/07/2009 9:41 pm

    unfortunately if the original art was done in the street, it’s anybody’s t-shirt to make, not just yours.

  27. sdl1986 09/07/2009 7:39 pm

    It’s just not a very interesting or creative design. I can’t gather up the interest to care.

  28. Anon 09/07/2009 7:29 pm

    Henry, it isn’t the same stencil (looking at some of the letters, you can tell it’s a different font) and it’s not the same gun, as it has a different shape to it. The words are the same, and the concept is clearly taken from the first shirt, but there are certainly more differences than you acknowledge.

  29. Henry 09/07/2009 12:35 pm

    Heh, this is no more an “evolution in design” than would be re-colouring Bart Simpson’s shirt purple. It’s the same sentence in the same stencil lettering with the same gun. The only difference is the gun has been moved. If the gun moving impresses you so, I have a penny here that I could place on the ground for you to stare at for a few hours. Surely that would be an entertaining time for you, sir.

    Very clearly someone has looked at the original and thought it would be a possible moneymaker. They didn’t think, ‘Lets evolve this shit, Melanie!’

  30. headsign 09/07/2009 10:05 am

    While you should, of course, have been asked, duly rewarded and given credit, there is an evolution in design in this one. The idea of putting the gun between the last two words is quite good. A proof that it’s not the copying of ideas which is bad, but not asking, rewarding and crediting the original author.

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