Monday, March 17, 2008

Crystalgate: "This Is A Tricky Gray Area"

So the simple brushing of the cape that I received not too long ago has caused me to post about a comment I left on another blog which in all likelihood precipitated said brush.

On Digitalarmes, on this post, there was a whole lot of hubbub about an "artist" named Trevor Brown, some musicians named Crystal Castles, Madonna, and a shiner.

Basically, Crystal Castles was once tiny and unknown and they used an image they found somewhere by a tiny and unknown artist and put it on some stuff. Now, crystal castles has a record deal, Trevor Brown has a creepy website, and the issue of money has come into play. Each side is very quick to tell the other to go fuck themselves (since both operate outside mainstream taste, and outside of each other's taste, alot of "That's Not Art"/"That's Not Music" has been slung around), and it looks to each side as though the other is just being D-bags about it.

In the most direct sense, it's infringement. But then, once you think about it, it sort of complicates itself. The way I see it, this was the same kind of artistic borrowing that goes on between semi-professionals all the damn time. It's a truce forged on the idea that nobody's getting rich so we let it slide because everybody's got rent to pay. Then Crystal Castles broke the truce by becoming semi-popular and, damn it all, financially viable. Now they've got a label that can be sued for real amounts of money, and isn't that reason enough to get litiggy wit' it?

Also, i'm fairly certain there ought to be some sort of statute of limitations, but I won't go to bat on that. Sometimes, you just have to let it slide and find the silver lining. For Instance, wouldn't it hold that Crystal Castles digs the art and might consider using him for stuff in the future? And hasn't this all given Mr. Brown a vast amount of traffic that he wouldn't normally get, considering his artwork is mainly americanized hentai shock-porn?

In the interest of following my own preaching, here is an outside-the-box solution which requires no lawyers' fees.

I made this:

It's not very good, or at all original (Like Trevor Brown!), and I'm offering it for free to Crystal Castles, Mr. Brown, and anyone else of great, little or no consequence. However, if Crystal Castles would like to use it, i'm demanding an in-person handshake at the next CC show I attend (but that's negotiable). I don't want anything else, as it might encourage me to draw more things, and that's not good for anyone.

Also, best wishes to Crystal Castles' chanteuse/enchantress Alice Glass, who was recently injured in an automobile accident. As someone who also has suffered crash-related rib injuries and breathing difficulties, I extend my deepest sympathies.

Photo by Jez Cave!
(props to Tom for keepin' me honest.)

Get well soon.


Anonymous said...

Trevor Brown 'tiny and unknown'? Which rock do you live under?

Clifford Lidell said...

we love you and i've saved your drawing to my desktop.


Matt Dupree said...

I suppose the better question, dear Anonymous, is which rock do you post from under?

The rock I live under is completely devoid of paraphilia. so sorry.

I'll consider the spelling errors, overall sloppiness, and classification as a member of the BDSM community not even worthy of a full wiki page to be validation enough.

Good day.

Tom Oakley said...

You could credit the person who took that photo!

'twas Jez Cave, at

Matt Dupree said...

You got cut off there, Tom, but I did the legwork for you. I'll put a photo credit up in a jiffy.

By the way, that was just laziness on my part. Google Image search all the way.