Aaron Carter lashes out at artist whose work he had “commercially exploited” to promote his merch

The unpleasant exchange went down on Twitter.


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Berlin-based digital artist Jonas Jodicke thought it might be enough to inform rapper Aaron Carter in a tweet that he was using a piece of artwork without permission to promote some merchandise.

The artwork in question is called “Brotherhood,” showing two lions butting heads – and Carter appears to have used it without so much as crediting Jodicke, much less paying anything for it, to promote clothing he has been hawking on Twitter.

“My art is being commercially exploited by people on a daily basis. We artists have rights, too!,” Jodicke tweeted.

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This is not the first time that established celebrities of various calibers use work of less-known artists to promote various “lines” of products that are sold to fans on the strength of their name. And it’s not uncommon that these celebrities ignore warnings about using other people’s work without permission, and get away with it.

That’s because – while intellectual property and copyright is protected in the US – it’s often costly to pursue a violation legally since the system favors those with deeper pockets.

And while none of that is surprising – it was Carter’s response that stands out in this case: he dismissed Jodicke’s complaint with a rude reply, never denying that he was using the work in question, suggesting he was within his rights to use image because “a fan” had sent it to him – and further claiming that the image “has been made public.”

“Guess I’ll see you in small claims court,” was Carter’s parting message to Jodicke.

The artist was taken aback by this kind of reaction, but seems to accept the challenge of defending his rights in court.

Jodicke’s followers on Twitter voiced their support, but pointed out that the artist will need money to go down the route of legally protecting his work, and suggested he should reach out to others who may have been treated the same way and sue Carter for the money he earned selling merchandise that features the artwork.

This unpleasant exchange on Twitter between a young artist and a controversial celebrity highlights the vulnerability of digital artists, and a system that favors those with enough money to protect their work – as well as those who can afford to ignore the rules.


Didi Rankovic

Didi Rankovic is an experienced online journalist, editor, and translator, with a career spanning over ten years writing for major a English-language website in Serbia, and previously working as translator for international organizations and peacekeepers in the Balkans. Rankovic is passionate about free and open source tech and is a head contributor for Reclaim The Net, focusing on lead stories. [email protected]