George Zimmerman: “Artistic” Copyright Infringer?By: Toni Matthews-El - January 23, 2014
In a perfect world, someone fortunate enough to be acquitted of gunning down an unarmed teen and who has charges dropped after apparently threatening his girlfriend with a rifle would fade into obscurity, never to be either heard from or about ever again. But as with Casey Anthony, Florida continues to deliver in the form of George Zimmerman. Zimmerman, who has turned his escape from the judicial system into an opportunity to express himself as an artist.
George Zimmerman recently sold artwork for over $100,000. A boon to Zimmerman, who due to his notoriety seems to be having a bit of trouble finding anyone willing to hire him.
Jayne Weintraub, Zimmerman’s attorney, told The Associated Press that Zimmerman created the artwork all by himself and that he’s “utilizing his talent to make some money.”
Unfortunately, “talent” in this case may turn out to be just another way of saying, “he totally plagiarized it”.
It has been noted that the six figure painting bears a remarkable resemblance to a Stockphoto image. Now, here’s where it gets hilarious: The image that it’s clear to see he borrowed from is copyrighted. Compounded with the fact that he gave no credit whatsoever for his hand-drawn art, it’s possible that Zimmerman may be opening himself up to a potential lawsuit if the owner of that image decides to pursue the matter in court.
Which brings us to Zimmerman’s latest masterpiece, which was shared by his brother Robert Zimmerman Jr. Wednesday via Twitter.
The artwork, titled “Angie”, features special prosecutor Angela Corey, who failed to convict Zimmerman. She is shown with her fingers touching while saying, “I have this much respect for the American judicial system”. Of course artistic interpretation being so flexible, maybe we’re free to ponder whether he’s speaking about the prosecutor or himself.
In any case, once again we’re supposed to presume that he totally drew this himself and didn’t borrow inspiration from a copyrighted photo whatsoever.
Well, I’m sure Rick Wilson won’t mind losing out on thousands of dollars as Zimmerman continues to profit from images that he didn’t actually think up himself.
Now, of course it’s not unheard of for artists to use existing places and images as inspiration (and own up to this fact while giving the appopriate credit, and maybe paying out a percentage of the profit where relevant…). However, when you’re NOTORIOUS, you could literally fart on a piece of canvas and someone will buy your “art” just to say they own it.
Why use copyrighted images that could open you up to a lawsuit you cannot afford to fight later on because you’re totally broke?
Image via Twitter