Aaron Carter has been accused of using work from a graphic artist without permission, and his response made things even worse. The singer took a lot of heat on social media this week after he included a design by artist Jonas Jodicke in a promotional tweet. When Jodicke called Carter out, the singer told Jodicke that he "should have taken it as a compliment."
Carter posted a picture made by Jodicke on Twitter on Friday, directing fans to his online merchandise store. It showed two lions butting heads. One was white with a sun etched on its forehead, and the other was black with a moon on its forehead. Together, their manes formed a vague heart shape.
"Two lions at war can reach an understanding. I have my lions den, you have yours," Carter wrote. "Hoodies are BACK UP!!! all un received orders contact Dawn in my contacts on my website. you can reach me directly too. xo."
Carter included a link to his merch store, which sells his own music and apparel. He did not use Jodicke's design on any merchandise there, but when Jodicke saw the tweet, he still felt it had been wrong for Carter to use his work for promotional purposes, without compensation or even credit.
"My art is being commercially exploited by people on a daily basis. We artists have rights, too!" Jodicke wrote in a tweet addressing Carter. He asked his followers to retweet the post to make it more likely that Carter would see it.
"You should've taken it as a compliment d—," Carter responded, "fan of MINE sent this to me. Oh here they go again, the answer is No this image has been made public and I'm using it to promote my clothing line... Guess I'll see you in small claims court f—ery."
Hey @aaroncarter .. You are using my artwork to promote your merchandise. I have not given you permission to do so. My art is being commercially exploited by people on a daily basis. We artists have rights, too!
Iˋd really appreciate if you could retweet this so he‘ll see it. https://t.co/ktusJEo3dz— Jonas Jödicke (@JoJoesArt) January 18, 2020
Carter later mocked Jodicke in a YouTube livestream, before the story really picked up. Jodicke kept the Twitter thread going,saying that Carter had done a disservice to all creative professionals, including himself.
"Celebs like [Aaron Carter] should set an example, especially since he's also from a creative background and knows copyright laws. If they can take art and do whatever with it, anyone can and will do it. If they're not held responsible, people won't stop treating artists like crap," he wrote.0comments
By Saturday evening, the controversy was one of the top trending topics in the U.S., and Carter was getting a deluge of outrage on Twitter.
And to make this clear: I would have been happy to handle this issue differently, had he reached out privately after my tweet. But the way he responded is making a mockery of the artist community and I can’t sit with that. I‘ve had enough of people treating artists that way.— Jonas Jödicke (@JoJoesArt) January 18, 2020
Jodicke is a 25-year-old artist from Berlin, Germany. The piece that started the controversy is titled "Brotherhood," and is available as a print from Jodicke's Etsy shop.