Shopee Malaysia has found themselves in hot waters when it was discovered that they had used an artwork without the artist’s consent.
This incident highlights the troubles artists have with the modern age since many of these artists’ artworks are often taken and used without the credit and proper compensation being given to their original creators.
Such was the case as seen here:
The art was taken from American artist Adam Ellis, who came to prominence during his time at Buzzfeed. His 4 panel comic strips often times depict comedic but relatable incidents, which allowed him to amass a large following.
Ellis would often time upload his work on his social media. There, his fans can interact with the artist by commenting and help spread comic stripes. However, sometimes people would use his artwork and edited it into memes. This would sometimes end up going viral on the internet.
Though, usually free spirited and generally okay with his work being edited into memes, the artist takes a particular offence when his work are used by brands and corporations without consent. Even if his artwork was slightly edited into a meme, these brands and corporation should have the financial power to properly compensate him for his creation.
After discovering the ad, Ellis took to his Twitter account to share about his displeasure at the incident. In the post he wrote, “When are brands gonna realize that “memes” aren’t free clip art for them to use in advertisements?“
When are brands gonna realize that "memes" aren't free clip art for them to use in advertisements? pic.twitter.com/4jurEiK3Cf
— adam ellis (@moby_dickhead) December 11, 2019
Amusingly, in the thread he called out Shopee Malaysia directly, asking how he can bill them. He wrote, “Anyway @ShopeeMY lemme know where to send an invoice.” In the same thread, he later jokingly added that, “these brands need to realize they’re stealing a comic about gay Sonic/Knuckles fanart.”
Fortunately, the online shopping platform has since recognised their mistake and even contacted Ellis personally regarding the incident. In the reply, they stated that they value the artist’s work and would like to make amends by taking their discussion privately.
Hi Mr Adam Ellis, we’d like to first sincerely apologize to you for this regretful event. We appreciate the hard work that comes from being an artist, and the value of your work. We want to make this right and have dropped you a private message to discuss further. Thank you.
— Shopee(MY) (@ShopeeMY) December 12, 2019
Hopefully, there won’t be any hard feelings for all the parties involved. At the end of the day, give credit where credit is due.