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Art Thieves

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To the editors:

Having repeatedly discovered my own artwork used in an unauthorized manner without my byline and often in mutilated form, I can understand the devastation which Marcus Akinlana feels ["Honda Discord," March 26]. I hope he gets every penny of the 140K sought, and more, even if most of it goes for legal fees. Because this kind of crap will only keep happening more and more often in this new age of desktop publishing, where anybody with a cheap computer scanner is suddenly an "art director."

I know it's not fun to be treated like a fool by these snotty creeps when complaining about the publication's carelessness. The initial reaction is often that they're doing you a favor by even considering such drek as your artwork, that you should be happy that they ran it uncredited, or wrecked the design: "Oops! Well, what do you expect us to do now, change every magazine at the newsstands? (Ha Ha Ha!!!)" Or: "Oh, we didn't know we were supposed to turn the photo over and read the back." Or, the best of all: "Well, it wasn't intentional! (So FUCK OFF.)" The sneaky stupidity of so many publications and/or ad people in often not even attempting to verify byline/layout arrangements with the original artist perfectly illustrates their sloppy lack of integrity. The deluded attitude that "Anybody can do art, so we don't have to--we'll just selectively appropriate yours and wreck it" is frighteningly commonplace. I guess it somehow fulfills their own sterile, talentless art-school-graduate "careers." Or maybe it's just that since they're incapable of producing original work on their own, they simply cannot comprehend why a byline and respect for the artwork's completed form is important and right.

So to all guilty parties, be they pukey-cool 'zine "publishers" or mainstream "journalists" or ad people (as well as the drug addict club promoters with their sidewalk-littering full-color postcard fliers), I say, "GO SAMPLE YOURSELVES!!!" And Good Luck to Marcus, baby . . . Smack some butt!!! Now, let's see, what does a Honda logo look like . . .

Lee Kay

N. Halsted

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