Plagiarists Are Stupid. Throw Lawsuits At Them!
April 24, 2007 10:52 PM   Subscribe

Mike Tyndall is maintaining a page detailing all of the striking similarities between Todd Goldman's "art" and the original work of legitimate artists. (previously discussed on MetaFilter) Now, the image for which Goldman attracted a substantial amount of press and fame and upon which he built his profitable David And Goliath Tees company--his "Boys Are Stupid, Throw Rocks At Them" work--may have been partially copied from the portfolio of Chip Wass.
posted by fandango_matt (44 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Did this really need another thread, since you mentioned the same fact in the first one?

(don't get me wrong, TODD needs to go down in flames for this)
posted by mrbill at 11:00 PM on April 24, 2007

Yes, I know. That was a mistake. I've emailed Matt/Cortex.
posted by fandango_matt at 11:02 PM on April 24, 2007

Man, that guy ripped off a lot of people.
posted by puke & cry at 11:19 PM on April 24, 2007 [1 favorite]

Wow. I can't believe he has the nerve to sue.
posted by dobbs at 11:23 PM on April 24, 2007

Since Goldman appears to be suing a number of sites that talked about him ripping off people, it makes me wonder if Matt will receive a similar letter soon...
posted by Effigy2000 at 11:26 PM on April 24, 2007

...and the bitch of it is: even the original artwork sucks.
posted by inoculatedcities at 11:26 PM on April 24, 2007

I vote for leaving this thread up since I think it's important that the suing thing be spread. I hope Tyndall doesn't take the page down. I can't believe Juxtapoz removed theirs.
posted by dobbs at 11:28 PM on April 24, 2007

I think keeping the thread up is the right thing, sort of a solidarity thing, although easy for me to say since I wouldn't be the one he'll send the intimidation lawsuit to.
posted by bhouston at 11:32 PM on April 24, 2007

This story should be covered more by the mainstream press. The company is supposedly a $90/$100 million a year business and thus this type of high profile plagiarism scandal should get in the mainstream press.
posted by bhouston at 11:35 PM on April 24, 2007

I can't believe Juxtapoz removed theirs.

You can still see the first part of the original post halfway down Yahoo's cached page; they call it "art thievery," which may be too strong for their lawyers to defend. Here's the first paragraph:

Dear God, Make Art Thievery Die. Amen.
Monday, 09 April 2007

We got an email today about a recent, though (sadly) not isolated, case of artist-on-artist thievery. Today's case involves Todd Goldman of David & Goliath clothing and accessories company. Goldman's work is distributed worldwide through his company and art galleries. It is called "deceptively simple" in a recent press release for his show Gold Digger, currently on exhibit at Jack Gallery in Los Angeles, but the word deceptive apparently goes a bit deeper.

The next paragraph was quoted in Publishers Weekly's comics blog:

Web cartoonist Dave Kelly created a drawing about five years ago of one of his characters, Purple Pussy, praying at bedside, “Dear God, Make everyone die. Amen.” Goldman has a nearly identical piece in Gold Digger which he’s selling as if it’s his original creation (see for yourself.) This isn’t his only rendition of the piece he copied. There’s another more direct rip-off here. Calls to the gallery for comment were forwarded to a surely over-worked and under-whelmed vice-president at the parent company of the gallery who has yet to respond.

Again, pretty strong words, but even if their lawyers say that version had to come down, Juxtapoz should be able to figure out a way to talk about these accusations without caving totally to Goldman's lawyers. This is exactly their magazine's beat; they should be able to cover it without opening themselves to lawsuits.
posted by mediareport at 11:52 PM on April 24, 2007

i feel like a new phrase needs to be coined for the shit this guy is doing, a mixture between stupidity and douchebaggery.

ripping off great web comics and shitty clip-art and hoping your technologically savvy audience will never notice = todd goldmanism

hacking critics' myspace profiles and replacing them with with this image, hosted on your company's website(!) = todd goldmanism

i'm speechless.
posted by danman_d at 12:11 AM on April 25, 2007

case of artist-on-artist thievery

I don't know how anyone could defend calling Todd Goldman an artist.
posted by unmake at 12:17 AM on April 25, 2007

I was thinking of Toddle:

Toddle, -ing, -d, v.
1. To simultaneously plagiarize and attempt to silence critics of one's plagiarism.
2. To use and pass off the artwork, ideas, or writings of another as one's own, and then attempt to silence one's critics.


The painting was not an original idea; it was toddled from an artist.

The gallery stopped selling his paintings when he was found to be toddling the work of other artists.
posted by fandango_matt at 12:23 AM on April 25, 2007 [1 favorite]

Someone should sell a t-shirt saying "I ripped off Todd Goldman".
posted by surrendering monkey at 12:42 AM on April 25, 2007

Man, this dude is teh suck! Todd Lokken look out!
posted by Eekacat at 12:45 AM on April 25, 2007

I don't know how anyone could defend calling Todd Goldman an artist.

Warhol managed okay.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:45 AM on April 25, 2007

@surrendering monkey:
Something close
posted by redteam at 2:10 AM on April 25, 2007

It's too bad that some people (like Mr Goldman here) can run around acting like a complete dick to everyone with so few repercussions. I know there are people who would like to think that karma will catch up with him... and those people probably have no idea what the word 'karma' actually means.

Sometimes the toddlers of the world go unpunished.
posted by chuckdarwin at 3:34 AM on April 25, 2007

Not to slow the momentum of a well-deserved dogpile, but some of those examples aren't plagiarism. Using clip-art to make a t-shirt design is probably OK (I guess it might depend on the license of the clip art, but typically they just restrict use in other clip art collections or similar graphic art resources). I think this would apply to the clip art font as well. If someone is going to be crucified for using clip art, you're going to have to put up a hell of a lot of crosses.

Now, many of the other examples are clearly plagiarism, but people are starting to overreach, I think.
posted by litlnemo at 3:52 AM on April 25, 2007

Cool clipart.
posted by chuckdarwin at 4:04 AM on April 25, 2007

Even if his blatant plagiarism and overall assholery was somehow justified, his (or his henchmen's) MySpace hacking is unbelievable.

For a good read on how a stupid company stealing photographs is slowly losing to the original photographer, check this essay on the lawsuits (via /.)
posted by Harry at 4:07 AM on April 25, 2007

The guy is mentally ill. Seriously. He should seek treatment. (BTW, that's no knock on the mentally ill.)
posted by MarshallPoe at 4:49 AM on April 25, 2007

Goldman completely fucked-up. See...all he had to do is rip-off two or more artists on a single piece. Then he could've called them mashups and be hailed as a genius on BoingBoing.

He just didn't think this through...
posted by Thorzdad at 4:58 AM on April 25, 2007 [2 favorites]

Christ, what an asshole.

This guy besmirches the good name of t-shirt makers everywhere. Maybe I should make a "Fuck Todd Goldman" shirt.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 5:13 AM on April 25, 2007

Where will you steal your artwork from?
posted by Dave Faris at 5:45 AM on April 25, 2007

Wired took down its post about Todd Goldman, too - the one Tyndall says "describes a humorous encounter with Goldman": Sorry, incoming readers! Our legal counsel has advised us to remove this post.

This is getting ridiculous. Why is Wired caving in to this kind of crap?
posted by mediareport at 6:18 AM on April 25, 2007

I was thinking of Toddle

On behalf of Todds online, please no.
posted by mediareport at 6:20 AM on April 25, 2007

Wired caved? Damn. You might think they could afford a lawyer or two.

(Just to clarify -- despite my post earlier, I think it's pretty clear the guy is guilty.)
posted by litlnemo at 6:40 AM on April 25, 2007

On behalf of Todds online, please no.

This Todd agrees - please, no.
posted by spicynuts at 7:33 AM on April 25, 2007

As a friend put it on LJ, he's less Andy Warhol and more eBaumsWorld.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:35 AM on April 25, 2007 [1 favorite]

One thing I know for sure is that if I ever decide to really fuck someone over, I'm going to make damn sure they and their close friends are not on Something Awful first.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 7:44 AM on April 25, 2007

Christ, what an asshole.
posted by Dr-Baa at 7:49 AM on April 25, 2007

Haters. Remember what Picasso said: "Good artists borrow. Great artists steal."

Clearly, Goldman is the Picasso of our day.
posted by adamrice at 8:29 AM on April 25, 2007

I've look at some of the art comparisons. While some are clear cut, the t-shirt similarities don't clearly state that the other non-Todd t-shirts came first. I expect there is a lot of copying of t-shirt patterns, and I wouldn't be surprised that a few of these cases of alleged plagiarism are actually the other way around.
posted by bhouston at 8:58 AM on April 25, 2007

You got to give him some credit. He's turned a profit without any artistic talent whatsoever.

And I think it's sort of hypocritical the way I hear some people rail against both this guy and digital rights management in practically the same blog post, Cory.
posted by Dave Faris at 9:11 AM on April 25, 2007

"but some of those examples aren't plagiarism"

Yeah, I wonder if some people have been paying attention to what has been happening in art over the last 50 years or so.
Although when it comes to appropriation and recontextualization, some are more clever than others.
I've heard people who are clueless about hip-hop and sampling make the same mistake.
The bottom line is that he really isn't very good, and now he's copping this attitude over some throwaway t-shirt designs that aren't very original.
Let the chips fall where they may.
posted by 2sheets at 10:04 AM on April 25, 2007

I am not clueless about sampling in hip-hop. You have to clear samples. That involves getting permission from the original rights holder, and negotiating how they will be paid for the usage of their original work. It's quite obvious that this is something Todd Goldman doesn't do. Thus these are two very different things.
posted by kcalder at 12:05 PM on April 25, 2007

In general I think evaluating whether a piece of artwork is derivative of another is more subjective than with words, music or video. But this stuff is just blatant ripoffs, he's practically tracing the originals in some of them. I don't see any creative additions in any of them.
posted by scalefree at 1:06 PM on April 25, 2007

The Wired post, from the Google cache:

Dave vs. Goliath: Shameless Art Thievery, Ahoy

Once upon a time, I was strolling with two people down at the Grove shopping complex in Los Angeles. We passed a gallery with giant windows, a gallery packed to the gills with the most insipid, offensively dull paintings we had ever seen. We stood in awe that this person had conned someone into giving them an entire retail space to soil. There were paintings of lamps that looked as if they had been done by "getting old ain't so bad" greeting card illustrators. Mr. Bill-like cartoon faces, with no perceivable expression or appeal, stared sightlessly off white canvas. Seemingly random depictions of household objects bore zany witticisms scrawled atop.

"Jesus wept," someone said, "this shit is TERRIBLE."

Instantly, he was upon us. The artist himself, lurking at a nearby cafe table and supervising the reactions of the gallery's passerby, leapt to his feet and verbally laid into us. Sputtering and red, he demanded to know what we had said about him, if we knew who we were dealing with, and who the hell we thought we were. We pointed and laughed at the poor crazy man who couldn't draw, and went to a movie.

I have just found out that the shouting hack was none other than Todd "Goliath" Goldman, renowned "artist" and accomplished plagiarist. He's ripped off designs from sources as far ranging as ancient Windows animated cursors, Threadless t-shirt company, spooky comics scribbler Roman Dirge, and most blatantly, internet cartooning legend Dave "Shmorky" Kelly. As the panel at right illustrates, one of Goldman's recent paintings is a near-exact trace of a panel from Kelly's "Purple Pussy" webcomic.

Goldman's publicist has released that his client has vowed to cease any and all marketing of the stolen design, and to forward the proceeds already collected either to Kelly or the charity of his choice. However, Goldman's other plagiarism is extensive, and unredressed.

Now that he's been called on his bullshit, and the Internet vs. Todd Goldman onslaught has begun in earnest, the man has retreated to slander, hacking, and douchebaggery to make his point...

posted by mediareport at 3:50 PM on April 25, 2007 [1 favorite]

While plagiarism is a difficult claim to substantiate outside of purely written work, it's pretty obvious that the guy is a douchebag and a hack.
posted by kyleg at 4:08 PM on April 25, 2007

Penny Arcade's Gabe has learned that Goldman is alledgedly ripping off Threadless's designs as well. I can't link you directly to the post Gabe made but here's a link to the page where it's located at. For future reference, here's a hotlink to the image comparing Threadless with Goldman.
posted by Effigy2000 at 6:12 PM on April 25, 2007

Is it hypocritical to have a 500GB MP3 collection, yet feel righteously superior to this plagiarizing T-shirt hack Todd Goldman?
posted by unmake at 11:11 PM on April 25, 2007

Are ya selling the mp3s? Claiming you wrote the songs?
posted by furiousthought at 12:16 AM on April 26, 2007

i have a 1.2TB* MP3 collection. I don't rename the files or just change them from Leading Caps to all lowercase and claim that I wrote the songs.

your point?

*as well as over 25 file boxes full of the CDs from whence the MP3s came.
posted by geckoinpdx at 3:12 PM on April 26, 2007

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