Stealing people’s shit is apparently the thing to do now, so where I initially thought Franzibald a base villain perhaps he was instead riding the crest of some dark trend I could not perceive. There are troubling similarities between my own epic struggles with plagiarist vultures and the travails of one Dave Kelly.
Responsible for fully seventeen percent of all webcomics and one of the most prolific animators working in flash, Dave Kelly is probably the last person you should steal from online. So either Todd Goldman stole Dave’s work without realizing he was stealing from someone famous, or he absolutely did not care. Gabriel tells me that the pertinent Picasso quote is "Good artists copy, great artists steal," but I don’t think this is what he was talking about, just like I don’t think Picasso was telling artists to mount daring heists on the Louvre.
There are now more than a million pages of the fathomless Internet devoted to the crime committed against Kelly, comics in support, essays about pure men and the obstacles they face in a cruel world. There is also a lot of amateur lawyering and idealism about what actually happens in a court of law. Pressure can be mounted in such a way as to create an intractable PR environment, causing him to retract the work, but Goldman is unbelievably rich - a legal battle would not even warrant the "battle" nomenclature. Todd Goldman is an asshole, to be sure - and given his nuclear response to the issue, I believe he may also be called a monster. He cannot be sued for this, which is a flaw in our legal system. Everything else about this case is malleable in the hands of an expert lawyer. Drawing on our own experience, being right is a very small part of the equation.
Let us say that the case moves up the chain and is presented before someone who actually gives a shit - was the copied work ever actually sold? How many copies of Goldman’s rank forgery are in existence? Even if "we" were to "win," there’s no guarantee of retribution. You don’t lose your company over something like this. I wouldn’t expect much in the way of samurai justice.
People seem to think that by posting in threads and agreeing with other people they are changing the world. They are not. They are posting in threads online. The universe will not be altered by forum threads, even those which are very wry. Being outraged online is a form of entertainment, and refreshing a thread to receive a hit of consensus packs the thrill of genuine activism without requiring any sweat. I’m afraid this test may require more from the community than a sardonic jpeg.