Intellectual Property? Copyright? Or just a lot of LOVE?

I was rather proud of the art I designed for a t-shirt this summer. It’s cool but of course it’s a direct ripoff, um, no, I mean, it was inspired by a well known piece. If I show you my design, below:


You will immediately see the resemblance. You might say, oh that was on a postage stamp:

220px Lovestamp

Or you might say, oh, that was a New York City thing. But you would be remembering wrong:

I Love New York svg

Actually, the stamp was based on an design and sculpture by Robert Indiana.  Yes, it was a sculpture first:

200px LOVE Indiana

 But you can see another copy of the same sculpture in New York City. I saw it just a few days ago:

LOVE sculpture NY

Actually I didn’t take that picture, because if you see it on foot, there is always a line of kids waiting to pose for pictures with it. 

Anyway, you can see that my idea for a T-Shirt design was clever but hardly original. I admit to having some guilt about appropriating the design, but also I have been keenly attuned to see who else and where else folks might have borrowed the design.

In Chicago, I saw this:

LI sculp hope 001b

On TV I saw this:

Go On intertitle

In a promotional email from the Institute of Contemporary art I saw this:

GeneralIdea AIDSwallpaper for mc

So, what do you say? How badly did I infringe the copyright of Robert Indiana? Will I be asked to take it down (and destroy the 16 one-of-a-kind t-shirts.) And will I win the case in court, because, “everyone else is copying it”?

Game Design: Tiled Game Boards

I’ve spent the last few weeks in dribs and drabs building a new game for Android. Lately I got deeper on what it means to have a ’tiled’ game space display where you construct the appearance of the game space by arranging a series of graphic images based on what’s needed for a certain level of the game. The idea is that you get essentially data driven graphics.

In my case the game space is a maze, ostensibly a map of a neighborhood. Creating these, still rather ugly tiles, is fairly painstaking both to understand what the tiles are in your vocabulary to be able to create a variety of game levels, and then to do the graphic design and actual image files for these baybies.

Here you can see a basic game space over three generations of my art work, from unrecognizable to simply ugly. You know I like my software to be ‘beautiful’ so the game designer in me is really disappointed in the good-for-nothing artist in me who is working for the other guy 🙂

If you look closely you will notice that the ‘topology’ of the game space is the same, just the images in each of the tiles have changed:

First Generation Second Generation Third generation