Borderlands 2 Lifts Artist's Work Without Permission

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Borderlands 2 Lifts Artist's Work Without Permission

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English artist Olly Moss says he's disappointed, but not upset, that Gearbox made unauthorized use of his work in Borderlands 2.

Borderlands 2 came out a few days ago to pretty solid acclaim, but one person who wasn't entirely thrilled with it is Olly Moss, a U.K.-based artist whose work graces, among other things, the cover of the Resistance 3 box. Thanks to a sharp-eyed fan on Twitter, he discovered yesterday that an image contained in the Borderlands 2 retail package makes use of one of his works, but it was used without permission.

A side-by-side image of Moss' work, an Empire Strikes Back poster, with the image in the Borderlands 2 packaging demonstrates that they're stylistically similar, but more significantly that the jagged ridge in the background is clearly a direct lift from the original. Moss said on Twitter that he was disappointed by the situation, not because of the swipe but because he's a big Gearbox fan and "would have jumped at the opportunity to work with them."

Disappointment aside, however, Moss ruled out pursuing the matter further and asked his followers to let it slide. "Legal action? Chill out. It's not a big deal. Just some insert art. Still, would have done it myself if they'd asked. Love their work," he wrote in a later tweet.

"Haha! This whole thing is so far from a big deal," he added. "I wish I'd never even said anything."

Nonetheless, Gearbox co-founder and CEO Randy Pitchford reached out to Moss when he became aware of the situation and promised that heads would roll. "Check your email. We should be working together to do it right and legit," Pitchford wrote. "You're amazing. Inspiration is part of art and you've inspired us. But the bit that was lifted is uncool, so... consequences."

What those consequences may be was left unsaid, but I sure wouldn't want to be the guy who put together that illustration. Props to Moss for being so cool about what is unquestionably an uncool situation, though; you can attract more flies with honey than by yelling on the internet, as the saying goes, and maybe this will end up paying off for him in the end.

Source: Twitter

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"...you can attract more flies with honey than by yelling on the internet..."

This is the internet, if you can attract the flies, they'll do the yelling for you...

But still, cool of Gearbox to own up to it and hopefully make things right.

This is how you properly deal with someone in your studio using someone else's work without permission/with permission but being lazy.

For an example of what not to do, see Bioware>Mass Effect 3>Tali and the Ending.

Props to the guy for being cool about it. A typical artist these days would be chomping at the bit for a copyright lawsuit and an easy payday.

The only similarity I can see is that little ridge in the middle... is that really infringement? It's only a tiny portion of the original picture.

I like the guy for not throwing a fit the size of mt rushmore. He's cool about it and in turn, cool things are going to happen for him apparantly. Sweet!

Ok, good. Mature, civil reactions to conflict. Let's keep this going, game culture :)
(I beg in inevitable disappointment)

Just doesn't look similar enough for there to be a comparison.

Zachary Amaranth:
Just doesn't look similar enough for there to be a comparison.

I don't know. The ridge looks identical to me.

Wow, who would've thought that somebody would've acted in a mature and sensible way regarding copyright issues and better yet, that the infringing part is taking full responsibility, even if it wasn't asked for it.

Mad props on both parts.

A matter that is being resolved maturely!? What year is it!?

Props to both Moss and Gearbox in handling the situation.
Talking it over like civilized human beings and all ... who'd have thought?

Jandau:
But still, cool of Gearbox to own up to it and hopefully make things right.

Seriously. A lot of companies would have been like, "What? They're totally different, my lawyer says so. Now stop slandering us before I sue you."

It's nice to see some class on both sides of this issue.

You know, I was going to wait for a price drop/Steam sale before getting Borderlands 2, but I think I'll do it now just because Randy Pitchford is apparently a really cool guy and deserves all of my money.

I kept reading through the article, waiting for a cause to unleash rage, and it never came. A small portion of my faith in humanity has now been restored. That's somewhat of a surprise.

I have a feeling he'll be compensated rather... handsomely

There's a good chance the box art was commissioned from an external art house, so Gearbox themselves might not be the (direct) thieves in this case. But whoever it is, they're probably having a very bad day.

Reasonable adults talking out their differences? I was hoping for crazed fan-rage and people defending Gearbox with their mothers lives but I guess this is ok.

Zachary Amaranth:
Just doesn't look similar enough for there to be a comparison.

The curve of the ridge are the same, and the shape of the lighter area that zigzags is exactly alike.

Randy Pitchford is a class act. That artist guy too.

*bow*

Wait, someone acted reasonably to a legitimate yoink? Whoa. And, you're telling me the offending party is acting responsibly as well?

Major props to both parties. Way to be awesome.

When I saw the first comparison I thought, "Meh, same style and concept but not enough to get excited over" but then when I saw the ridge bit which is similar, if not the exact same, I could see why Olly was a bit peeved.

Hate to be the graphic artist at Gearbox though when his boss pulls him up. Even though its not like hes directly ripped the whole image its still enough to cause e-roar.

Here's a slightly higher-res version of the comparison pic, which is a little easier to make out:

image

The style is similar, but the ridges are identical. Definite lift.

Wow...that whole situation was handled so...calmly. I mean, I'm sure someone at Gearbox is getting hell right now, but it's neat seeing something get cleared up without it becoming a huge mess. Props to both of these people and companies. Gearbox just got some more respect in my book...Maybe I should've gotten Borderlands 2 instead of Guild Wars 2.......nah.

Good Guy Greg needs a Good Guy Moss pic. Olly Moss, keeping it cool. Always good to see a man with class.

Another entry for the Shout Out page...

Wait a min.... Two parties are acting calmly with respect and kindness to each-other and are actively working to a resolution?
No Lawsuit level finger pointing and pissing around?
Either its total BS or these entities happen to be the coolest artist and gaming company ever.

This whole situation makes me all warm and tingly inside ^_^

sethisjimmy:
The only similarity I can see is that little ridge in the middle... is that really infringement? It's only a tiny portion of the original picture.

For this sort of job it is kind of a big deal, thinking outside the box is important and when someone looks at your work and copies the style it can still be somewhat accepeted (the inspiration came from there) but to directly use elements of the original work is a dick move. Who ever did the artwork of that image was lazy as fuck, its kind of breaking the integraty of an artist to copy something directly from the original.

I once did a 3D video and the background was similar to the ones used on Team Fortress 2 (the ones on the Alps), I could have used them since they are available online but I did my own background and tried to only "copy" the composition, not the overall image.

Still, everyones reactions were great. Like Will Smith said:

"Chilling out, maxing, relaxing all cool"

These are the same how...

Stylistically, yes. But if that's the case, Top 40 artists would be in an eternal lawsuit with each other...

And of course, you lift the original image, do a little Photoshop work to make it less like the original, more like what you want, and there ya go.

Would be interesting if he ends up with a job.

Mature adults rationally hashing things out with mutual respect?

What's it say about civilization in this day and age when this situation feels... alien?

suing is only a thing if gearbox refuses to help out Moss.

Wait...

No lawsuits, the original artist is not demanding a ridiculous level of compensation, an army of lawyers have not been hired to bury him, the CEO directly reached out to the artist, complimented his work and intends to rectify the problem created. Even though the artist hand-waved it aside.

Everything is so civil and mature.

What is this feeling? R-Respect and admir-ation? I - ...

I can love again

Gearbox, you make me blush for bringing me the joy that is Borderlands, but now you're just trying to get into my pants with your calm and mature business practices...You know I can't control myself when I have respect for you

DVS BSTrD:
I have a feeling he'll be compensated rather... handsomely

Yeah, most companies would have made sure he didn't get jack.

Azuaron:

Jandau:
But still, cool of Gearbox to own up to it and hopefully make things right.

Seriously. A lot of companies would have been like, "What? They're totally different, my lawyer says so. Now stop slandering us before I sue you."

It's nice to see some class on both sides of this issue.

You know, I was going to wait for a price drop/Steam sale before getting Borderlands 2, but I think I'll do it now just because Randy Pitchford is apparently a really cool guy and deserves all of my money.

It is almost sad that two people talking in a mature fashion in a subject about the gaming industry is considered to be irregular. As you have stated normally this kind of thing would lead to a court date (especially if it has EA in it) and a dragged on issue full of slander and bile for both sides.

As for BL2, I can't blame you for waiting for the steam sale, but this game in my personal opinion is a bag of fun.

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