Web Bytes Back Over Artist Lawsuit

Image of Jay Maisel via scottkelby.com

Fans of the photographer Jay Maisel who navigate to his Wikipedia page will now find more detail about a legal battle he had with techie Andy Baio than his work and achievement as an artist.

Mr. Maisel sued Mr. Baio for releasing an 8-bit version of his famous photo of Miles Davis on the cover of Kind of Blue. Mr. Baio used the digital copy for his remix of the jazz classic, Kind of Bloop. He settled for $32,000 in damages, but may end up regretting the cost the lawsuit is having on his online reputation.

Late afternoon yesterday Mr. Maisel deleted his Facebook page after a torrent of angry comments were left on his wall. Nerd Collider’s Cody Brown left this message on his Tumblr, “You deleted your Facebook page so it’s clear that these comments are having an effect on you and I hope you can, at the very least, address them publicly. You are disappointing so many people by doing this and you don’t need to. Make amends. Give back the money. This isn’t worth 32k.”

Mr. Baio for his part tried to quell the angry internetz. “Disappointed in many of the comments being posted to Jay Maisel’s Facebook page. Discussion: good. Lynch mob: bad,” he tweeted. “I never anticipated this kind of response at all. The blog post felt like inside-baseball to me, I assumed it would only be of interest to my friends, family, and people that follow copyright law and remix culture. I didn’t see his Facebook page until the middle of the day (I didn’t even know it existed), and that’s when I decided to try to do something about it.”

One positive for Mr. Baio is that, along with 120,000 visitors to his blog and more than 500 retweets on his first message about the affair, nearly 1,000 copies of Kind of Bloop have sold in the last 24 hours, and it all goes directly to Mr. Baio minus the Amazon fee and song licensing.

Web Bytes Back Over Artist Lawsuit