Just days ago, singer Aaron Carter launched a new promotion for his merch. To grab people’s attention, he used an artwork of two lions with their heads against each other, titled “Brotherhood”. However, the creator of the piece, Jonas Jödicke, a professional 25-year-old artist who is based in Berlin, knew nothing about it.

Singer Aaron Carter recently launched a promotional campaign to advertise his merch with an image of two lions

Image credits: Aaron Carter

Image credits: aaroncarter

When Jödicke noticed this, he immediately made a public announcement. The artist highlighted that it wasn’t a commission or a collaboration. Moreover, the work wasn’t even credited. Just another image milked as a social media push to sell merchandise and profit.

The creator of the piece, Jonas Jödicke, spoke out saying that Carter did this without his permission

Image credits: Jonas Jödicke

“I first learned of Aaron’s use of my artwork from a follower on Twitter,” Jödicke told Forbes. “They reached out via direct message telling me about Aaron’s tweet in which he had posted my artwork to promote his new merchandise shop. He did not mention me as the original artist and had not asked for permission beforehand. That’s why I called him out in a tweet, in a polite way, to inform him that I was not alright with him using my art in that way.”

Image credits: JoJoesArt

When people started paying attention to the situation, Carter posted this reply

Image credits: aaroncarter

“His response to my tweet was what got the whole tweetstorm going,” Jödicke said. “Instead of apologizing or reaching out to me to discuss things, he insulted me and said I should be glad he was using my art to promote his store. He ended with: “Guess I‘ll see you in small claims court …” I was absolutely amazed as to how he could respond in such a way and not expect people to lash out. I shared his response on my Twitter and Instagram and that is when it really blew up. In his YouTube livestream, he joked about my tweet having “17 likes.” As of now, it has more than 140K likes.

The exchange continued

Image credits: JoJoesArt

Image credits: aaroncarter

Image credits: aaroncarter

Jödicke said he didn’t want to cause a storm of this magnitude, but at the same time, he’s glad that artists’ rights are coming to the public eye again. “I think celebrities like Aaron Carter have a lot of responsibility. Many people look up to stars as role models, and if they treat artists like he has in his tweet, others might follow. So many people think that when you find an image online you can just use it for your own purposes, but celebrities should be at the forefront of teaching the masses about lawful and appropriate conduct, especially musicians and other artists, who understand how competitive the creative market is, and how difficult it can be for artists to make a living off their hard work. They have enough money to pay smaller creators for their services, but all too often, they feel like they don’t have to, because of their status. And all too often the ‘small ones’ back down.”

Eventually, Carter’s fans also joined the conversation

Image credits: Margolndigo

The artist painted “Brotherhood” a few years ago in a time of personal confusion and hurt. To this day, it remains to him one of the most favorite works he’s ever created. “It was actually also the art piece that got my career as a freelance artist going, as it went viral on Instagram and all over the internet. But with that came a lot of copyright issues as well though. It became my first artwork that was stolen by a clothing company for profit. Nowadays I receive messages by my followers on a daily basis who have found my art being sold by a random business. I have become so numb to it. Art thieves have literally made millions with my art. It is sold all over the world on markets, in shopping malls and on the internet. Last year I went to Thailand with my brother and we found a random street shop selling my art on a shirt. Also last year, my art appeared in a Netflix show, with no permission given whatsoever. I do officially work with a few companies that sell products with my art rightfully, but a lot of sellers, especially from China, are making really high figures off of my work, illegally.”

But Jödicke stood his ground

Image credits: JoJoesArt

Image credits: JoJoesArt

Image credits: JoJoesArt

Jödicke loves connecting with others through his art, and since we all enjoy escaping into the world of fantasy and magic to get away from our world, he enjoys the fact that he’s able to provide that experience to others through his passion.

Here’s what people had to say about all of this

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