Innovation. Ideas. Insight.

Talent Imitates, Genius Steals. Does It Matter?

In Insight on January 26, 2009 at 12:53 pm
No Line On The Horizon - U2's new album

No Line On The Horizon - U2's new album

As Faris Yakob likes to remind us:  Talent Imitates, Genius Steals. But what are we to make of the album cover for U2’s new release, No Line On The Horizon? Not one but two artists have strikingly similar artwork according to The Guardian. The work in question is by Japanese artist Hiroshi Sugimoto.

Did U2 rip off Brothomstates? Does U2 have the right to derive inspiration from the same sources that Brothomstates is familiar with? Does the usage by U2 make what Brothomstates did more or less relevant and valuable?

 Ultimately there is a finite amount of source material. Check out this Jim Jarmusch quote (h/t Influx):

Steal authentically

Steal authentically

 So, what is the answer, where does the truth lie? I think we’ve reached the point where the question is, as Jarmusch so aptly alludes to: Not, did you steal this, but rather, once you stole it, what did you do with it?

Thanks to Michael Surtees of DesignNotes for bringing the U2 story to my attention.


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