crystal castles steal music

we’re using sounds that no-one else can get

or so the photoshopped countenances of crystal castles on the cover of the nme arrogantly proclaim – supposedly, we are meant to believe, by throwing an old atari 5200 game machine sound-card into a new keyboard (as if they were “plug and play”!) – the truth has now been exposed that some of these futuristic unheard of sounds were simply sampled from the chiptunes scene (who make stuff mostly by gameboy music programing tools such as little sound dj) – and, in the case of their “insecticon” track pretty much stolen verbatim (melody and all) from a track by lo-bat


lo-bat’s setup

“insecticon” is unreleased but has been widely distributed after being uploaded (without permission from or credit to lo-bat) on one of crystal castles myspace pages – lo-bat himself doesn’t appear overly concerned (perhaps grateful for the “free publicity”) but the wider chipster fraternity is not so happy – a long thread here – several attempts have been made to add information about the outrage to the crystal castles wikipedia page but this has summarily been viewed as “vandalism” and resulted in the page now being locked – crystal castles have belatedly given some credit to lo-bat for the track (calling it a remix) so the matter now closed in their opinion

for me, of course, i find nothing at all surprising about this sad affair – i’d truly love to say crystal castles are digging their own grave with all this bullshit (and hellbent on it) – but sadly they have many people covering up the bad smell (and far more people with blocked noses) – the 8-bit scene folk really didn’t want this made too public (as it gives crystal castles more publicity than they deserve) – but i think the more people who know about this the better – why let them get away with it?

crystal castles and everyone around them are compulsive liars!

needless to say i have received no compensation for their use of my art – the case remains unresolved – they have my address and bank information but are not paying me anything

despite the adamant denials about my art being used on the cd cover (quote “manager” mikey apples: “of course would have needed clearance from you”) apparently they DID use it – as a “fold out poster” hidden inside! – no permission even sought, let alone clearance granted (pfft – as if i’d give it)

most ridiculous of all is crystal castles now making utter fools of themselves claiming they commissioned me to do the drawing for them in 2006, oblivious to the fact the drawing was published on the cover of one of my books several years before i apparently drew it!

from an interview for vice magazine in france:

vice: You are tired and I don’t want to bother you anymore, but what about this bullshit on the internet between you and this guy pretending that you “stole his art” to do t shirts with Madonna’s fucked up face?

alice: This is really starting to bust our balls. The story is that this guy is not the real author of this illustration. We found this Madonna drawing on an old flyer for a punk gig. The artist re-drew it for us back when we were just a little band, and now that we have some sort of fame, he writes everywhere that we stole it. To tell the truth we always wanted to pay him but he is acting like he doesn’t know, because of all the noise around this story which brings him more publicity. So we had some arguments and we banned him from our myspace page. 

ethan:  Moreover, we are not rancorous and if this asshole reads your mag, tell him his cheque awaits him.

vice: Message sent…

- – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

further reading:

  • chiptune music theft continues; crystal castles abuses creative commons license
  • crystal castles and chip music copyright infringements
  • crystal castles creative commons controversy
  • - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

    crystal castles steal art

  • crystal [expletive deleted] castles
  • lies hype bullshit theft pathetic children
  • verbal diarrhea
  • fuck crystal castles!
  • fuck crystal castles! – lawyer’s vindication
  • - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

    54 comments

    1. Cat said on 4 May 2008 at 3:18 pm

      It’s like they live in their own obnoxious little fantasy world.

    2. fxt said on 4 May 2008 at 3:36 pm

      They really do get way more attention than they could ever deserve. Seems this chip-theft stuff is getting more and more common..

    3. Joseph said on 4 May 2008 at 8:49 pm

      Dear God, Crystal Castles get more disgusting by the moment it seems. I shudder when I see their album at a store, or their name mentioned in what is going to be glowing hype. The fact that they’ve stolen directly from the brilliant chiptune scene and then spun it as ‘remix’ is another depressing act in their hurt-others-because-nothing-matters routine. The upshot is that by following this story here and elsewhere I now see how deep this lack of common courtesy, or even lack of simple judgment, goes throughout so-called indie-music media.

      I’m sorry for this mess, Trevor. But I thank you for sharing the tabs you’re keeping.

    4. M-.-n said on 5 May 2008 at 1:37 am

      Hey Tom,

      FWIW, I’ve started a facebook page on Crystal Castle break of Creative Common, stealing your artwork and ripping off lo-bat’s track. I have no idea if it is going to be effective in any ways, but it’s worth trying

      http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=13599848830

      Feel free to contact me if you need info.

      Greets,
      Marc

    5. Bonnie said on 5 May 2008 at 2:21 am

      i bet after being banned from their myspace page your crying yourself to sleep every single night, shaking a fist in the darkness towards the heavens at an uncaring god who has foresaken you..

    6. Lord Storm said on 5 May 2008 at 10:58 pm

      Alice – Hahahaha! What a lying, thieving, STD-festering gash; a foul cistern for toads to knot and gender in. (And if you’re vying to wrest the title of “filthy, worthless whore” from the “Chilean,” you’d best redouble your efforts!)

      Ethan – What a queer little cocksucker is he! Hahaha!

      Witchiepoo (Mikey) – You’re still a wimpy, Wiccan faggot!

      CC Fans – What hath God shat?

    7. SpeedyE said on 6 May 2008 at 1:20 am

      i just want to mention that the gameboy sounds were also used by a industrial band called KLANGSTABIL in their album ‘sprite storage format’ released in 2000, i’m not sure but r they the first to do this? anyway, i’m a big fan of their music and i do remember Trevor recommending them back in day (from an old blog, six years ago i think?)

    8. catrix said on 6 May 2008 at 6:47 am

      hmmmm…… this is in my eyes a waste of time with such rip-off assholes. I think the time will come they will get a REAL pounding – anyway.
      TREVOR – don’t waste your time with such insignificant worms!

    9. trevor brown said on 6 May 2008 at 7:30 am

      i don’t know anything about klangstabil actually – but there used to be a group (or concert promoters?) called klangkrieg who made colour post cards for all their events with stolen trevor brown art – so cystic assholes were not the first to steal my art (and are NOTHING in trevor brown history – get over yourselves all you twats whose comments i’ve deleted) – and cystic assholes definitely not the first as far as their supposed innovative sound is concerned

    10. trevor brown said on 6 May 2008 at 7:47 am

      the lo-bat case can now be followed here

      chiptune music theft continues; crystal castles abuses creative commons license

      lo-bat’s goal is not to make money but to use this incident to draw attention to and create a better understanding of the “creative commons license” – but of course the morons don’t care and are just bringing up words like “sour grapes” and “witch hunt”…

    11. Ricky said on 6 May 2008 at 8:31 am

      “get over yourselves all you twats whose comments i’ve deleted”

      I just thought it was odd that you deleted mine, because I didn’t say anything derisive towards you – just noted that I found it odd that Crystal Castles are creative people, and yet greed and glamour alone must clearly be satisfying to them. Wont go on about it

    12. iKoKuronosu said on 6 May 2008 at 8:34 am

      Tb like Chiptune? Good.

      Well, Crystal Castles are playing a small concert in Newcastle pretty soon. This being an area with many chiptune fans and artists can potentially gather…. Any ideas for banners?

    13. nitro2k01 said on 6 May 2008 at 12:50 pm

      I’m investigating this, and this post contains both my opinions about CC’s CC violationss (doesn’t it sound catchy?) and my and 8bc’s findings. They stole some things from Covox too…
      You can read my post here: http://gameboygenius.8bitcollective.com/wordpress/2008/05/06/crystal-castles-and-chip-music-copyright-infringements/ Could you perhaps link to my post from within your post? This would help my search engine ratings and in effect help this story reach out.

    14. little JonBenet Ramsey said on 6 May 2008 at 2:51 pm

      I think you really should find a layer in England, try with a paypal donation from your fans for the legal costs and sue them also for slander.

      Solution #2 is that I kick them in the face with my gosu loli shoes.

    15. Belly Button said on 6 May 2008 at 8:35 pm

      To the poster named iKoKuronosu – Hi. Whilst i’m not planning on starting a flame war with you, you can’t seriously think that bringing banners to a gig for a band you dislike is a constructive use of time. Whilst CC’s handling of Trevor Brown’s work is unfair ( politely get back to the band about the cheque Vice cashed ;p ) you are likely to just get laughed out of the venue. I was fan of Trevor Brown before I was a fan of Crystal Castles (whom I noticed on Muispace due to Brown’s Madonna image) and whilst i’m not going to straddle fences I suggest that you don’t go and do anything dramatic at gigs. What starts off as practical criticism can erupt into a wave of ‘unorchestrated moshing’ (ie ‘violence’) which will reflect badly on both the music and the art.

      But what do I know, eh… :D Thanks for your time…

      Belly Button

    16. Lord Storm said on 6 May 2008 at 10:40 pm

      JB – Petrol, lots of petrol, mixed with motor oil, conveyed in heavy-duty, vapour-proof plastic bags, and distributed liberally at points of ingress and egress — especially egress… “Unorchestrated moshing?” Haha. How quaint, BB, like moshers to a flame… :D

    17. November said on 7 May 2008 at 1:48 am

      Late to commenting on this:

      When I first saw them on MySpace a while ago, I had noticed they weren’t crediting you for your artwork, but had assumed on some level that they had worked something out with you already and I bothered to listen to them based upon seeing your art.

      I suppose I’m being terribly naive here, because despite hearing them discuss how they came up with ‘their sound’ and knowing it was total bullshit, it didn’t occur to me they actually outright stole it. Obviously it came from somewhere, but I had just assumed they were doing the chiptune shit on their own and were just fucking with the press with their explanation of ‘how’.

      Regardless, I can’t help but feel more and more offended by these chains of events as it unfolds due to how off the mark my initial impressions were. I know I honestly will be met with ‘So?’ by others who are still into the band. It’s hard enough explaining why I own several of your books to some of my friends, let alone why I’m not really big on ‘the band of the next fifteen minutes’ anymore. Fuck ‘em, though.

      If it’s even the slightest bit of comfort (which I sincerely doubt at this point), just know that your art was the reason some of us (at least myself) even bothered looking at this band. The comments of you doing this for publicity coming from a band that won’t be remembered in several years is pretty funny.

    18. PROGIRL said on 7 May 2008 at 5:28 am

      Ive been a Crystal Castles fan for a long long time, before they hit the big scene and, while the art stolen is absolutely magnificent it really did not relate to or complement the music at all. Since then, they have come up with a new t-shirt design but needless to say they have already sold out their EP/T-Shirt with your art. How far gone is the case at this stage? Since evidence exists of your art and their plagiarism?
      I’m highly disgusted by the comments made in NME quoted above, an illustrator re-drawing an ART piece does not give him the copy-right, the original artist/photographer always has the copyright.
      I think aside from this striking blog you should PRINT your design and use this popularity to your benefit.
      After all you are the original owner.

    19. iKoKuronosu said on 7 May 2008 at 6:11 am

      >Belly Button
      I won’t make another post after this, in order to refrain from spamming what is essentially a blog.
      Agreed on all such points that making a scene is a waste of time; also assuring that violence will never be an option.
      But what do we bored youths have to do with our time but waste it on vendettas against whatever seems unjust at the time?
      But yes, agreed, after further thinking I don’t think facing all those fans would be very fun. Plans will be reviewed.
      Back to the topic at hand, uhm sorry, yes.

    20. PROGIRL said on 7 May 2008 at 8:56 am

      trevor , how about printing that shirt, maybe censor above comment, best angle to this at this stage is their ignorance, above comment will just work as ammunition.
      I know you definitley feel ripped off but if the case , legal wise is too far gone [which i cant grasp to how] then best bet is to get them by your coherent and well fact’ed blog !

    21. trevor brown said on 7 May 2008 at 9:08 am

      yeah, i deleted the comment already, guessing that it’d be misinterpreted

      and, no, the madonna with black eye image is now so strongly associated with crystal castles that it is no longer mine – so i won’t be uploading it here or making tshirts with it myself (which’d only be viewed as the-greedy-artist-cashing-in-on-crystal-castles-talent again by “them”)

    22. Celebrity Murder Party said on 7 May 2008 at 4:57 pm

      Fuck it – why shouldn’t you make some cash off the back of them? Why not just reprint a load of T-shirts with a corrupted Crystal Castles logo and stick em on ebay. Original Trevor Brown T-shirts anyone? I’d buy one.

      Rather my money went to the original creator where it belongs.

      I’m not against sampling, use of copyrighted Images as long as they’re credited and the artists get their fair share.

    23. Penny said on 8 May 2008 at 2:10 pm

      Googling “Mikey Apples” brings up this revealing thread: http://www.blogto.com/arts/2005/03/battle_mr_brown_vs_val_kilmer/. A different Mr Brown i take it?

      It appears that before Mikey Apples was an arrogant amateur at being a rock star manager, he was an arrogant amateur at being an art show curator! And god help “cry babys” who didn’t like his shows:

      Quote Mikey Apples:
      “complainers don’t have shit going on for themselves and that sounds like you.”

      Quote Mikey Apples:
      “the only hand gestures you’d likely see if you had the balls to say any of this to my face would be my knuckles pounding out your teeth.”

      How nIce!

    24. Lord Storm said on 8 May 2008 at 11:35 pm

      Penny –

      Quote Mikey Apples:
      “the only hand gestures you’d likely see if you had the balls to say any of this to my face would be my knuckles pounding out your teeth.”

      Bwahahaha! Nigga pluheeze! Mikey is just a sissy girl — a cowardly queer who couldn’t even put up a fight against a little faggot Frenchman.

      Have you even seen how ridiculously gay Mikey looks??? Haha! When I posted real pictures of him here in all his gayness for every one to see, he actually cried and begged TB to take down his pictures, which TB did after Mikey kept nagging and whining to TB, like the lying, thieving, little Wiccan Canadian bitch that he is. Bwahahaha!

      Luckily, Laetitia posted some of his deleted photos here; see for yourself how “mean” Mikey is — NOT:

      # Laetitia said on 27 Mar 2008 at 2:44 pm

      http://img84.imageshack.us/img84/5137/mikeymyspacecopyin2.jpg

      Haha! Fuck you Witchiepoo! Where are you?

      I’m waiting…

    25. kimmie said on 10 May 2008 at 2:52 am

      ahhh.. ‘Temple of Blasphemy’ was when I first discovered your brilliant work ♥

      this situation is really becoming ridiculous. I’m so DISGUSTED with crystal castles. Can’t they just pay you already..??! What is wrong with them?!

      I don’t think their music is that good anymore. I dislike them even more after all the sh!t they put you through. It’s not very professional of them to knowingly steal your art and make money off of it with the Madonna tees. I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night.

      They have such a pathetic management. Their main source of income probably came from selling the tees.

      So lame. I hope they realize that karma is a bitch and there are lots of other bands out there making music better than them who aren’t stealing from artists, but rather, working with them..

      BTW, I don’t think it would be a bad idea for you to sell your own tees trevor. Not just with the madonna image, but with your other works, also! I never associated the madonna image to CC (it’s not theirs damn it!) ~that image, to me, was always “Wow, that’s trevor browns art!” You are a genius.

      Your the reason why they were once ‘cool’. “Image is everything” (in the music world..)

      I hope everything works out on your side of things. You need to be compensated. It just isn’t right.

      *tsk *tsk on them.

      an ex- Crystal Castle ‘listener’

    26. haichu said on 10 May 2008 at 3:27 pm

      i bought the cc album before i found out about this

      just so you know Trevor your image is actually part of the insert art – they have cropped it and made it a poster

      i suggest you order a copy and get to suing they have sold at least 10,000 copies in North America i bet so far

    27. trevor brown said on 10 May 2008 at 5:52 pm

      there’s no way i’m going to buy the cd – but if someone could please send me scans/photos of the packaging i’d be grateful !!

      it’s almost certain they took this decision to include it in the official release AFTER i kicked up shit here – petty spite and provocation – they are just SCUM as i said and as everyone must surely finally realise now

      “ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated”

    28. Chris said on 11 May 2008 at 6:35 am

      I don’t get why you just don’t get a lawyer involved…

    29. James said on 12 May 2008 at 10:19 am

      Hi Trevor, I’m really sorry to say I almost bought one of their fucking tshirts… not really because I’m a big fan of their music but because it was your work and at the time I had no idea they stole it.

      So glad I didn’t buy it now and also extra pleased and not guilty at all that I have never payed for their album or any of the other tracks I downloaded of theirs.

      Also people saying things like this:
      “any real “artist” wouldnt give a shit about the money or having their work licensed out, they would just be happy that people are looking at and enjoying their work”
      Can fuck off too, haven’t a clue what they’re talking about.

      Hope things work out in your favour, its horrible seeing someone as talented as yourself getting screwed over by some flavour of the month cunts.

    30. trevor brown said on 12 May 2008 at 1:27 pm

      i wonder how many morons are still wearing their “official” t-shirts now it’s been nicely denigrated as a symbol of what lame thieves they are

    31. Jonathan Lowndes said on 13 May 2008 at 4:49 am

      Hi Trevor,
      First things first I want to make it clear I come to this discussion with all respect for you as an artist but also as a fan of Crystal Castles.
      Having only recently discovered ,what i’ll call the alleged theft because whilst i’m not accusing you of lying it would be unfair to take either side as with conflicting stories I will not place my feet in either camp until I’ve been able to fully absorb the facts and as i’ve already stated i’m relatively new to the whole scandle, I must say that my faith in Crystal Castles has been shaken, and as an owner of one of these early T-Shirts I do continue to wear it but out of no intended disrespect to you but simply to show my support for a band i truly love.
      Having also discovered the alleged theft of music (again i don’t consider myself well informed enough to take a side) again if this is proved to be correct then my support for the band in terms of album sales and merch will dissapear (sadly i cannot say i will not see them live as it is a truly breathtaking experience & being quite frankly in love with their music whilst i do not wish to condone thieves i also do not wish to remove my support from a band who may have stolen music for some tracks but who also manage to create beautiful music of their own).
      If it is true that you have been defrauded and lied to then I sincerely hope that you recieve any monetary payments due to you and hope that the whole situation soon dissapears so i can continue to enjoy the music and art i love without a conflict between the two.
      Regards,
      Jon

    32. trevor brown said on 13 May 2008 at 11:13 am

      you may have deep respect for music and art but unfortunately crystal castles do not – they have chosen not to respond to the music theft “allegations” – and chosen not to compensate me – so the whole sorry situation will never simply disappear

    33. Jon Lowndes said on 13 May 2008 at 8:24 pm

      Having now had time to read through your blogs and also alot of the other evidence out there I’ve got to say that the way you’ve been treated really is unacceptable.
      You deserve to be compensated for the artwork thy used and quite frankly the fact that they’ve been so evasive about the whole topic is quite disgraceful.
      That said maybe if you’d just listed off a figure that you wanted things may have been different, although thats more than likely idealistic dreaming that two of my heroes and the reasons i’ve begun to to create electronic music myself aren’t completely and totally disrespectful and quite frankly acting like dickheads.
      I hope you get what you are due Trevor because it would be a travesty if you were denied this, although hopefully this case can have some good int hat it boosts your own profile and gains you publicity and also leads to a deeper understanding between sampling & theft & the creative commons law as a whole.
      Regards,
      Jon

    34. trevor brown said on 14 May 2008 at 4:07 pm

      the youtube clip showing how crystal castles blatantly stole lo-bats music has been removed by youtube as a result of a third-party notification claiming the material is infringing copyright!

      amazing!

    35. krwait said on 16 May 2008 at 5:34 pm

      look, i’ll be honest. they may be thieves of drawings, and thieves of music, or they may not be, but their music is incredible. while the whole chiptune thing is nothing new, sure, but there is much more to the music than that. the music that crystal castles are (accidentally, most likely) coming out with is possibly era- and/or genre-defining. i invite you all to separate the music from the business practices to avoid missing out on an important cultural event.

      also, Lord Storm, seriously dude. what is wrong with homosexuals? what is wrong with Canadians? you’ve got some prejudices that are disgusting, truly. and why the violently sexual portrayals of Alice, who I’m guessing you have never met or talked to? would you talk to a random girl on the street and tell her she’s a “STD-festering gash; a foul cistern for toads to knot and gender in”? if the answer is yes, then I hope you get some therapy, or at the very least take a good look at how fucked up you are.

      but anyways I hope your whole artwork deal gets sorted out eventually Trevor. I’d never heard of your work before this controversy deal.

    36. tania said on 16 May 2008 at 7:15 pm

      come on, everyone knows trevor brown doesn’t need publicity, we’ve all seen his artwork.
      i actually used to like crystal castles :S (and by the way their live act sucks)

    37. trevor brown said on 16 May 2008 at 7:15 pm

      @ krwait
      you’ve used some ridiculously extreme hyperbole in describing crystal castle’s music so i don’t think you can criticise lord storm for his ridiculously extreme hyper bile in describing their members and manager (as he calls himself) – it’s just words

      even with all this extra hatred now directed towards the band it still appears they have no intention of actually doing anything whatsoever about it – so i think i know who really needs a good look at themselves and therapy

    38. iKoKuronosu said on 16 May 2008 at 11:16 pm

      Just thought it was worth backtracking to note that Sabrepulse, one of the more out-there chiptune artists [albeit on hiatus], sent a rallying call on myspace to get people in with the 8bitcollective movement against crystal castles.
      Hey, what do you know, lots of people in Newcastle -are- going to be protesting against crystal castles.
      And everywhere else, too.

    39. Sean Orr said on 21 May 2008 at 11:32 am

      Inter-swagger

    40. Bob Kraut said on 21 May 2008 at 12:44 pm

      As a fan of Trevor’s I ask what compensation are you looking for? Is it on par with Rolling Stones vs The Verve? As in 100%?

    41. Lord Storm said on 21 May 2008 at 7:24 pm

      krwait – “what is wrong with homosexuals?” Bwahahaha! Everything! “what is wrong with Canadians?” Bwahahaha! Everything! As to Alice, her actions and inactions speak for themselves. I don’t have to meet Paris Hilton to know she is a stupid, spoiled, talentless skank, nor do I have to meet you to know you’re a fucking moron and a pussy.

      I see you’re oh so selective in your petty causes, as you didn’t so much as make a peep about the “rights” of: Witchiepoo, Wiccans, Chileans, Niggers, Frenchmen, liars, and whores… Yet you champion “music and art THIEVES,” “FAGGOTS,” “CANADIANS,” and “STD BICYCLES!!!” Now that’s seriously fucked up! TB was right: you’re the one in need of therapy! A single session with rope and rafters should cure you. Bwahahaha!

    42. trevor brown said on 21 May 2008 at 8:17 pm

      >>TB was right: you’re the one in need of therapy!

      err, i was referring to crystal castles actually – but nevermind, krwait probably isn’t reading this now, and cc aren’t – mikey and “this is andy” probably ARE reading this as they are so anal about their cystic assholes …and in need of getting their heads out of their anuses!

    43. Lord Storm said on 21 May 2008 at 9:09 pm

      Bah… Birds of a feather… The whole rotten lot of them need to get their heads straight — nothing a group trip to the gallows couldn’t cure… The Tyburn Tree would be ideal. :D

    44. ritz said on 27 May 2008 at 4:26 pm

      ummmmm
      is it just me or does that one scream in the background sound EXACTLY like the singer in the song Charmer by Kings of Leon?
      Go listen to it really.

      And the main background riff sounds alot like AYO technology.

    45. f them said on 16 Jun 2008 at 4:52 am

      Well you know what i just stole cc’s music!!!!!!!!!! so f them

    46. torrents said on 16 Jun 2008 at 5:00 am

      http://www.mininova.org/get/1278403

    47. roxanna said on 21 Jul 2008 at 12:50 pm

      i just sent them a nice little hate message via myspace :]

    48. Panik said on 22 Jul 2008 at 10:37 am

      You should license the image to a competing 8-bit band in the USA, and let them cease & desist CC from your image usage. There would be some amusing irony in that.

    49. unsub said on 15 Aug 2008 at 3:04 pm

      fuckin’ hell, dude…
      yeah CC turned out to be assholes, obnoxiously so.
      But the repeated hateful, bilious, and revolting ranting against homosexuals on your blog (no not you, but clearly supported by you) has turned me off your art. Alas…
      But I’m just one person in an increasingly right-wing, religious fundamentalist (key word ‘mental’) society headed for a new dark ages, so that doesn’t matter one whit in the scheme of things. I wish you well, though I won’t be contributing to it.
      As for the foul bigot, may your wife give birth to a milipede, so you spend your life-savings on shoes…er.. something to that effect.

    50. trevor brown said on 15 Aug 2008 at 3:43 pm

      err, yes???

      no loss – i’m turned off your art (or whatever it is?) by the germanic typeface you use which clearly defines you as a supporter of nazism doesnt it?

      anyone at home?

      look, if you don’t like my art, at least give an honest reason if you must comment here, instead of trumping up unbelievable stories about being my biggest fan ever but now totally turned off because blahblah something ludicrous (ie. i dissed your favourite band) – it’s so feeble

    51. bishely said on 28 Aug 2008 at 6:42 pm

      This whole saga is completely flabbergasting.

      There’s an awful lot of insults flying about from both sides, but little of any substance being said.

      First off, I should say (before I’m accused) that I wouldn’t be here on this page if not for Crystal Castles. On the other hand, in no way would I consider myself a fan. As a musician, I am intrigued by their music, and through a little internet browsing, got into chiptunes via CC, in much the same way as I got my first looks at Trevor’s art via CC (but, again, I wouldn’t consider myself a ‘fan’ of Trevor’s art, although some of it is great, no flattery intended). But I’m taking no sides, because frankly I couldn’t care less how or if this whole thing gets settled.

      So why am I bothering to wade in with my point of view? Well, mainly because I consider myself a reasonable kind of guy, and also because I have some experience in low budget independent music.

      Trevor: From what I’ve read (and I lack the willpower to read EVERYTHING written on the subject – life’s too short), you have repeatedly dealt with CC/Mikey Apples in an incredibly unprofessional manner – for the record, “professional” means talking business, not making snide comments – and then retreated to your blog to fling insults. Putting that aside, you are still undoubtedly owed some recompense from CC. I appreciate why you refused to sign the release on the artwork, and I daresay I would have done the same thing in your position, but I categorically would NOT have then posted on my blog discussing a contract I was still negotiating, and throwing insults at the people I was negotiating with: where’s their motivation to work proactively to resolve the situation?

      All you really needed to do was refuse to sign and tell them that you would only release your rights to the image with the condition that it not be used by CC in any future merchandise/covers/websites etc. Then leave them to stew.

      I don’t think CC are entirely guiltless here – the whole thing has been bubbling on for so long it seems highly unlikely that their management has been working round the clock to sort this out – but only the recent end of ‘negotiations’ has been documented, largely here on your blog, and the record shows that in your first dealings with Mikey Apples you did a lot to piss him off. There was no need to be so bitchy; the sensible approach would have been to name a price or ask them to make an offer for the rights to have used the image to date but no more, and refrained from any further discussion. Now you’re in a situation where you feel exploited by them, and they feel wound up (to put it politely) by you.

      You could probably still resolve things by getting in touch with Mikey Apples, (an apology might not be the worst thing in the world – even if you don’t mean it, it’s hard to do business through animosity) and restate your claim to some remuneration for the use of your image, whilst clearly and politely stating your desire that they cease using it immediately. These are professional people, and they certainly won’t be looking to deliberately wind you up. On the other hand, they will be looking to do decent business, and, given Mikey’s comments regarding the use of the image in the (blogged) conversation with you, I wouldn’t expect a particularly big nest egg.

      Furthermore, raise with them your reluctance that you sign anything that releases the image but not the responsibility to the band (in this kind of thing, its general practice by any label with any sense to leave legal responsibility in the hands of the original work’s creator, to cover their arses) – I’m sure, if you deal CALMLY and POLITELY they will be amenable to making the necessary alterations, particularly in light of the fact you’re also asking them to desist using the image in future, so any forthcoming law suit from Madonna (highly unlikely in any case, since the image has arguably done her more good as a promotional tool than harm) won’t be for any ridiculously huge sums.

      Now to the music. Anyone with half a brain and a bit of music knowledge knows that CC’s sounds don’t come exclusively from the Atari soundchip as Ethan claims. There wouldn’t be enough channels to trigger all the sounds live anyway. Your claims that their music has been ‘stolen’ are a bit silly though, and I’d be careful using the words ‘steal’ ‘stole’ and ‘stolen’ without some kind of quotation marks; its very easy to get yourself on the wrong side of legal action using words like that, and you’ve already made your blog VERY visible to CC and their people. I should restate the fact that I’m in no way connected to CC – this isn’t a mafia-style threat, just some friendly advice. I simply wouldn’t bother getting involved with other peoples’ copyright claims! (Having said that, I’m doing exactly that here, but with the fundamental difference that you’re actively courting comment by posting on a blog with open comments).

      As for the “plug and play” nature of the Atari soundcard, I assume you are skeptical about whether they actually use any such device. As I said, I doubt the keyboard could possibly have been used exclusively for ‘their sound’, but that’s not to say a soundchip couldn’t relatively easily be grafted into a keyboard, and the resulting sounds be sampled and arranged in a computer or something. Frankly, its a bit silly you passing judgement on music – you’re an artist foremost, and they’re musicians foremost: they wouldn’t tell you how to draw, so you shouldn’t really be commenting on your doubts over the provenance of their music.

      Basically, I would refrain from calling them liars or thieves, and send a short but sweet email requesting that you start negotiations afresh and take it from there, but keep it private this time, and remember to keep your business hat on and keep your personal opinions to yourself until the matter is resolved.

      Right. I hope that what I have said here (which IS based on experience dealing with copyright arguments with represented/signed bands) will be heeded and everything goes smoothly and you end up happy and a tiny tiny bit more wealthy. Having said that, I’d be surprised since you don’t seem to listen much to anyone who doesn’t share your total indignation at how you’ve been ‘treated’ by CC’s management. I’d invite you to take a deep breath and re-read everything you’ve written here on the matter, and ask yourself if you couldn’t have been a bit more professional, and a bit less aggressive. They’re certainly guilty of using your image without permission, but don’t make things any harder than they need to be – good manners cost nothing.

      I wish you all the best in your pursuit of what is owed to you.

    52. trevor brown said on 28 Aug 2008 at 7:46 pm

      thanks for your thoughts but i stopped reading that half way through, i’m sorry – i’m not interested any more

      as an update to the boring saga:
      they claimed to the press, as a “promise”, that they’d look me up and hand-deliver recompense during their tokyo trip earlier this month – needless to say they didn’t

      if they do not wish to clear the matter up that’s their problem – why should i care – it’s dogging their career not mine

    53. wtf said on 5 Sep 2008 at 7:52 pm

      bishley bumlicker,
      Expecting Trevor to go and apologize to these “professional people” for pissing them off, are you nuts? Mikey Apples first move in this matter was to make snide comments and bitchy insults about Trevor on various blogs! No one could blame Trevor for not taking him seriously. The dude is an incompetent imbecile who made this fiasco worse for the band.

    54. trevor brown said on 19 Sep 2008 at 5:27 pm

      ha ha ha!

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