crystal [expletive deleted] castles

mentioned before – a pair of stupid kids doing electronica stuff who decided they’d use my art for their first 7″ record cover without bothering to seek permission – the same image also stolen for “official” crystal castles t-shirts – their excuse and reasoning being:

we found the image on an old flyer, with no credit, so we didnt know who it belonged to or who to ask

we figured if we used it, the artist would eventually make him/herself known

well, the artist did quickly learn about it and made himself known – then proceeded to waste months listening to their lame apologies and promises – but never got anything – not even a lousy copy of the record – all they did was belatedly stick a credit to me on their web site (ie myspace page) for the t-shirt design, as if that made everything hunky dory – the 7″ sold out fast but i asked them to stop selling the shirts

that was back in 2006 sometime – here we are in 2008, i’ve still recieved nothing and they are still selling the shirts against my wishes! – and they’ve somehow acquired a million “friends” (gullible equally immature myspace teens jumping on a trend thinking they’re so “kewl”) and are laughably being touted as the greatest upcoming band in the world since the beatles or whatever?! – okay, i admit i actually like or liked their music too – but the charm (?) tends to wears thin and their sound becomes depleted of flavour pretty soon – basically they are diluted kap bambino imo

so, anyway, now there are various new complications and matters are being brought to a head – besides things i’ve been asked not to mention here, i’ve discovered that last gang records are about to release their debut cd, with my cover art (unlicensed and doubtless uncredited) and are already taking pre-orders for it – they are putting this version out as a “banned cover” limited edition (pfft!) – i’ve written to them but, predictably, no reply – i’m obviously of no concern to them – altho last gang records deceitfully posture themselves as indie/underground, they apparently have canadian entertainment moguls behind them – they’ll do as they please no matter how much i forbid the use of my art and how many threats they receive

so my own last hope for compensation lies with crystal castles – i’ve stated my price (a quite insignificant figure in regard to how much money made out of t-shirts and everywhere they have been plastering my art without permission) – i await a reply…

the madonna image has already been used on a cassette cover, circa 1991, by beast 666 records in japan – actually, what’d make things more fun now is if madonna wrote to me saying she’s seen the drawing, loves it, and wants to use it for HER next cd cover!

and i guess i must be alone in noticing slight similarities between the crystal castles logo and the chanel registered trademark???

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

the crystal castles fiasco

  • crystal [expletive deleted] castles
  • lies hype bullshit theft pathetic children
  • verbal diarrhea
  • fuck crystal castles!
  • fuck crystal castles! – lawyer’s vindication
  • crystal castles steal music
  • the crystal castles fiasco: CASE OVER!
  • – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

    61 thoughts on “crystal [expletive deleted] castles”

    1. TB – Hah! Getting back at CC is easy. Use a 500 lb. gorilla to twist their arm for fun. Chanel is a 500 lb. gorilla, who will twist not only CC’s arm, but also LGR’s arm. They are pipsqueaks in comparison to Chanel International.

      Probably the easiest thing for you to do is to just write Maureen a short, one-page letter re: Crystal Castle’s trademark infringement of Chanel’s trademark, and include your e-mail address as well, and say that if they contact you, you will be happy to provide their legal department with much more information to assist them in this matter.

      Make certain you send the terse letter to Maureen via Japan’s version of the US Postal Service’s “Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested” service, which will require a signature by the recipient; this will ensure your letter will be read, as this is the standard method of mailing anyone legal documents.

      When one of her underlings e-mails you — and one will — give them the info, like the jpeg, and also mention CC and LGR are doing the same thing to you. Of course, they are only concerned about their trademark, and will not include you in any legal correspondence to CC or LGR, but it will give you the satisfaction that it only took you one letter to get a 500 lb. gorilla to twist CC’s and LGR’s arms to stop CC from using Chanel’s logo forthwith. Here’s the contact info:

      Ms. Maureen Chiquet , CEO, President, COO
      Chanel, Inc.
      9 West 57th Street
      44th Floor
      New York, NY 10019
      United States

      If you do not think Chanel is FANATICAL about protecting their international trademark, read this:

      Infringement of the CHANEL trademark:

      It should take you an hour, max… HAHA! πŸ˜€

    2. p.s. Don’t be lazy and e-mail them. Nothing gets someone’s attention in America like receiving Certified Mail or Japan’s equivalent… πŸ˜€

    3. yes, but (!), a printed copy of the logo being used by crystal castles would be helpful – i can only find copies as jpegs

      and re the “banned cover” in the words of crystal castles:

      “banned cover” = last gang printed promo copies of the cd and the distributor refused to share them, we were told we could not use your art on our cd cover and had to come up with a new cover. last gang are now selling the unusable promo copies as collector’s items, we are upset of course

      ….hmph, no comment

      in fact i’m completely tired of it all already – crystal castles are talking at least – last gang are continuing to ignore – information gets dripped to me in the form of jigsaw puzzle pieces – bleurgh, i don’t care – i’ve become mercenary – i just want money then i’m outta here – but it appears i’m left waiting again ….for nothing again?!

    4. TB – You don’t need any physical proof of CC’s logo on any product, the jpegs are more than sufficient. Believe me, Chanel will send CC a “cease and desist” letter based on the information you have alone; give Chanel the URLs when they contact you, and they will do the rest…

      Like this one: there are at least three instances of CC using the Chanel trademark:

      If you read the FAQ, Chanel even states that they do not require the physical item to take legal action:

      “Given the nature of the Internet, DECISIONS regarding the authenticity of an item ARE BASED UPON the photograph and the description of the goods, as well as other less tangible aspects of the auction. ”

      The mere fact that Chanel can SEE CC using their trademarked logo on the internet is sufficient for Chanel to go after CC like a dark, hairy monkey goes after a free ripe banana… Trust me, I’ve seen this phenomenon many times.

      BTW – The fact that they are now listing your name on their MySpace page means nothing. If I were you, I’d get a person to be your legal “agent,” a bengoshi or even your publisher, to buy one of the ripped-off goods using PayPal, then, after receiving the item, open a dispute with PayPal, alleging COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT and PIRACY, providing the necessary proof, of course.

      Even though PayPal hates you, nonetheless, PayPal may use that as a “legitimate” excuse to FREEZE CC’s PayPal account… Need I say more? I have a feeling PayPal loves “taking” other people’s money more than they hate you… LOL If you can’t get any money, at least have fun getting retribution… Haha…


    5. part of an anon letter received today which kinda confirms what i already guessed:

      A friend of mine alerted me to your post about Crystal Castles. I’ve long wondered if they’d compensated you for the use of your image as CC have literally made tens of thousands of dollars off of sales of the shirt using your image.

      If you go to any “hipster” night anywhere in North America or Europe you will find at least five people wearing that shirt. What makes it more criminal is that they charge $35 for it which is obviously entirely profit (for a hanes tee with a one color image.)

      At any rate many of my friends in the concert promotion business have been screwed by CC and therefore I would love to see them taken down a notch (personally I think they’re musically shit but that’s besides the point.)

      Something you must know BTW regarding Last Gang is just how huge it is. It is one of the five biggest indie record labels in North America (NOT just Canada) and it is run by Chris Taylor. You can google search him, he’s a big shithead but very, very powerful as an entertainment lawyer for huge time clients like Avril Lavigne. Last Gang is simply a way for him to siphon money from the Canadian arts council funding for corporate means. He can definitely afford to do the right thing but is big bully who just does whatever he wants.

    6. TB – Makes absolutely no difference who owns LGR, I’d still have Chanel and PayPal mess with CC and LGR. Chanel International and PayPal, which is owned by eBay, are giant apes, whilst the other two are still little ants in comparison.

    7. i still cannot believe you’ve not been properly compensated by these cunts even after i first told you about their ep cover and infringement on myspace over a year ago… what absolute fucking shits

    8. well if it makes you feel any better — cc have screwed promoters, label folks and basically everybody on every level in the music industry. they’re total dicks and impossible to work with. their days are numbered.

    9. an acquaintance in a band told me that they got CC to do a remix of them, but CC in the end just used the remix as their own track

    10. trevor–

      hipsters wear american apparel. not hanes. so the image was probably printed onto thousands of american apparel tshirts.

    11. I’m a huge fan and friend of CC’s. They have never used the Chanel logo on anything official. It’s been used on a jpeg or 2.

      The t-shirts are not American Apparel and are not $35.

      They claim to be huge fans of Trevor Brown and claim they asked for permission to use the image 2 years ago but things got mixed up with missed emails.

    12. P.S. I have looked into this further and I found out that the band did indeed try to get permission from you in 2006, and their label (SLUM) tried to get permission from you in 2007.

      Also, Chanel is trying to sponsor the band.

    13. Andy M – SLUM never asked for permission. I know this because I am friends with them. They asked CC if the image had been licensed and if not then should they license it. They never heard back from CC despite multiple emails. More recently have been told that their release has pretty much been blocked by Last Gang despite supporting CC before LG were involved in any way. There are a couple of other small labels in this situation.

      The point here is that CC should have stopped using the image once they found out it was TB’s and had received permission. By continuing to make cash fist over fist despite their knowledge represents bad faith straight up and down.

      However, from what I understand CC mean well but are incredibly disorganised and are backed by a very corporate label that probably aren’t allowing them to make good on the promises they made in the past.

    14. Bracken,
      Trevor Brown himself wrote that SLUM asked for permission to license the image.

      To everyone here,
      Someone has already tried to get CC in trouble with Chanel and the contact at Chanel responded with a proposed sponsorship deal.

      Yes the band is very disorganized. Apparently they never check email and I know for a fact that they don’t have a phone.

    15. andy m – please read what i said – i spent probably three months swapping letters with crystal castles in 2006 but it was A TOTAL WASTE OF TIME!!! – they are liars as well as thieves! – i got nothing! – they were told to stop selling the t-shirts, they haven’t – and, despite the fact they already knew i was furious about the two previous copyright violations of my image, they AGAIN use it for their cd cover without any permission! – i don’t consider people pissing all over me like this as “huge fans”

      slum records did not contact me in 2007! – they contacted me just a few days ago respectfully asking if they could license the image for their crystal castles release (this is the information i was asked to remove from my blog entry above) – i have now refused this and of course they understand why

      last gang records did not contact me at all – they are ignoring all letters – and have ignored a lawyer’s cease and desist letter regarding their release – chris taylor, founder of last gang, is a “big shithead” lawyer who does not give a shit about law

      Someone has already tried to get CC in trouble with Chanel and the contact at Chanel responded with a proposed sponsorship deal.

      lol!, well that made me smile at least

    16. ahahah!!!
      goddess coco will sue them from her grave and you’ll have your revenge!
      ohh I miss your drawings <3

    17. are you fucking serious?

      firstly, i wouldnt be getting so heated over
      the use of your image. i am an artist myself,
      and frankly the exposure should be compensation
      enough if you are talented enough to continue
      the public’s interest in your work.

      secondly, crystal castles is phenomenal.
      their work is lightyears more innovative
      Than an edited outline of madonna with an
      added black eye.

      i actually think that its pretty funny
      that such a greedy tool such as yourself
      got taken advantage of.

      and as far as you idiots posting crystal castles tracks
      like it is hurting them or something, im sure money from album sales is the last thing they really care about.

      they have enough hype around their live shows
      to maintain a pretty steady stream of cash, and
      i am purchasing in the album regardless of the
      fact that i have the mp3s.

      so thats all.
      fuck you,
      youre jealous of real talent.
      go trace a celebrity and give them a busted lip or a bruise
      and freak out some more over your dumbass lack of obtaining rights to your images.

      all the best,

    18. in response to shit storm:
      because calling someone a faggot is an insult.
      and a statement being queer definitely is
      an insult as well.

      because things that are faggots and queers
      are negative?


      im pretty sure that you are a douche.

      im pretty sure the owner of this blog is just
      sad that they cannot make a living off of
      his or her shitty art, and so they want to capitalize
      off of someone else’s talent.

      thats really all there is to it.

    19. Alexander – can we get a link to some of your art plz?

      I don’t think you know who the owner of this blog is…

      But it’s clear that you are a teenager so I’ll chalk your ignorant posts up to youthful idiocy

    20. “im [sic] pretty sure that you are a douche.”

      Bwahahahahaha! You are so fucking gay! Haha!

      If you are such a greater “artist” than Trevor, then show us! Put up, or shut the fuck up, you stupid fag!

      It is as simple as that.

    21. Take a look at yourself, Alexander. How can you accuse the owner of this blog of freaking out when you loose your rag merely because someone dissed your favorite little band? Wise up pal, imbeciles like Crystal Castles are stealing Trevor’s art all the time because they don’t have any talent themselves. As simple as that.

    22. Maybe I’m missing something, and I admit that I’m not a lawyer, but isn’t this about as clear-cut a legal case that ever existed? You have someone stealing a copyrighted image, and you have the company doing it ADMITTING to the theft. I’m not sure evidence gets any simpler than that. It certainly seems like an open-and-shut case.

    23. crystal castles have now stopped selling the t-shirts (yay!) – or at least have closed sales from the internet shop. i guess remaining shirts will be flogged off during their tour – i’ve been promised a bit of money …but i’ve heard their promises before

      crystal castles have also asked last gang records to stop selling the cd with my cover – but as yet it looks like they have little intention of complying with anyones desires except their own unscrupulous greed – swatting aside legal injunctions is easy as piss

    24. i just listened to them. they sound like one of those art school bands whose girl member has her fringe cut a jaunty angle.
      i hate art school. i hate artschool bands. i hate artschool bands that rip of Trevor Brown.
      …that kind of rhymed, do you think they’d have me?

    25. Bonnie – You are too funny! Lay off the crack pipe honey. Your “rhyme” scheme is, um, “asymmetrical,” which is being rather generous. It would be represented thusly:

      A B C D.
      A B C D E.
      A B C D E F G H I J.

      Perhaps you should try rewriting it in iambic hexameter, like this:

      “I hate the art school bands that rip off Trevor Brown.”

      Now it has a definite rhythm, meter, and is scansion-friendly.
      If you want it to rhyme, then just add another line, like:

      “They make me want to turn their whole world upside down.”

      I do, however, think you have a bright future writing wicked “rhymes” for gangsta rappers. LOL (You know I’m just joking with you, hun.) πŸ˜€

    26. finally the cd removed from sale! – from their web site at least – doubtless copies will be found on ebay at extortionate prices one day…?

      a victory – of sorts (i’ve still got NOTHING)

      bonnie is a poet and didn’t know it – her work is a japanese haiku poem – 17 words (instead of 17 syllables) in three lines

    27. that’s of very little concern to me, camilla – please tell crystal castles how much you detest it and get them off my case begging on their hands and knees every day to continue (over)using it

    28. “Thank god it’s not their design”

      they chose to use it tho, you thick cunt πŸ™‚

      “mother, that dress you are wearing is fucking hideous…
      what!, you didn’t design it?, oh THANK GOD”

      your ott “thank god” thinly disguised insult hits both.
      you muppet

    29. Good Lord, you people put a really bad name on artists everywhere. Is that the school bell? i guess recess is over.

    30. this whole thing is hilarious. crystal castles are some of the nicest people i have ever met. they have helped me out extraordinarily, as well as fellow bands. so i dont know about them screwing labels and promoters, but this all sounds like bullshit to me. especially the part about artschool music. hah.

    31. nice but very stupid! – “untrust us” yep!

      and i noticed you (or someone on your behalf) have been going out of your way to have any mp3 uploads of your crystal castles remix removed from the net, so i don’t think you can dismiss my grievances as bullshit

    32. i find this quite humorous, especially considering the right of publicity (as governed by the lanham act) specifically prohibits your initial appropriation of madonna’s likeness to be used for commercial purposes (ie the 1991 cassette).

      …not that i’d don’t think you deserve some form of compensation mind you, i just think the level of vitriol is unneeded. cc is a bit… scatterbrained. i mean, the single that got them a record deal was recorded by accident, after all.

      as regards the jab implying naming a song “untrust us” implies some level of mental deficiency, as an artist, i would think you would be familiar with the use of nonstandard grammar as a means of artistic expression. ee cummings, much?

    33. Nate – You are so full of shit that your stink reaches the heavens. TB’s use of Madonna’s image or likeness for artistic and/or commercial purposes falls well without the ambit and purview of Lanham, as it neither causes any confusion as to her endorsement of the product, nor does it dilute any trademark that she might have on her ugly mug — let alone “tarnish” her public image/reputation or bring her into any “disrepute.” Madonna – the swing– I mean, “singer”? Are you fucking kidding gaylord?? BWAHAHAHA!!!

      I can see if TB had done one of the deflowering of the Virgin Mary, then, MAYBE, she might have a bone to pick with him… LOL Jesus H. Christ — another fucking pathetic wannabe lawyer!

      “Virtue in the middle,” said he Devil, as he sat between two attorneys…

    34. I’m incredibly pissed off that this is still an issue..the shirt SHOULD have been taken off the site ages ago..I know I’m not the only one who wrote to tb alerting him about this…and their music is ok, but I’m never going to buy from them on principle alone. Glad to hear they took the shirt down. At least.

    35. for the record i’m not going out of my way to remove uploads of my remix of air war from the internet. last gang records is releasing my air war remix as the bonus track for the iTunes release of the crystal castles album. so if they see it up somewhere they deal with it. i could care less. i never said your grievance was bullshit, just the claim that they screw over everyone on any level of the music industry. they have done quiet the opposite for me.

    36. 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,of course credit should be given where credit is due, i agree with you on that, but dont be such a damn prick about it

      art, in all forms, should be shared

    37. any real β€œmusician” wouldnt give a shit about the money or having their work sampled, they would just be happy that people are listening to and enjoying their stolen tunes, and not be such damn pricks about it

    38. the best thing is to get this thread on You Thought We Wouldn’t Notice? and Will someone submit it for the sake of getting the disagreement out there? It’s the best way to get sales of the shirt and cd with appropriated art shut down.

    39. no way..thats lame…

      but then again are either of you supposed to use
      her image>>> i mean she could sue the both of you.
      Then again maybe you should grass them up to chanel or just revel in the fact that their album will be downloaded thousands of times for free via rapidshare and alike..

      Keep up the cool art.

    40. While I do feel a little sympathetic, I think issue this has been blown out of proportion. Especially in regards to Taylor and Alexander’s comments, which were perfectly valid views but crudely responded to. I agree with them both: the publicity and exposure of your art should be enough compensation. You would have probably never even considered using the image as a t-shirt and even if you did the success of it was purely tied to the band. Frankly, what initial sympathy I had reading your story was lost by your obvious money-grabbing and attempts to piggyback off another artist’s success.

    41. hey stupid! – you’re right, i never looked at it like that – i’m a whining greedy prick – no one should ever pay me anything – everybody should just steal it because it’s all good “publicity” for me – pfft! – if we were talking about marilyn manson or radiohead perhaps i might concede the “exposure” would be compensation – but crystal [fucking] castles? give me a break! – a trendy little band of questionable “talent” (a talent based on no talent!) and a fanbase entirely consisted of moronic juveniles – adequately demonstrated here by my droll quip re $$$ lost on every one of you (tho every joke is half the truth) – and the fact remains i’ve got nothing from this (except a blog thread littered with painfully dumb comments) and crystal castles have made several thousand dollars out of MY work – so who is leeching off who?

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