Heineken apologizes for ripping off Roxbury mural artists

WBUR reports the beer company will remove the beer ads at a couple of local liquor stores that appropriated the design of the Roxbury Loves/Mandela mural in Roxbury.



Free tagging: 


    Heineken Needs To Compensate The Artists For Their Work

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    They obviously found value in the artwork, such that they thought it could help sell their awful beer. I don't see how removing the ads now makes it all better, unless the company also properly compensates the artists who created the original work.

    That's right, baby! It's all

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    That's right, baby! It's all about the Benjamins!! All about a huge international corporation coughin' up drops in the bucket to a poor starving artist! Come on, Heineken, show Dot Love some love!

    Heineken apologized from Amsterdam?

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    With all due respect to the artists whose work was possibly copied, does anyone believe the brass at Heineken in Amsterdam, selling beer in 170 countries, decided to come up with this very limited ad campaign for two or three small stores in Roxbury? That's like saying NORAD is monitoring paper planes in our schools.

    If it really is a copycat situation, it's most likely the neighborhood liquor stores who requested that specific signage or the local Heineken route salesman and distributor who came up with it. Liquor stores are private property so I doubt the execs in the Netherlands were in cahoots with the Roxbury owners to "appropriate" little known artwork but it sounds good to say "Heineken apologizes." The poorly written WBUR story mentions a "spokesman" from Heineken but no name or whereabouts. It could be a kid on the Heineken delivery truck, for all we know. The story also doesn't mention how the ads originated which seems to be kind of crucial. Who, where and how are foundations of a news story, all missing.

    This is a good post...

    ... and a contribution to the quality of the conversation here. More of the same and you'll considerably improve your standing in your readers' eyes.

    Thanks Bob LePonge

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    I appreciate the kind words. I'm not overly concerned about my standing here. I try to call it as I see it. Conforming to the "reader's eyes" winds up with a boarded up newspaper campus on Morrissey Boulevard and fewer readers. I try to offer a different opinion when needed, like this Heineken issue.

    I would bet Heineken suits in Holland had no knowledge of the case. A 23 year old salesman from Fitchburg State probably said "OK" when a neighborhood artist offered to paint the ads. WBUR doesn't tell us. WBUR also doesn't tell us the name of the "Heineken spokesman" and what role he has. We should just infer that "corporate Heineken" is hurting Roxbury artists, even though that's probably not close to the full story. Sad.


    Conforming to the "reader's eyes" winds up with a boarded up newspaper campus on Morrissey Boulevard and fewer readers.

    Actually, the prime cause of a boarded-up campus on Morrissey Boulevard was the advent of Craigslist, which ended paper classified ads, thereby eviscerating one of the Globe's primary revenue streams.

    Large organizations rarely

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    Large organizations rarely offer an actual explanation when things go wrong. Instead, they "apologize for any inconvenience they may have caused."

    Here's the story of Heinaken

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    Here's the story of Heinaken
    A beer that has been a ten
    They stole someone's art
    Those real nasty farts
    A beer I will never buy again

    "Judges haven't ruled on

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    "Judges haven't ruled on whether copyright law protects public street art. "

    The copyright of an original work of art belongs to the creator _unless_ it is assigned to someone else. The expropriation of street art, without license or permission, is not exempt from copyright protection and damages.

    Copyright is a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code) to the creators of “original works of authorship,” including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works.
    - Wikipedia

    The artists should sue for damages.

    A Great Lesson For Other Lifters

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    Great News! Let it be a lesson for other lifters. Can't wait for the Utile Inc apology

    Here's a test run

    We at Utile Inc apologize for lifting material and ideas from the students of Northeastern, students of Harvard, students of Yale, students of Wentworth, Machado Silvetti, the Boston Society of Architects, Howeler + Yoon, and multiple other organizations we don't have time to list

    Warms Regards

    Tim Love

    Add in a Scam Letter

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    We apologize for scamming the City of Boston, City of Cambridge, City of Everett, City of Somerville, City of Detroit, City of Springfield, City of Haverhill, City of New Haven, City of Houston, and on