Rapper T.I. Complains About Music Piracy and Then Proceeds to Blatantly Steal Photographer's Work

Rapper T.I. Complains About Music Piracy and Then Proceeds to Blatantly Steal Photographer's Work

In the continuing saga of musicians complaining about others stealing their work or not getting paid enough for their work and then ripping off hard-working photographers, the rapper T.I. has joined the pack. T.I., most famous for hits "Rubberband Man" and "Whatever You Like" has stolen a Trinidadian photographer's work for use in an invitation to a party he's hosting. The photographer has called him out!

In 2008, T.I. was quoted saying:

Don’t ruin the event. Wait 'til the cake comes out the kitchen before you eat it. That’s like a kid who sees his toys before Christmas; it takes away from me and I think it takes away from the fans as well. When it’s time, I’mma give it to you. They leaked my record with me and The Dream too. Leakage is never a problem I have had. I’m not used to it.

However, he doesn't seem to have a problem stealing a different type of artist's work: photographers. Have a look at the photographer's post regarding the alleged theft.

T.I. eventually responded to the matter, seemingly justifying his actions by virtue of the specific use in question:

Obviously & commendably @lauraferreirastudios had the best & most impressively appropriate images that relate to the theme of the party, which lead to the planners using the images. Which in itself is them paying homage to your work.

Let’s be clear guys. ITS A PARTY INVITE!!!!! Not album or even single artwork, not tee shirts we plan to sell, not framed & sold for our benefit…ITS A PARTY INVITATION GUYS!!!!  I’ve seen world famous photos of worldly iconic figures used to invite people to parties all the time & with the photographs photoshopped & altered which takes away from the integrity of the art.

This seems to be an ongoing trend in the music industry in which we've seen a few high-profile musicians steal photographers' work or demand outrageous waivers be signed: Foo Fighters, Taylor SwiftRed Jumpsuit ApparatusThree Days Grace, and now, T.I. What are your thoughts on the situation?

[via digitalmusiconline]

Stephen Atohi's picture

Stephen Atohi is a film and fine art digital photographer based in Charleston, SC. His specialities are in portraits, weddings, and travel photography.

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Pretty messed up if you ask me. Since we are all artist then we should credit each other or pay each other for use of our work. Even the most accomplish artist started somewhere with a dream, a struggle and hunger to get somewhere with their talent. Why not give them the ultimate compliment and give the artist work you are using some love or some sort of payment. It's really simple and it helps everyone in the end.

T.I. is trying to justify something that wouldn't fly if someone stole his music or likeness to promote an event. His legal team would be all over it.

Maybe photographers should start stealing their music and likeness for our own promoting....hmmm now that would be some shit wouldn't it?

"T.I. is trying to justify something that wouldn't fly if someone stole his music or likeness to promote an event. His legal team would be all over it." ... let alone if someone was playing the music in the background of a birthday video OR worse yet, the Birthday Baby was dancing' to it!!! Oh NO!

Why I often stress the inclusion of all people across the creative arts and disciplines to join together in fighting back against #nomorefreework as well as #nomorefreeart <<<- which isn't a hashtag yet, but...?

Even though I would never use his crappy music for one of my youtube videos, It's obvious that he approves that we can use it freely for our videos. Cause 'Let's be clear guys, IT'S JUST A YOUTUBE VIDEO!!!!!!'.

Exactly - if they weren't going after folks using their songs for non-profit purposes on YouTube/etc then I might be able to see his side of it..but we both know that's not the case.

That sounds slightly racist!

I'm no fan of that artist but obviously there is a large number of people who are. Your opinion of his music is irrelevant to this discussion. It's about theft, pure and simple. Keep it there.

He doesn't mention race anywhere in his comment. Calm down.

maybe he meant to say it was slightly racialist, blud :-P

How is it slightly racist? He says his music sucks, he's evaluating his ability as an artist not commenting on his skin color.

I don't think you know what that word means.

There you have it folks, if you don't like rap, you're racist!

.... It is a party ... then ... also when dj plays song in party he can stole it ? it`s a party he did not sell the song..
What a ........
Hate this type of guys....

I only have one question. Who's T.I?

No one, really.

his music sucks too.

He should grab a photo of TI and make his own party invite and spread it EVERYWHERE. IT'S A PARTY INVITE, GUYS! What a D-Bag.

If it's "just" a party invite, then I'm sure @lauraferreirastudios would be able to organise a licensing fee to suit. Small distribution, limited use, fixed fee and limited time period. But just assuming it's free? Douchey.

Whenever people try to justify stuff like this I always remember a great Will Rogers quote: "Never miss a good chance to shut up."

T.I. reply is really embarrassing...

I'm totally not surprised by it, he's already a convicted felon, what's stealing an image compared to that other that more street cred.

Could of at least thrown a special invite to the Photographer for using the image on Flyer.

My thoughts :)

Some more background on this is published in my column today: http://technewstt.com/bd1008/

It's just a party guys! With that said (by T.I., no less), let's download his entire musical catalog for free off the Net to play at these events- nothing's being sold, you know! By his own logic, there's no problem in that. None at all.

Send him an invoice for usage rights

Musicians need to be treated the same way! Stop paying for their crappy music!

Using a photograph for commercial purposes without permission of the photographer is misuse, period. Whether it will receive lots of attention is besides the matter. In this case they could obviously afford to compensate the photog, so I hope she sends them an invoice.

I'll download all of T.I.'s discography off of piratebay now. And delete it afterwards. Just for the fuck of it. It's just a download, right? nothing serious...prick...

I'll upload his music to Napster as long as I don't have to pay for it or listen to it.

"Well, I'll just steal his"... Wait. We don't even want it. Yeah, I got nothin' here.

Theft is theft. Let's be clear, this isn't a party invite to some little get together he's having in his backyard with his family, this is a huge club event sponsored by a tequila company. These events with big stars like T.I. bring in big bucks, I read about one party that brought in 2 million dollars in one night. And I'm sure T.I. is being paid to be there, celebrities don't show up to these things without a paycheck.

I spend 50% of my business life with music and 50% with photo/video, and have to say that the visual world people really don't think far enough and are plain wrong with their hate. Everybody knows that 99% of the world's population uses and forwards lots of stolen music all the time, while maybe only 0.1% do use images illegally - and if, only once in a while and not systematically. Many people will keep whole artist mp3 discographies of music acts for all their life, while hardly anybody will misuse a whole illustrator's or photographer's jpg portfolio for decades. Using this story to say: see, now it's justified to steal all music from all musicians is really very short sighted.

What's funny is that he deleted it from his instagram and facebook. I guess his lawyers educated him. But the damage is done. I hope she gets a large amount from him and Avion whose logo was on the invite and who was obviously the sponsor for the event.

Almost as annoying as photographers that use pirated versions of Photoshop