What started as a simple copyright dispute between MetalBlast writer, photographer and full-time attorney J Salmeron has quickly escalated to Thunderball Clothing owner Marta Gabriel announcing the company will be shutting down due to the immense amount of hate comments received.
In case you missed our write-up, Photographer Gets Banned From Shooting Artist’s Show After Requesting Payment for Usage License, let’s summarize what went down: Dutch concert photographer J Salmeron attended a festival in June 2018 where he photographed the metal band, Arch Enemy. Soon after the festival, he posted a photo of lead singer Alissa White-Gluz to his social accounts, where she saw it and reshared it to her feed. Salmeron was not only elated that she liked the photo enough to share, but that she didn’t edit the original photo, kept his watermark, and properly credited him. Kudos to Alissa White-Gluz for following proper sharing etiquette.
It wasn’t until Thunderball Clothing owner, Marta Gabriel, shared the same image using the same regramming app White-Gluz used, to share it onto her company profile. This is where it got hairy. Since it was marketing a product of hers, Salmeron quickly reached out to Thunderball Clothing with a takedown notice and gave her the option of either paying him €500 for usage or donating €100 to a charity of his choice. After sharing his story and their response to the public, it amassed media attention and the photography and music communities went nuts.
Since issuing a public apology via social media on the 28th, leading the public to believe she was unclear on how copyright works and has educated herself on what she did wrong, she’s personally contacted J Salmeron, apologized, and even donated €100 to the Dutch Cancer Society. However, although she has settled any issues with Salmeron, she continues to receive an insane amount of threatening, misogynistic, and racist messages.
It’s unfortunate to see a business closing because of the naivety of copyright and reckless bullying. In my opinion, the only party that made the situation infinitely worse was Arch Enemy and their management team. Had they not so unprofessionally responded to J Salmeron’s request, none of this would have blown as much out of proportion as it has. Unsurprisingly, since Thunderball has made their statement, Arch Enemy and lead singer, Alissa White-Gluz, who was going to bat in defense of Marta and Thunderball, have been completely silent and have disabled comments on a recent Instagram post regarding the issue.
What are your thoughts on Thunderball shuttering their business? Who do you think is really to blame? Sound off below.