OLDBOY: Poster art stolen?

In an open letter to Spike Lee, a graphic artist claims his designs for the film's poster were stolen. The director's response has hit a nerve with some.

Graphic artist Juan Luis Garcia has written an open letter to Oldboy director Spike Lee, claiming work he did for the film's promotional material has been misappropriated and used without his permission and for no compensation.

Garcia claims that following two months' work done on spec (no money up front with the promise of pay later pending approval), he was told Spike Lee approved his designs. When the licensing fee offer came in, it was about the equivalent of a day's pay for a photo assistant. Garcia turned down the offer and opted not to have any further dealings with the ad agency he had been dealing with.

The agency continued to use his designs, however, prompting the designer to make an open plea to Spike Lee himself for fair compensation.

"Last night I was browsing the internet and my jaw dropped when I stumbled upon your personal and your production company’s social media pages. I couldn’t believe that you had been using and claiming copyright on three of those very same posters I designed. I just couldn’t believe it. I perceive you as an advocate of the arts and artists and have a sinking feeling that you are as much of a victim in this as I am.

" I reached out to my attorney and several colleagues but after sleeping on it I decided to try and contact you. This has been such a nightmare that the last thing I want is to extend this. My wife and I are expecting our first baby early next year and the thought of bringing them into this makes my eyes water.

"I need you to know the truth. Some of the posters you are using were stolen from me. I tried my hardest to resolve this amicably but the agency just blatantly refused. I am a fan of your storytelling and respect your success as a filmmaker, artist, and person. I definitely relate to your passion for the Knicks and competition, just ask my wife and family. I wish you nothing but success with Oldboy and all of your future projects. I hope we can resolve this between us because the agency refuses to work with me and they have tormented me and my family enough. Please feel free contact me at your convenience.

"Peace and Love,
"Juan Luis Garcia"

Mr. Lee responded via Twitter:
"I Never Heard Of This Guy Juan Luis Garcia. If He Has A Beef It's Not With Me. I Did Not Hire Him, Do Not Know Him. Cheap Trick Writing To Me. YO"

The response drew criticism from many followers. As reported today in the Guardian:

@NevPierce: "Or it might be the last resort of a desperate man? Could be BS, but surely worth a call or two, given it's your movie?"

@BudCollier: "Yeah, ... too bad he thought you'd care about fellow artists being ripped off. What an idiot!"

@grillermo: "Whether you wanted it or not, now you know and if you don't act you are as guilty as that scumbag of agency"

@ashclark: "As a big fan of your work - and an underpaid freelancer - just wanted to register my huge disappointment at your response here."

Mr. Garcia's open letter can be found on his website, at the source link below.


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