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Did Chris Brown Rip Off Artists for ‘Wobble Up’ Music Video?

Several artists have come forward to accuse the singer’s creative team of using their work ‘without permission, without credit’

Wobble Up, 2019, film still. Fair use.

Wobble Up, 2019, film still. Fair use.

The American singer Chris Brown has been accused of copying several artists for his ‘Wobble Up’ music video. The film, which features Nicki Minaj and G-Eazy, directed by Brown’s longtime collaborator Arrad, was released this week. According to its promotional release, the video ‘switches between shots of the three hitmakers in paradise, and Brown performing some impressive choreography alongside a crowd of dancers in a neon-lit room.’

 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Marius Sperlich (@mariussperlich) on

 

Following the video’s release on 20 May, several artists have come forward alleging that their works have been copied in the video’s sexually suggestive visuals. The German artist Marius Sperlich claims that the music video uses two of his 2018 artworks – depicting a breast with a temperature dial, and buttocks resembling an island emerging from water – ‘without permission, without credit’. Sperlich said on Instagram: ‘Nobody cares about creation, originals and credit anymore. Especially if you are a young and an emerging artist […] most can’t afford a lawyer for a lawsuit. So most of them remain silent. We won’t stay silent.’

Sperlich added: ‘Intellectual Property has to be protected at any cost! Now that the internet and social media proliferate content instantly. We need to make sure that the creative source is present from first launch.’

 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Tony Futura (@tonyfutura) on

 

The artist Tony Futura also alleges that his artworks featuring lemons suggestive of breasts have been used without credit in the video. Posting on Instagram, Futura commented: ‘credit is the only thing that lets people know about our work [...] credit saves creativity [...] please help us to spread awareness to all creative fields and the creative industry.’ Artists Vanessa McKeown and Catherine Losing have also accused Brown’s team of using their intellectual property without permission.

Representatives for Brown did not respond to a request for comment at the time of reporting.

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Janiva Ellis, Catchphrase Coping Mechanism, 2019, oil on linen, 2.2 x 1.8 m. Courtesy: the artist and 47 Canal, New York; photograph: Joerg Lohse

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