Enlarge Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Papa Roach Show Promoter Stole Original Artwork for Gig Poster


Papa Roach have been caught using another person’s original artwork for their own advertisements. The band spread a poster across social media to promote their recent show in Dallas, supported by Asking Alexandria and Bad Wolves, but the central focus of the poster in question is the centerpiece of a completely different poster for a video game. Neither the band or their representatives have yet to comment on the matter.

The Artwork

The original artwork is currently being sold on Yetee, a printing website where posters and T-shirts are available to purchase. The art was created by Astor Alexander for fans of a dating simulator called Monster Prom, a popular indie game released in 2018. Alexander also worked on other visual assets for the game. Monster Prom is set in a monster high school and the goal is to compete against your friends to hook up with the hottest ghoul, ghost or vampire before they do. It may not go down as having the most memorable characters of all time, but the writing is mature and witty and the characters are still a lot of fun.

Vlad Calu, one of the publishers of Monster Prom, was the first to publicly mention this blatant instance of content appropriation. He released a photo of the two images side by side on Twitter, saying: “Shout out to ma’ bois @paparoach, @AAofficial and @SSBallroomwho apparently ”misused” some @monsterprom artwork for their show poster in Dallas, TX! Good job friendos!”

He made it quite clear that there was no consent involved in using the artwork. It’s impossible to say how involved the band members are in the process of advertising their shows, and realistically they’re probably quite distant from the marketing of individual concerts. Despite this, they should still be held accountable for some form of intellectual property misuse.

The Consequences

In this day and age, it’s very easy for people to appropriate other people’s creations without consequence, especially when it’s for a relatively small IP like Monster Prom. Even a band like Papa Roach, who haven’t made a mark on the music mainstream for years, could easily get away with it. One of the most noteworthy things Papa Roach did in all these years came recently when they went on Twitter to bit of poke a bit of fun at a certain orange ex-reality TV personality. 

Julian Quijano, the creative director of Monster Prom’s development company, seems to agree that in instances like this people are hard to hold accountable, saying:

“I used to work in nightclubs for a couple years, and clubs and venues always do the same: their graphic designers have to do some poster designs per week for each party, concert, whatever. What ends up happening is they just Google some random cool images to alter a bit and add the info.”

He went on to say that he doubts there will be any reparations made to his company or the original artist for the misappropriated artwork.

The Wider Picture

Led Zeppelin escaped a lawsuit for Stairway to Heaven, but the similarities with Spirit’s Taurus are hard to deny. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

This may only be one example, but it highlights a wider issue that is prevalent not only in the metal community, but the music industry as a whole. Most high-profile instances of intellectual property misuse in music tend to be related to re-using riffs or chords without properly crediting the original artist. The most famous example came when Led Zeppelin were sued by the band Taurus for stealing the iconic main riff of “Stairway to Heaven.” The lawsuit was eventually cleared up, but many still believe that Led Zeppelin were guilty of property theft.

With music, it’s incredibly difficult to prove whether or not someone intentionally stole compositions. Chord progressions are common enough that someone could easily produce a similar sound by accident without ever hearing a song that sounded almost identical. But in the case of visual art being plagiarized, the metal genre seems to be one of the greatest offenders.

Of course, this stuff goes on regardless of music genre, but there are many examples online of metal bands plagiarizing artwork from all kinds of sources for their album covers, with absolutely no credit given to the original creator. This is an issue that needs to be addressed. Artists works have been seen and adored by metal fans all over the world, yet they’ve probably never seen a single penny just because some small aspect of the original design was edited to look different. It’s an immoral practice that puts a black mark on the music industry and only by shining a spotlight on it can we make a change.

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