How a Band Responded in the Most Immature Manner Possible After Stealing a Photographer’s Work

Red Jumpsuit's Twitter

It’s a sad reality for small business photographers that there will be times where their work is stolen by others. Most of the time they’ll barely be able to fight it, either, and they’ll drop charges just because they can’t go on with them.

But its not everyday that you hear about that work being stolen by other artists.

That’s what happened to Rohan Anderson, a photographer from Australia whose work was just recently posted on the Facebook page of a band called The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus. Featuring one of the band’s guitarists, the photo was cropped, filtered, and put up on the page with nothing other than the caption “SHREDDER.”


After it came to his attention, Rohan did the most reasonable thing given the situation and emailed the manager showing ownership and asking to remove the picture. A while later, him and a few friends commented on the picture itself, and every single one of them disappeared within moments. After that, the photo’s caption was edited to say “SHREDDER! Photo credit : Rohan Anderson”.

With no response to the email Rohan sent them, the band completely ignored his requests and tried some damage control by crediting him with the photo. In an attempt to ask them again, Rohan contacted the band through Facebook, to be responded with “lol go for it”.

Then his email was responded to with this:

“You have no legal claim as the photo is credited and is not posted for a monetary gain and features our likeness and image not yours. Also you have just got your self banned from any festival or show we ever play again in that region for life! Congrats!
Sent from my iPhone”

I’m not going to post the rest of the exchanges, but you can check them out on his blog post detailing what happened; but I’ll warn you that the responses Rohan received are downright unprofessional and childish.

After all the exchanges, along with the band posting tweets trying to make “#rohanisatool” a trending hash, the band(‘s public representative) issued an apology, stating that they dealt with the situation. The photo’s also being paid for, and the band sent out a tweet asking fans not to antagonize Rohan; they made sure they deleted their “#rohanisatool” tweet beforehand. In other words: horrible, horrible damage control.

So I’ve given you guys the info. Take from it what you will, but now I want to leave an open letter for The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus themselves:

Along with being a photographer, I’ve been a music producer for about eight years now. I’d love for the opportunity to have that music heard, to be able to tour, and to be able to know that people connected to the music I write. But right now, I just do it on my own time. I struggle with it just as any other artist struggles with their work. I know you guys have had to do that. And I know you guys had to work to get to where you’ve gotten.

That’s probably the reason this story really got to me. It’s a disgrace to see disrespect like that towards an artist from a band as established as you guys got to be. It’s sickening to see that instead of supporting artists you benefit from and honoring their requests, you instead tell them that they’re lucky to even be featured on your fan page.

And maybe that’s why you guys are what you are today: irrelevant. When you write a song condemning domestic abuse towards women, you’re respected. But when you turn around and abuse whatever power you’ve gained like how you did now, you ruin any integrity you’ve had as an artist in the first place.

This is the beginning of some bad publicity, but maybe that’s a good thing for The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus. Take this as your last fifteen minutes of fame, because you’ve shown that you guys aren’t artists anymore; you guys are hypocrites. And it’s great to see hypocrites get what they deserve.

(Via Reddit)

  • Matteo Galvanone

    this is CRAP

  • Matthew Lord

    I think you may have just contributed to his website imploding.

  • blurrydude

    red jumper what ?

  • Bart Vaneechoutte

    Red jumper what ?

  • Joakim Olsson

    Yes. Red what? Just put the dirty red jumper in the fire and forget them. Hmm. Don’t bother. Their BossaNovaMusic will be forgotten anyway…

  • Rona E Philpott

    Wow, just WOW! Unbelievable, wait, yes it is believable.

  • Dustin Hudspeth

    This band sucks anyway.

  • Sam Dickinson

    I’m in two minds about this. Yeah, totally wrong that the band stole the image in the first place, don’t get me wrong there.

    But Facebook has fairly good reporting tools for getting images taken down via the DMCA, and that’s what it’s there for. So the image would be taken down, and no further action is required.

    That said, the bands response to the whole thing was deplorable, and I get that the photographer was making a stand (as they are in their rights to do).

    Hence two minds….

    • Ninjalink

      This was posted on instagram though not Facebook

      • Maaz Khan

        Yeah, but Instagram is owned by Facebook in the first place.

        And I think OP put it on point. The photographer was trying to make a stand for others, rather than letting the thing blow over through a Facebook report.

  • Jeffrey Friedl

    As an aside, it’s interesting to compare the original vs. the crop. To me, the crop makes for a much more powerful image. (The processing they did along with the crop is perhaps a different issue.)

  • Joe Reitz

    unbelievable. I can’t fathom the blue-on-blue friendly fire within the creative community… Or at least, I don’t want to.

  • Amaryllis

    And I used to like that band when I was 10 years old ._. No, wait, I like ONE of their songs. The one that was played on music channels on TV. Didn’t give a crap about the guys themselves, and they’re on my black list now that they did this.

  • Steve S

    So, should should Rohan maybe put the band’s music up on his website for free download?

    • sakari.

      I checked the bands facebook page and they told they “believe most forms of DIGITAL art should be FREE” and that “[our]
      new record and ENTIRE discography will be posted July 4th!”

      Not sure why, but hey, whatever. Free music. I still believe that work should be properly credited if creator wants that.

  • LiveMike78

    Putting aside the terrible way the band has/is dealing with this issue, I wonder about the legalities. The photo was obviously created at a band gig and by implication at a venue. It is therefore likely admittance would have been granted with some legal disclaimers about things such as photography. Or at the very least, laws covering the right to photograph in a private venue would kick in. Any thoughts on the photographer’s legal right to have made the photograph in the first place?

    • Maaz Khan

      Usually photographers up that close are knowingly hired and cleared for entry. I’m not familiar with the legalities too much but it’s pretty much the same thing as someone from a local music paper photographing a concert in that city. It’s on the employers to make sure their photographers are cleared for entrance to the venue.

  • Theo Kyrillidis

    I predict the bands name will one day change to ‘Orange Jumpsuit’.

  • Jesus Leopoldo Velasquez

    Just checked out their twitter(which I loathe) and apparently the issue was resolved. Funny how they deleted a lot of their tweets though. They also announced that their discography will be free, saying “We believe ALL forms of art should be FREE! To prove this our new record and Entire discography will be posted July 4th! #letfreedomring”

    What a bunch of tools,

    • J. Philip vanHeijkoop

      lol, all the replies to that tweet are extremely negative. Serves them right. The funny thing is that if they had dealt with this situation respectful from the beginning (like complimenting Rohan on the picture which the obviously liked, otherwise they wouldn’t have posted it) they would’ve come out the winner. Being a band that actually cares about the pictures other people post and sharing it. Hack, they could’ve even motivated fans to post pictures on their own. Now they’re just douche bags.

  • Maaz Khan

    Oh, it was long gone before I put it up. Reddit’s currently the king of DoSing.

  • David Lewis

    Why didn’t he continue to pursue a lawsuit? The damage is done, no matter what the band says, the damage is already done. This may be the end of this photographers career, I wouldn’t let it go down like that.