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Homage or Rip-off? (II)


First, London based Matt Clark and Matt Everitt created this short, using dialogue from a Ricky Gervais Xfm radio show. This is one of a series of web shorts, which you can view here.

A short time later, a series of Irish Lotto ads began appearing on television. Brown Bag Animation in Dublin produced these.

Clark and Everitt believe they were ripped off. They’ve confronted Brown Bag about it. Everitt comments about it here and other blogs have written about it as well.

  • Paul

    At least these two examples don’t have 20+ years between one another…

    I think this is a much stronger case for creative borrowing that the previous one.

  • Palmer

    Oh yeah, that’s blatant.

    I’m from the US, but I lived in Ireland for a couple of years. I love the people, but copyright is a lost concept there. Popular US cartoon characters are (poorly) hand-painted on ice cream trucks and day care walls. Salesmen go door-to-door renting homemade, hand labeled copies of Hollywood movies to their neighbors. To most Irish, everything is public domain. I can’t say the Lotto ads really surprise me, and the studio that made the spots probably figure they did a really good job.

  • tom

    Those Ricky Gervais things are widely seen throughout the UK and the world, so I’m going to say these are something of a parody or homage. I can’t imagine the producers thinking that they would get away with ripping it off, so I have to believe then that they knew we’d seen the earlier ones and we’d ‘get’ their imitation.

  • Hello, I’m one of the creators of bears3, and a long time visitor of Cartoon Brew.

    Unfortunately there has never been any indication of parody or homage in this case. Parties involved in the creation of the lotto adverts have made made it clear to us that any similarities are coincedental, and are keen to point out all the differences.
    It’s all a little hard to digest when people have spoken publicly about the use of our bears3 films as reference during the production of these ads…

  • ripped off harder than a stuck band-aid

  • vzky

    Amid and Jerry:

    You really should add a homage/rippoff/copyright-infringement category.

    Also, don’t forget the current Spongebob allegation.

  • tom

    Aw, damn. That’s hard to hear. Sorry Matt. I just assumed these a-holes were respectfully riffing on your hard work.

  • Jeff G.

    Nice lip sync, Matt.

  • I much prefer the original. Super fun and appealing-well done.
    It may be cold comfort, but the good news in this situation is the blogosphere: it’s great that both Matt’s and the derivative spot are out there so people can judge for themselves.

  • Donnie

    Brown Bag is not an original studio. I’m vaguely familiar with the studio and irish animation scene.

    I agree with Palmer, on the face of it, Ireland has no concept of copyright. Every time I visit there I see the worst adverts (there is a print campaign for Bank of Ireland, I think, which is a complete rip-off of Pixars “For The Birds”). In this case I wouldnt put it past Brown Bag to have pitched it using clips from the bears thing without any shame.

    I dont mean to bash them specifically, this happens all the time. Still, its always worth smoking the devils out when they happen.

  • Sorry Matt. This is just sad. A great character concept and style is lifted and unceremoniously reproduced.

    May Brown Bag recieve a burning brown bag on their doorstep.

    You and your supposed art directors are thieves. Dirty thieves.