Adam Ellis is a pretty famous illustrator who mostly got famous through his extremely creepy story of a supposed haunting at his house by a little boy he calls Dear David:
Many think Dear David is a hoax, but Ellis really commits to the details:
I went upstairs to get my phone and collapse the pole, since it's so long and unwieldy, then went back downstairs to investigate the object that fell. At first I wasn't even sure what it was. It was a dingy, faded black.— Adam Ellis (@moby_dickhead) November 29, 2017
Ellis's illustration style is quite distinctive and known, even without a crazy real life ghost story attached to his name:
So distinctive in fact, that Ellis reportedly recognized his work on a Coldstone Creamery ad. He accused the ice cream company of plagiarizing his drawings to sell delicious, delicious ice cream. And instead of asking that they take it down or pay him, Ellis asked that they donate to a charity called Inner City arts, that connects underprivileged kids to artistic experiences:
Hi @ColdStone @ColdstoneIndia, it appears you stole and traced a bunch of my art for a large campaign. Normally I'd send an invoice to license my work, but in this case I'm asking you to make a donation to Inner City Arts to help underserved kids. Thanks. https://t.co/BBvLza5r9U pic.twitter.com/ODYbbhitHb— Adam Ellis (@moby_dickhead) April 12, 2018
His followers seem to agree that the plagiarism isn't only obvious, it's egregious:
As an art teacher I always try to teach my students that plagiarism is real and copyright infringement affects real people. I hope you will post the outcome because this is a great example for my students!— J Benton (@3rdofMay) April 12, 2018
How do big companies get away with shit like this? It blows my mind 🤦🏻♀️— Grandma (@grandma_ganja) April 12, 2018
However, Ellis got what he wanted. He tweeted soon after that Coldstone had made the donation, and said he was glad they'd followed his suggestion.
People are reacting to this news with anger, happiness, and hunger. Some think it wasn't enough of a punishment for a big company with a lot of cash, others are glad Ellis got the resolution he wanted, and some just feel like this Coldstone advertising is really working:
You handled that well from start to finish. I like that you followed up with a public update, too. A lot of times people just post the negative moments without resolution.— Sidra Condron (@qwertybird) April 18, 2018
Can't all three be true?