Careful With Those Avatars, You May Get A Shakedown Letter

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If you are going to use someone else’s artwork for your avatar, stay clear of Takashi Murakami’s stuff or you may be receiving a shakedown letter asking you for $500.

A member of a poker site called twoplustwo named Mephisto uses one of Murakami’s images (And Then, And Then And Then And Then And Then Blue version) as his 80×70 pixel avatar on the site’s forum. That earned him a very nice email, asking him to pay ¥50,000 or kindly stop using the image as his avatar. The email ends with the vaguely threatening message: “Thank you, and I hope you will take this into consideration as I know myself this can get very unnecessary!”

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