2. Taking Money From a Baby
In 2008, a 16-year-old high school student and graffiti writer Cartrain made a collage that included an image of Hirst’s diamond skull, and sold them on the internet. Hirst sicced the British copyright infringement officials on the young boy, who confiscated his work and forced him to give up the money he had made from selling his own collage. The £200 would have been as good as pennies to Hirst, but that’s practically a year’s salary for a 16-year old boy.
The next year, a prankish Cartrain swiped a pack of ordinary colored pencils from the Hirst installation Pharmacy at the Tate Britain. He left a note explaining that he was taking the pencils as hostages, with the return of his collages as ransom. This pack of totally normal, Faber Castell pencils that were only a small portion of his installation, Hirst claimed were valued at £500,000 ($1 million), and Cartrain was arrested for what would have been the largest art theft ever in Britain. Luckily for this kid’s future, the charges were eventually dropped.
All this copyright, self-righteousness, and litigiousness from a man who once said, “Lucky for me, when I went to art school we were a generation where we didn't have any shame about stealing other people's ideas. You call it a tribute."