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Koppie Koppie: Someone’s kid on your favorite mug

Yuri Veerman & Dimitri Tokmetzis (NL 2015, webshop)

Koppie Koppie is a webshop that used to sell coffee mugs with pictures of other people’s children. The pictures were taken from photo sharing website Flickr. Is this a joke? Yes and no. No, because the artists were actually selling these mugs and made money from their sale; around 90 cents per item. Moreover, by doing so, they were not breaking any laws. The photographers have made their work freely available on Flickr under a Creative Commons license, which allows for their commercial reuse, so everyone is free to use these pictures in any way. And yes, it’s a joke, but one that carries a serious message: freely sharing something on social media does not mean you have nothing to hide. After something has been shared, it is terribly difficult to determine the extent to which it’s still yours, and the extent to which others are allowed to use it. Koppie Koppie exposes this complexity in a painful way. Koppie Koppie is made by designer Yuri Veerman and journalist Dimitri Tokmetzis. It is part of the national awareness campaign Everyone a Spy, initiated by Dutch digital culture platform SETUP.  Where adults often think children don’t know how to handle privacy online, creating technopanics, adults are often the ones harming their children’s privacy online by sharenting.

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