YouTuber David Dobrik under fire for allegedly stealing artist's ideas: 'Kinda messed up'
As much as it pains me to say this, it looks like my favorite Slovak David Dobrik picked up another designer's ideas without giving them proper recognition or compensation.
Here's the story: On September 18, TikTok user and designer Karim created a video that essentially served as an application to help Dobrik with his latest project. This company, which launched in December 2019, was a social media platform similar to Instagram. Only this was intended exclusively for unprocessed and unfiltered photos, which are similar to those from single-use cameras.
As he noted in his five-part video application, Karim had a lot of great ideas for the app. He created a hypothetical "simplified" layout modeled after VSCO and even sketched out how users could interact with and use his version of the app. He also had a catchy name for the app: Dispo.
Karim's videos went viral all over TikTok. They received thousands of positive comments from tons of users - including Dobrik himself.
Image Credit: TikTok
"Dude, when you said Dispo, I literally screamed," commented Dobrik Karim's first video on September 19th. "We will contact you!"
For a while, both Dobrik and Karim haven't provided updates on the status of the app or Karim's involvement in creating it. However, on October 7, the Wall Street Journal reported that Dobrik's app had received $ 4 million in seed capital from Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian's new company, Seven Seven Six. The official name of the app? Dispo.
This announcement prompted Karim to create a follow-up video explaining what happened after his virtual application.
According to Karim, Dobrik and Natalie Mariduena, Dobrik's assistant and business partner, saw the designs and "loved them". However, after a "brief correspondence," Karim said the team had decided to go in a different direction.
However, that didn't stop Dobrik and his team from using the name Karim. As many TikTok users were quick to point out, the official Twitter account for David's Disposable joined Twitter on September 18 under the username DispoHQ - the same day Karim suggested the name.
Technically, there is nothing illegal about Dobrik and his team that has used the Karim name without acknowledging or compensating for it, but it still doesn't suit the people. Fans everywhere on social media are demanding answers - especially as Dobrik is known as an all-round good in the influencer community.
"It's a bit of a mess that he took the name without asking," said one person. "Legally he could do it, but morally I think it's inconsiderate."
"He should pay you for the brand name idea," added another.
"Wait for you to tell me that he stole all of your design and idea?" a third commented. "How does David get away with it?"
"This guy gave David Dobrik an idea about the dispo app," wrote a fourth on Twitter. "They didn't even choose the guy for their team. He came up with the name Dispo and also designed the concept for the app. It's just sad."
Neither Dobrik nor Mariduena commented on the situation.
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For more influencer drama, check out how Danielle Cohn allegedly claimed an Ashanti song was hers.
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YouTuber David Dobrik, who came under fire for allegedly taking in designer ideas without recognition, first appeared on In The Know.
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