Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Art Thievery = NO



Ugh, I've had a few instances as of late of people either using images of mine and THEN asking me if it's okay to use them (no, it's not - ask me before hand otherwise don't bother even using it) or just plain using my images. Last night, a very kind follower on DA alerted me to an artist selling Star Wars prints on Etsy with several of my painted versions of the characters. Now, I obviously don't own the Star Wars characters but it was my artwork she was using. I quite kindly and professionally asked her to remove them. Then I found her Facebook page and website where she had traced several of my original images and passed them off as her own. The Star Wars thing annoyed me but using my own totally original characters and art? NO FREAKING WAY. All I can say is she pissed off a lot of people, got very scared and took everything down. I feel no sympathy for her what-so-ever as I do not believe for a second that she didn't know what she was doing when she traced (and openly admitted to tracing) my work. I'm also wondering how much of her work is actually hers and not stolen from other people as her portfolio is very erratic. I'm not going to link to her as I believe the damage for her is done. However, my fiancee tallyed up that she's made at least $500 on Etsy alone from prints and tees that include my work and she was also selling my stuff on Zazzle. We're looking into this as that's a month's worth of mortgage I've lost through this hack. The one good thing to come of this however is the immense support from friends and artists in a very short space of time. I was actually pretty overwhelmed by the action taken and am so grateful to everyone. Taking some one's artwork and passing it off as your own is lazy, insulting and very damaging not only to the artist who created it but also to yourself; once you're branded, the damage is done. I've seen other people mention struggles they've had with this problem and it's so stressful and time consuming. Why bloody bother doing it? I'm very glad I managed to get this issue resolved and if the wonderful person who alerted me to it hadn't dropped me a note, I'd be none the wiser and the thief would still be making money off of my work. I work bloody hard at what I do and seeing someone take my work and make money from it left me feeling sick, angry and upset.Thank you to everyone who supported me in this like a Voltron style robot that brings down art thieves! I only wish it was as easy for the rest of the art thieving shits on DA and the internet to get what they deserve. I will now be watermarking everything I post as some people have no regard for copyright laws as they stand.

3 comments:

  1. This is awful but so glad you found out! It's really shocking what people will do and it really does make me sick. Hopefully this person will have a wake up call and focus on their own work and their originality! I just hate to think how many people are out there making money off of other's hard work AND claiming it is theirs! xxx

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  2. that was quite interesting

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