C’mon People, REALLY????

March 22, 2011 at 5:25 pm Leave a comment

What someone always likes to find out at the end of a really bad day – that their designs were ripped off. This time someone stole my rainbow design. Wait, did I say someONE? Let me correct that, a BUNCH of someones. It started out with what I thought was going to be just a fun look at a cupcake pillow on this one website. I was then clicking around to see what else they had and then came across a very poor image quality of my kawaii rainbow. There was no doubt about it. They had removed the shiny part on the red, filled in the white in the eyes and removed my signature and watermark, but it was definitely mine. This lead to me posting on deviantART where we are always looking out for our fellow artists. Can’t tell you how many art theft journal entries I come across from the people I’m watching. One of my watchers replied and said that she had written an email to the website and they wrote back that actually, they bought it from a seller on Etsy who claimed that the seller was licensed to reproduce this image. She then found links of my stuff being sold on Etsy. Through this really helpful person and another friend of mine, we were able to compile a list of 5 places that were using my design without permission. Of course, with every one that was found, I was getting more and more upset.

Since it’s copyright infringement, the only person who can report this to the Etsy legal department is me so it’s not even worth putting up the shop links on here since people going in and flagging the item only makes Etsy annoyed, apparently. What’s ironic about the whole thing is that I had a friend in Facebook post a link to a story about a blatant art theft only a few days ago. I was so upset when I saw that one, that even though it wasn’t my art involved, I posted a journal about it in my dA. I feel that art thieves need to be caught. We can’t let them get away with this kind of stuff. Little did I know that the same thing was happening to me.

Even if I had patents and trademarks and copyrights galore, that doesn’t stop people these days who either a)don’t understand that Google image search is not their personal buffet of free art, b)don’t know about copyrights, or c)don’t care. Look at all the Hello Kitty knockoffs that are everywhere! It’s always a game where the artist is about 2 steps behind the thief and then it’s our responsibility to jump through all the hoops to prove that it was ours in the first place and pray it doesn’t turn into a lawsuit.

I have my list of items to report and will be faxing to Etsy’s legal department today. In the meantime, I deleted my Flickr account and put big, ugly watermarks provided by dA on all my stuff there. I hate how it messes with the image, but what am I going to do? I guess they say that imitation is the highest form of flattery, but I don’t really see that right now. Mostly, I am just very upset and spent all Monday evening searching stuff out when I had originally planned to be working on an art piece that’s in progress.

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