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Art Theft with little to no DETAILS

Permanent Linkby Chameleonette on Tue Feb 25, 2014 11:07 pm

I'm really frustrated and stressed right now.

Just tonight, I received a tumblr message that was a bit boggling. At first, I couldn't tell exactly what they were talking about. But then they cleared it up to say that they had bought some buttons with my art printed on them at a convention in Florida. And their message to me was asking if I was paid for the sales or OK'd the sales in the first place. And on top of that, they were telling me they put them in THEIR shop to resell.

This was the first time I had heard of anything like this or about this. After I told them I never OK'd any such thing and certainly never got paid even a penny, they were like "OK I'll take them off my shop and destroy them, then."

What the fuck?

I asked them for pictures of the buttons. They said they would send some and STILL have not. And to make matters infinitely worse? They can't even bloody tell me what con they got them at. They "can't remember". And every time I ask who sold the buttons with my art to them, they dodge/ignore the question. And when I brought up them dodging my questions, they got defensive and thought I should be grateful that they came forward at all. (Yeah, grateful that you came forward apparently anywhere in the realm of 6-8 MONTHS after you bought something with my art on it, knew it was my work, and didn't even TELL me about it until YOU planned to resell them for money yourself. HILARIOUS.)

I'm really angry right now. If this was months ago and I have no leads on the person responsible, they might very well continue selling my work and making a profit from it and already have been doing so. This bothers me horrendously. I hate art theft and even MORESO when the person is making money off of art that isn't theirs. And until I get the pictures that they're taking FOREVER to send to me, I have barely an inkling to go on how to track down the culprit.

One of my friends linked me the con list from Florida. It's a nightmare. There's SO many.

I want to cry tears of bitter frustration right now. And I was going to start my LP or Spyro tonight because I was in a good mood. Goddammit.

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Re: Art Theft with little to no DETAILS

Permanent Linkby nephilim on Tue Feb 25, 2014 11:28 pm
There's a new Spyro, is that it? :D

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Re: Art Theft with little to no DETAILS

Permanent Linkby Imrhys on Tue Feb 25, 2014 11:44 pm

I have one comment here. Sometimes people deflect blame from themselves by making up how others did it first, so they can't be that bad doing it NOW. It is possible this person stole your artwork for their own gain and then their conscience pistol whipped them into indirectly confessing and they lied to make themselves not seem so heinous. Just a thought.

Other than that... Don't take it personally that there are asshats in this world. Enjoy the fact that someone likes your stuff enough to even WANT to steal it.

Then plot how to get lawyers involved and ruin their f'ing little weasel lives like a good little predator would *smiles broadly*
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Re: Art Theft with little to no DETAILS

Permanent Linkby divineBeast on Wed Feb 26, 2014 12:29 am

i guess its time to water mark your art now....
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Re: Art Theft with little to no DETAILS

Permanent Linkby Hariken on Wed Feb 26, 2014 1:21 am

I don't think most people know what what they do at cons is illegal, if they do something like that: taking a copyrighted thing and then making their own profit out of it.
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Re: Art Theft with little to no DETAILS

Permanent Linkby F1reDem0n on Wed Feb 26, 2014 3:15 am

If you need help sorting through the con list, just let me know. I am sick right now, so I have a good chunk of time on my hands. I would be more then willing to help out where I can.

Just let me know. :)
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Re: Art Theft with little to no DETAILS

Permanent Linkby Damsel on Wed Feb 26, 2014 5:26 am

Chameleonette I am so sorry about this. Whoever is selling your art is a real scum bag. But by the way the person who wrote you "coming forth to help" sounded, I wouldn't be surprised if they were the one doing it. Sort of like a criminal coming back to the scene of the crime to see if they caused much of a stir. Hopefully this gets sorted out, but keep your head up sweetie.
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Re: Art Theft with little to no DETAILS

Permanent Linkby Neoptolemus on Wed Feb 26, 2014 8:54 am

My sympathies. That sucks.
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Re: Art Theft with little to no DETAILS

Permanent Linkby SLR on Wed Feb 26, 2014 11:10 am

If I might interject, there is a possibility that nobody has stolen your art at all. It may well be a very vicious hoax. You only have their word that they bought these pins with your art on them. You've not seen them, you don't know which convention it was supposed to be, and you don't know what images it is meant to be even. And how did they know how to track you down to report it? When people steal art they tend to crop out any signatures or whatever, and I can't recall you posting anything with a watermark (and I hope this doesn't provoke you into ruining your artwork that way until you know something more definitive). So it would have to be someone who knows your work already, so then why did they suddenly decide to tell you half a year later? What you do have is someone being combative and evasive with you, not sending on photos and refusing to explain exactly how they supposedly came into their possession. And you've remarked yourself in the past that you have been a victim of some very vindictive trolling online.

Until you have proof of anything having happened at all, I would treat this with deep suspicion. I honestly think this person is deliberately fucking with you. Someone with a grudge who actually wants you to lose fans by destroying your own work with watermarks, or someone hoping you might just stop posting work online at all. The timing of this is suspicious. The gap between the supposed con and the report, your very recent problems with trolls, and also, you just started taking commissions recently.

You're right to be angry, and I don't blame you for being upset, but there is something going on here more than it seems to be on the surface. Logically none of this adds up.
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Re: Art Theft with little to no DETAILS

Permanent Linkby Saftkeur on Wed Feb 26, 2014 2:27 pm

I'm with SLR on this one, while I think it's definitely possible, until you've seen those pictures and/or the person stops dodging/deflecting questions, I'd take it with a grain of salt. It is possible that they bought buttons and stumbled upon your art later; that would explain the few months in-between when they supposedly bought them and why they're coming to you about it now. But they're planning to... resell the buttons? That's almost as bad, if they bought buttons from someone and now they're reselling them! I find it hard to believe they'd be willing to resell something like that, but they're also totally good guys by telling you about it AND on top of that they have zero qualms about destroying the offending works at their own expense BUT they can't manage to take pictures of them. I feel like this sort of reaction is exactly what they were aiming for, forcing you to go through loads of trouble trying to track down an art thief that may or may not exist and possibly going around and watermarking all your work. (which might not be a terrible idea, though I'd definitely avoid anything too intrusive; one little trick is to sign your work along a line somewhere within the image rather than in a corner, so it's not getting in the way but nearly impossible to crop out easily.)

I'd just be suspicious of it all, because it does sound a lot like someone trying to make up a story just to piss you off. If they are just being helpful, that's great, and hopefully they can provide more info later on (photos would be nice, but doesn't actually help you much; if they could just tell you which conventions they went to that would be a much better start). Just try not to let them get under your skin.
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Re: Art Theft with little to no DETAILS

Permanent Linkby Chameleonette on Wed Feb 26, 2014 8:32 pm

@nepphie - It's not a new Spyro game. It's the first one. I've been wanting to LP the first 3 for a long time. They're childhood favorites of mine.


As for using watermarks... I'm not sure. I could try putting my name into the lines thing, but I feel that's also really weird looking in art. I'll have to think over my options for awhile.

Whether this guy is just fucking around with me or not, I don't know. I screenshotted all the asks that we exchanged and even through today there's no sign of the pictures they were supposed to send to me. So it's entirely possible that either a) this was bullshit to begin with, b) they're actually the true one at fault and now realize how angry I am about it and don't want to get their ass nailed, or c) they're just taking a long damn time and I'm too impatient to deal with it.

I don't need help looking through the cons or anything, though. That wasn't the issue. The issue is not having any idea which one it could have been. All they told me is that is wasn't Evilcon and it wasn't the con(s) last month. But that leaves half a year's worth of cons unaccounted for. Which just sounds like a bloody dead end.

I'll tell you one thing, though. I'm not flattered that someone would do this, whether it's true or not. I think it's disgusting and shallow, not flattering. I will NEVER look at art theft in a positive light.
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