Saturday, August 8, 2015

The Sincerest Form of Flattery

A kind reader asked if I was involved with an "interactive e-book" version of "At the Mountains of Madness".  Much to my surprise, I am.  The creators have lifted both my Miskatonic University seal and Miskatonic Antarctic Expedition logo.  I'm not sure if they're actually used in the book, but they're definitely offering premiums using both.

What I really dislike about situations like this is the pointlessness of the theft.  Non-commercial projects are free to use anything here for a simple credit.  I'm also extremely loose with commercial licensing.  I think I've only "charged" for use twice, and in both cases I just wanted a copy of the finished project. 

Update: My thanks for all the kind words.  The creators of the Ebook have removed all the infringing material from their Kickstarter page.


11 comments:

Jason McKittrick said...

I'll be spreading the word! Believe it or not, it happened to me this week as well!

Propnomicon said...

@ Jason McKittrick

Can I ask what happened?

CoastConFan said...

It’s amazing how cavalier people are about other folk’s creations and intellectual property. It’s one thing to make a copy of an object for personal use, but another to manufacture them for a business. I don’t think people have a grasp of the Creative Commons License at all.

My mother had a business making quilting patterns years ago. They were copyrighted the old way, by submission through the Library of Congress and she also held a patent on a technique. It didn’t stop some pirates from not just copying the idea, but simply photocopying and selling the patterns as their own, by only changing the name and address to theirs. Fortunately, the business was doing well and a lawyer was on retainer.

I don’t know why people feel it’s right to take an artist’s works and make money through theft and not even acknowledging the source. Artists have a tough enough time without having their successes taken from them.

affliction said...

A little insane from folks that should likely know better, eh? You introduced Kickstarter to me several years ago. Thanks for sharing, and I hope you're contacted soon.

Shel said...

This is why, as an artist, anything I post online (ANYTHING - including my fan-art, for which I hold no copyright over) - I'll add a watermark with my name across it.

I had my own work lifted not too long ago - for a music cd compilation. While the artwork was provided to another company for a t-shirt design, I retained the copyright should the work end up being used elsewhere. Alas, not only was my work used without permission, but my signature (which was agreed-upon would be retained in the work) was simply struck.

And in the early days of online fan-art postings, having stuff "lifted" by other sites was running rampant. I'm still surprised at how quickly my Jason vs Kenny doodle made the rounds... with ZERO credit back to me. Again, it was "fan-art" - so there was little I could do.

But yeah, long story short - ever since then, anything I post online (and I've been partaking in a doodle-a-day challenge with a friend), I make sure there's a watermarked signature on it. Effectively, if you want to take it? Go for it. But have fun removing my watermark. :D

What I have gotten, however, are requests for copies of the work - and some interest in wanting to purchase prints. In those situations, I will release a copy to whomever is asking... hoping that they respect my ownership of the original work.

The interwebs certainly make for an interesting time in being an artist...

On a whole other note - I'm sorry to hear that your work got lifted. That does suck, indeed. Hopefully something can be worked out with these people. As I certainly know your pain.

By the way - while I don't always comment, I do "stalk" the site daily. Love the updates and the finds. Cool stuff! And keep up the great work!

Shel

Steve Dempsey said...

If it's any consolation, they don't look like they'll fund.

gndn said...

I've never been stolen from, to my knowledge. Not sure if I should feel lucky or rejected.

Zero Mostel said...

Just talked with them. According to them , they say the have emailed you saying the are no longer going to use your work and have apologized. Maybe the Mail Monster ate it? But I got them to say so on their facebook page.

Ari said...

I was looking on Etsy and saw a pendant for sale that was the EXACT design of one that was designed by a jeweler I buy from. I notified the jeweler immediately and hopefully, the person's site is down. I guess some people have no ethics.

Raven said...

At least there was no round of "everything on the Internet is public domain" defenses....

Tome Wilson said...

And I'm sure they'll be sending over all of the profits they've received so far as well, right?