Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Da Bidness

I woke up this morning to discover that I'm an amazingly popular artist.  Over the last month I've sold hundreds of t-shirts on Ebay.

Unfortunately, these are all pirated.

Apparently, a clothing company or distributor in Germany is printing up my designs wholesale.  One webstore, Gray Matter EU, pulled the shirts and blamed "some designer" they refused to identify for stealing the logos.  When I asked about compensation they clammed right up and have refused to respond.

A second German company, Skull City, has just ignored my email.

I'm a pretty upbeat person by nature, but things like this just send me into a rage.  I give my stuff away.   I encourage people to take it for their own use.  All I ask in return is that I get some compensation for commercial use.

Update: Derp! An emailer pointed out that I should include a link to the shirts I actually do sell. Right now you can use code ZSPOOKYSCARY to get 15% off everything.


Raven said...

Will Ebay itself take action when its sellers are shown to be pirating designs?

I'd suggest asking.

And yes, I'm fuming too, secondhand.

CoastConFan said...

I wrote a big ol’ rant (you know me) and then deleted it. I think anything I could say about the subject has already been said before, and some it by myself, previously. My sympathy, good sir.

Propnomicon said...

@ Ravem

Thanks for the support. I've VERO'd the merch, but there are so many listings for various sizes and colors that it's going to take hours to fill out the forms.

Propnomicon said...

@ CoastConFan

Thanks. I've had better mornings. Heh.

Jess S said...

So sorry to hear it. Your designs are great, and you deserve to be paid for their use!

Anonymous said...

You should probably threaten Skull City with legal action.

The Boulder said...

This sucks for sure and I don't envy all of the bullshit filling out of forms you are going to have to do. That said... these actually make pretty nice shirts. Have you considered putting up a couple as t-shirt designs on or a similar website. I know I could take the images and submit them myself as private designs for one-time printing, but I'd rather you take a cut and since there is obviously demand for your images on shirts you might as well give people an official way to get them. Unscrupulous types are going to take advantage of that as long as you make your designs public to the Lovecraftian prop community and maybe by making a legitimate way to get shirts you can cut the opportunists out.

Tim Lonegan said...


Ari said...

Unfortunately, I was a purchaser of one of these t-shirts but I don't remember what site I got it from. I've caught people on Etsy before and have reported them to the original owner. I'm so sorry this happened.

Shel said...

So royally HATE that this has happened to you. For whatever reason, there's far too much of this going on. Again, this is why I still bury my online posted artwork with watermarks.

I figure if they want to steal it, I'll make 'em work for it - as they'll need to find a way to clear said watermarks! LOL!

Still, when I'm sharing build techniques, I often give very freely of that information. No, what I'm doing isn't rocket-science - but they're still my techniques. Regardless, with all the piracy going on, I'm half wondering whether I should be tagging that material with a watermark too!

Either way, I hope something works out on this end. I've seen your imagery, and it's AMAZING. Hell, when it comes to paper props for my stage work, I've often learned from your ideas - in terms of little techniques that simply improve on a given prop. And when hosting tutorials and/or workshops on prop work, I almost always send people to your site.

As I often tell people - yes, it's heavily dedicated to all things Lovecraft - but there's just so much in the way of amazing ideas that one can learn from. It just pains me to know that there are those whom would be willing to not just learn from what you have to show and teach, but to take without asking and profit from your hard work.

And it's that's simply not fair.

On a whole other note - I really wish I could add my facebook profile under the "identity choices" - so you could more readily put a face to me. Either that, or my hotmail addy. I don't have a "google account", nor do I have any of the "open ID's".

gndn said...

That's a fucking downer. Are they using the vector art you're giving away for free? ... Maybe you don't want to do that as often?

Raven said...

@ The Boulder : "Have you considered putting up a couple as t-shirt designs on or a similar website."

Um, if you look under "Crass Commercialism" on the right-hand side of the page, you'll see three of our host's links, the middle one being "Miskatonic University Expedition Swag from Zazzle"....

Raven said...

@ gndn : "Are they using the vector art you're giving away for free? ... Maybe you don't want to do that as often?"

As it says at the bottom of the main page, "This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License." — which explicitly allows others to Share (copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format) and
Adapt (remix, transform, and build upon the material), only setting three conditions for this use: (1) Attribution — You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made, you may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use; (2) NonCommercial — You may not use the material for commercial purposes; (3) ShareAlike — If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you must distribute your contributions under the same license as the original.

The T-shirt sellers blatantly violated this very generous license, and did not apply for (nor, need it be said, abide by) any commercial license whereby they would have paid our host royalties for their use of his designs.

Any reasonably aggressive Intellectual-Property lawyer could eat their lunch.