As an artist you come across people who just seem to have no regard for your abilities. People who will talk down to you to get a better rate. There are some people who won’t pay you for your work and just disappear into the woodwork. There are some people who will use your artwork on their Myspace or Facebook accounts or in some other web based forum.
I’ve had to deal with all of the above and more often then not everything gets sorted out in the end. Sometimes I’m even cool with the people who made the mistake of co-opting my art and sometimes create possible business opportunities.
And then there are those people who will just out and out steal from you. Who will print your stuff and just sell it like they own it or drew it themselves. People with zero regards for your properties and will be a complete dick towards you when you call them on the floor.
This is a story of one such pile of shit.
I woke on October 19th to an email from a friend of mine named Noah.
Just thought you’d like to know but someone is selling your art that they converted for themselves. Not sure if you want to do anything about it but here is the url incase you do.”
Here's the Link...
Sure enough, I opened up the link and was greeted with the following item for sale on Ebay.
Wow, I thought. That’s total outright thievery of a piece that I made for the Disney licensed Haunted Mansion comic book for Slave Labor Graphics.
These people whose store is called fairytaleweddingstore needed to be stopped. These people have a huge buyers rating on Ebay. How long have they been doing this?
I shot out an email to these people. I kept it to the point and even gave them the benefit of the doubt.
This is D.W. Frydendall, the artist who's artwork this is that you're selling without my consent. Please remove it from your store immediately. I'm going to check back at 5:00pm and if it's not down I'm going to inform ebay and have you removed from their system entirely. I'm even considering on seeing how many you've sold and "politely" asking you for that money.
Pretty forward. I expected the ol’ “Sorry about that. I’ll remove it right away. Won’t happen again.”
No sweat! By the way does Disney know you did this? As you can see, no one is even interested in the design. No sales.
I felt a surge of fire shoot behind my eyes. Granted, I checked out the page and they had stopped the sale but they still had my art on their ebay store. But then they accuse me of stealing shit after they steal my artwork! Then they get their little dig in on me about no one is even interested in my artwork? I got really pissed and shot back.
First off... yes, I designed that for Slave Labor Graphics for their licensed Haunted Mansion Comic. Second, why don't you shove your little dig right up your fucking ass.
Now I probably shouldn’t have told them to shove anything up their fucking ass, but you know what? Fuck them! How much money have they made from my piece that I made? Disney and SLG pretty much owned the piece, but still... they’re using my likeness to line their grubby little pockets.
I went and had some breakfast and called my friend Devon to get some perspective. She had always been a quieting influence in my life. I tend to fly off the hammer and want to murder anything in eye shot. I told her about what I’d done and she sighed. Typical D.W.
So when I got the following message from the Cake Farts, as I now call them, she talked me down from ideas of grim murder.
Wow! You are one class act for sure! Go find a job you starving so called artist!
Hahahahaha! Sniff... seriously! So, with Devon walking me through the reply, making me not use such terms as “asshole, fuckhead, dipshit, fuckwit...” I shot back the following.
Just a heads up. Besides Ebay, I approached Disney legal who I'm in the employ of (some starving artist huh?) to review all of your content on your little store. Disney legal as you may or may not know doesn't take kindly to plagiarists.Also, rather or not I'm a starving artist isn't the issue. You stole and were selling my art for your personable profit. With people like you no wonder the term "Starving artists" was coined.Don't contact me in the future. it won't go well.
So I never heard from them after that. Turns out they weren't that stupid. But I was far from finished.
I found out that these dolts are up in Oregon. Oregon City to be exact. So I got their address and phone number. I then called my friend Huy. He lives up there and he can be one scary motherfucker when he wants to be. He’s an MMA fighter who has a mohawk and tats up and down his arms.
He told me he’d check into it since he was going to be in Oregon City today. I didn’t know what he’d do. Odds are he’d do nothing, but maybe he’d just look at them sideways and make them piss their pants. Nothing ultimately happened due to the fact that their address was completely false. He got there and no such place exists.
Oh well I thought. Next step... look at the other art on their Ebay page.
I found another artist named Daniel (website here) who’s arwork was being used as well. I shot him an email and he was totally cool.
Thank you for bringing this to my attention. It is surely not cool of them to profit from our work without our permission.
Have you tried using ebay's 'Report item > Copyright violations'? That would probably put an end to their bad behavior.
Again, really, really cool of you to notify me as well!
So that’s two. I then got ahold of Ebay via chat message and laid out the entire thing. They assured me that they would take actions against these folks. They even at one point said "Seriously... they said that to you?" A yup. I told them.
Next I called my friends at Disney and got their legal department. I plan to call them tomorrow first thing.
I know... I could have just “let it go.” But you know what? They really pissed off me off and then were completely unrepentant.
I see how Cooks Source lifted a recipe from Monica Gaudio (here) and I get a warm feeling when the internet trolls come a callin’ on the guilty party and rain a wash of shit all over the not only guilty party, but the arrogant AND guilty party.
Updates will be coming. Keep posted...