…and you can’t use it
Lately, a lot of people/shops/brands have been using my Surreal Death Moth art without my knowledge or permission. Usually, it is scam shops from China and I can’t actually do anything about it. Sometimes it’s just people who probably don’t know any better. Copyright infringement sucks.
As a creator of an artwork, the artist automatically owns the copyright to their own work. If you want to use it, ask permission. If it is not given to you by the rights holder – you may not use the artwork. It is quite simple.
Beware of scams!
I mention this a lot of times – I do not sell anything on Wish, Alibaba, Ali express, Joom, e-Bay or any other mass market like that. I am also not on Etsy. If you find my artwork on there, it is stolen.
There are also a number of Chinese companies that repeatedly steal my (and my artist friends) work. Those are usually scam sites that take your money and send you either very low quality goods or pretend your order has been lost in shipping. They exist for a while, delete the sites when they get to many bad reviews calling them out and reopen the stores under a different name to repeat the process.
Take this one for example…
The latest one I found out about is a site called INTELLIGENTG.COM (yeah they have stupid names like this). They took from me and my friends WAKE THE DEVIL , TIINA MENZEL, BrÓ_òks and SAMOTNJAK among others.
You probably already know how China loves to take great big shit on copyright… So once they have our work, we can’t do much about it but spread the word…
Thing is – this page is trying it’s best to look “westerner” – they have pretty blond models and everything, so you would trust them. Shops looks really legit at fisrt glance, but you can’t find any reviews, they just deleted all their Instagram posts (probably because we all reported them). They say they exist since 2017, but their Facebook page is 1 month old. They never say WHERE they are from (legit business will give you an address and real contact information). A legit business will also make their name on the page, so when you search Google, you can find out who they are, where they are based, how long they exist, etc… When you search for dumbfuck names like INTELLIGENTG – this happens:
Google thinks you are drunk… Also this is what happens when you do a simple “view page source” on Chrome browser:
Gee, I wonder where they’re from??? They don’t want you to know because you probably wouldn’t trust them if you knew they’re from China. And you’re right not to because THEY ARE THIEVES!
Please don’t shop at these kinds of dishonest businesses. They don’t even have good deals TBH, they charge $25 per crappy quality T-shirt, and my shops often have sales where you can get them for $10-$15 – that’s crazy!
WHAT’S WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE?!?
So OK, big Chinese shops are usually just pure evil that take advantage of creators and laugh at us for getting upset (I suppose). We all know that by now… (again – please don’t shop there and support that kind of behaviour).
But small businesses based in UK, EU, USA, Canada taking artwork that doesn’t belong to them? Are you kidding me? You really don’t know that is just a big NO-NO?!?
IF YOU FOUND IT ONLINE, IT DOESN’T MEAN IT’S FREE FOR YOU TO USE!!!
I usually wouldn’t call out a person that is a small business owner publicly. I just write a takedown notice, maybe they got an artwork from someone and didn’t know it was stolen – thee things happen. But these two KNEW they are using my work without permission AND THEY EVEN BLOCKED ME ON SOCIAL MEDIA – like that will somehow make them right.
This guy with butt-ugly clothes
First off this guy from Canada. I confronted him years ago about using my artwork on his shitty products. He was pissy about it, had some dumb excuses like “he’s doing it as a hobby” or “it is a sign of admiration for your artwork”. I told him that what he is doing is copyright infringement. He then proceeded to delete his shop, blocked me and *sort of* agreed to stop stealing art from people.
Imagine my surprise (sarcasm alert) when I found out he reopened his shop, which is basically just ugly clothes with bad looking prints on them. It was now under a different name. He is now *OFFICIALLY* known as “PROTECTED BY WITCHCRAFT CLOTHING” and this is his Instagram page: instagram.com/protectedbywitchcraftclothing/
AND … LOOK WHAT WE HAVE THERE – my sphynx cat again!!
(see what I mean by ugly… I mean… wow… that looks like shit… I’m just here like… wow… I’d be embarrassed to offer these)
I am sharing this because he continues to download random pics from web and prints them (badly) on (nasty looking) clothes. He doesn’t appear to be very successful, but he does know that what he is doing is wrong.
If you recognize artists that he is stealing art from, let them know. We have a right to know when someone is harming us.
This candle maker
This one decided it was a great idea to take my “Surreal Death Moth” design, which I spent 30 hours working on, and put it on her product without asking me.
Just a bit of digression – a guy on Fiverr once sold a bundle of my designs (just mirrored them) to another guy that sold them on shirts on Amazon. After I filed a DMCA notice to Amazon and they took it down, the owner of the Amazon shop contacted me explaining what had happened. What the Fiverr guy did is beyond wrong, but OK – it happened.
So I thought, maybe this woman had a similar situation, obviously it CAN happen, and I was just preparing to file a takedown notice because of copyright infringement when I noticed SHE BLOCKED ME ON INSTAGRAM!
That only means – SHE KNEW! She knew it was my artwork she used without my permission! She knew it was wrong!
Since then, she deleted the post, both from her Facebook and Instagram. It is also not up on her Etsy or webshop. I know I did NOT spend 30 hours of my time designing that image to help her sell scented candles! I wouldn’t really mention this, but since she knows she tried to rip me off, this is the thing in question:
The post is no longer available, I hope that means she will not sell this product… and that she will be smarter when it comes to her branding down the road. I love small businesses, and it is understandable that they will make some mistakes when starting out.
I am choosing to believe this was just it… a mistake that she will not repeat.
As an artist and a designer, I know people will rip me off. All I can really do about it is spread the word, and hope someone will listen and give a damn.
Copyright infringement hurts many of us. It is literally emotionally draining and hurtful. But business does not give a fuck about our feelings and that is the cruel truth.
I hope two things will happen – that we grow thicker skins and that people learn to recognize scammers and thieves, so they don’t support that kind of behavior.
Here are the Instagram profiles of amazing artists that get ripped off very often – they make wonderful art and deserve your support:
Until next time I have something to say – stay awesome 😉