London Art Expo Vendor Accused of Image Theft

London Art Expo Vendor Accused of Image Theft

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At least 25 comic-book-inspired deviantART prints were stolen and sold.

Twice a year, fans of movies, comics, and other media pack into London's ExCeL Exhibition Center to take part in the MCM Expo. It's a massive event that sees celebrities, fans and vendors come together to celebrate their shared passions. The first round of this year's events took place last weekend and has been marred by allegations from a tumblr user that a vendor at the show sold prints of images stolen from deviantART users.

Donna Evans, known in the deviantART community as tavington, noticed some striking similarities between drawings at the stall in question and drawings she'd seen on the artist networking site. She snapped a picture of the prints available at the stall (seen above) and asked her fans to help find the artists who really created the work.

After identifying some of the pieces as stolen, Evans posted another topic on her deviantART journal. In that post, she and her followers have found at least 25 works from site users that were reproduced without permission and sold by the vendor. The stall operator "didn't have any business cards" and is still unknown.

The stolen art includes fan drawings inspired by comics, movies and television programs. Evans has since updated her tumblr with more photos from the booth, showing hundreds of potentially stolen pieces of art up for sale. She is asking everyone to take a glance at the pictures and to share the story with others in order to identify the works stolen and the stall operator.

Source: Donna Evans' tumblr

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I would question the legitimacy of a booth too if I saw a piece up for sale was a freakin image macro.

I can't believe anyone would be so shameless...

Is that a red Hulk near the middle?, or am I being derpy?

ChaosDemon:
I can't believe anyone would be so shameless...

I can.

Geez and I thought real thief within those conventions were bad already (my mate was selling his work in one of the convenction and at the end of it a few of his works were stolen).

Wow that is really sad. It is also fairly obvious the person was ripping off the work the styles are all so different depending on the prints.

This pisses me off.

I work f--king hard to get some decent prints ready to sell at the Kapow! Comic Con, and only sell two - making a pretty massive loss - and then this C-U-Next-Tuesday comes along a week later and makes a small fortune out of a quick Google image search.

Here's a tip, people, if a guy turns up to a convention with that wide variety of work in so many different styles and techniques, claims to be the artist, but doesn't have so much as a business card or isn't forthcoming with any means of further communication, then something is most definitely up.

CardinalPiggles:
Is that a red Hulk near the middle?, or am I being derpy?

ChaosDemon:
I can't believe anyone would be so shameless...

I can.

Ok, I can but I wish I didn't have to. I hope they find a way to catch the jerk.

ChaosDemon:

CardinalPiggles:
Is that a red Hulk near the middle?, or am I being derpy?

ChaosDemon:
I can't believe anyone would be so shameless...

I can.

Ok, I can but I wish I didn't have to. I hope they find a way to catch the jerk.

Someone has to be manning the booth right? Take them, and cattle-prod em in the sack til they squawk.

Then give em another zap because they might be lying.

I didn't know Bioware had a London Studio!

So... Will all the people who claim that IP theft "isn't theft" come out of the woodwork to defend this practice?

there is a quote I like about DeviantArt:

With how much drama there is, its amazing how people are still able to draw.

Last year I think there was one person that not only traced other works, but they were blatant traces. All of her 'original' characters had the exact same face and was generally annoying.

Then she rented out multiple tables at various *con's artist alley [which people that have been to those before know that space is limited, and artists are mostly limited to one table only] to spread her shit art.

there was an ED article about it, but I cant find it.

Anyway, this happens all the time, haters gonna hate, 'art' thief's gonna thief.

Umm.. one thing, I have a problem with this. How can they claim theft when they technically don't own the character or the rights to produce art based off these character. I know most of these companies that own these characters aren't going to go after fan art but what they're doing could be seen as copyright infringement, so how can you claim theft on something that is copyright infringement?

CardinalPiggles:
Is that a red Hulk near the middle?, or am I being derpy?

ChaosDemon:
I can't believe anyone would be so shameless...

I can.

slowpoke.jpg

Red Hulk came out around 2006. He has been a mainstay ever since.

At least one of those isn't even from DeviantArt - it's an Alex Ross original.

ChaosDemon:
I can't believe anyone would be so shameless...

This shit's been done before. By someone I know in the very fandom I chiefly associate myself in.

It's a practice any "artist" will commit to if they think they can get away with it.

Cid SilverWing:

ChaosDemon:
I can't believe anyone would be so shameless...

This shit's been done before. By someone I know in the very fandom I chiefly associate myself in.

It's a practice any "artist" will commit to if they think they can get away with it.

That seems like a weighty accusation to level at a very unspecific group of people. Maybe you could define "artist" because it sounds like you're saying all creative people are unethical.

It's bootlegging at it's finest!

There's also a Brian Bolland Joker image that was the cover for Batman:The Killing Joke TP. This guys ripping off paid professionals as well. I hope they catch him and castrate him.

This is a big thing?
This shit happens ALL THE TIME in big conventions on my country. (Uruguay) Most stands sell stuff like posters, cofee mugs, pins, t shirts, even wall clocks printed with images stolen from places like deviant art or anywhere with a high enough resolution images.

Other stands sell comics, magic cards and more legal stuff. But a large portion of stands sell "stolen art". Nobody seams to care, and a lot of people that go to the conventions have DA accounts. I guess people assume they dont pay for the art, they pay for the art being printed onto something.

MasterSplinter:
This is a big thing?
This shit happens ALL THE TIME in big conventions on my country. (Uruguay) Most stands sell stuff like posters, cofee mugs, pins, t shirts, even wall clocks printed with images stolen from places like deviant art or anywhere with a high enough resolution images.

Other stands sell comics, magic cards and more legal stuff. But a large portion of stands sell "stolen art". Nobody seams to care, and a lot of people that go to the conventions have DA accounts. I guess people assume they dont pay for the art, they pay for the art being printed onto something.

There are many differences between western Europe and South America. This being one of them.

Man I saw those, thought something was up. That's not cool.

And here we have a perfect example of how "when you put image on the internet it becomes public domain" gone too far.

I saw him there, he did look pretty shady. He was at Kapow! Comic-Con the week before as well.

Now I think about it, this explains why a couple of them included topless superheroes and anime girls.

aba1:
Wow that is really sad. It is also fairly obvious the person was ripping off the work the styles are all so different depending on the prints.

I would say that most concept artists have a wide range of styles to suit the project they're currently working on; The less range you have as an artist, the less work you're likely to have. So that wouldn't really be an obvious tell.

If this guy is an actual artist, but decided to beef-up his profile with other people's work he should be fucking ashamed of himself. But I'm sure this is a practice that happens all the time, which as an "artist" myself I find mind-bogglingly disrespectful.

Pyrian:
So... Will all the people who claim that IP theft "isn't theft" come out of the woodwork to defend this practice?

I hope some do, I would like to see their opinion on this. Granted they almost certainly saw it isn't IP theft (or possibly any theft at all) since the owner still has it.

*Captha, old hat indeed (It isn' theft)

Pyrian:
So... Will all the people who claim that IP theft "isn't theft" come out of the woodwork to defend this practice?

kiri2tsubasa:

Pyrian:
So... Will all the people who claim that IP theft "isn't theft" come out of the woodwork to defend this practice?

I hope some do, I would like to see their opinion on this. Granted they almost certainly saw it isn't IP theft (or possibly any theft at all) since the owner still has it.

*Captha, old hat indeed (It isn' theft)

I won't say IP theft isn't theft, but you're committing a fallacy here by equating this with piracy (or at least I assume that's what you're doing). This is passing off other people's work as one's own and making money off of it. There is far less moral ambiguity in making money off someone else's work than there is in piracy. While some pirates also make money by selling their bootlegged copies, I think we can all agree that that's absolutely wrong (well, I hope at least).

If you think you're on the righteous side of the argument, you shouldn't need to use fallacies in support of it.

OT:

An image macro? Sure, seems legit.

How are they making money though if no one's manning the stall?

Pyrian:
So... Will all the people who claim that IP theft "isn't theft" come out of the woodwork to defend this practice?

This is bootlegging, not piracy - completely different! (The main difference is selling copies of someone else's work as your own, rather than giving copies freely without claiming ownership. There's quite a substantial difference in attitude there, what with the latter being MUCH more honest, even if you want to hate on both.)

Sneezeguard:
Umm.. one thing, I have a problem with this. How can they claim theft when they technically don't own the character or the rights to produce art based off these character. I know most of these companies that own these characters aren't going to go after fan art but what they're doing could be seen as copyright infringement, so how can you claim theft on something that is copyright infringement?

Well, regardless of whether or not they're allowed to make art based on the characters, someone else took that art and passed it off as their own, so it's still theft. Plus, when you consider you're most likely not allowed to profit off of your fan art of the characters, this guy kinda stole twice. So, we have IP theft (I think that's term for it) AND being a massive douche. Either way, this guy is far from innocent.

Sneezeguard:
Umm.. one thing, I have a problem with this. How can they claim theft when they technically don't own the character or the rights to produce art based off these character. I know most of these companies that own these characters aren't going to go after fan art but what they're doing could be seen as copyright infringement, so how can you claim theft on something that is copyright infringement?

Generally as long as the artist doing the art isn't selling them, fan art is completely legal for the most part as it falls into a grey legal area. Most companies don't care if you draw a picture of their characters provided you don't intend to make money off of it. Which is why on deviantart (where most of the pictures were stolen from) if you make fanart you aren't allowed to sell prints Most of the artists who had their work sold by this vendor only displayed it up for people to see, and weren't selling prints of it. This guy took work that was done by other artists and was selling them. So while not copyright infringement for taking the art from the original artist, it's generally falls into what is known in the art communities of the internet as "art theft", which is taking art that doesn't belong to you and using it without credit or permission, even going so far as it say it's your own work. Now, he done gone messed up selling copyrighted characters without clearing it through their respective copyright holders too, which is copyright infringement.

Persnicketese:

Generally as long as the artist doing the art isn't selling them, fan art is completely legal for the most part as it falls into a grey legal area. Most companies don't care if you draw a picture of their characters provided you don't intend to make money off of it. Which is why on deviantart (where most of the pictures were stolen from) if you make fanart you aren't allowed to sell prints Most of the artists who had their work sold by this vendor only displayed it up for people to see, and weren't selling prints of it. This guy took work that was done by other artists and was selling them. So while not copyright infringement for taking the art from the original artist, it's generally falls into what is known in the art communities of the internet as "art theft", which is taking art that doesn't belong to you and using it without credit or permission, even going so far as it say it's your own work. Now, he done gone messed up selling copyrighted characters without clearing it through their respective copyright holders too, which is copyright infringement.

Thanks for the info, I was kinda confused about this from a legal perspective but you've cleared that up for me.

 

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