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Stolen Art works

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 4:59 PM
Thank you to all of you for informing me about Hidden Supplies, it seems that they have taken one of my images along with many other fanart from different artist and was selling it online as well as at conventions.

At first I was really mad and pissed, but then I learned that they apparent gotten permission from some artist to sell their works there. I can't speak for the other artist that had their works sold by them as some clam that they did give permission for their art to be sold by them. But I feel that there might be other stolen works other than mine, since they didn't contact me for permission.
I'll contact them about it, and ask them to take my work down, if you recognize some of the artworks that are on display, inform the artist and see if they gave permission or if its stolen : )

Thanks to all of you for contacting me about it, and thank you yuumei for providing the prove and photos, you can check out Her Journal for more photos from the convention: )

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Sakuems Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2015  Professional Traditional Artist
since selling fanarts is illegal, they stole and sold illegal images.
i aknowledge the quality of your fanarts but it's still illegal to sell them. tolerable maybe, but technically you can't make profit out of third party content.
dieliala Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
THe issue is that fanart is a slippery slope. It isn't illegal, but it is at the same time ya know?

Which is at many conventions where they allow artist to sell, they state that a certain percent of merchandise has to be fanart / original art and some conventions don't allow fanart of certain artist / companies (I.e disney).

So you can indeed sell fanart. Most companies won't even care unless you being to mass / factory produce it. Japanese based things (I.e Anime, manga, most video games, etc.) allow the selling of fanart (which is why iirc, selling Doujins is actually legal in Japan) because they are considered derivatives (and free promotion)

Deviantart doesn't allow the selling of fanart as prints on their website because they'd have to go through some legal things, however, it isn't illegal to sell it on your own website.
Sakuems Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2015  Professional Traditional Artist
it's not a slippery slope. it's just an unspoken tolerable rule that people are claiming to follow but technically and legally, you can't make profit out of third party content without paying royalties to the owner.
but when the creator earns millions of dollar with his character travelling the world, he doesn't care anymore about the little artist who's making profit with it.
It's just a matter of respect and being responsible as an artist, if you don't want people to make profit out of your own characters, then why do you think it will be ok for you to make profit out of other artist's characters ?
i personally wouldn't feel good if anyone was making money with my characters, even if was making millions with them, they are still mine. So i don't sell fanarts.
Sakimichan is even doing something worse, she's not directly selling the fanarts but she get paid by her fans so they get access to the HD file and video process of her fanarts making. It's still illegal, unless she give back royalties.
I consider this "ok" if you sell in a comic convention for example, and you make a low amount and it's not sold in the entire world. but in conventions, there's actually dozens of merchandizing sold that is totally illegal, but it give so much money to the convention organizer that there's no way they're gonna cut them out just from vaguely illegal reasons.
It just kills me, in the end, Sakimichan is making a post about her art being stolen but she's stealing characters and character's fanbase all the time. It's just a huge double standards that work for her advantage.
It's not OK, no matter how you point this. Whether i sell one single print of thousands, if it's not official, it's stolen.
dieliala Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Within the last few days, I learned that copyright infringement is a civil matter. Meaning that if the creator doesn't care, no one else really does / should. It's only "illegal" so that if the creator does decide to care / do something, they are able to. However, ultimately, if they decide that they don't want to do anything about it, it becomes "legal". Which is why it is illegal but it isn't. Anything dealing with copyright is strictly between the creator and the other person. 

Yes, it is morally right to give royalties to the original creator, it isn't a legal obligation unless a contract is signed. If the creators did care about whether or not Sakimichan was selling prints / merch of their characters, they'd send a lawsuit claim (Or in most cases, Cease and Desist letter to avoid going through the cost of a lawyer). Being that is hasn't happened, they most likely don't care, especially considering many copyright owners keep a close eye (or at least try to) on what happens, especially if they own a trademark.

Sakimichan hasn't stolen anyone characters. She has the rights to the art she created, and is within her rights to create a post about it. She doesn't claim the characters as her own either. Many fans of the characters she draws fanart of, are / were already fans of the "original" fanbase, therefor, she isn't suddenly taking fans away from the original work ya know?

But back to the original point... Unless the creator directly states not to, you can make money off of someone else's creation provided what you make is considered a derivative (in this case, fan art) and isn't passed off as the official thing. Unless the creators of the series decide to contact her with a lawsuit notice / Cease and Desist letter, she's within her legal bounds to sell fan art really. If it becomes an issue to the creators, they know the legal steps to take to force her to stop. 
Sakuems Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2015  Professional Traditional Artist
There's the part where we say it's illegal and then it's derivative work etc etc.
and there's also the part where an artist is just doing the right thing, which is respect the work of others.
some people don't respect the work of others, even if you do derivative work, as soon as you earn money with this, it's not respectful for the owner of the character.
Reilain22 Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2015
Actually. You're wrong. Fan art it isn't illegal, when  artist create a fan art the artist retains copyright even though characters used might be the likeness of another character. I say likeness because this is the thing that must be proven in intellectual infringement simple act of copying a character does not constitute the infringement of copyright so selling fan art of a fan artist can be pursed by both original intellectual property holder and copright holder of said fan art but they are two different cases - intellectual copyright holder cannot sue the fan artist for damage of the stolen art for example unless it was work for hire in which reseller has waived their rights to be held liable.
Sakuems Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2015  Professional Traditional Artist
"copying a character does not constitute the infringement of copyright"
yes it does
you are stealing the concept art, and concept are is copyrighted.
but as long as  the owner doesn't sue you, fanart is "legal"
but technically, it's not really.
there's nor arguement on that, it's the law.
you can't sell copies of gucci bags, it's against the law
you can't sell copies of naruto, it's against the law

it should be treated the same.
Reilain22 Featured By Owner Edited Apr 16, 2015
No it doesn;t. Copying the character is not the illegal act nor selling it, so in fact the likeness of any character can be used legally for fan art there is nothing technical about it. (this person cannot create a character that has likeness to this used in this context) is the case for copyright, and in reality the character must also then retain context otherwise they will have to prove (and have a hard time doing it) the character has no likeness to any other character ever, which is impossible.
As such many fan arts fall under derivative works as fair use whether they are sold for profit or not.

Strange to believe because of this context it is much easier for smaller companies to protect their characters and such its not because the big companies do not care enough to sue a fan artist, it is because they have already created so many different licenses for use of character from book to film to game etc it is now diluted what the copyright pertains to and has such become almost useless and so they must rely on trademark which is a completely different beast.

In the case of Gucci they would likely sue on trademark infringement not copyright infringement because the design of the bag can in fact be identical but they cannot place a logo that looks like Gucci or says Gucci and market it as such, it is the intent to mislead and drive business from the real Gucci that is the problem.
Company must prove that the work being made is meant to replicate and take market share away from the company and not drive market share to the company.
Same with stock music, it changes very few notes in the song enough that you can still tell the popular song it is trying to emulate, but many cannot afford the licensing fees of the popular song and so it becomes a new derivative work in that context and it is not copyright infringement to create the likeness to the song and sell it, which is also perfectly legal.

You can sell copies of Naruto the fan character, as your own derivative work, it is not against the law.
You cannot sell Naruto with the intent to portray it as official, using logos, symbols or presenting it in any context that is identical to that of a licensed party.

You can sell copies of Gucci bags as long as you do not sell them as "Gucci" of "Cucci" or anything meant to mislead.

Again, copying a character is not illegal, and it is a misnomer that it is. It is not the act of copying a character that makes it illegal and so, much fan art is protected and is the copyright property of the person who created it whether it's being given away for free or sold.
dieliala Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Then in that case, it becomes a moral rather than legal issue. 
Sakuems Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2015  Professional Traditional Artist
most of the time, yes, it's more like a moral issue.
in some countries it's also illegal, but if you change a part of the character, it's "ok" because it's parody.
it just seems odd that an artist complains about stolen fanarts, in a way, it's like stealing stolen artwork u know ?
anyway, i suppose every artist can do as they want in the end :)
dieliala Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It isn't odd really. Saki drew the artwork, therefor, the owns the right to the picture, but not the character. Here, the person Sakimi mention took her artwork, and tried to pass it off and sell it as his own. It'd be different if he drew his own artwork and sold it, but instead it took someone else's to sell. 

If Sakimi took the original art and sold it as her own, there would be a different issue. But instead, she creates her own interpretations of the character to sell. Which is okay. But the person mentioned in her journal, took her art to sell as their own. See where the issue kinda is?
(1 Reply)
KL--RC Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Im so pissed just what the...!?!? URGH I feel like killing them!!!!!!
useche-oga Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2013   General Artist
  I have had this happen to me as well, when I was little my parents would have me enter competitions, they also opened a website for me, and some woman had stolen all my abstracts and had them mounted on canvas, I was only eight their heartless. You should put the watermark for safety, I know it kinda ruins the illustration but people be thieving, and it would also narrow it down to the individuals who purchase these items from you, then you can really nail them.
RosenrotXIII Featured By Owner May 21, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
that's not acceptable! this is shameless behavior and I hope they apologize to you and stop selling your work
SplitNinja Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Can't believe someone would do that.
Seriphrial-lotus Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
WoW, lucky you found out! I think they should pay you everything they made on your stolen art!
777Greywolf Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2013  Student General Artist
A while ago I saw some artworks at a convention I don't remember but I was surfing deviantart and it was the same one.... I wish I had known then,..... I definitely would've done something about it,>:| but idk where it was or what it was called :(
Ravensilver Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2013
Unfortunately, we see these guys (or someone similar to them) at most conventions here in Germany. We're already curious to see which seller will be at the Leipzig Book Fair and how much stolen art (not only fan art but original, unlicensed stuff) they'll have along...

They're making *thousands* of Euros off these stolen art products...
KL--RC Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
euclidstriangle Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2013
Is an app called Underworld Empire using an altered form of [link] to advertise.
mzza-art Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2015  Student Artisan Crafter
it's actually a character from underworld empire c:
Cirdureth Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Along these lines... I have noticed that an iphone wallpaper app "wallpapersHD" sometimes has your artwork on it, ("Dragon Boy" is one I've seen specifically) making it available for a free iphone background. Were they given permission to use your work? I rather doubt that they are profiting by it since it's a free app with free backgrounds, but I have been meaning to let you know anyway, just in case. :)
skyzyk Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Today it says "Page Not Found"
skyzyk Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
That should have read "Category Not Found"
PACHARCHAR Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Shit. These guys... :rage:
pearlyna Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
wow never thought such thing could happen
StreetArtStudios Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Try putting a watermark on your works so it's hard to steal. If you save the original works on a flash drive, so then the images without the mark won't be cluttering your computer.
MercyPlain Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2013
I'm under the impression that they got permission, but the 'artist' they asked was the one who stole it.
Keyshe54 Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2013   Traditional Artist
Your wok has been taken down from thier main site but still being sold on their two side stores on Ebay and amazon:[link], [link]
SweetOctopiewriter Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
It says products not found. Maybe it was taken care of?
twintoes84 Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow! That is crappy! I hope it all turns out for the best.
serasfan Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
I think if you click the link that you posted above, the link still takes you to the stolen artwork, but if you browse through their menu system you cannot find it

eg got to [link] still works

trying to browse the through the menu system doesn't work. The only thing that they offer is custom playmats (where purchaser uploads their own photo)

however if you search for 'anbu' or 'play mat' you can still get to the item and I can still add it to my cart, so I am guessing I can purchase it......

so it seems like they have made it harder to order, but it is still there if you know where to look. Feel free to send them an email with this info to get it removed if that helps you.

I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news, and I truly hope that you get this mess sorted out.

If it makes you feel any better, I rave on about how great your art is to anyone who will listen for hours on end! :) :joy:
I just bought my mum (who is a traditional artist) an intuos tablet and recommended that she check out your inspiring art to see the beautiful things that can be achieved within the digital medium

Sometimes life sucks like this. But I always find that focusing on the things that we love with all our soul remind us why we do this and this in return makes us happy. Don't let them beat you! :heart:
Faithfeather Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2013
:-| oh society how you make me sad
EvangiDaga Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Just a heads up, since tuesday its still up on the site. Its thursday now I know its not that many days but personally if I was them (not saying I would steal art) but saying that if I was them, i would have taken it down as soon as you request it down.
Stynche Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2013  Student General Artist
They seriously tried to SELL it at a convention!? O_O wow good thing you know now i hate are theft :)
BURGXC Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2013
I think that this is relevant, but I swear I saw one of your pieces used in an ad fo an ios app. I forget which app though.
redadder515 Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
That's a shame. It's mainly because it was your work and you put your heart and soul into it. :(
I hope the you are able get this situation wrapped up without too much heartache and stress.
And I hope you don't have to experience this again in the future.
Windy-Miu Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Reg flag number one- is the basic style the same? If not, its it at least feasibly similar?
If the techniques are completely different- are they done by a group of artists sharing a booth?

At least, that's what I find. Honestly, I'm almost glad that I have no where near the skill to have to worry about these things
RavynAbyss Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Wow that is way messed up. Hope that it gets resolved without too much conflict. Good luck.
kikamonju Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Just checked. They have actually taken down the entire playmat section (besides customs). I'm assuming to remove any stolen works.

It's possible they didn't know they were stolen. They may have gotten permission from someone who stole it from you. or maybe some employees was stealing art and others were going about it properly.
sakimichan Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2013
I appreciate that at least they remove it, they did the right thing : )
Ancyd-Watercolour Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
ur art is to damn great!!! that's why they stole ur art :iconlove:
but, how horrible...
Athexer Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2013
If you can get royalties or something, might be a good thing. But yeah, that sucks. I like your artwork. I save some of them, but yeah, ive never tried to scam anyone from them...
sarmin000 Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2013
I understand the want to steal as you are fantastic! However that is just awful!
ishifishy Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
no respect D:<
bluerose0492 Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2013
If you do not mind, I will repost this to my journal so people know!
kristylee999 Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2013
furstreak Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2013
Here is the same thing I posted on another artist journal as well as a link to the specific journal below.

Since the book has already been made and published with art that you yourself have drawn. Along with information you have gathered about the company/persons through other members of deviantart community and your own searches. You can do the following.


Sue the company in question as a last resort but keep this option open.

Contact the company and speak to anyone in a calm tone, don't get pissed right away and start making demands. Once you have gotten in touch with someone, as to speak with a manager. If the person persists, tell them that it is in regards to a legal matter. This will usually get them to transfer you or give you an email to a higher up.

Advise the person you then speak with that art that you had created has been used in one of their publications without your consent and you would like to rectify the situation. They will more than likely ask what page and book or publication it was printed on or in. Advise them that since the book in question has already been published and distributed to retail, you would like compensation for each book sold to stores. Then advise them of the book and page in question.

The company will possibly attempt to send you paperwork regarding this specific event and ask you to fill out the necessary paperwork so that they can send you money. DO NOT SIGN ANYTHING! Advise them that you will have your attorney look at any and all paperwork. This will usually deter them from attempting to scam you. Sometimes companies will send you bogus documents stating that its required in order to send you money for using your artwork without permission. This is a ruse to get you to sign permission away without paying you a cent. NEVER SIGN ANYTHING! No matter what they say. They are in the wrong here, not you.

IF all goes well, they will ask for any information that they need in order to confirm that you are indeed the actual owner. This is the tricky part. A person can have a legal copyright on art depending on the country they are in and what type of art it is. If you hand drew everything then digitally enhanced it. You have all the proof you need right there. Show them LOW resolution images of the artwork but NEVER send them the file that you made to digitally color it. (photoshop with layers that have NOT been flattened, or any other files that may contain unflattened layers)

usually everything can be worked out pretty quick once proof has been established. Next you will more than likely need to hire a lawyer if legal documents are required. But more than likely after this point, the company will be able to tell that you are an intelligent individual and not put you through any more hoops before paying you. More than likely they will offer you a tiny amount for the artwork, usually consisting of a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. Let them know that the price is unacceptable. (Digital artists can make between $5 and $50,000 or more for a single piece of artwork. Advise them that you would like a certain amount since you had to go through all of the trouble including $$$ for legal fees for hiring the lawyer. Don't be a dick about it though. And price it higher than you normally would, this will get them to haggle the price down a little. then it will usually get around to around the price that you deserve for all of your trouble.

Keep in mind that this is merely my opinion. I would ask that you just go straight to a lawyer and let them handle everything so that you won't have to do anything. They may charge a higher percentage of the outcome, but with their expertise on the given subject, it would move more swiftly, even if you got a little less out of the lot.

RebelAtoli Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2013   Writer
DanishWolf Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2013
I wiah I could fave this comment. This is really good advice and I've come across a couple people earlier who could have used it, and probably will again with all the awesome artists I follow who regularly have their art stolen.
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