August 15, 2018

Grant Gould Art Stolen For T-Shirt, Company Uses ”Didn’t Know It Was Yours” Defense

From by Dan Wickline

Artist Grant Gould has shared a little story about a company taking his art without permission and selling t-shirts with it. It all started like this:

gould_topgunskullUgh. Art stealers.

I just emailed these guys and asked them to stop. They’re selling t-shirts with my 2007 BSG ‘Top Gun Skull’ artwork. Never asked me permission.

(They didn’t even bother Photoshopping my signature ”G” off the knife handle.)

I wonder which excuse they’ll give me –
”We found the art online and didn’t know who created it,” or
”Our in-house artist used your original drawing for inspiration, but he created the one that’s on our site!”

Grant then updated his facebook to say that the company removed the art at his request.

He later updated it with this:

I just got an email response from that Etchgear t-shirt site that swiped my art. Here’s a copy & paste of the beginning of their email:

”We are sorry if it gave the appearance of that we were stealing your art. Quite to the contrary, we respect the artists right of ownership. With the exception of art we generate ourselves, all of our art is licensed directly with the artist in question. We have signed agreements with each and pay commissions to them accordingly.

In your case we did not know it was your art. We found it in the public domain. There were no copyright indicators or disclaimers otherwise we would not use it. If we knew how to contact you we would have done so to see if you were interested in considering participating with us prior to fulfilling the order.”


So they went with the ”We didn’t know who created it, so we just assumed it was fair game” excuse”_ Morons”_

And then he writes another two paragraphs explaining that if I will send him a W-9 form with all my personal information, he’ll issue me a check for 10% of sales from that shirt.

Sure, I’ll trust total bozo art-swipin’ strangers with my personal info”_ And for a whoppin’ 10%!!! Whoooooo

Whatever. I’m not going to write back. Letting it die. My art’s off the site, that’s all I care about. I’m sure they’ll continue to swipe artwork from people and play their little ignorance game if and when anyone complains to them. Play dumb and you can get away with anything these days, right?

In the reaction to the posting was this response from Jeff Carlisle: You know who needs to hear about this? Rich Johnson at Bleeding Cool. Consider him notified Jeff.


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