stealing

Discussion in 'Transformers General Discussion' started by Carcass, Feb 2, 2007.

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  1. Carcass

    Carcass Member

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    In case some of you are unaware, I am pressing a series of NON-PROFIT artwork portfolios by independent TF artists. Some of them feature artwork of fan-chars from communities such as Cybertronian Alliance (ugh) and Legacy of Cybertron. Others are showcasing standard and obscure characters from cartoon and comics lore from the past 20 years. The monetary acquirements for these limited edition pieces go back into paying the artists. Such notable artists I have been working with are John Flores, Makoto Ono, Marcelo Matere, Zero Mayhem and Will Mangin (Beamer Magnus).

    For about the last 5 months, I have been fighting with a wikipedia user by the user name of 'mathewignash' who has stolen an image of Circuit Breaker by Beamer which I have paid for. He continues to use it in a wikipedia article at the following url:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circuit_Breaker_%28Transformers%29

    'mathewignash' has a stark history of wikipedia belligerence and has been religiously flagged for copyright infringement, plagiarism and outright stealing. I've been trying to get him to contact me regarding using a smaller version of said image so long as ownership and artist/colorist credits are given; instead he chooses to ignore me and not give credit to me (owner), Beamer (artist) or Ryan (colorist) and continues to post a cropped hi-res image which he apparently stole from either the CA or Beamer's old Deviantart. From what I can tell, he is pushing the "free usage" barrier, but he's not even giving credit to those who produced it; in effect, I call that STEALING and you know what? Fuk that guy. That's total bullsh1t and for what? A wiki article?

    I don't expect any of you to help me in my crusade over this, but I do think that artists get the $hit end of the stick in the TF world. Look at all the artists and writers who got screwed with Dreamwave and Glenn Hallitt's bull-puckey. 'mathewignash' is a douchebag and he should be called on his crap if for no other reason than he is just a piece of garbage with nothing better to do than to steal other people's hard work for his own 5 seconds of "wikipedia fame?" Please.

    If any of you have a wiki account, I implore you to use the "talk" feature at wikipedia.org regarding the article in question and ask him to please remove the image out of simple decency. I've already instigated an intervention regarding copyright infringement, but I'd rather he just took the image down like a respectable bloke. Unfortunately, after 5 or 6 months of badgering, I don't think he cares whether or not that he's an effing douchebag.

    Thanks for the help, if you do.
     
  2. Alpha Prime

    Alpha Prime Ten Years Strong

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    Send him hate mail. Lots of hate mail. and if you can get his e-mail, sign him up for every e-letter this side of the universe. i don't really care if someone coppies my fan fic or characters, just cite it.
     
  3. UTK007

    UTK007 Banned

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    I could be wrong but since the character Circuit Braker is owned by Marvel, isn't your "artist" stealing from copywrited work him or herself? I mean, have you paid Hasbro and Marvel for trying to make a profit off of their characters? That is more stealing to me than someone using a picture in Wikipedia.
     
  4. Alpha Prime

    Alpha Prime Ten Years Strong

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    i think it's legal to draw your own pic (for non-profit) of a character and use it under its orignal name. Like how we have our fan art section here.
     
  5. Harlequin Daniel

    Harlequin Daniel Captain Grumpy

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    I like how your mind works my friend :D 
     
  6. UTK007

    UTK007 Banned

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    I understand that but he said "monetary acquirements" that he gets for the pieces. I'm not qualified as a lawyer but it seems to me that he should have to pay a licensing agreement before he can try to make money off of Hasbro or Marvel characters.
     
  7. Poho

    Poho That's MISTER Poho to you

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    nah, leave the spamming and hate-mail to YTMND. lets be the better person and go whoop this guys ass
     
  8. flamepanther

    flamepanther Interested, but not really

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    Actually, it's not, but Hasbro gives us permission to do it for strictly fan-related purposes. We're not supposed to put the TransFormers name on it, though. Other intellectual property owners have shut down fan art and fan fiction in the past, even when it's not for profit.

    Also, not related to Alpha Prime' post, I hate it when people mangle the word copyright. It's the right to copy, not a written copy.
     
  9. Banshee

    Banshee MvC2 online! woot!

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    Being the middleman between some artist making money off of someone elses copyrighted creation , and then bitching about some copyright on the fucking internet, is just about the funniest thing I ever read.

    Carry on :D 
     
  10. Carcass

    Carcass Member

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    I don't make money off of this project. It's strictly NON-PROFIT. Go here to see some of the work prolific TF artists have done for this already.

    http://seibertron.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=641&sid=f684ddbaf26e3be3de1c48d207133466

    All monetary accruement goes back to the artists for more artwork, that's it. You're telling me Hasbro box artist Marcelo Matere thinks this is some sort of scam?

    As far as claiming rights ownership of the character, of course I don't do that. Does fan art of Optimus Prime mean you are claiming ownership of that character design? Certainly not. This is simply a case of someone being a jerk. I don't expect any of you to take up any sort of "cause" I am just stating that someone is being an ass and because of that, this type of mentality ultimately affects independent artists. I think it's crap. Thanks for your time, that's all I'm stating.
     
  11. flamepanther

    flamepanther Interested, but not really

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    And as I recall, Hasbro has said it's okay for fans to sell their work to other fans, just as long as they don't put the name "TransFormers" on it. Carcass doesn't appear to be doing anything wrong.
     
  12. Carcass

    Carcass Member

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    Of course no "TF" monicker is applied and all rights insinuating as such are supplied by disclaimer and acknowledgment of franchise ownership by Hasbro, Takara, Marvel, etc. As stated, this is simply an instance of art stealing; the artist or colorist is not even stated in that wiki. I'm friends with too many TF artists who simply have been screwed and don't get PAID for their work. This is more of an outrage in favor of the people who did the artwork. They're not even credited. TF artists out there, you know what I am talking about.
     
  13. Bryan

    Bryan ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

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    Teh intrawebs is serious business. You should probably file an e-lawsuit.

    Seriously though, that's the downside of e-anything. I understand it makes you crabby, but honestly, it's not like he's making money off of it either. File a complaint w/ Wikipedia. Although from what I've heard, they've got their own lil' culture and attitude over there, so don't know if that'll do any good. If it doesn't--hell, anyone can edit Wikipedia. Keep putting credit on the work, and go back and forth 'til one of you gets tired.

    Honestly, there's better stuff to occupy your time with. Oh, and I don't know if you're looking for ownership credit, but I don't see why that should be posted. Nothing by Van Gogh, etc. is credited to the current owners, so why would it be for fan art of Circuit Breaker?
     
  14. Pimpimus Prime

    Pimpimus Prime (┌∩┐(◣_◢)┌∩┐) TFW2005 Supporter

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    Is 'mathewignash' one of the Wiigii crew? I know Walky always has a hardon about the TF wiki
     
  15. fschuler

    fschuler Member TFW2005 Supporter

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    Is the pic in question still on that wiki page??
     
  16. daMooseVS

    daMooseVS Well-Known Member

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    *ahem*
    I am not a lawyer, but I do deal in Intellectual Properties enough in my own writing and creations. This is what I've learned:

    A) Unless you have written statements specifying your ability to use character/image/etc. from a creator, be it individual or corporation, it IS *ILLEGAL* to use that image in any fashion for any reason.
    B) Copyright is granted the instant the concept/work is placed into any medium- physical, digital, whatever.
    B1) Works based on existing property, without some kind of prior arrangement with the owner of the existing property, are automatically considered derivative works and owned by the original holder. All fairness does include the actual owner crediting the creator, however. In the case of Ms. Circuit Breaker, she is owned by Marvel, and appeared in an issue prior to her use in Transformers. Death's Head is the same.
    B2) Works based on existing property for purposes of parody or other newsworthy use are considered "Fair Use", but that term is broadly abused. Basically, commentary artists and magazines are about the only ones with rights to grab and use, but sparingly and with credit.

    Now then, Hasbro has taken more of a "hands off" approach to Transformers fandom than other IP holders. Anne McCaffery, for example, has widely been known to file papers against fans, websites or no, who create works based on her Pern properties, even so far that illustrations bearing the slightest resemblance to Pern-style dragons and some text too close to dealing with Pern-like characters/situations have earned the wrath of her lawyers. Nintendo is also a touch aggressive regarding Pokemon.
    Trouble with this work in particular is this: MARVEL owns Circuit Breaker, not Hasbro. And Marvel sued the developers of City of Heroes simply because the players COULD *POTENTIALLY* create characters resembling Marvel characters, even though mods & admins policed the character pool for such instances.
    In the event something does come of it, standard MO for these companies is to first send a "Cease and Desist" order. This is a cheap scaretactic more or less saying exactly that - "Stop this action now and we'll forget about it. Keep it up, and we pull out the suits". This is a cheap way to legally let you know they're aware of your actions and would like you to stop. This is about as nice as it gets, and its a good idea to heed the request.

    It is my personal belief that, based on the number of companies involved with Transformers through the years, it is actually nearly impossible for Hasbro to fully police the property, and they recognize the usefullness of a creative and vibrant fanbase, thus allowing it to function with a degree of latitude. I did a LOT of looking through the TF fan community before launching my own fan endevour to make sure it was generally accepted, which it appears it is.
    How Hasbro deals with items like this SOLD is another issue, as is how this will intereact with the Marvel rights on Circuit Breaker. At the very least, however, this person IS in violation of Wikipedia rules in not citing the artist of the selection and is certainly grounds for having it pulled or amended. Out of curiosity, most Wikis allow anyone to edit information, why can't you click in and edit it so the artist and colorist are credited?
     
  17. Carcass

    Carcass Member

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    This was already attempted several times. Thank you for your insight.
     
  18. Alpha Prime

    Alpha Prime Ten Years Strong

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    i don't think Carcass could sue for this, but the guy should at least credit him, for the drawing of it.

    Anywho, i think our fan art of anything is completely legal as long as it stays a non-profit thing. Or at least that's what i made of it http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap13.html#1301.

    Grr, confusing Copyright laws.

    it's like taking a picture of the character, that's your picture.
     
  19. daMooseVS

    daMooseVS Well-Known Member

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    True and not true.
    TRUE: It is your picture.
    NOT TRUE: It is your picture to do anything with that you choose.

    For example, lets say I walk into a theatre with a camcorder. I'm making a home video, thats MY home video. What am I taping? Just the most recent blockbuster. And the audiance reaction.
    Taking a picture for the purposes of circumventing purchase is illegal, so taking a picture of a character you intend to use as a poster or print, illegal. Taking it for yourself to go in the family scrap book? Fine.
    Crafting a picture, then distributing it, technically illegal. Sketching your favorite character as a case study? Perfectly legal.
    Now then, say Hasbro is doing a "30 years of Transformers" book somewhere down the road and says "We want to see pictures of you at conventions, we want scans of fan art, etc.", Hasbro has to have something in place because, while they own the rights on the characters, they don't technically own the physical property itself.
    Intent goes a long way. Sketches in a book, personal photographs, etc. are generally acceptable under "Fair use" clauses. High res images, prints, selling in compilations for ANY purpose, is technically illegal.
    And "non-profit" is a tricky field. It can be argued that by producing a given work, you are cirumventing purchase of existing work. Profit could be found in money saved. The instant money changes hand it can be regarded as profit. Fan art repositories that also advertise could be said to be profiting from having the artwork on the site.

    As for your link, it simple reinforces everything I was just saying: Original designs are protected under law while unoriginal designs (IE Fanart, existing characters) are not. And then you have Article 1309(a)(2) "sell or distribute for sale or for use in trade any such infringing article." No note about "profit", just sale or distribution. Selling the book qualifies. Posting it to the internet qualifies (distribution).
     
  20. Spekkio

    Spekkio Master of War

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    Well, I've looked at the entry and I see that the image is not there. I think you should make sure you have a Wikipedia account and sign your edits and everything should be fine.
     
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