allright, a quick update on the Romwe art theft! let me start by saying that the artwork is of disney characters, and i cannot ask any kind of financial compensation for the sweater sales. if i did, i would essentially be making money off of disney’s characters, which is illegal.
Romwe contacted me this morning (not as a reply to my initial e-mail to them, but in response to the social media attention). after explaining that they removed the item from their store, they state the following: “We know your art from deviantart, from which we could not find any proper contact information (we only got this address from one customer who knew you just now.). So we only leave a note there for you. Unfortunately, it seems you haven’t noticed it. So this whole thing should somehow be a misunderstanding.”
here’s where it gets pretty darn hilarious. they DID send me a deviantart note about the image… two days ago, on November 19th. however, i was notified of the sweater on November 18th. so basically they were already selling the sweater before ever contacting me. not to mention that “proper contact information” is plastered all over my deviantart front page. so apparently these folks think you can negotiate the sale of a copyright AFTER you printed out a whole line of sweaters with the artwork plastered all over it. classy…
they then go on to ask if they can buy the copyright for the image. but as i mentioned earlier, the copyright is with Disney and so even if i wanted to, i couldn’t sell it. that’s probably something Romwe should know if they want to be in the business of printing intellectual property from large brands on their sweater collection.
They further go on to say: “We never intend to stolen any talented artist’s work. Instead, we treasure and respect it. And about that painting on our sweatshirt, we use it because it’s fabulous and so match with that collection.” So basically their way of “treasuring and respecting” artwork is by plastering it all over their “fabulous” sweater collection without permission, compensation, or credit.
I’ve experienced plenty of art theft in the past, and always was able to talk things through afterwards. even the most scumbaggy art thieves would admit they were wrong and just remove the item. but Romwe’s response is just a gigantic insult to my intelligence and shows that either they have no idea what they’re doing, or they know perfectly well what they’re doing which makes it even worse. it’s too bad, i actually thought they were a great store before this happened, but now i’ve changed my mind. if i were you guys i would not spend your money on this shady business.
they still have lots of illegal disney stuff in their sweater collection by the way, hopefully disney will find it and get their due compensation.
another clothing art theft story i can add to my list. the popular online clothing store Romwe has decided to steal my artwork without permission for a new sweater design. (it’s a re-coloring of my original artwork which can be seen here.) just so you know: i’m not making a penny off of this! please do NOT buy this item, and if you can/feel like it, spread the word about what jerks Romwe are :(
so, i just reported two items on etsy for featuring stolen artwork, namely some disney fanart that i drew a few years ago. they were iphone cases with my drawings of ariel on them, and were being sold by stores that appeared to be located in china. this happens way too often and honestly, i’ve become somewhat desensitized to seeing my disney fanart being exploited and sold in some form or other. one of the reasons i stopped drawing disney fanart was because the drawings kept popping up on wallpaper sites, illegal merchandise or even justin bieber’s instagram, and it became too much to keep up with. it’s just made me a lot less enthusiastic about paying homage to some of my favorite animation characters.
anyways, the reason i bring this up is because i wanted to share something with you all, that probably a lot of you already know but maybe some of you don’t. it’s actually illegal to sell merchandise of copyrighted characters that are not your own. this means that companies which are not affiliated with disney are not allowed to sell artwork featuring the princesses or any other disney character for that matter. i don’t sell prints of my disney fanart for this very reason.
i think this is important for people to know because if you ever stumble upon, say, an etsy store that sells iphone cases featuring the disney princesses, you can rest assured that these cases are being sold illegally. more importantly, the artwork on these cases are usually stolen from artists like myself, who are trying to make a name for themselves by promoting their work online. these companies are not only ripping off gigantic corporations like disney, but also individual artists who DO respect intellectual property laws by not selling the disney fanart they make!
i just wanted to put this out there for those who weren’t aware of these intellectual property laws. it took me a while to learn about these myself. by the way, this is not an attack on those artists who do sell their own disney fanart in some form or other, which some artists choose to do. it’s a warning to avoid dubious online stores - like those etsy iphone case stores - that exploit and rip off the fanartists! thanks for reading :)
the latest in the lois-gets-her-art-stolen chronicles: a chilean publisher has decided to take this artwork, drag it through photoshop hell, and use it as a cover for this book, obviously without permission or compensation of any kind. not only is it copyright infringement but making book covers this ugly should be outlawed too.
anyways, i went through this before when i found my art printed on sweaters in south korea. i talked to a few different lawyers at the time, who told me that i needed a lawyer in the actual country that the theft was taking place.
The thief is Puerto de Escape in Chile (a publisher) and i intend to go after them. however, i need someone who is familiar with chilean law and ideally could hook me up with a lawyer in chile to help me out and give advice. i could also use advice from anyone familiar with these situations and how they can be resolved. if you guys could spread the word and e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any information, that would help me SO much! thanks a ton for reading!!