So this week I discovered that a Stephen King themed piece of art I created in 2014 is being sold as a T-shirt by a bootleg company.
These scum basically stole the art (most likely from the Facebook post I put up when I created it two years ago), changed out the handwritten titles with a computer font, but kept the King drawing I did. They even poorly photoshopped it onto a photo of the man himself!
Sold through a back channel through teefuny.com (a rip of teefury.com) and also via this Facebook page, these arseholes are not only stealing art, but also people’s money, as as far as I can tell, no shirts are being printed. So please, don’t buy any shirts from any of these sites!
There isn’t much more I can do to get the shirt taken down. I could lodge a Digital Millennium Copyright Act complaint, but I’d have to pay $100 for them to contact a site that only has a limited lifespan and will probably just reappear in some other form elsewhere. It seems like wasted money, that I’m not prepared to throw away.
The original art above
An artist friend told me I should take it as a compliment and I guess I’m trying to do that and not get too worked up about it. It was a shock, but I think it was inevitable. And who’s to say that other artworks of mine aren’t being pilfered by other crooks and I’m just not aware? My books are certainly being pirated!
The thing that I can do and have done is delete any old art hosting accounts that I haven’t used in a while and keep it in one central repository. The other thing I can do is be very careful about what art I post on my social media accounts, and limit its access.
Another lesson learned, but it’s still frustrating that people can exploit artists so easily.
Having said that, I’m very grateful to all those people who have come out to support me and report these thieves.