Someone Stole My Work, and I am NOT Happy!

EDIT: Well, its down and I’m happy about that. I’ve decided

Back in 2007, I decided it would be cool to have a piece I had done earlier go out into the world and speak for people who were censored. The piece was called “Government Censorship: Protecting YOU From Reality”. It was an obvious parody of the Parental Advisory sticker, and at first I wasn’t happy with how it looked. It took a while for it to grow on me, and I decided to put it on my Zazzle account to try and sell a few posters, and an image of it was posted on my website.

After that, my image started to pop-up in a few places. I periodically would do searches and sometimes see it up. I would let the person using it know I was the person who originally posted it, and to please give me some attribution, and that was about it. Since it was going on so much, I decided to post it on my DeviantArt account and make it fairly clear what the rules on it were; you can use it as long as I got credit and you never, ever, tried to sell it.

You can see where I’m going with this.

So on December 2nd, I decided to just check how my stuff was doing on Zazzle. I did a search with the name of my image and noticed that my piece was showing up on something I didn’t create. Shocked, I checked it out and, lo and behold, someone else was selling it!

Here’s the image on my site:
The original image being used on Zazzle, complete with date of creation:
The piece uploaded on DeviantArt with the license:
And the offending person using my image on their products:

http://www.zazzle.com/sovereigns/government+censorship+protecting+you+from+reality+gifts
I was shocked and annoyed, and ready to just simply report them to Zazzle to let them know what’s going on. The person doing it is the problem.

The company is “Sovereign Citizens, LLC”, but treally its just some guy going by the name sovereigns on the site. The guy is fairly politically active, and if the term “Sovereign Citizen” is any indication, this is NOT the type of person I like using my image for their own ends, let alone making a profit off MY work! Check out THIS on their own Blogger page!

Not only that, but this person is a PRO-SELLER on Zazzle! A Pro-Seller on Zazzle is someone who has consistently made $100 or more a month using Zazzle over 3 months, and its likely, even VERY likely, that this guy is making some serious money using my work without permission.,

I contacted the person with a Cease and Desist letter the same day. No response. I posted about this on the Zazzle forums, and the main point I heard is that the person doing it claims on their site that they’re trying to use non-copyrighted pieces. Then today I found out that they stole someone else work!

A piece by NINE INCH NAILS!

The original wallpaper by Nine Inch Nails:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/nineinchnails/3042172875/in/set-72157609404567115/

The ripoff by Sovereigns:
http://www.zazzle.com/censored_for_your_protection_poster-228627089888590143

This person doesn’t have any regard for my work or for anyone else who create art!

So, what can YOU do to help?

I’ve contacted Zazzle already and I’m doing what I can to handle it through them. Feel free to go through their products and post my original product link. Feel free to go to their Facebook page and tell them what you think PERSONALLY. Contact them on MySpace and tell them you’re mad about this!

Or e-mail them directly at this address: sovereigncitizens@gmail.com

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  • I guess since they are sovereign citizens they are not subject to the US copyright laws. Or entitled to any public services 😛