More Web Thievery ~MEANS~ You’re Entitled To Whatever You See!

The first time was sad, but kind of exciting. The next time, you had had enough of the bullying and it was time to fight those the gothic geek chic crowd to a standstill. This time? It’s just sad, and very tired.

Prince of Thieves image

Comic book superstar and sometimes webcomic (or is that digital comic?) creator, Stuart Immonen has come to the aid of a friend who has fallen victim to the online art plagiarism scare, or OAPS (pronounce it and it’s pretty close to being funny) that is sweeping the Intertubes. Before, it was studio art, then came the T-shirt phase, and now the problem has hunkered down in the realm of possibly-fraudulent, definitely-stolen, Hong Kong-produced books.

At his request, you can find the link to the full post on Immonen’s site here and below are some choice soundbites from the whole debacle straight from the latest victim, Darren Di Lieto, complete with editorialized notes:

Turns out someone scraped the contents of his website and published it into a 350-page book being sold online for $100.

That is low. And not at all human-like. Whoever collects their content for a book from someone else’s website? You sir/madam, have no soul.

This book — which reprints without permission several dozen artist interviews which Darren had posted on the LCS blog — transcribes these interviews word-for-word, including the artwork, and was “published” under the title “Colorful Illustrations 93°C”. The book even includes a CD with all the illustrations from the book, all lifted off the site as well.

I mean, that pretty much says it all. It’s all about entitlement: the Internet makes people think that just because they consume something, even something free, they are entitled to ownership. It’s part of the Web 2.0 mentality of “Well, I’ve helped create and keep this thing going, so it must be cool if I do whatever I want with it.” There are still copyright laws, the Internet just renders them inert.

The publisher — one very fake sounding “Great Creativity organization” [sic] — is allegedly in Hong Kong, so pursuing legal action seems pretty pointless, seeing as China has such a sparkling reputation for respecting copyright law. The ISBN they provide — ISBN 978-988-98142-0-5 — is also a fake. You can easily search ISBN databases online, and this number comes up empty.

Great Creativity Organization is made up, I don’t care what substance you’ve been abusing. Fake ISBN numbers just put the cherry on top of that guilt sundae.

And here’s a troubling thought: How many more such projects is this “Great Creativity organization” publisher working on right now? Maybe another illustration book, this time filled with YOUR WORK? Maybe filled with content scraped from similar sites, such as Illustration Mundo, or Drawn!, or even Boing Boing? Or how about a lovely coffee table book full of high rez photos scraped off of Flickr?

You do realize, Darren, that you’re just giving this outfit more ideas? And at this point, anyone stealing my work would just be much needed (and appreciated) exposure. Exposure I can’t take credit for, sure, but exposure nonetheless.

[…] use whatever social networks and news sharing sites you use every day — Twitter, Flickr, Delicious, Magnolia, Digg, StumbleUpon, Facebook — to spread the word about this overpriced book full of plagiarized and stolen content. Feel free to quote us, and remember to also include the same keywords and tags in your posts.

You heard the man! Steal this content and share it with everyone you know! Just don’t go to another country and print it to do so. Actually, that could be a fun way to call out the whole thing. Then mail it to the Happy Great Time Creativity Organization of People, c/o Giant Cheaters and Lowlifes P.O. Box 745, Hong Kong, China, 90078.

Seriously though, point this out to everyone you know and make sure they’re not the ones who are entitling themselves to everything ever created. This kind of thing has got to stop.

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