I am a teacher; I spend most of the year helping young artists hone their artistic skills. I do some artwork during the school year but I look forward to the summer to do a bulk of my artwork. And that is the nub, last summer and now this summer, I have found a bumper crop of Image Pirates using my artwork. So instead of doing new work, I am chasing down these people.
About a year ago I found this image when I was doing my usual image searches. It is my print “Edgar Gets an Idea” https://www.etsy.com/listing/101513483/raven-series-edgar-gets-an-idea-graphite butchered, reversed, and turned into a computer mouse pad. The link I found was to eBay but it led to an old auction. I kept the image though and occasionally search with it. Today I found the owner of my stolen image. It is Teesqquare1st, http://www.ebay.com/usr/teesquare1st?_trksid=p2047675.l2559
This is an online tee-shirt company, the owner, Antonio Avoilo proudly has added his address on his eBay page with email and phone number. He is in London so unlike many of the other image thieves I have dealt with; this person speaks English…perfectly.
This is from their eBay, disclaimer:
…we do create our own artwork specifically for the T-shirts that we sell. Please note that the images on all our products are unique pieces of ORIGINAL ARTWORK. Therefore this listing does not infringe any copyright under ENGLISH LAW. If you have any questions about this, then please contact us and we will supply you with the relevant legal information.
DESIGNS ARE INDEPENDENTLY MADE USING OUR OWN UNIQUE ARTWORK.
This person is shameless. I emailed them and told them that I was the copyright owner and I was about to send a copyright legal letter to eBay. They removed the images.
After doing more searching I discovered that they had been selling my art on Amazon too. The nerve!!! What really infuriated me was the standardized apology email I got from them which was sent to Etsy, and eBay.
“To whom it may concern,
Please note that we no longer carry this design in our shops. We thank you for bringing this up to our attention as it was not our intention to infringe upon anyone`s copyrights.
and my personal email
“I truly apologize for any inconvenience this has caused you. I removed it immediately as soon as I got your message. I can assure you this will never happen again.
Huge apologies once again.
I wonder how many other copyrights they are violating. Needless to say I will be watching this eBay store very closely.
ANTONIO AVOLIO, owner