Someone is selling my custom covers on Ebay...

This forum is for questions/discussions about the now sold out first DVD box set by BMG / AnotherUniverse.
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GaryEA
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Someone is selling my custom covers on Ebay...

Post by GaryEA » Oct 15th 2003, 2:47 am

I knew it. As soon as candygirl PM'd me, I had that sinking feeling....

Despite the very clear disclaimer on the site, someone has decided to take the MSCL custom covers I worked my ass off for months to get to you (the fans) for free, and has added them to his/her Ebay auctions.

Am I flattered? No. Not at all. I am p***ed off.

I did the work, scrounged for high quality pics that would print well, and re-typed every letter on those covers. Now they're a freebie for some loser's auction, and I'm ready to strangle someone.

I guess the disclaimer wasn't large enough, or the luxury of a free download off this site makes it easier to not to feel guilty. No need to ask for permission, ya know. It's the damn Internet. F'n Wild West. AU comes up with crap covers and I thought I'd help. Now I'm getting the shaft as well.

These covers weren't made to disrespect the copyright owners of MSCL - I did as a fan, for fans. They shouldn't be on a commercial site. Now they're freebies for a cheapskate.

I guess I was stupid to think this wouldn't happen. Boy, was I was wrong. Lesson learned.

As far as I can tell, my name and email address are still on the damn things. I can see them in the picture.

The cover for the bonus disc I had in the planning stages, as well as the inserts, won't be happening now. I'm really sorry, but I'm not going to waste my energy and enthusiasm, just to have them used in all the wrong ways.

Blame the seller - I'm done. Sorry.

Gary

Edit: Link removed because the auction was shut down
Last edited by GaryEA on Oct 17th 2003, 12:56 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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starbug
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Post by starbug » Oct 15th 2003, 4:17 am

This is disgusting, and I don't blame you for being incredibly upset Gary.

Is there any way we can put a note somewhere on the auction about it? or find out who the seller is? They shouldn't be able to use your work to sell their boxset.

I don't really know how ebay works in filtering this stuff or allowing people to make comments on products etc but maybe it's worth contacting them or something... do they have a forum or posting board where you could at least air your views on this and let it be known that the work is available free to the fans from this website etc and IS NOT a commercial thing?

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starbug
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Post by starbug » Oct 15th 2003, 4:29 am

How about this link?

http://pages.ebay.com/help/index_popup. ... ro-ov.html

it talks about what to do if your intellectual property is being infringed... maybe that's the case here?

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GaryEA
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Post by GaryEA » Oct 15th 2003, 4:33 am

Hey starbug. Thanks for the support.

Ebay has changed over the years. It used to be that you could gain access to a buyer or seller's info rather easily (too easily actually), mostly for the occassion of a late payment or shipment. I've had to resort to a phone call just to get an item.

Now you can only gain that info if you're A) the winning bidder, and B) if you haven't received your item after X amount of days (30, I believe). That's it. You can write a letter to the seller, which I have done, provided that you are a member. I did so tonight.

I've also contacted Ebay about the matter. This may be an exercise in futility and I'd be surprised if anything came out of it. There is a forum buried somewhere for such matters, and I plan on finding them later today to seek advice. I may also ask other artists who've had their covers surface on Ebay to see what options are open.

But most likely, there is nothing I can do about this. Downloads are free from the site - I'd have it no other way - and you don't need to be a forum member to d/l.

They're out there, and as far as I know, there's jack squat I can do about except worry about my name getting mixed up in something I never intended.

:evil:

Gary

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Post by MadMichael » Oct 15th 2003, 6:56 am

There is a forum buried somewhere for such matters
There is a usenet forum: alt.marketing.online.ebay.
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am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant."

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Re: Someone is selling my custom covers on Ebay...

Post by vapspwi » Oct 15th 2003, 9:44 am

GaryEA wrote: The cover for the bonus disc I had in the planning stages, as well as the inserts, won't be happening now. I'm really sorry, but I'm not going to waste my energy and enthusiasm, just to have them used in all the wrong ways.
Well, I hope this doesn't come out in the wrong spirit, because I really, really do appreciate the work you did creating some quality covers for the box set, and was really hoping to have a matching one for the bonus disc.

I just don't see what the big deal is. I mean, maybe the guy's an ass for including your stuff in an auction, but I don't see what the big deal is. Is it a permission thing, like if he'd asked you about it you'd be OK with it? Is it a credit thing (but as you said, your name and info are on the covers)? Is it just that he's kind of, in a small way, using your work to sell his stuff?

I guess I can understand a bit of pique at any of those, but not enough to get pissed and pack the whole thing in. It's not really like he's just selling the covers, and it's not like he's passing them off as his own work, he's just giving away for free some stuff you gave away for free.

(Note that I'm not trying to defend the eBay guy, I'm just trying to convince you that it's not the end of the world, and that there's not much point in letting some jackass ruin things for those of us who haven't done anything wrong.)

JRjr

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Post by grim4746 » Oct 15th 2003, 12:42 pm

It sucks that someone has stolen your work and is using it to sell their (probably bootlegged) DVDs. I'm so glad you noticed it though because otherwise i may have never know that they existed. they look great and are just what the dvds needed. Thank you for going to the trouble for the rest of us. It's too bad (but understandable) the thieves have discouraged you from being so generous in the future. I'm sure most of us appreciate your efforts enough to comply with your wishes. Wow this site is great and i'm still discovering new wonderful things about it..

I just checked and the item doesn't seem to be listed anymore. I don't know if the auction closed or what. I'm being optimistic and hoping that the seller was just ignorant to your position on the matter and removed your work once he/she found out about your objections.

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Post by GaryEA » Oct 15th 2003, 1:08 pm

Ebay pulled the auction after I contacted them about the details, including the fact that I had the originals. Now it's a matter of keeping tabs on the covers and making decisions on whether to alter them.

vapspwi,

I understand what you've said, and I appreciate your input. I'm not trying to screw the MSCL fans - you guys have been very supportive of the work I've done.

At the same time, I have to ask myself if it's worth the risk to myself and the site. Let's say, for example, that the auction was for bootleg copies. That means I, via MSCL.com, helped that seller to make money.

Not good, especially if you're name is on them, and a not-for profit web site was the source.

:sigh:

Gary

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Post by Nothingman » Oct 15th 2003, 4:03 pm

I would be very upset if someone was passing off my artwork too. Again, at least they weren't selling them alone, they were just on the dvd's. I think it's a bigger issue if the dvd's are in fact bootlegs. Perhaps Sasha can change it so you have to be registrared to download them. I respect whatever decision you come to about them, after all they are your creation, it's your right. I'm just happy I was able to have them to enjoy. I think the two most important things about your project is this.
1. Did you enjoy creating them?
2. Did the poeple (fans) you created them for enjoy them, and can you take satifaction in their enjoyment?
If the answer is still yes to both of these, then don't let some a**hole stop you from doing something you enjoy. If it's no, then perhaps you should stop.
"To come to your senses, you must first go out of your mind." - Alan Watts

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Post by lance » Oct 15th 2003, 4:07 pm

GaryEA wrote:Ebay pulled the auction after I contacted them about the details, including the fact that I had the originals. Now it's a matter of keeping tabs on the covers and making decisions on whether to alter them.

vapspwi,

I understand what you've said, and I appreciate your input. I'm not trying to screw the MSCL fans - you guys have been very supportive of the work I've done.

At the same time, I have to ask myself if it's worth the risk to myself and the site. Let's say, for example, that the auction was for bootleg copies. That means I, via MSCL.com, helped that seller to make money.

Not good, especially if you're name is on them, and a not-for profit web site was the source.

:sigh:

Gary
Gary,

:shock: Wow, I am so sorry someone took advantage of you like that. You did such a brillant job on them. I am still waiting to print out my copies. I saved them to me hard drive, just waiting to get a printer. But I digress.

I am glad that E-Bay pulled them. My friend mekulius (of http://www.mekulius.com) had a similar experience. He does custom south park images. You saw my avatar of ages past and JaneDoh, those were both done by mekulius. Someone downloaded some of his custom drawing made them into magnets and then attempted to sell them on E-Bay. He contacted E-bay and the seller. The seller said she got them from a flea market and was reselling them. E-bay and the seller pulled the magnets.

Anyway just wanted to let you know that your efforts are seriously appreciated.

LanceMan

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Post by Jason R » Oct 16th 2003, 6:47 pm

Did they try to pass it off as their own?

If not, I wouldn't get too upset. It's essentially shareware being used without permission and the covers themselves contain images that were used without permission (I'm not arguing fair use doctrine here).

I wouldn't be mad, I'd probably be flattered that it was getting out there.

Certainly doesn't make sense to pull them, though. Whoever is using them in ways that you don't want them used already has copies of the files. Therefore, pulling the files only gives up your voice AND your control.

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Post by GaryEA » Oct 17th 2003, 12:17 pm

lance - thank you for the support buddy. I appreciate it.

I'm sorry to hear about what happened to your friend (flea market?!), but it's great to know that it turned out alright.

Jason - All points duly noted.

Nothing's getting pulled, except any auction I see those covers in. I didn't work my ass off just for somebody to tack them onto an auction as a freebie. No credit was given to myself or MSCL.com, and the auction implied that the covers were the property of the seller ("I will give you free custom covers"). My email address was clearly seen in the picture, and it was my design.

I simply won't stand for that. There's a disclaimer above the covers for a very good reason, and this week shed light on it. The auction was deleted after I filed a complaint, and Ebay saw it for what it was - theft. I may not own the copyrights to the images, but I did create the design and do the work. To me, the term "shareware" doesn't apply, but that's how I feel about it.

To their credit, Ebay was great in dealing with the matter so quickly and I appreciate it. I just wish I had caught an earlier auction that had sold.

The covers will remain on this site. I gave them to MSCL.com as a fan to fellow fans, partly because I enjoy package design - I'm fascinated with DVD covers and coming up with my own ideas - and because I really wanted to offer everyone something that would improve their DVD sets.

Unless something goes terribly wrong, they will remain available here.

Nothingman - Thank you as well for the kind words.

To answer your questions, I did have fun making them, and I did find satisfaction (and some relief! :)) in the fact that so many people have enjoyed them.

But I now have serious concerns about the possibilities of bootleg copies of not only the show but the elusive bonus disc being sold, and while I cannot stop that, I can prevent my work being a part of those sales by not releasing a bonus cover.

If I make the bonus cover and post it on the site, it could (key word) end up on Ebay or under the table at a convention, which will not only upset me further, but make this site liable since it would be the only place you could d/l it. I'm not willing to put this site in that position, and as an artist, those possibilities are enough to make me not stop the project out of fear, but out of responsibility.

That's my voice. Loud and clear.

Gary

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Post by Jason R » Oct 17th 2003, 1:08 pm

Bad people are going to do bad things regardless of what you do to try to stop them.

Maybe you should include the link for where the covers can be downloaded ON the covers themselves. i.e. "This cover is available for free from MSCL.com, designed by GaryEA. Not for resale."

That way, anyone who tried to sell it is going to look pretty cheesy.

You can also say something along the lines of "if your set did not also include the original cover and artwork, it may be a pirated copy. Please contact stoppiracy@mscl.com"

And so on.

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Post by GaryEA » Oct 17th 2003, 4:04 pm

Jason - Some really good ideas. Thanks. When I eventually look at the original files, I'll make a point to see where and how such phrasing can be fit into the text on the back.

Another idea I thought of was a logo for myself. I'm trying to get a portfolio/resume site going and I've been toying with logo ideas. It would certainly be useful here.

I wonder if MSCL.com has an official logo...

Gary

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Sascha (sab)
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Post by Sascha (sab) » Oct 17th 2003, 5:05 pm

GaryEA wrote:I wonder if MSCL.com has an official logo...
Nope, we don't.

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