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Author Topic: A Doozy Of A Dilemma  (Read 2748 times)
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El-Man

Urban Legend
***
« on: 12-31-2009 22:54 »

Hello, all.

Freako recently notified me of this:

As anyone who has been around the fandom for any length of time would know, this is my artwork. I can easily prove it, having the paper artwork and the original Photoshop files. I immediately contacted the seller, and he said that he bought the picture - off Katey Sagal.

This is somewhat of a dilemma. How do I contact the voice of Leela herself - and inquire if she is violating my copyright? If she really is selling my artwork without my permission (and the seller's not telling porkies), that's illegal, even if she does play Leela. Isn't it?

Any advice would be appreciated.

Freako

Urban Legend
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« Reply #1 on: 12-31-2009 23:15 »

I'm guessing she wasn't the one who picked those pictures personally.
Maybe it was some kind of event coordinator who just went and googled some images, maybe.
Frisco17

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #2 on: 01-01-2010 01:08 »

Something like that happened to Coldy about a year ago. I saw one of this pictures being sold by a poster vendor at my college.
Freako

Urban Legend
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« Reply #3 on: 01-01-2010 01:13 »

Something like that happened to Coldy about a year ago. I saw one of this pictures being sold by a poster vendor at my college.

Which picture was it?
Frisco17

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #4 on: 01-01-2010 01:52 »

I told Coldy after I saw it but I haven't seen thy guy's who were selling them have't been around since.


Wonderpants

Bending Unit
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« Reply #5 on: 01-01-2010 02:25 »
« Last Edit on: 01-01-2010 02:27 »

Technically, wouldn't the art actually belong to Matt Groening and/or Fox, since it is a likeness of a character owned by them? I think it's a standard disclaimer now that any art of such and such franchise belongs to the copyright owners. not the artist.

Besides, if someone was brave/creepy/sad enough to actually give Katey Sagal a nude drawing of a cartoon character that she does the voice for, then I'd say fair dos. wink
futz
Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #6 on: 01-01-2010 02:27 »

First of all it's not Katey Segal selling it on eBay it's Toon City and their story sounds a bit fishy. I have a hunch that he had Segal autograph at a show (maybe) and had her sign a print out of your work. Hard to imagine she has a need to sell desktop printer posters after her latest raise and other projects. I'd contact eBay and explain your position and unhappiness toward Toon City (not Katey - their statement is likely here say). But you might be out of luck since Fox owns all commercial rights to Futurama characters - unless you've created some of your own and they are in the same piece of art.
i_c_weiner

DOOP Secretary
*
« Reply #7 on: 01-01-2010 02:47 »
« Last Edit on: 01-01-2010 02:58 »

This is all very tricky. The artwork itself is yours, yet your subject is copyrighted by Matt Groening/Fox/etc. If you yourself were to try to sell the artwork and News Corp heard about it, I'm sure you'd run into legal trouble. You could try to cut some back room deal with either the seller or Katey Segal's people to get some sort of compensation, with the latter being the more likely to get any recognition or compensation. If you did own the copyright on Leela and Katey or the seller were to sell it for profit, then yes, you'd have a definite case. However, since you don't, I think you're out of luck on that end.

In conclusion, I'd suggest trying to get in touch with either Katey or her people to try to figure out what happened. If they did indeed hand out or sell your artwork, try to get some deal worked out. If one is reached, it probably won't be for much. Or just ask them to stop using your work if that's what you want. If it were the seller who printed out the picture and got the autograph, I have no idea what you could do. Verify the source first.


Edit: I read the description of the item on eBay. It's interesting that the main point of the item is that it's signed by Katey, yet the description's first lines emphasize the fact that it's a nude Leela rather than that it's signed by Katey. Another thing to wonder about is it's "Certificate of Authenticity" which makes me wonder if it's the authenticity of the signature or the artwork. I mean, it's grouped on a section of eBay with animation cels. That could just be a categorizing mistake though. Another question comes from this section:
Quote
Photo is a Professional printed photo from a Burbank photo lab used within the film industry. Paper is Fujicolor Crystal Archive, which is a Top of the line quality.
How do they know so much about the piece if they say they got it from Katey? Sure, the back could say this all, but to know that it came specifically from a Burbank photo lab? It seems suspicious, especially when comparing this entry to others from this seller.
LobsterMooch
Professor
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« Reply #8 on: 01-01-2010 06:20 »

First of all it's not Katey Segal selling it on eBay it's Toon City and their story sounds a bit fishy. I have a hunch that he had Segal autograph at a show (maybe) and had her sign a print out of your work. Hard to imagine she has a need to sell desktop printer posters after her latest raise and other projects. I'd contact eBay and explain your position and unhappiness toward Toon City (not Katey - their statement is likely here say). But you might be out of luck since Fox owns all commercial rights to Futurama characters - unless you've created some of your own and they are in the same piece of art.
Yes but she sells autographed pictures of herself on her website for $20.00 a pop. Maybe the proceeds goes to charity. laff laff
Frida Waterfall

Professor
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« Reply #9 on: 01-01-2010 17:10 »

I don't know if this makes a difference in your case, but it says that the product is from Disney studios on the eBay page...
Freako

Urban Legend
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« Reply #10 on: 01-02-2010 00:06 »

Whats worse, that or people thinking Futurama is an anime?
Because I've seen both.
El-Man

Urban Legend
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« Reply #11 on: 01-02-2010 00:22 »

Thanks for the opinions. Here's a letter I have drafted that I will send off soon. What do you think?

------------------

Dear Ms. Sagal (or her authorised agent, probably the latter),

On December 31st 2009 I was made aware of an eBay sale, which was an authentic autograph by you, eBay item number 350275050631. Said autograph was on a picture that I had drawn and released on the internet, titled “Turanga Leela, Winner - "TV's Sexiest Mutant" Award”. My nickname and copyright notice had been digitally removed from the image, and it had been printed on 8 x 10 photo paper.

I have not been consulted that my art was being sold in this way. And I can prove it is mine, as I have the original art drawn on paper and the layered Photoshop files used in its creation.

Now, I am not interested in demanding monetary compensation or anything silly like that. I do find it flattering that Katey Sagal herself thought the piece worthy enough to sign.

But I am interested in tracking down the person or organisation that is distributing the picture for sale, as my permission was neither sought nor given. Matt Groening and Fox Corporation may own the character of Leela, but the original artwork in question is mine. Your industry vigorously defends its own copyrights, why shouldn’t I?

The eBay seller, Toon City, said that you supplied the picture, and that the signing took place on February 16th, 2007 in Burbank, Hollywood. Some research revealed this was the Hollywood Collectors Show at the Marriott Hotel. I realise that you must sign your name to hundreds of photos and cannot be expected to remember any single one, especially nearly three years ago, but if you could help with any information I could use, it would be appreciated.

I don’t think that an acknowledgment that the picture was drawn by me is unreasonable. And for suitable commission fee, I can make available the uncompressed, improved, high-resolution version that only I have. I also have the same type of picture for the characters ‘Philip Fry’ and ‘Amy Wong’, so perhaps your co-workers might also be interested in them for use as autograph material.

Thank you for your hard work and talent in making Futurama. Am waiting with baited breath for the new series. smile

Regards,

(My real name)

--------------------

So... reasonable enough? Doesn't suck totally?
LobsterMooch
Professor
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« Reply #12 on: 01-02-2010 00:29 »

Reasonable. She is an artist, so she knows that you should receive compensation when your artwork is used commercially. I think that Toon City is the culprit here.
futz
Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #13 on: 01-02-2010 17:41 »

I'd be surprised if she responds since doing so would imply some responsibility on her part. If she unknowingly signed a counterfeit $20 bill at a show she would not be responsible for counterfeiting or it's passing/sale as a genuine $20 bill (unless she knowing is handing out a whole stack in co-operation with the counterfeiter). By not trying to stop the eBay sale of the item being passed as a piece genuine, endorsed studio art it sort of puts you in league with the seller. In an attempt to discover if your work has value you may be loosing "clean hands" status and a court will not help you if push comes to shove. Perhaps a C&D order for both you and the seller from FOX would be the most you could expect.
Ralph Snart

Agent Provocateur
Near Death Star Inhabitant
DOOP Secretary
*
« Reply #14 on: 01-02-2010 18:06 »

I've been to several conventions (DragonCons mostly); some of the actors sell their own pics that they autograph, others will autograph anything placed in front of them (special example being Bill Clinton autographing a copy of Rush Limbaugh's book.)  I get the feeling from the pics that Katey was busy talking to people and automatically autographing anything that was placed in front of her.  Other than the fee she got for attending the convention, she probably didn't get any other monitary compensation.

So the person to go after probably isn't her.  The guy selling the print story sounds kinda fishy.  The collectable market is full of conterfeits, thieves and general scumbags (go try buying a collectable car on ebay and watch the scumbags crawl out of their holes to sell a rustbucket as a "one-of-a-kind"), so I wouldn't be surprised if the seller saw your art, realized its quality, had it signed by Katey at a convention and now is hawking it on ebay as a "one-of-a-kind" collectable.

My opinion is that Katey is probably innocent and has no idea that somebody is using her autograph to sell a piece of ill-gotten artwork.  In a way, she's probably as much a victim as El is.

I think I would hold off on sending her that letter and contact the seller of the pic, explaining that his story is full of holes and to stop ripping you off.
futz
Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #15 on: 01-02-2010 18:43 »

I agree. Also, if you do contact her do not attempt to involve her in a conspiracy with her co-workers to sell unlicensed items behind her employers back.  no no
Wonderpants

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #16 on: 01-02-2010 20:03 »

I'd stay clear of contacting Katey Sagal personally. As said, both you and the guy selling on ebay could be hit with a C&D from Fox, especially the seller since he's actually trying to make money from it.

I'd contact the seller and tell them to withdraw it from sale, and if they refuse, go to ebay, and see if you can get in touch with any possible buyers. IIRC, asking the seller a question via ebay's automated contact page gets the question listed on the auction listing page, which could alert prospective buyers to what's going on.
El-Man

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #17 on: 01-02-2010 23:52 »

Thanks for the advice, guys.

Okay, the letter stays on my hard drive for now. And the seller will get a request to remove the item (again), or I officially start eBay's copyright infringement process.

He said Katey supplied the picture, but as futz said, it's a piece of fanart and unlicensed by her employers, so I find that extremely unlikely.

Because it's listed as an eBay private sale, the questions do not appear on the page, nor do any prospective buyers. He claims he is merely selling the autograph, but it's obvious he's selling both the autograph and the picture.

I'll give him 48 hours...
coldangel

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #18 on: 01-03-2010 01:01 »

El... you're famous.
El-Man

Urban Legend
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« Reply #19 on: 01-03-2010 02:15 »

It is said you never are until you've been ripped off...

I guess we both are.

futz
Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #20 on: 01-03-2010 03:54 »

If, as LobsterMooch says, she is selling autographed pics of herself for $20 (for charity) on her site then the fair market value of her autograph would be in that range. A link to that page in your message to eBay might help your position, her autograph is not rare at the present time.
LobsterMooch
Professor
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« Reply #21 on: 01-03-2010 04:12 »

Here's the link.
http://www.kateysagal.net/store.htm#Photos


The line about going to charity is wishful thinking. although it may be the Katey Sagal retirement fund. roll eyes roll eyes
El-Man

Urban Legend
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« Reply #22 on: 01-05-2010 03:13 »

Right, time's up. eBay just got sent the notification...
human horn

Bending Unit
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« Reply #23 on: 01-05-2010 05:46 »

That's right!

Way to stick it to the man!!

(oh, wait... never mind)  wink


Good luck with eBay, they often have their heads up their perspective asses.
Bigboysdontcry

Professor
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« Reply #24 on: 01-06-2010 07:21 »

I don't know that writing to Katey Segal would any real purpose when it comes to this issue. Just hammer toon city and ask them where they got the image. You should sue. big grin
El-Man

Urban Legend
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« Reply #25 on: 01-15-2010 05:14 »

Update: The auction has been removed. Not sold, or ended, but removedlove

Victory is apparently mine, but I'll keep an eye on this seller in case he attempts to re-list the print later. And if anyone else happens to see it again, please inform me. Thanks again to Freako for the initial heads-up.

Cheers.
Freako

Urban Legend
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« Reply #26 on: 01-15-2010 05:17 »

No problemo, just keeping an eye out for my buddies.
Ralph Snart

Agent Provocateur
Near Death Star Inhabitant
DOOP Secretary
*
« Reply #27 on: 01-21-2010 16:04 »

Years ago, when I was in college, we were taught that plagerism was the most horrible of all crimes and anybody caught commiting this crime would be failed immediately, taken to the back of the building, drawn-and-quatered, then buried alive.

So I assume, in the art world, stealing another persons art and and attempting to sell it as theirs is the moral equivilant?

BTW, congrats on your victory, El.  Have you considered to e-mail the seller and tell him that he's ripped you off and you will be on his ass like a dirty diaper until he sends you the stolen piece of art, complete with Katey's signiture?

It's worth a try...

Then you would have your artwork with Katey's autograft, truely a one-of-a-kind in the world and all yours...
El-Man

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #28 on: 01-30-2010 01:59 »

I did consider doing that, and it would be cool, but I doubt very much he'll send the picture to me for nothing, and I don't want to offer him any money for it either. But I might try that if he re-lists the item later.
Zmithy

Professor
*
« Reply #29 on: 01-31-2010 08:23 »
« Last Edit on: 01-31-2010 08:26 »

I find it kinda amusing/ unlikely that Katey Seagal would sign a naked Leela pic in the first place.

I mean, picture the queue at the convention...

Person #1: "Hey, glad to see you're back on air" *gets random leela pic signed*

Person #2 with kid in tow: "Hey, my daughter wants to be like you when she grows up" *kid gets a hug and a signed drawing*

Person#3: *thrusts naked leela porn* "SIGN THIS!"

Not gonna happen, is it? :P

I do have an officially signed swimsuit leela pic lurking around if anyone is interested in acquiring one.
El-Man

Urban Legend
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« Reply #30 on: 02-01-2010 11:51 »

That picture's not porn. It's 'sexy, but tasteful'. I think she'd be rather amused by it.
Freako

Urban Legend
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« Reply #31 on: 02-01-2010 23:34 »

I know I would.
coldangel

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #32 on: 02-02-2010 09:13 »

Update: The auction has been removed. Not sold, or ended, but removedlove


Congrats! smile

The place that was selling mine was a real-life stall somewhere in America, which was mobile, and promptly vanished. It's probably still out there somewhere... selling shit lifted from devArt.
El-Man

Urban Legend
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« Reply #33 on: 02-27-2010 23:08 »
« Last Edit on: 02-27-2010 23:10 »

Update: The little ****er has re-listed the picture in a new auction. I have already sent more email to eBay...  mad
Freako

Urban Legend
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« Reply #34 on: 02-27-2010 23:11 »

WHY... WHY... WHY DIDN'T YOU BREAK HIS LEGS?
El-Man

Urban Legend
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« Reply #35 on: 03-04-2010 01:34 »

...and once again, the auction was removed.

Leg-breaking aside, if he does this too much, eBay might suspend his trading account, and that would hurt more, IMO...  evil laugh

(Okay, slapping him around has a certain appeal, but I'd rather have the law on my side...)
I.C. Weiner

Bending Unit
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« Reply #36 on: 03-05-2010 01:45 »

You should obey the law of the streets and get this guy.
Freako

Urban Legend
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« Reply #37 on: 03-05-2010 01:50 »
« Last Edit on: 03-05-2010 01:56 by Futurama_Freak1 »

If he puts it up again you should demand his account to be banned, because that is just pathetic.

And boy do I love seeing people get their cumuffins!

...You know, that word looks really bad in writing.
Frisco17

DOOP Secretary
*
« Reply #38 on: 03-05-2010 02:34 »

You do realize it's spelled comeuppance right?

Note to self: Never accept muffins from Freako.
Freako

Urban Legend
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« Reply #39 on: 03-05-2010 03:30 »

You do realize it's spelled comeuppance right?

Note to self: Never accept muffins from Freako.

No, I didn't know. Not even after googling for about ten minutes with all different spellings.
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