You Stole My Artwork: An Open Letter to Anita Sarkeesian
Long Story Short: You stole my art, used it for commercial purposes, and won’t even respond to my polite inquiries.
Financial and legal complications aside, I hope you understand that you’ve taken away my personal voice and ownership as a fellow content creator. Without my permission or knowledge, you’ve taken my work out of context to use for your own agenda, leaving me no control over how my work is seen or used. I found myself surprised to be incidentally supporting and endorsing a campaign I had no prior knowledge about.
Content is gifted, donated, licensed, commissioned, and purchased. It should NOT be stolen.
On one hand, it’s super cool to know that my art was in a TedTalk. (!!!) But on the other hand, you googled “Princess Daphne”, downloaded my fan artwork from my own blog website, removed the background & signature, placed it into a branding logo, and continued to use this stolen work even AFTER raising $150k on Kickstarter.
Ok ok, benefit of the doubt. Copyright law can be complicated. Maybe you thought that any images on Google must be free to use however you want. Honest mistake, no harm no foul?
Except that I (and several of your supporters) have tried to contact you to nicely resolve this via your website, Twitter, and even Kickstarter. Unfortunately, there’s been no response from you of any kind. I’d assume you were away from the computer, except you’ve still been actively engaging on social media during this time.
Honestly, I don’t have the time/energy at the moment to try to get you to notice me. I do hope one day you’ll attempt to resolve this situation, and fully understand why stealing is not only morally wrong, but also detrimental to content creators of all mediums.
I’d still really like to resolve this issue, so I hope you find the time and consideration to one day respond to the original letter I sent you, re-posted below.
Hello. I am the professional artist who painted the Princess Daphne image that Feminist Frequency/Tropes vs Women has been using as part of their logo and branding in several places online.
Here’s one of several online examples: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/566429325/tropes-vs-women-in-video-games
My original artwork is here: http://atomicginger.blogspot.com/2009/05/princess-daphne.html
I don’t have a record of licensing this image to Feminist Frequency for commercial use. Do you have any relevant paperwork showing that your company has legitimately licensed this image, and that this is a simple misunderstanding instead of intentional copyright infringement?
Since you state in interviews that the video series infringing on my copyrighted work is non-profit: do you also have valid proof of 501(c)3 status, or a transparent breakdown showing that the Kickstarter campaign’s net earnings (including derivative opportunities such as paid speaking engagements & site donations) are not being used to benefit any private shareholder or individual.
I don’t mean to be harsh, but content creation is how I make my living and professional reputation. I typically do not license my work or lend endorsement in situations where there isn’t the utmost transparency. I would greatly appreciate a speedy response (within 24 hours) so we can proceed to resolve this situation.
Thanks for your time,
(FYI, letter is based on these open source letters, and remains open source for anyone who it might help. Feel free to use.)
Nichelle Nichols inspires Whoopi Goldberg to become an actress because she was the first black woman Whoopi’d ever seen on tv that wasn’t playing a maid.
Whoopi gets her career launched by starring in The Color Purple.
Lupita Nyong’o was inspired to become an actress after watching The Color Purple because she was finally watching a film with people who looked like her.
So just to be clear, An African communications officer (who Nichelle never would’ve played if not for MLKJ encouraging her about representation) inspired the lead actress in the best black film of all time (which was based off a book written by a black womanist) where the women carried the weight of the film, which led to an African actress to get the role in a high profile film, directed, written by and starring black folk before even graduating school and now has the most nominations I’ve ever seen from someone so inexperienced.
But by all means, keep making racist powerpoints about how representation has no affect on anyone just because you don’t see color.
Please, consider the following…
- Old God Baby with Alistair as the father.
- OGB with Alistair as the father who grows up to take after Alistair more than Morrigan.
- OGB making awkward, self-deprecating jokes around cute village girls/boys until Morrigan catches him at it and gives him a lecture on the proper application of sarcasm.
- "Wit is a weapon, not a shield. If you aren’t using it to cut, then don’t use it at all.”
- "And you’re rambling again, what have I said about rambling?"
- OGB just wanting to shapeshift into cute, friendly things like rabbits and Labradors.
- OGB hiding behind Morrigan’s skirt when he’s little.
- "But, mooooom, I don’t want to have a grand and terrible destiny and change the shape of reality as we know it! I’d rather…just …sing!”
- OGB being a follower and a good guy like his dad instead of being some super-cool, pseudo-evil badass. <3
- OGB being a follower and a good guy like his dad AS WELL AS being a super-cool badass (but that badassery only comes out sometimes, and most of the time he’s a big ol’ softie) <3<3<3
- Morrigan’s reaction to OGB becoming more and more like Alistair as he gets older.
- "What did I ever do to deserve this?"
- "Oh… right."