Okay, so I posted about a loser running a company called Reel Imports being a very blatant art and media thief. Artist friend Heather Kreiter (My Little Demons) and some others at the convention did the right thing and reported the art thief to the convention staff of Steel City. One would think that an organization which depends on legitimate small business and artists to make their money would not want to be involved with a person like that. However, to everyone’s shock, the convention folk basically turned pit bull on those who reported the thief and were this morning asking Heather if she was ‘going to continue to be a “problem” for the show’. Excuse me?
Here’s the thing. I know fan art is a slippery slope. I know a lot of companies HATE the artists who make it. Honestly, I think they should be smart and start programs like the one at Cafe Press where they can work WITH the fans and reap some profit from all the vast mounds of creativity the fandoms generate. It’s a very intelligent business model. All of that being said, these fan artists still have a right to protect their own work and not have lazy, pugnacious assholes stealing it for profit. So, most definitely, people like this thief make my blood pressure skyrocket. Convention staff who protect them get me even MORE riled up because they are basically slapping these hard working artists in the face with one hand while their other hand rifles their wallets for their show fees. It’s disrespectful and a very bad business practice.
So, here’s what I’d like to see. I’d like to see this story spread about so more people are aware. I’d like to see people POLITELY contacting Steel City Con to let them know people are becoming aware of this situation. Let them know you stand with the artists and that it could lead to boycotting of the convention by fans AND legitimate businesses and artists if they refuse to rectify these situations. Point out that illegal activity happening during their event could possibly shut them down completely. Further, if you see this jerk set up anywhere else, report him to the convention immediately AND call the police to inform them that this person is selling bootleg merchandise. Also inform any artists whose works you recognize so that they have the opportunity to deal with it on their own behalf. The cops usually send people out to make them pack up and leave at least if not also take all of their merchandise from them.
So there’s no mistaking, here’s a copy of the guy’s business card:
As I said in my previous post, please don’t do business with him if you adore fan artists. He’s stealing from them. The more people steal their stuff, the more likely they are to either quit making it for us to look at or stop posting and selling it where we can see it. That would be a shame, wouldn’t it?
Here’s the contact page for Steel City Con as well:
Please signal boost this so we can let them know the fans are NOT amused by our favorite fan artists being ripped off while they protect the thief!