August 18th, 2015

  • thaily

Artists Beware; Echoen

I'm going to go ahead and post this beware because Echoen has given every indication that he refuses to resolve the issue. Post contains suggestive nudity, but nothing too explicit.

WHO: Echoen

WHERE: My specific issue is with his Patreon.
WHAT: Digital commission which he used for commercial purposes without my knowing, much less my approval, despite the fact he agreed to my TOS when he commissioned me. My TOS has always stated that I reserve all rights to my work, conform the law for freelance creatives as opposed to, for example, work for hire. It should be mentioned that this was a €5,- commission and it cannot be reasonably assumed that the cost also covers any rights in addition to the custom artwork, much less commercial rights, nor was there any indication that the work would be used commercially when he commissioned it.

WHEN: August 2014 until Juli 2015, which is when I confronted him.

EXPLAIN: September 2012 I had a sale on "Itty Bitty Commissions" which is what I call a small, digital, flat-colour, 1 character commission (example). They were so-called "wing-it" commissions, where I would receive payment and a character description and draw it and the customer would receive the finished drawing.
Echoen contacted me and told me he needed a badge for a convention. It was rather last minute, but turn around was fast (a few hours to a day usually) and I moved him to the head of the queue to make sure he had it in time, just to be nice. I also gave him several options (1, 2, 3, 4), all at no extra cost. Again, I was just trying to be nice and a good artist and give good customer service. And Echoen seemed really happy with the work, which he uploaded a week later.)

I thought that was going to be that; customer was happy, I was happy, end of story. Right?

Juli 2015 I find out he's using it as a header for his Patreon, which is receiving almost $300 a month. Now I have a Patreon, and I know I thought carefully about which image to put up as a header to hopefully draw folks in and support me financially. This is definitely commercial use, as it's effectively advertisement, and Pixsy (a site that helps you local potential abuse of your work, they work with legal partners) agrees with me, filing it under commercial matches.

I contacted Echoen, telling him I'd license him the image if he wanted to continue the image for his Patreon. He responded by taking it down and.. Nothing. No "oops, sorry!" or anything. That said, he'd still used the image commercially for 11 months, even though he had agreed not to. I told him I still needed to be compensated for that use, and sent him an invoice for a $110, which is entirely fair considering how much he's getting every month. After this is pretty much devolves into him stomping his feet, making up nonsense reasons as to why he shouldn't have to pay and suggesting he received "legal counsel" which agreed with this point of view. The screenshots. Him. Me. Him. Me.

I asked him to have his lawyer (typically, legal advisors are lawyers.) contact me instead and then he went silent.

Artists beware, Echoen has no respect for you or your rights at all. He'd comment on my work the entire time he had my art up on his Patreon (with my name effectively cropped out of the art!) and we chatted on FA; he had every opportunity to ask me about the work or mention the fact he was using it on his Patreon and never did. He's pleasant to your face, but when confronted with the consequences of his own voluntarily actions he becomes patronizing and will attempt to intimidate you into relenting. To this day he still hasn't even apologized a single time for abusing my work. He takes no responsibility for his own actions at all but instead goes to extreme lengths to avoid it. I ignored some warnings about him and this exact kind of behavior in 2012 after I finished the Itty Bitty Commission, and now I wish I'd heeded them, refunded his 5 bucks and had the work removed. Please don't make the same mistake I made, avoid him.

Useful link: List of common but invalid excuses to copyright infringement as written by an attorney.