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Artists Beware: Commissioner - Arokh3

I was approached by an Arokh3 on FA, who was interested in commissioning three pieces of art from me, but refused to talk about his commissions via private notes like everyone else (I actually make it a rule, too). Instead, he requested for my messenger info, and started chatting away at me on AIM, below is the transcript of the conversation:

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Litespd567: This is Arokh3 from FA. But maybe you're afk. ;x Or playing Reach

Eeeeeera: hey Arokh3 ^^ yeah sorry about the weird AIM name :) a friend used to call me that. no I am not afk - busy organizing commission info and replying to notes. it's always like this on the day I open commissions x_x to be honest I was in quite a shock when you said you wanted 3 slots

Litespd567: Well thanks for letting me know you opened, anyway, because most artists refuse to do that... 'Check my journal for when I open', but there's like 50 journal updates a day from people I watch, I can't read them all, so I don'!

Eeeeeera: btw I may be slow to respond from time to time due to aforementioned activities - feel free to keep messaging on, tho :)

Litespd567: Oh pssh, how many slots did you open?

Eeeeeera: well when I promise to let people know when I open commissions, I try to keep my promise - sometimes I forget, though. x_x just honest mistakes. because when people have the courtesy to contact me beforehand, it wouldn't be very nice to leave them hanging. :)

Eeeeeera: I technically only opened 5 slots this week, so I had to overbook the three people who made reservations, since all 5 slots filled within a few hours

Litespd567: ahh o.o; Should I not ask for 3 then? :<

Eeeeeera : oh it's quite alright. it may just take a while to finish all of yours is all. :)

Litespd567: How long would you say if I commissioned you today?

Eeeeeera: well I do have all the other commissioners to take care of as well. I am hoping to finish those 5 within a week and a half, then there's a piece for Leftcross, then 3 of yours. your three pieces alone will probably take 4-5 days

Litespd567: *noddles* There's something we should work out early so we don't waste each other's time incase we disagree. =p I'll only pay any given artist a max of $50 in advance at any point in time (that's total, not per pic), though I really prefer to pay after. I've gotten over 1000 commissions now, and I'd be happy to show 'em all to you as proof I'm an 'Expert Commissioner' =p

Eeeeeera: yes I've taken a quick look at your gallery. :) you've got quite a collection. but from my perspective as an artist, letting people pay after has created more issues than it's worth in the past. it's not that I don't trust you, but I simply want to keep the rules straightforward and uniform for all my commissioners to streamline the work process. If you have doubts regarding my work ethic, you could ask the people who have commissioned me if they've ever had problem with me.

Litespd567: Oh pssh, the gallery isn't anything. Those are just the clean ones. c.c I regularly bribe artists to get ahead in lines XD so they don't want those posted. otherwise the other people would see and get mad >.>

Litespd567: Anyway I don't have doubts. You have your policies and mine are just as valid. Nothing to do with trust.

Eeeeeera: to put it simply, if I make an exception for you as far as payment policy goes, that means by principle, I have to allow exceptions for people who ask for it, period. and quite a few people have asked in the past, I always let them pay after; I can name may be three people who were prompt and always held up their end of the promise. the others all dragged their feet or "forgot"

Litespd567: Why would that be the case though? That's kind of silly. So you're saying that people with bad credit should be able to go into a bank and ask for a loan with super low interest, because somebody with good credit had a lower interest rate? Unfortunately that's not how most things work! =p

Litespd567: Eheh, well my turnaround time isn't horrible enough for you to need to bribe me to get in front of the line, I don't think. Besides, I would prefer if you didn't - as far as regular commissions go, it is first come first serve (unless someone has a payment issue, in which case their piece is put on hold)

Litespd567: Anyway, I did say I'd pay up to $50 in advance

Eeeeeera: Well when it comes to loans, banks can look at credit reports. For commissions, I don't have anything aside from the commissioner's words to go by.

Litespd567: do you have skype?

Eeeeeera: And who would ever say "I may have trouble paying you when your art is done?"

Eeeeeera: I do but I only use that for family, sorry. :)

Litespd567: It's not for talking/video. It's for screen sharing. I'll just show you my commissions folder, and chat with artists, let them know you're watching, and ask them to explain our business. ^^

Eeeeeera: I don't like to talk on the phone in general. Handing you my messenger names was already a special treatment, just fyi... ;)

Litespd567: Well thanks. ;p But, anyway, no there'd be no voice or webcam involved.

Eeeeeera: I would prefer not. :) I am sorry for any inconvenience on your part. Like I said, it has nothing to do with trust. You don't have to show me your commission folder to prove your point.

Litespd567: So... it's not that you can't get a 'credit report', it's that you just won't go through the effort? c.c

Eeeeeera: Umm, no. I think I made my point about the policy being a matter of principle. Sure, I can check your "credit report" - but if I make an exception for you, it sets a precedence, and it means I have to check the credit report of every commissioner who asks for an exception.

Litespd567: Can you give a reason why?

Litespd567: Nevermind, don't worry about it, cancel my slots. I'll spend the money on an artist who wants to do business with me, which it seems you clearly don't.

Eeeeeera: I simply don't want to give any of my commissioners preferential treatment - I think I treat everyone politely and respectfully, and I expect nothing more (or less) in return. It is not a question of money or whether or not you can "prove" your worth. For the same reason I won't let you bribe your way to the front of the line. It's a matter of principle.

Litespd567: I didn't ask to bribe you.

Eeeeeera: *shrugs* if you think so. :) it's been nice talking with you.

Litespd567: Can't say I'm not disappointed you're not willing to apply real-life practices to your business! I really liked Sikhoten's pic when he showed me.

Eeeeeera: I didn't say I don't want to do business with you either. I simply said as an artist, I expect commissioners to follow my Terms of Agreement for service. I am not going to make exceptions for people, even if they have money to shower me with. Sorry.

Eeeeeera: Your reserved slots have been cancelled. Feel free to contact me via notes if you require my services in the future. If there's nothing else, I bid you good night. :)

Litespd567: I won't be doing that unless you improve your customer service.

Eeeeeera: Asking for people to violate their TOS in favor of your convenience is not good customer service. It has become clear you are not someone I will ever enjoy doing business with. Sorry and good night
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I have heard from several people that this guy isn't a scammer per se, and does pay for his commissions. But this kind of attitude is simply atrocious. Artists beware!

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Comments

nachtgrimm
Sep. 15th, 2010 11:48 pm (UTC)
Oh hell yeah:

[21:44] Litespd567: GOOD there's this person I wanna get a pic of but I'm not sure who to ask for it, I'm not sure if it's really your style but I thought about asking you :x
[21:44] uglylilpuppy: uh huh!
[21:45] uglylilpuppy: who is it dear? a friend of yours? :3
[21:45] Litespd567: haha not exactly :3
[21:45] Litespd567: [link omitted]
[21:45] Litespd567: this galfox
[21:49] uglylilpuppy: :O she looks very interesting!
[21:49] uglylilpuppy: So, what're you wanting, hmm?
[21:49] Litespd567: I dunno, I mean do you think you could draw her in a style similar to hers, or...? :<
[21:52] uglylilpuppy: are you asking if I can copy the character or copy the style?
[21:53] Litespd567: Well, character
[21:53] Litespd567: think you can get all her details?
[21:53] uglylilpuppy: I would hope!
[21:53] uglylilpuppy: so long as I have a good reference sheet, I can do anything, dear.
[21:55] Litespd567: she has a ton of pics
[21:55] Litespd567: and I have some of her she dun know about. ;x
[21:58] uglylilpuppy: mmhmm?
[21:58] Litespd567: Hmm! So!
[21:58] Litespd567: I dunno what I want though. Do you do comics?
[22:01] uglylilpuppy: sure! just need a note from [omitted] and I'll be set to making whatever you like, dear :#
[22:01] uglylilpuppy: :3
[22:04] Litespd567: :< what, why note
[22:05] uglylilpuppy: mostly so I know you've got their permission :3
[22:05] Litespd567: :< I don't!
[22:08] uglylilpuppy: Ah, well then, I don't think I can do the commission, sorry!
[22:09] Litespd567: :<
[22:10] uglylilpuppy: Nothing against you dear, I just have a policy about not profiting off of other people's intellectual property without their permission, you know? Cause if I were in their shoes I'd be pretty PO'd, you know
[22:10] uglylilpuppy: plus I could get in trouble for doing it as well
[22:11] Litespd567: It'd be private of course ^^ I've never let that sort of thing get out, done it plenty of times. =p
[22:13] uglylilpuppy: yes, but still. It's just my policy, you know?
[22:14] uglylilpuppy: If you have your own character, would like one of mine, or want me to make you a similar character, I could do that for you instead deary.

He stopped talking to me after that X_X
I noted the person on FA about it, in fact the HATE this guy, but they didn't want me to post here because I didn't have any more proof than that, and because they didn't want people to know he had art of their character :/
bagheera
Sep. 16th, 2010 01:16 am (UTC)
uh wut... wow...

this guy's gonna get sued some day trying to pull something stupid outside the fandom.
kyetsu
Sep. 16th, 2010 02:31 am (UTC)
Wouldn't be that suprised if he was sued for doing something that stupid in the fandom, either. The reality check might just slap a little sense into him.
spiffystuff
Sep. 16th, 2010 02:56 am (UTC)
It's not illegal, characters can't be copyrighted, and trademark involves a lot more complicated stuff, including damages.
It's just horribly skeevy.
bagheera
Sep. 16th, 2010 09:58 am (UTC)
I don't know where you are pulling these info from, but characters can definitely be copyrighted. That's why Disney can sue your ass if they feel like it if you happen to have Mickey Mouse tattooed on somewhere unseemly.

http://www.publaw.com/graphical.html

What Arokh3 does with people's characters definitely borders on being illegal, not to mention the way he deals with artists borders on solicitation/harassment. Most people probably won't care enough to take any legal action, that's all.
stormslegacy
Sep. 16th, 2010 04:17 pm (UTC)
That link doesn't say it's illegal. It's illegal if the character owner takes the time and money to trademark things, otherwise it's only copyrighted as a very very specific thing at best. And since most furries aren't making money off their character it doesn't fall under unfair competition laws either.
bagheera
Sep. 17th, 2010 02:43 am (UTC)
http://www.terriesmith.com/copyright.html

Well, you can't copyright a character - although you can copyright his image. You can compile images of that character in a book, and register that. There is generally no need to register the specific character - the general copyright does that. If someone uses an exact (or reasonably similar facsimile) image of the character (that is, you could look at the picture and say "That's !"), then they have violated your copyright. If the character is vaguely similar, yet not the same, there is not a violation.

Best protection would be to get the character's image published somewhere (comic, fanzine with a wide circulation, etc...), so that the image is fixed in hard copy, and can be referenced later. Registering this book (as above) would show that you created the character first, and would make someone else attempting to use your creation look very bad.


I think what I am getting from the two links is your character should enjoy a fair amount of copyright protection as long as it has either literary (stories) works or graphic (art) works associated with it.

Trademark isn't required to enjoy copyright protection.
thaily
Sep. 17th, 2010 08:55 am (UTC)
That is so helpful, thank you!
spiffystuff
Sep. 16th, 2010 04:44 pm (UTC)
Disney is trademarked.
If the character had a particular, unique symbol on them or something, I suppose you might be able to copyright that... usually copyright only applies to a specific work, not to ideas.
christykitsune
Sep. 1st, 2011 12:06 am (UTC)
That's probably me.
I am unfortunately a victim of him. I have put up with him long enough, after i found out he's still doing it.
the amount of casht hrown at artists seems to sometimes make them lose respect for other peoples property.
It's kinda ironic, seeing as he hates secret art of himself.

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