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Sculptural Art Theft

Nervous posting this here, I wanted to settle this behind the scenes/without drama, but when I went to say something a second time I had been blocked. :( I don’t know what the exact format/policy for art thefts to be submitted to A_B so I can only hope I do this right. I am representing this company, I work there, so the art theft actually can and does have a direct impact on me.

WHO: Twilight-Saint

WHERE: http://twilightsaint.deviantart.com/
http://www.etsy.com/shop/TwilightSaintArt?ref=seller_info - http://www.furaffinity.net/user/twilightsaint/

WHAT: Art Theft from The Midsummer Knight’s Dream

EXPLAIN: Twilight Saint uses the name woodbaby/woodbabies in tags on dA/Etsy/FA for her Habibis puppets. She also uses the distinct sculpting style of The Midsummer Knight’s Dream so much that at first glance some people actually thought she took a cast of the pieces. I have actually politely asked her to stop on behalf of the company. She blocked me on both FA and dA. I actually asked her to change the style of the puppets. TMKD has a a set style of crossed front limbs and the style of the way the gryphon’s and bird’s legs. Also the way the dragons heads are shaped. It’s been about the same way for around 25 years. There are so many ways to sculpt things like this, but she only seems to copy this style as direct as she can. Proof she uses it as tags:
And yes the company is looking into sending a C&D letter.


Her Puppets:
http://www.furaffinity.net/view/8826135/(if taken down I have screen shot)
My Personal Picture of a puppet I own - http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v244/drakenbyte/Woodbabies/pheonix.jpg
Customer’s Pictures - http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v244/drakenbyte/Woodbabies/391532_10150972050363412_1355205743_n.jpg

Her Puppets:http://www.furaffinity.net/full/8636471/ (noticed the wings as well in this one)
TMKD’s Puppets: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v244/drakenbyte/Woodbabies/20120821_065241.jpg

Her Puppets: http://www.furaffinity.net/view/7980007/
TMKD’s Puppets: http://fantasypuppet.com/images/babygryphon2.jpg

Her Puppets: http://www.furaffinity.net/view/7541118/
TMKD’s Puppets: http://fantasypuppet.com/images/newbabyd1.jpg

Her Gremlin Puppets: http://www.furaffinity.net/view/8703422/
TMKD’s Puppet(s): https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/543042_387541907959139_1470001646_n.jpg

Her Crystal Puppets: http://www.furaffinity.net/view/7489737/
TMKD’s Crystal Puppets: (that was the name they were officially called before they were retired) http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v244/drakenbyte/Woodbabies/nightwish2.jpg

EDIT: It was suggested to add these facts:
1. I work for in house production of woodbabies, the company The Midsummer Knight's Dream, so I am involved in the designs being infringed upon.
2. Woodbabies is a trademark for the company, along with Fine Art Fantasy Pets.
3. She is taking commissions.

EDIT 2: Twilight Saint replied to me, I tried to reply back but due to FA's note system, I am still blocked and cannot respond to her. http://twitpic.com/ax9z72/full (photobucket shrunk it down)

So it is known, this never was going to be brought out into the public if I could communicate with her through other means, but I didn't have a way of communication.

Community Tags:

Artist's beware has moved!
Do NOT repost your old bewares. They are being archived.


( 75 comments — Leave a comment )
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Sep. 21st, 2012 03:40 am (UTC)
By itself, the fact that she makes puppets of a similar style with crossed legs could have been coincidence, but since she's ripping off your company's name for them is pretty damning. Please update us on the C+D.
Sep. 21st, 2012 03:55 am (UTC)
Oh my goodness, thats so horrible. I really hope people don't buy the ripoffs in lieu of the real ones. The quality difference is astounding (at least by looks), and I can only imagine someone ordering a fake and then complaining and your company getting flack for that. I really hope that the C&D works out and you're able to stop this person from profiting on your company's name/designs.
Sep. 21st, 2012 03:56 am (UTC)
I would suggest sending a C&D to Etsy, DA and FA explaining what you stated here are well.
Sep. 21st, 2012 12:02 pm (UTC)
this is a good suggestion, but just so the OP knows, Etsy is notorious for not doing a damn thing about this sort of problem :(
(no subject) - crssafox - Sep. 21st, 2012 12:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 21st, 2012 03:56 am (UTC)
wow, I gotta say I'm really intrigued about this case, keep us posted on any updates.
(Screened comment)
Sep. 21st, 2012 12:29 pm (UTC)
I'm gonna go ahead and screen this since this person isn't involved or associated with this issue.
Sep. 21st, 2012 04:26 am (UTC)
I didn't see a lot of the similarities until I saw the Crystal Puppets. Those are dead on!

The rest just kind of make hers look like cheap knockoffs of a fancier puppet.

:C Good luck with this!
Sep. 21st, 2012 04:32 am (UTC)
I actually own one of these puppets myself, and I had always wondered if they were ripped off a lot because of their great quality! I'm sorry to see someone so closely copy your work, I hope the C&D detours them!
Sep. 21st, 2012 05:18 am (UTC)
It is a very very verrrry old and popular idea. (I owned one around 20 years ago when I was little when I got it at a fair.)

And ive seen many great artists make their own versions, but with similar styles and poses.

I can see the issue documented here though, mainly on those crystal ones, oi.
(no subject) - drakenbyte - Sep. 21st, 2012 08:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 21st, 2012 04:46 am (UTC)
I've actually seen tons of those cross-legged shoulder dragons at conventions being sold by various companies over the last like 7 years or so. No idea if it's the original artist or not. They sell for around $50-100 depending on how elaborate of a model you decide on, and tons of people get them and wear them around the convention.
Sep. 21st, 2012 05:59 pm (UTC)
Most likely us. We are a whole seller too! We do conventions! :)
Sep. 21st, 2012 04:47 am (UTC)
I think that her blocking you rather than even trying to discuss rationally or defend her puppets is evidence in itself. The use of the term as a keyword is sloppy on her part and adds to the fact that she probably doesn't even care. The cease and desist is going to most likely be the only thing that she'll take notice of and even then it may go unanswered. Good luck.
Sep. 21st, 2012 05:46 am (UTC)
Oh gosh, that's horrible D:
I'm the proud owner of a Woodbaby as well, and it's shameful that she would do that, especially since Woodbabies are so well known amongst Renaissance Festival attendees.

Hopefully you can get this sorted out. As others have said, a C&D is definitely the way to go.
Sep. 21st, 2012 10:45 am (UTC)
You have "gryphons" spelt "gyphons" on the fantasypuppet.com site. IDK if you want to point that out to whoever does the site for y'all.

Hers are very similar to your company's, and the fact that she both uses your company's names to tag her products and banned/blocked you seems pretty damning to me. Definitely interested to see how this progresses.
Sep. 21st, 2012 09:56 pm (UTC)
Ok! Will let them know! Although they might redo the site soon too, so who knows!
(no subject) - copper_curls - Sep. 22nd, 2012 01:59 am (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 21st, 2012 11:27 am (UTC)
I'm sorry to hear this happened- and I hope it gets resolved one way or another. I got a woodbaby from the Sterling Renaissance Festival this past summer and I absolutely adore the company's designs. The one thing that sticks out to me though is the quality of TwilightSaint's creations really isn't up to par with Midsummer Knight's Dream.
Sep. 22nd, 2012 02:04 am (UTC)
Thank you. We had a great time in Sterling and we are looking forward to going again. We do try to stay ahead of things like this by keeping our products fresh and fun, and change the models ever few years. :)
Sep. 21st, 2012 12:39 pm (UTC)
When I first saw some of TwilightSaint's dragons, they looked like they were direct rips (as in, she stripped the original puppet and took molds) instead of sculpted by herself. When I look a little closer at some of them, I can see that some things have changed, but a lot of the details look similar enough that people could be confused as to who the original maker was. I agree with others that have said that, even from looking at the photos, her quality is just not anywhere near Midsummer Knight's Dream's quality. The puppets she's sculpted "freehand" (that is to say, without looking at another puppet's design, like the pony puppets she posted pictures of) just seem to be completely off the mark all together as far as quality in appearance goes.

The concept of the shoulder puppets is nothing new, and sure, others have made similar puppets and sell them, but with the similarities in design and the using of tags on Etsy and dA make it seem like she's trying to capitalize on another company's success. I really hope the C&D works out and she knocks it off. If she'd put efforts into working on original designs, she could have success all her own, without having to ride someone else's coattails.
Sep. 21st, 2012 04:04 pm (UTC)
There are also the drabbits out there that look a lot like these but the creator of those has been selling them at the NY Ren Faire for over 15 years. The mechanics are old than that since I learned how to make a version of this puppet over 25 years ago.

However, these are too close the original sculpts to be a coincidence and the sculpt can be/ is copyright the original artist(s). C&D is a must here along with lots of evidence gathering including any makers marks that may have transferred.
Sep. 21st, 2012 05:00 pm (UTC)
Yes, The Midsummer Knight's Dream has been around since 1984 and started in New York. The owner pioneered and came up with the techniques. :)
(no subject) - astanaxknight - Sep. 22nd, 2012 04:07 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - marus_puppy - Sep. 22nd, 2012 05:20 am (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 21st, 2012 04:45 pm (UTC)
It seems that it really is far too difficult for some people to be creative and original these days. I do hope you are able to resolve this dear as it looks that you are handling this very well. My feathers are ruffled at the very fact that she's not only copying flat out and making money off of it, but is not even trying to be responsible in her actions.
Sep. 21st, 2012 06:46 pm (UTC)
It's a good thing you caught a screenshot of those in their etsy as they are all removed sans the two MLP puppets.
(no subject) - puppetmaker40 - Sep. 21st, 2012 08:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - drakenbyte - Sep. 21st, 2012 08:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
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( 75 comments — Leave a comment )


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