Stang (stangwolf) wrote in artists_beware,

Advice Needed - Kiriban Art Problems

First, I'd like to say I'm a first time poster, long time observer, of this community, and I'd hoped I'd never have to post anything here myself but it would appear my luck has run out. I need some help.

If I've done anything wrong I apologize.

I'm seeking advice regarding a situation that I'm honestly still a bit floored turned out how it did.

It is in regards to a Kiriban I hosted on deviantART, the winner of that kiriban, and the art created as a result.

I'll try and summarize the situation as best I can. We've both exchanged quite a few words between each other at this point.

I'm not really out to post a Beware on this person, but I would like advice to know whether I've handled things okay or not, and if I need to do things differently now and in the future.

If it is felt that a Beware is warranted, while I'm reluctant to stir things up more, I will if need be.

I hosted a kiriban on deviantART with the goal pageview being 80,000. I posted the journal stating what art was being offered, the rules and a link to my NON-Commission TOS/Rules.

The kiriban was won, and when I let the winner know via email I made sure they were clear that they'd be getting a graphite drawing and re-linked the rules/TOS and said that as long as they were cool with everything we'd proceed.

They did express concern to my rule that states: "I will always be posting all kiriban art to my galleries". Evidently the winner is worried about art theft and that's why the rule concerned them, but in the next sentence after they expressed their concern they stated that it was such a great opportunity to get art that of course they agreed to the rule.

I did my best to address their concern anyway and to try and put them at east by letting them know that I would always do everything within my power to keep the art safe. I never once agreed NOT to post the art and to keep it "private".

After that the issue of posting the art in my gallery and art theft was not brought up again. Not until I'd posted the art to my gallery.

At which point I received a note on deviantART from the winner and at first they seemed really happy and pleased with how it'd turned out. However, at the bottom of the note they asked if I would do them one favor if I didn't mind...delete the art from my gallery.

I did my best to be kind and polite but stand my ground and told them that I'd like to keep the art up but again they had my word that I would protect it with everything I've got.

It was watermarked, and yes, I did mistakenly upload the full-size watermarked piece at first, but when I was attaching the files to an email for her a short while later I noticed that I'd forgotten to size it down and went back and fixed it.

Well, my response was not what they wanted to hear at all.

I received an angry email that in short told me that I was treating them like garbage by keeping the art up and making it as easy as I possibly could for every art thief on the internet to just come and take the art as their own.

They also told me things like they would have never expected me to be this type of person and how I've made things horrible for them right from the beginning.

I pointed out where the rules had been made abundantly available to them, where they had agreed to the rule that said I'd be posting the art to my gallery, and that if they had not been okay with that rule at all they should have never said they agreed with it.

The response I received to that email wasn't any better.

I'm now also told that I ignored many of their kiriban wishes/details in the first place, I didn't show WIPS or revisions, and that they were kind and polite the whole time and didn't even complain about all the mistakes and ignored wishes in regards to their kiriban art. That I still treated them like trash the entire time and that there is a word for people like me but they won't be using it because unlike me they don't treat people like trash...

They also stated that it doesn't matter whether they agreed to, or even read my Kiriban rules or not, because there never was a legal contract between us.

Basically that my rules don't matter.

Just because they have either changed their mind now, or never agreed with the rule in the first place, doesn't mean it doesn't apply.

They then proceeded to site legal information to me which included how my rules/TOS wasn't legit because I hosted the rules in one place (at the time deviantART) and took the information for the kiriban in another (my email).

At the end they tell me that they've thought about this for a while and have decided to have a talk with their lawyer regarding the situation.

So, yeah...apparently they're now seeking legal advice to see what they can do to have the art removed.

The advice I'd like to know is if I did anything wrong? Is there anything I could have done better? How should I handle situations like this in the future? Especially with a commissioner.

Also, should I remove the art? It does depict her character and that's one thing that has me uneasy at the moment.

I haven't posted it to my FurAffinity or Weasyl galleries because I'm afraid of stirring things up further, but I don't like feeling like I'm being threatened into anything either.

However, I'm worried I may be pushing myself into a bad situation further by being stubborn.

I've never had this kind of thing happen before and I'd really like to be prepared in case something like this happens with a commissioner or anyone else in the future.

So any advice would be wonderful and I appreciate your time and effort in advance if you so choose to offer any.
Tags: advice for artists, discussion

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