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Advice needed. -Update.

First post, so if I mucked anything up, please let me know. ><

Alright, so I'll make this short.

I'm unsure of just what to do with this situation and how to handle it.

A month ago I traded my old character's design for a brand new customized piece. Well, it turns out that the artist I traded her to traced both pieces of art from a game image and another artists' work. I was under the impression I was getting 2 pieces of art, not traced works. The artist I traded her to then decided to put her up for sale, I don't know if she sold, and later deactivated their account, leaving me NO way to contact them to discuss the fact that he violated our trade agreement.

I still want the original design I traded them, but I have no way to contact them, as they supposedly 'killed themselves' according to a journal.

Should I reclaim my character, and request that the art they posted be removed? There was no additional art they commissioned, or drew of her.

I'm extremely unsure of how to handle this, and I don't want to do wrong to someone if they paid money for her.

Update: So I went ahead and tracked down the artist, they deny tracing my works of art, even though I have a clear layover that someone else sent me. They also refuse to sell her back to me, because I accused them of tracing, so I guess I will be contacting the site they're posted on and having them removed on grounds of art theft. :(

I've also come to find out the journal wasn't posted by them, and was posted by a supposed 'friend', they are supposedly in the hospital because they tried to commit suicide.However, they're still responding regularly on a different account.

Okay, well. The artist did not commit suicide, and came back. He blocked me after I approached him and mentioned the traced work. I offered to buy the character back at his asking price and he sold it to someone else. I contacted them and will be asking them to remove the work. If they don't I am not sure what to do as Deviantart (The site in which the work is posted on) requires me to own the copyright to the ART, which I have commissioned pieces that I don't. I own the copyright to the character, as I purchased the character, useage, and copyright for her.

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Comments

( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
gatekat
Jul. 21st, 2014 02:42 am (UTC)
That's sticky.

If you can find who it was sold to, perhaps explain the situation and either buy the char back, or if it's soon enough, have them open a complaint with Paypal (if they used Paypal) or the credit card/bank they paid by.

It seems like the conversation is between you and the other party that was wronged here, rather than the 'artist' that is supposedly dead.
dermutha
Jul. 21st, 2014 01:16 pm (UTC)
That's just it, there is absolutely NO way for me to know if she was sold to someone else privately.
gatekat
Jul. 21st, 2014 01:30 pm (UTC)
If they post the art, and most who buy adoptables do, you can search for it.

On FA, use the search function for the user you traded it to, and for the character name. Also search for your name, since you are (I'm assuming) the artist, and they should credit you for it.

Off FA, use an image reverse search, such as google or "Who Stole my Picture" for Firefox.

Perfect, no. Effective: often.
chronidu
Jul. 21st, 2014 05:40 am (UTC)
Wow that is one hell of a situation.

The only thing I can suggest is politely approaching the person the design was sold to, explain to them what happened, and then offer to pay them back what they paid for it? From there it would be up to them.

You would be out the money but you would have your design back. This def seems beware worthy should the artist hopefully turn up.

Best luck with this.

EDIT: Note that this comment was under the impression that they sold the character, if the character never sold it may be worth talking to the mods as they broke your terms of agreement, and going about reclaiming the character.

Edited at 2014-07-21 05:42 am (UTC)
sableantelope
Jul. 21st, 2014 08:29 am (UTC)
By the letter of the law you can't sell a design, or at least not a non-trademarked design. So a stand alone character design really isn't protected by anything but courtesy/fandom community morals that says directly duplicating it is wrong. There is nothing legally to stop someone from creating an identical character to one for sale (unless that character is protected by copyright as part of a larger work or has specifically been trademarked) instead of just buying it. And when someone buys a character they really aren't getting anything, there are no 'rights' to transfer. Again, nothing stops anyone from drawing and using the exact same character except common decency.

[Even the work that was done of the character that usually comes along with the purchase is not really transferred- the artwork is protected by digital copyright, and as the artists only gave the original commissioner reposting rights, not the new buyer, all that art could be DMCA take-downed at any moment.. Which is the artist's right, they didn't do the work for commercial use by the commissioner, in other words for the buyer to make a buck from it down the road. And let's face it many character sales prices are based on the artwork that comes of the character) ]

My point is that you can absolutely just start drawing and using the character again, no problem; and to solve the moral/fandom reputation dilemma doing so:if any one questions it because they recall the sale happening just explain the traced art/deal gone bad as the very valid reason why.

(crap, had to edit in a word due to major clarity issue!!)

Edited at 2014-07-23 12:20 am (UTC)
ramthedragon
Jul. 21st, 2014 02:35 pm (UTC)
I think this person deserves a beware for the tracing incidents, as well as making it very hard for you to contact them afterwards.
tealmoonxiv
Jul. 22nd, 2014 07:10 pm (UTC)
Indeed.
metallik_hasse
Jul. 22nd, 2014 07:19 pm (UTC)
I concur.
dermutha
Aug. 5th, 2014 08:55 pm (UTC)
That's just it, his argument is that the works "were heavily referenced". However, knowing how to use a tablet and sai all he had to do was crop and adjust the pieces of the image. There are certain parts of it that line up exactly. That's why I'm a little wary of posting a beware.

I do have the layover, and will be happy to show anyone if they want to give in put on if they believe it is traced.
thaily
Jul. 23rd, 2014 11:24 am (UTC)
Yeah if you can't find a buyer via google or reverse image searching and the tracer won't tell you if it sold and if so, to whom.. Then presume the design is still yours, since you didn't get anything in return.

And I echo the sentiment that you should out this tracer, it sounds like they have no regret about being dishonest and are likely to do it again :/
hidden_kyuubi
Jul. 24th, 2014 04:33 am (UTC)
Sorry they won't give it back and deny it. I say bring this to a full beware if at all possible.
vagabond
Jul. 24th, 2014 02:42 pm (UTC)
Just use your character. Legally they don't have anything to stand on. No one who sells or buys character designs that aren't trademarked or sold under a contract do.

Let this be a lesson!
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )

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