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Ethic Question Related to Selling Art (Warning....kind of long)

SageHendrix

Member
I'm an artist that has yet to have really done many commissions or put her work in many shows/convention art exhibits. However a friend of mine felt a bit hurt about something to do with another artist and someone he thought was a friend.

SS (the artist) was on the way to a convention one year when her finances screwed up. When she mentioned the cancellation of the event to her friends and those within a related message board, my friend Rob decided to go ahead and help her out so that she could go. He knew that she had her heart set on going, having her material prepared and everything.

Words couldn't express how happy SS was and how grateful her words were to Rob about getting to go with his help. She hung out with him as much as she could (she is well known and she has a good deal of people who follow both her art and her performance work). Hell she even managed to write Rob in to one of our acts (I too perform with SS and Rob really had fun with the routine).

Sometime after the convention had passed, SS sent Rob a formal thank you via email. She mentioned that she planned on creating a painting for him because she was so grateful. He accepted the gift idea(he was quite surprised) and within another few months, she sent him an email asking of his favorite movies. Her idea was to make a movie poster with his character written into it.

One of the conventions that came up was themed around the same type of movie that Rob enjoyed. I remember seeing her there in the dress that distinctly matched the one she drew her character in on the poster, the painting in hand. She showed it to me and while we were exchanging art convo. It was pretty neat, although Rob's character was far in the background for the montage of images on the poster, SS's character at the forefront with very good details on the dress (the same one she was wearing as we passed by in the hall that moment). I mentioned that I had seen Rob earlier (since I knew she would be looking for him). She told me that she was on her way to the art auction room to drop off a piece there.

Long story short, Rob ended up getting a print of the poster and SS sold the original in the art auction. Rob didn't want to be ungrateful but I know he was kind of befuddled why SS might of changed her mind and gave him the print instead of the original like she had said in her emails to him. He was kind of hurt about it actually and admittedly, I kind of pooh poohed at there being any negative reason why SS did this.

Still, is this wrong? If you draw something with someone else's character included, shouldnt you at least give them some of the profit if it does sell? Is Rob's feelings of disappointment correct since he was promised the original, only to be given the print instead...the original one having sold in the art auction?
 

Hanazawa

Would Like To Play a Game
It was a gift, not a commission. The artist is entitled to do anything they want with the original.

(edit before I get jumped on: yeah, it was kind of lame to do, but "Rob"'s character WASN'T the main focus and SS is -still- the rightful entitlement-bearer)
 

SageHendrix

Member
Hanazawa said:
It was a gift, not a commission. The artist is entitled to do anything they want with the original.

(edit before I get jumped on: yeah, it was kind of lame to do, but "Rob"'s character WASN'T the main focus and SS is -still- the rightful entitlement-bearer)

Yeah. I agree. I just thought it was weird cuz the email definitely said he was getting the original. It probably was a matter of the piece turning out better than she predicted and the timing of the corresponding convention theme coming up that caused her to give him the print instead of the original.
 

Roarey Raccoon

New Member
Despite the obvious entitlement of the artist to do what they want with their own work, I still reckon it was a crappy thing to do. From a social standpoint it was the wrong decision I'd say.
 

Kaine_of_Norway

New Member
I also agree that the artist can do whatever she wants with her own work, but in this particular situation, i think she did an awful thing:S To me it sounds like she DID promise the original away, and after what Rob did for her, she should have followed up and just accept that she had nothing to sell at the auction... After all, A promise IS a promise, and she DID sort of owe him for his kindness... If i did something like this, i would feel ashamed...

"Still, is this wrong? If you draw something with someone else's character included, shouldnt you at least give them some of the profit if it does sell? Is Rob's feelings of disappointment correct since he was promised the original, only to be given the print instead...the original one having sold in the art auction?"

To me, it's wrong. I would NEVER(hopefully) do something like that myself, but i do not know her reasons for doing what she did... If i make a pic with someone elses character in it, i try to give as much credit as possible to the person whose character i used. I've never sold a pic myself, so i don't know what i would do. But giving the owner of the character 50% of what i made seems fair to me...

I would feel like Rob in this situation myself...
 
I agree with Roarey. It was the wrong thing, morally, for SS to do, seeing as she did promise him the original, and especially after what Rob did for her.

It all comes down to "is it wrong not to honor a promise?" In most cases, yes, it is wrong, and I can understand why Rob might feel betrayed or let-down.
 

Xipoid

Cameras
I am adamant in the honoring one's words and promises.


If SS had no pressing reason to liquidate the original, then she should have given it to Rob as promised. As you have explained, compensation on matter of individual, character, and moral fiber is most warranted for redemption. SS made a promise, so if she did not provide a legitimate reason for why she could not honor her word then I see her as in the wrong.


Truly nice and caring people are rare. I wouldn't take them for granted.
 

Hanazawa

Would Like To Play a Game
I guess what I really want to know at this point is, how much did the original piece sell for?

If she made a pretty penny from it, I can't say I completely blame her. It's still kind of lame, but...

of course, my only personal experience with this kind of thing was in allowing the artist to sell the original of a piece made for me because I'm not much of a collector and was afraid of ruining it. I got a print instead, and I'm happy that the artist was able to make some money from it...
but then, she did ask me first if I was okay with it...
 

Xipoid

Cameras
Hanazawa said:
I guess what I really want to know at this point is, how much did the original piece sell for?

If she made a pretty penny from it, I can't say I completely blame her. It's still kind of lame, but...

I actually would want to know what the sale price is as well (and compared with how much Rob helped).
 

SageHendrix

Member
Xipoid said:
Hanazawa said:
I guess what I really want to know at this point is, how much did the original piece sell for?

If she made a pretty penny from it, I can't say I completely blame her. It's still kind of lame, but...

I actually would want to know what the sale price is as well (and compared with how much Rob helped).

I actually dont know the price. I have no idea what the selling price was started at or anything. Although Im not sure if the price would matter in this case. I try not to think of people and things and ethics in terms of amount comparisons unless in special cases.

Kat
 

Xipoid

Cameras
Catwoman69y2k said:
I actually dont know the price. I have no idea what the selling price was started at or anything. Although Im not sure if the price would matter in this case. I try not to think of people and things and ethics in terms of amount comparisons unless in special cases.

Kat

To me, it doesn't really have anything to do with this, I was merely curious.
 
Sounds to me like it's alright for SS to of given a print. Firstly, it was a gift, so she should have the choice about weither Rob a copy or not. Also, she could justify selling the original due to the need for money, and would of definately gotten more for a poster then a print of a poster at the auction.

Logically, it makes sense to of sold the original.
 
crabby_the_frog said:
Sounds to me like it's alright for SS to of given a print. Firstly, it was a gift, so she should have the choice about weither Rob a copy or not. Also, she could justify selling the original due to the need for money, and would of definately gotten more for a poster then a print of a poster at the auction.

Logically, it makes sense to of sold the original.

Sure, if she was deathly in need of money, then yes, her own survival clearly takes precedence, but given what we know of the situation, Rob sounds like a fellow who would understand if that were the case, so logically, we are left to assume that that is not the case. Therefore, she got money by selling something that she originally promised to another person, who helped her out monetarily. I think that's rather morally illogical.
 
Perhaps... It's just not specified that the dire need for more cash had been resolved by that point, which is why I thought of it.

I guess you could say it was "mean", but still, a gift is a gift, not a commission.
 

minima

New Member
Actually, considering that (from the story so far) SS never procured rights to use Rob's intellectual property (his character) for financial gain the artist did NOT have the right to sell it. Upon creation of the character Rob would hold the rights to that creation. As SS used that intellectual property for profit without getting permission from the creator she actually violated his copyright under US law.

I say he prosecutes.
 

Hanazawa

Would Like To Play a Game
Suing someone for selling art of THEIR CHARACTER with yours shoved into the background is even worse than the sale itself. Particularly if the people in question are or were at one point friends.

Jeez, overreact much?

Besides, unless Rob has his "intellectual property" officially registered somewhere, or can prove significant financial loss as a result of this particular use of his character, he'll be laughed out of court.
 

Arshes Nei

Masticates in Public
minima said:
Actually, considering that (from the story so far) SS never procured rights to use Rob's intellectual property (his character) for financial gain the artist did NOT have the right to sell it. Upon creation of the character Rob would hold the rights to that creation. As SS used that intellectual property for profit without getting permission from the creator she actually violated his copyright under US law.

I say he prosecutes.

I really, really hate e-lawyers.
 
Arshes Nei said:
minima said:
Actually, considering that (from the story so far) SS never procured rights to use Rob's intellectual property (his character) for financial gain the artist did NOT have the right to sell it. Upon creation of the character Rob would hold the rights to that creation. As SS used that intellectual property for profit without getting permission from the creator she actually violated his copyright under US law.

I say he prosecutes.

I really, really hate e-lawyers.

I have a problem with people who submit non-anthro work on FA. We all have our crosses to bear.


In response to Crabby, I see your point - it was a gift that he gave her and a gift that she gave him - but coming back to the point of 'does he have the right to be upset?' I would have to say "yes," seeing as he was promised the original and I think you have the right to be disappointed any time someone doesn't follow through on a promise (without good reason).
 

Surgat

Where is your mod now?
minima said:
Actually, considering that (from the story so far) SS never procured rights to use Rob's intellectual property (his character) for financial gain the artist did NOT have the right to sell it. Upon creation of the character Rob would hold the rights to that creation. As SS used that intellectual property for profit without getting permission from the creator she actually violated his copyright under US law.

I say he prosecutes.
He'd have to have had his character trademarked in order to do that. Since that would cost a lot of money, and he’s probably not using it for a business, he probably didn't.

Copyright law does not apply to characters, only completed works themselves.
 

Selunca

Member
Reguardless if said artist had the rights to the image, what she did was mean, rude, inconciderate, and would make most people not WANT to commission her.

If anything, Rob should post in the livejournal community Artist_Beware.
The artist is a smuch. : She should be ashamed of herself.
 

Arshes Nei

Masticates in Public
CoyoteLoco said:
I have a problem with people who submit non-anthro work on FA. We all have our crosses to bear.

Yeah that is your problem that it's an art site that allows other forms of art. Whine whine bitch moan. There are other sites that are furry exclusive, and FA is not one of them. I mean what retardedness is it to complain about non anthro art when clearly FA has categories FOR non anthro submissions.
 

Duo

New Member
I have a problem with people who submit non-anthro work on FA. We all have our crosses to bear.

Ummmm..... i suggest you stay far away from my gallery then, because i do upload hoomanz.
 

kitetsu

pissy esoteric
CoyoteLoco said:
I have a problem with people who submit non-anthro work on FA. We all have our crosses to bear.

THAT'S RACIST!!!

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