On Friday April 14th, 2017 I watched a dramatic onslaught of pitchfork wielding artists gather around a man named, Russell Nohelty. And for good reason! Nohelty had come across a facebook business selling an image rightfully owned by him and it's maker; Aaron Alexovich (creator of indie comic, Serenity Rose).
There is NO argument that the image on the book is the same on the shirt, and I've been personally ripped off by bigger artists as well, so I am NOT supporting BloodWaveDVD at all. I certainly don't advocate anyone taking an image that they have NO RIGHTS TO, and making a product out of it. That being said, as I watched the angry mob form I couldn't help but wonder what the other side of the story was? Who was this Monster stealing Nohelty's hardwork? Why was this mob so angry, ready to destroy this person's reputation so quickly? Why did this DVD bootlegger do what they did? Why were they now selling bootleg T-Shirts?
I sought them out, explained my position, and asked them if they had a response to Nohelty's allegations and subsequent destruction of their Facebook business rating.
Russell Nohelty's call to action...
"50 minutes ago they had a 5 star rating. Now, they are shit. You guys are the best.
Keep going, though, a few more review and they will be at effectively a 1-star ranking. They'll have to abandon their page and start again.
Seriously, though. You probably shouldn't fuck with me and you DEFINITELY shouldn't fuck with all of you.
Here's what transpired between BloodWaveDVD and myself behind the scenes.
Steve Benton writes:
As a facebook 'friend' of Nohelty's I'm watching this copyright dispute go down on his page where he's telling all his followers to give you a 1 star rating. I have an Indie web page at AnarchySam.com and I would like your side of the story. Although I do not advocate the use of an unauthorized image, I also don't advocate people tearing apart someone's company without hearing their side of the story. Here's your chance. Let me know if you'd like to tell it?
Thanks, and good luck.
BloodWave DVD replies:
I discovered a website where you could find pictures online and upload it and they would make t-shirts. So I thought it would be fun to make some horror movie t-shirts. I made a bunch of those then searched for fabric patterns to do some other stuff. I searched monster pattern, found a pic and put it on a t-shirt. I thought it was just a fabric pattern. When I heard it was somebody's artwork I took it down and anything else that might be art. I didn't make any money or print any t-shirts. Rage On is site where you submit a picture, they put it online and if anyone buys it they print it out, send it to the buyer and give you like $2.00. I've only been on that site a week and haven't sold anything. Its not how I make a living, I just did it for fun. I certainly wasn't trying to steal anyone's stuff. I guess I should have researched it more, that's on me. That's the whole story. You're the only one who bothered to ask by the way and I appreciate that.
And that's it. Words from THE MONSTER.
Nohelty DEFINITELY has a legitimate gripe. This design was for a book of his, and by BloodWaveDVD creating and trying to sell a competing shirt of this design is unacceptable.
Equally, unacceptable however, is the idea that this person should be convicted without hearing their side of the story (as flimsy as it is).
Respect the copyright, folks. Even if you find a BEAUTIFUL 10 inch x 7 inch @300DPI CMYK print-ready image somewhere on the Internet. That doesn't mean it's yours. That goes for the person at BloodWaveDVD and the people who originally took it as a pattern to be selected by their users for shirts.
The lesson is obvious. Don't take things, that aren't yours. You might end up with an angry mob knocking down your front door!
...or at least your 5 Star rating.