I've Been Bootlegged! Part 2
Please join my Facebook group: Ebay, stop sellers who blatantly rip off artists!
As I detailed in my previous post, I discovered yesterday that there is an organization called MJART Gallery based in China reproducing my artwork and selling it on ebay. I wanted to follow up with some more infuriating developments as well as share my latest Cheesecake Boy piece (above). Ok, so maybe Cai Jiang Xun isn't the sexiest model I've ever depantsed, but as you will read momentarily, he definitely had it coming!
After I wrote about this on my blog yesterday, I received many messages from people expressing outrage over the situation. Several artists got in touch to let me know they had experienced the same thing, one person whose work was actually being sold by this same lovely fellow. They told me that ebay's policies are lackluster at best on this issue, a point which I learned for myself shortly thereafter. Ebay will remove the specific listing after a complaint is filed (which happened in the case of my two paintings yesterday), but they won't cancel the seller's account. Apparently, these art criminals wait a week and then re-post the same stolen work until they get caught again, raking in as much money in the meantime as possible.
In addition to filing a complaint with ebay, I also reported the incident to the Internet Crime Complaint Center on the FBI website. No word from them yet. I also decided to do a little investigating of my own. I wrote to Cai Jiang Xun anonymously from a Gmail account I created especially for him. The response I received today blew me away and literally left me shaking with rage. Here's my e-mail to him:
And his response:
Attached to the e-mail were twenty one jpegs -- all works of art that I have created with my signature carefully removed. Here are a few examples:
Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be much I can do from a legal standpoint. But I will definitely do everything I can to spread the word about this issue, and hope that you'll help me raise awareness among all of your friends who share or buy artwork online. Please feel free to forward this post to anyone who you think might find it useful.
As for Cai Jiang Xun, "Lawrence" is going to continue to try and learn more about this brilliant artist who has been "experienced in gay man oil painting more than 28 years." Maybe I can gather enough information to really catch him with his pants down! I'll keep you posted...
My on-going conversation with Cai Jiang Xun has become quite interesting! I even have some friends joining in on the fun and we have managed to convince him to answer interview questions, sign copyright protection forms (to protect "his" intellectual property, of course!) and send us a bio and photo of himself with one of my paintings! The correspondence has grown too big for this blog post, so click here for all the juicy details: I'VE BEEN BOOTLEGGED!