I've Been Bootlegged!


Below, I am documenting the on-going conversations with my eBay rip-off artist. As you'll see, we catch him with his pants down!


Someone on ebay is selling my work and claiming it as his own. I was speechless when I clicked on the link and found two of my paintings being touted as the work of someone named Cai Jiang Xun. Even more surprising is the fact that the two original paintings, On Display, Starring Michael Breyette and Size Matters, Starring Jack Mackenroth are still in my possession.

Even though I have a lot of fun with my art career (how can you not when you paint people losing their pants?), I do take my work very seriously. I feel completely violated and outraged at the sight of my art with someone else's copyright statement plastered across it.


 

And aside from everything else that's wrong with this situation, what in the hell is up with these hideous frames? Furthermore, Cai Jiang Xun's listing encourages interested parties to submit wholesale inquiries, so he obviously has plans of mass-production. Looking at his profile, I see that he has already made 362 sales.

Cai Jiang's ebay store, MJART, has over 1500 items, and I can only assume that the merchandise offerings have been stolen from many other artists.






After I wrote about this on my blog, 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. This kicked off a series of enlightening e-mails that I will post for you below.

8/25

From me (a.k.a. Lawrence Michaels):

From Cai Jian Xun:
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:


8/26

From me:

From Cai Jiang Xun:

8/27

From me:

From Cai Jiang Xun:

8/28

From me:

From Cai Jiang Xun:

From my colleague, "Jolene MaCherda" (yes, my friends wanted to get in on the fun!):

From Cai Jiang Xun:


8/29

From me:

From Cai Jiang Xun:

From "Jolene MaCherda":
From Cai Jiang Xun:

From "Darlene Priestly":

From Cai Jiang Xun:


9/1

From "Darlene Priestly":

From Cai Jian Xun:

From "Jolene MaCherda":

From Cai Jiang Xun:


From "Andrew Jennings":

From Cai Jiang Xun:

From me:

From Cai Jiang Xun:

From Jolene:



9/3

From "Darlene Priestly":

From Cai Jiang Xun:
From me:


From Cai Jiang Xun:


9/4

From "Darlene Priestly":

From Cai Jiang Xun:


9/9

From "Jolene MaCherda":





From Cai Jiang Xun:

From me:

From Cai Jiang Xun:

From Cai Jiang Xun:

From me:

And this is what was waiting for us at the PO Box (from left to right: Darlene, Jolene, and Lawrence)

Cai's painting does appear to be hand-painted in oil on canvas. It looks very much like my original. However, upon close inspection, the figure's facial features are a bit different and there are some stylistic variations. Someone definitely put some work into this, and Cai's signature is prominent in the lower-right corner. I will post better pics of the painting soon plus on-going updates as we have BIG plans for our overseas friend.

Here are some detail shots:



9/11

From "Andrew Jennings":
(Attachments):
                       

From me:

From "Andrew Jennings":

From Cai Jiang Xun:
(Attachments):







From Cai Jiang Xun:

From "Andrew Jennings":

From me:


From "Jolene MaCherda":
(Attachment):
9/12

From Cai Jiang Xun:
(Attachments):

From Cai Jiang Xun:
(Attachments):


From me:

From "Jolene MaCherda":



From Cai Jiang Xun:




9/13

From Cai Jiang Xun:

(Attachments):




From me:


(Attachment):



9/16

From me:
(Attachments):


My Peeps,
Loyal readers, my heart is a-flutter with all of your comments and suggestions about the blog. Don’t worry. We WON’T stop here! Check back soon because we have already identified our next fabulously unoriginal artist to bring into the Pinup Fantasy©, Inc. family.

In the meantime, please join our Facebook group:
Ebay, stop sellers who blatantly rip off artists!

Quadruple delights,
Jolene and the Pinup Fantasy©, Inc. team


To be continued...