Sunday, 23 September 2012

Oh, the irony!

I found a website today, quite by accident, that is all about home security and protecting your property. And, in a delicious dollop of irony, they've stolen one of my images for their front page.

The site is at So I have contacted them. It'll be interesting to hear what they say in mitigation as the only place they could have lifted it from is either my website or my page at the Pro Cartoonists' Organisation.

But wait ... now I feel a little bit bad for singling them out. Because a quick Google image search reveals over 160 wholly illegal uses of my image. Here are just a few of them;

My stuff does occasionally get used by someone without my permission. Sometimes they credit me in which case, I'm not too upset. After all - it's advertising my work. But, sadly, most of the time they don't bother and that's outright breach of my copyright. I could forgive even this in some circumstances; I found it today on the blog of a poor young woman whose house was burgled shortly before her wedding day. Hey, I'm not heartless. She's suffered enough. But most sites just simply steal it and say 'Feck you Stevyn'.

Should I be flattered that people are using my images? No. Surely if people like my stuff that much they'd have the courtesy to tell me, or pay me or, at the very least, ask my permission. I have never earned a single penny from that image. Not one. And I had to give up art as a career around this time last year because I wasn't earning any money. No one would hire me. No one liked my stuff enough to pay me for it. I guess because they felt that they didn't need to.

A band called Careless Thieves (even more irony!) are using my burglar as a logo. Here it is on their Myspace site. And it's been turned into at least two different 'demotivational' posters, for feck's sake. Here it is at Oh, trust me, nothing demotivates you more than being ripped off, Mr Joy Reactor. But he/she got it from and they were cheeky feckers enough to even watermark it!

Theft is theft.

I can't do anything about the stuff that's already online - I'm not even going to look at how many other images have been used in the same way as my burglar has. It's just too depressing. Only a couple of weeks ago, someone spotted an adulterated version of one of my paintings being used as a Twitter avatar.

So I won't be posting any more images online until I've either sold them or found a way to protect them. Watermarking is an idea but Photoshop can remove them easily. And making the images tiny isn't a great idea when you're wanting to advertise them for sale.

So I just won't bother.

Sad isn't it?


  1. Send an invoice. I would. Hi thanks for using my work. Here is my invoice based on the time you posted this article and the date I found it. Love me.

  2. I agree with Khandie, send out invoices.
    And watermark everything too - it's not perfect but it will put off a lot of casual stealing.
    The problem is that people seem to think that anything on the web is fair game. I got into a long debate/argument with members of an facebook group who were posting pictures and cartoons they'd seen without any attribution. The consensus seemed to be "we like the stuff so the artist should be glad" even if he or she was not credited.

  3. I'm sorry to hear this. I know is unfair and disheartening. I hope you find a solution that works for you soon.

  4. Have you heard from the turdy-burglars yet?

  5. Suet-Grabbit N Runne26 September 2012 at 21:46

    People seem to forget the right of ownership. Copyright flies out of the window when it comes to what is on the internet.

    I Like that image...I'll copy and use it!
    I Love that song...I'll download it!
    I Want to see that film/TV show...I'll burn those to a DVD!

    I have a few Colgan prints and originals and I love them and often tell ((bore)) visitors to our home who they were by!

    If I had the money I would gladly buy more! #BuysLottoTicketJustInCase