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Thread: Filmation Animator Tom Cook stole my art and sells it!

  1. #1
    Master of Good Hair Eamon's Avatar
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    Filmation Animator Tom Cook stole my art and sells it!

    I am afraid to announce that Filmation Animator Mr.Cook is an art thief.

    I heard it on good authority that Mr.Cook here was selling art that was not his at conventions. In particular I was informed that at Power-Con 2013 he was selling my She-Ra art along with others and passing these off as his own.

    Mr. Cook also had the raw nerve and cheek to remove my signature from the art.

    I know all this because just now, I have received a package with my own She-Ra art in it which was purchased by my girlfriend Ally.

    I was not going to come on here without hard proof of Mr.Cook's thievery but now that I have the wait is over and the gloves are off.

    Mr.Cook will be hearing from my lawyer and I dare say the other artists who's art he stole with some arrogance. I would also like to add that all the emails from Mr.Cook to Ally gave an air of extreme arrogance and self importance rarely seen.

    He clearly seems to think that just because he worked on the She-Ra cartoon, he some how owns everything to do with it.

    Below you will see the package which my girlfriend Ally received this morning which is damning evidence of Filmation Animator Mr.Cook appalling and deplorable behaviour. Ally paid $19 US dollars cash via paypal directly to Mr.Cook’s own account for art that is not his and in fact mine. He even offered to sign it!!

    Any good name that Mr. Cook thought he had will now disappear as I will me making a very big song and dance about this blatant disregard for art and artists and the downright bad nature exhibited by his actions.
    Being Irish, you can bet it will be a very load and public song and dance.

    Mr.Cook stole from the wrong artist this time and I will see to it that he will not get away with it.

    Merry Christmas Mr.Cook.





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  2. #2
    Riot Averted... Zargon's Avatar
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    Best of luck to you Eamon. I can't imagine how you feel. I'm behind you on this!
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  3. #3
    Heroic Warrior rankinman's Avatar
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    WOW, that goes beyond not cool. I'm not an artist, but I do know that is the biggest slap in the face one artist can do to another. Nail him Eamon.
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  4. #4
    Eternian Pimp PIMPS ADAM's Avatar
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    That's ***** up!!!! No honor among theives! Good for you for taking a stance.
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  5. #5
    Master of Good Hair Eamon's Avatar
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    You gotta see the emails this guys writes. Rather spectacular level of unjustifed arrogance.

    Successful people do not steal from others and sell it on at conventions, so god only knows why he has such a massive ego.
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  6. #6
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    Honestly, if you're going to sue this guy, taking this thread down might be a good idea. Personal attacks on a public forum, no matter how right, never help.
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  7. #7
    Master of Good Hair Eamon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eternia Burning View Post
    Honestly, if you're going to sue this guy, taking this thread down might be a good idea. Personal attacks on a public forum, no matter how right, never help.
    Is that your opinion or are you versed in law?
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  8. #8
    Hover Robots in MOTUC! RockinHard's Avatar
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    Can you provide some context or examples of the "arrogance" in the emails? I'd love to know. What he has done is not right.
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  9. #9
    Expect 10 inches Rain's Avatar
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    That is a great picture. Sorry that happened to you.
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  10. #10
    Heroic Warrior
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    Wow, it's amazing how low some people will go. It seems like it's starting to be a regular thing for you to have your signature removed from your own artwork and used for someone else's purposes. Sorry to hear about your troubles. I hope your legal action produces results.

  11. #11
    Southern-Fried Preacher Dave-Man's Avatar
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    You and I have got into it before, Eamon, but I think we both agree that was a crappy thing for him to do. I'm not really sure I can assist you in any way, but I do hope you get restitution. You worked really hard on that, and I hope that you can get what is rightly yours.

  12. #12
    Heroic Warrior goluphi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eamon View Post
    Is that your opinion or are you versed in law?
    I'm not a lawyer, but everything I've ever read suggests that not posting personal attacks publicly can only be helpful to your case.

  13. #13
    plastic vice Phil.Pastel's Avatar
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    Yes. You wouldn't want to provide grounds for a possible countersuit.

    And calling a person a thief is just not acceptable--even if that person is one.
    People get arrested all the time for stealing, shoplifting, burglary, car theft, etc.

    Here are 2 possible lawyer statements in a court of law.

    Wrong: Your honor, the thief stole the car and the State has sufficient evidence to prosecute.
    RIght: Your honor, there is ample evidence against the defendant for us to prosecute.

    Last edited by Phil.Pastel; December 25, 2013 at 02:32am.

  14. #14
    President of Primus Ornclown's Avatar
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    Unbelievable.

    After producing and selling many pieces at my own art exhibits, I cannot imagine what I would do or how I would feel if someone else was to take credit for what I've done.

    These actions go beyond sleazy, they are illegal and should be dealt with accordingly.

    Good luck in dealing with this awful situation, Eamon, and let us know what happens.
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  15. #15
    Grammer Flunky Shredder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by goluphi View Post
    I'm not a lawyer, but everything I've ever read suggests that not posting personal attacks publicly can only be helpful to your case.
    at least until after you've won
    Last edited by Shredder; December 25, 2013 at 11:45am.
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  16. #16
    Golems for 2016! AdultCollector's Avatar
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    It has been almost a year now since I commissioned artwork from him. I met him at Power Con and he still hadn't finished the art (or started on it). I messaged him about this earlier in the month and still no reply from him.

  17. #17
    Brassy Baroness Judith's Avatar
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    The community is small, so while his work at Filmation in the past gained him access to us, this is a bitter response to our welcome. I wish you the best of luck in the legal battle and please heed the other's warning so you don't give him any excuse for a countersuit attempt.

    Nonetheless, what's rather appalling to me is he would choose your iconic piece here on the boards to sell back to our community as his own.
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  18. #18
    Heroic Warrior Mezmiro's Avatar
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    Eamon, I am very well versed in the Law. Having been in law enforcement since 1992 in one form or another, and have been in courts more times than I can count. The statements made here, regardless of how valid, are considered libel and defamation of character. Regardless of whether or not you are successful in your legal action. If it comes to a trial, and it starts going badly for the defendant, they could even call for a mis-trial based on the posts here claiming an attempt to sway of public opinion. I would STRONGLY suggest that your post be either removed or seriously re-worded as a warning and investigating probe.

    The cop-in-me hopes you gain satisfaction and monetary compensation. Good Luck my friend.
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  19. #19
    Heroic Warrior Nemisythe's Avatar
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    Eamon, best thing I could say to you with no legal background is probably delete the thread re-post as a buyer beware thread. If this guy is that much of a thief, i'm sure he has been expecting this discovery to be made and he's probably screen captured all of this. And although it may or may not help him defend or possibly create some sort of counter lawsuit; it's understandable you demeanor at the moment of this discovery of theft, you would be enraged and voice your opinion of the situation in which you have been victimized and exploited.
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  20. #20
    Gorilla beastussapien Beastmangler's Avatar
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    This is a horrible situation, indeed.

    I've got some questions that maybe someone with knowledge in law can answer and that might affect your suit, Eamon, if you go through with it.

    I've always been curious about commissioned work and copyrights.

    I know the image you created is an original image of She-ra but does it fall into a category of "deriviative works" because Mattel owns the original character? Who owns the copyright in this instance and does the artist, Eamon, have an explicit copyright to the work without Mattel's permission? Was the original image sold for profit by the original artist and therefore not bound by "fair use"?

    I honestly don't know the answers to these questions, I'm not a lawyer, but have always been fascinated by copyright law.

    Just a warning, I'm sure Mr. Cook's lawyers are going to find a way to mitigate their losses and will try to use these concepts as a defense.

    Good luck, Eamon!!


  21. #21
    Shivering Isles resident diosoth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beastmangler View Post
    This is a horrible situation, indeed.

    I've got some questions that maybe someone with knowledge in law can answer and that might affect your suit, Eamon, if you go through with it.

    I've always been curious about commissioned work and copyrights.

    I know the image you created is an original image of She-ra but does it fall into a category of "deriviative works" because Mattel owns the original character? Who owns the copyright in this instance and does the artist, Eamon, have an explicit copyright to the work without Mattel's permission? Was the original image sold for profit by the original artist and therefore not bound by "fair use"?

    I honestly don't know the answers to these questions, I'm not a lawyer, but have always been fascinated by copyright law.

    Just a warning, I'm sure Mr. Cook's lawyers are going to find a way to mitigate their losses and will try to use these concepts as a defense.

    Good luck, Eamon!!

    Derivative works are a real touchy legal issue.

    An episode of Metalocalypse swiped a bunch of Dethklok fan art online and used it in an episode, much of it done in a way that insulted many of the artists. Brendan small really seemed to enjoy insulting the slash artists especially. He didn't ask permission, and it seemed none of the artists could do anything about it. Several of the artists weren't too happy to have their art used in a derogatory manner by a show they were fans of.

    Tomy reissued Transformers G1 Sixshot in Japan this year and the box used fan art they took from an online source, with no credit to the artist.

    IMVU used a lot of artwork drawn by their community members, selling prints, stickers and buttons and keeping all the money.

    Unfortunately the "golden rule" applies- that is, the one with the more gold has more legal power to do what they please. I think if a major company does use your art, art of their characters, you'd have a real tough time fighting them in court. They can waste more money on lawyers than you'll earn in your life, even if they're in the wrong.

    Although profiting off the sale of any depiction of a character you don't own is definitely not legal, unless you have the owner's permission. It seems Hasbro's been shutting down a lot of MLP fan projects recently, especially those selling homemade plush toys. Japan's legal system arrested a couple of custom toy makers who tried to sell their stuff online, and if TPP were to pass we'd see a lot of people end up in prison over stuff like fan art.

  22. #22
    Über Fan Adam_Prince of Eternia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beastmangler View Post
    I know the image you created is an original image of She-ra but does it fall into a category of "deriviative works" because Mattel owns the original character?
    Yes.




    Quote Originally Posted by Beastmangler View Post
    Who owns the copyright in this instance and does the artist, Eamon, have an explicit copyright to the work without Mattel's permission?
    Eamon holds the exclusive rights to the original artwork he created, but since it is an unauthorized derivative work of the intellectual property of Mattel, his ability to seek remedy is incredibly limited. If he filed a lawsuit and it went before a judge, it would likely be dismissed for lack of standing because it violates the Clean Hands Doctrine. Opposing counsel would know this too, and would likely refuse to settle out-of-court in favor of the case going before a judge and being dismissed. Alternatively, they may be willing to settle out-of-court in order to avoid incurring attorney fees and court costs, but would likely only agree to cease and desist the infringing activity but would not agree to pay any damages, since he is legally not entitled to any. In this case, his best remedy would be to send Mr. Cook a strongly-worded cease and desist letter.




    Quote Originally Posted by Beastmangler View Post
    Was the original image sold for profit by the original artist and therefore not bound by "fair use"?
    There are a couple of common misconceptions here. First, infringing activity is illegal whether one exploits the infringing work for profit or not. In other words, a monetary transaction need not take place for one to be liable for copyright infringement. Second, there is no safe amount of copying. Fair Use is a legal defense to copyright infringement. It is not a free pass to copy anything. In this case, a Fair Use defense is not even applicable.

  23. #23
    Heroic Reviewer of MOTUC Pixel Dan's Avatar
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    Yikes! I'm really sorry this happened to you, Eamon! I can totally understand your frustration here! I hope you can get this all worked out.
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  24. #24
    Daemonite Scum! Jobber's Avatar
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    Wow. Although apalling, I think this is just pathetic on Mr. Cook's part. But people will do anything for a buck.
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  25. #25
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    With all due respect, actually the statements are not libel and defamation of character. Rather they can be grounds for someone bringing a lawsuit for alleged libel and defamation of character, and that is substantively different from what you suggest. If the claims can be proven then the litigant has no case and it's unlikely an attorney would even take it in. Even if an attorney did take it on, if the allegations could be proven to be true then it would be dismissed.

    I completely understand Eamon's feelings on this matter as something similar happened to me years ago when my agent submitted one of my published novels to a British publisher. They passed on my novel, hired a 'writer' to blast out their own 'version' with an almost storyline and even an almost identical cover, and went on to sell the film rights for 'their' book. The film was produced with an A-list actor in the lead. The British publisher lifted whole pages from my novel, exact lines of dialogue. It took three years of very expensive international litigation until I eventually prevailed. I can't specify which of my novels it was because I accepted a considerable settlement and my silence was one of the terms of the agreement. Still, it was a trauma to see someone steal my work.

    I will suggest that being a creative person is not like manufacturing widgets or installing left hand turn signals into Dodge trucks in a factory. I'm not denigrating the manufacture of widgets nor the installation of left hand turn signals into Dodge trucks in a factory. It's just that toiling in a creative field results in one's work being very personal and when something happens to that work that is egregious it takes a considerable emotional toll.

    My best wishes to Eamon, along with my empathy and sympathy.

    Remember, Eamon, time wounds all heels.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mezmiro View Post
    Eamon, I am very well versed in the Law. Having been in law enforcement since 1992 in one form or another, and have been in courts more times than I can count. The statements made here, regardless of how valid, are considered libel and defamation of character. Regardless of whether or not you are successful in your legal action. If it comes to a trial, and it starts going badly for the defendant, they could even call for a mis-trial based on the posts here claiming an attempt to sway of public opinion. I would STRONGLY suggest that your post be either removed or seriously re-worded as a warning and investigating probe.

    The cop-in-me hopes you gain satisfaction and monetary compensation. Good Luck my friend.
    Last edited by Heeeere's Olesker!; December 26, 2013 at 06:23pm.

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