So yesterday I found out that Randy Queen (artist of DarkChylde) filed a bunch of DMCA takedown notices to Tumblr to remove posts of his covers on this blog (the entire posts, not just the images). I’ve also gotten messages from other users that he’s had their stuff removed too (redraws, etc that have been featured here). Non-critical Tumblr posts of his art/covers and those praising his work appear to be unaffected.
I’m writing this just to let other people who run sites that might have criticized his work ( thehawkeyeinitiative bikiniarmorbattledamage boobsdontworkthatway comicartcorrections etc) know that he seems to use DMCA takedowns to remove pages that are critical of his work. And, to be prepared that he might have Tumblr remove your posts without warning (there was no prior communication of any kind, or conventional requests for removal).
Also, if you’ve submitted redraws of his stuff to these sites, you might want to ask them to put them private for now (if he complains about a submission you’ve made, Tumblr will count it as a complaint against your account).
To date, Mr. Queen is the only artist who has taken this kind of action - other artists and publishers seem to understand Escher Girls & other similar sites are fair use and criticism, and that fan discussion, positive or negative, is important and helpful to their business. (In fact, the creators I’ve interacted with are either fans of EG, or expressed disagreement but know that it’s just fan criticism.)
If anybody is curious about what his DarkChylde art looked like and why they were featured on this blog you can find them here.
(Don’t harass him on his Facebook or Tumblr by the way. I’m not interested in having a feud with him, just letting people know what’s going on.)
Something to be aware of, sadly ever since DMCA started being properly implemented on Web 2.0 sites like Tumblr and YouTube, some people have taken to leveraging it for personal reasons such as silencing critics.
As you may know, I’m all for artists protecting their works from being published without consent (especially when someone uses it for commercial purposes), but that’s obviously not the case here.
What eschergirls and all similar blogs (including ours) do falls under fair use and/or parody and/or educational clause of copyright. What Mr Queen did was blatant abuse of DMCA.
It gives me unpleasant flashbacks to SOPA/PIPA/ACTA way of asserting copyright: the site instantly adheres to the copyright holder’s report and the onus of proving how it was unfair falls on the reported party.
It should go without saying how easily such practice may be abused to censor valid criticism.
Yeah this is horseshit.