Ich bin in Deutschland Ausgeraubt

June 5th, 2015 | Posted in General


Wow, two blog posts headlines in German in a row? The reason behind this one is not as pleasant as yesterdays.

Right now The Munich Comic Festival is going on in, you guessed it, Munich, Germany. This year they are giving their lifetime achievement award, called the “Peng!” to MAD artist Tom Bunk… a very deserving and fantastic cartoonist. The frestival is the second largest of its kind in Germany, and boasts a lot of publishers in a huge book fair, professional comics artists doing workshops and signing autographs/sketching, and various presentations and lectures on the artform and the industry. Sounds like a great event.

The image you see above was sent to me by a fan in Germany. It’s the front page of a supplement of a German newspaper with a cover story on the Festival, which has an “English” theme this year. As you can see, the artwork on this cover is my lineup of James Bond caricatures… no credit, no copyright permission asked, and certainly no compensation. Just stolen and used by a legitimate newspaper for a supplement cover.

You know, It’s one thing to get your work stolen by some internet clown who makes it into a meme or uses it on some lame website, or some third-world t-shirt sweatshop selling knock off whatevers everywhere. This is supposedly a real, honest to goodness publisher printing an established newspaper. You would think they would understand copyrights and that it is NOT ok to just pull images off the internet and use them as the front cover of their supplement. I would think the people that put on the Munich Comic Festival would be appalled if they knew their event was being represented in a local newspaper using stolen artwork.

Sigh… this is the sort of thing creative professionals are going to have to deal with in an increasingly frequent manner. Now that the internet brats that grew up believing if they can see it on their computer screens it’s free for them to use as they please are actually getting jobs in the real world, they are dragging those misconceptions with them.


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