Sunday, August 17, 2014

Another Year, Another Halloween Artist Ripped Off By Grandin Road

Haunter Ken Meade brought this to my attention. It really frosts me that Grandin Road does this year after year, and never suffer the consequences any of us "ordinary" folks would suffer for making money off another person's work. For crying out loud, why don't they just hire a couple of people to do these designs for them and pay them for their work?

Last year, they stole William Bezek's skeleton dolls, without even bothering to change any of the details. The year before, they stole Grim's Cloaked Ghost design. Pumpkinrot did a post on both of these outrages.

And what does Grandin Road do? Threaten the wronged party with a lawsuit if they don't take down the posts exposing Grandin Road's blatant thievery.
Spread the word again, kids. Not that they'll stop ripping us off, but more people should know about this. Feel free to spread the above graphic around. And post on their Facebook page. Just use polite language, please.

13 comments:

  1. Just posted this graphic on their FB page. Will be doing it everyday until something is done. The war has begun.

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  2. And yet every year I see haunters reposting Grandin Road's catalog, lusting after their poorly made products, and giving the company free advertising.

    We really need to organize the haunt community and initiate some legal action against this company.

    ReplyDelete
  3. The only way they'll probably pay attention is if the copied people form up. Unfortunately, the only road to a victory will be paved with legal battles and fees.
    If enough people start posts like this is Grandin Road going to go after each and every one with legal action?

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  4. William Bezek is probably the only one who has copyrighted his work, since he sells his creations commercially. I doubt if home haunters can get anywhere, since we post our stuff on forums for all to share. That would include the thieves at Grandin Road.

    You post it online, it's not copyrighted, it probably falls under public domain.

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    Replies
    1. You may be right; I'm certainly not a copyright attorney. But don't those forums have their contents copyrighted? Maybe not, but it would be interesting to know what the situation would be if they are.

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  5. I just got this reply after posting a link to this blog on their Facebook page...

    Ken - Thanks for bringing this to our attention. We're currently working with our vendor to get to the bottom of this, but we've already been able to identify several instances of long-standing, real-life tombstones with comparable features that could have served as inspiration for this product. However, we appreciate your concern and ask that if you're able to provide the original artist's contact information, that you email it to us at social@grandinroad.com.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Ken. I'll pass the info on to her, and see if she chooses to take this further.

      Delete
  6. I got ripped off by a jewelry supply maker that sells to Michales a few halloweens ago.They copied one of my necklace and just plopped a crappy witch's hat on it.The doll artist Bastet had a couple of places steal her ideas the same halloween they ripped me off. And most of us indie artist don't have the funds to fight with a large co.

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  7. Absolutely ridiculous. I had already ordered something from the new Grandin Road Hallowe'en stuff, but I refused delivery and had it refunded. Until they can do their own work, I'm not buyin' it.

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  8. A Home Depot employee used one of my woodworking plans in their big spring promo and it was all over their commercial and posters and flyers, so I called them up (it was copied verbatim, there was no denying it), but Home Depot was awesome about it. I didn't want compensation (I had posted the plans for free, didn't see a reason to get greedy), I just wanted credit! And they were more than accommodating, I actually had a really pleasant experience dealing with an unpleasant situation... Which makes it so much worse when I see companies acting like this.

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  9. Oh Grandin Road – Again with copying! I own a similar version of the Beloved tombstone in question, but this particular copy from Grandin is VERY direct. Last year a senior rep from Grandin told me that they work with third party vendors (they don’t develop most of their stuff) and those vendors copied Bezek’s work. Uh huh. There could be still reparations made, right? But they’re not going to make any of that business public.

    Copying without credit is rampant and unstoppable, but what are the options? Spend hundreds trying to copyright everything, not post anything, or accept that everything that is posted may be copied and some unscrupulous people may monetize it. ALL the major retailers have copied something or another. No, it’s not right, but it’s everywhere. It also works the other way around. I’ve found Etsy shops with products copied from Pottery Barn, Spirit, and Target not to mention the plethora of Harry Potter shops. I’ve had entire blog posts copied and pasted into someone else’s blog without any credit. I’ve had my own pictures of my Halloween village printed in a book without permission.

    It’ll never end unless you boycott the entire world, starting with Grandin Road of course, and stay offline.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're right, as wrong as the situation is. The thing that really sucks, is that there are people out there who truly think corporations aren't responsible when they use a third party vendor, so, you know, whoopsie! Our bad. But we still won't give you credit or make reparations, because our attorneys will keep this going for 10 years.
      Seriously, I did a Hauntcast episode on Ray Bradbury when he passed, and watched an interview with him, discussing the time Rod Serling (I think) ripped off one of his stories. He said it took 10 years for it to get sorted out. And he said it was so much hassle, he let it go the next time it happened.
      If Ray Bradbury, who had the money to fight copyright infringement, felt that way, how much worse would an ordinary person with ordinary financial concerns feel? How motivated are we, as regular people, to get justice when the very pursuit of it could bankrupt us? Corporations know this, and bank on it.

      Delete
  10. I'm not a lawyer but I have taken several copy write law classes so I'll let you know what I've learned (and practiced). Technically something is copy written from the moment it is in a physical medium for longer than a transitory duration. In other words, as soon as it is physically made it is protected. Now here's the kicker: if you are not filed with the federal government you can only make then stop by sending a cease and desist letter from your lawyer. You cannot sue for damages unless you pay the $30 to have it copy written with the federal government.

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