View Full Version : OT: Threat to steal my artwork designs!

06-09-2007, 04:40 PM
~S~ Gents

Don't get much chance to post or fly online much at the mo, but I thought I could run this past you guys and pick your collective brains for suggestions!

Had an enquiry this week from an embroidered patch manufacturer based in ID in the USA.
They were interested in working with me in making patches featuring my artwork which I have for sale on my website. OK, great I thought.

However due to immediate work & family commitments, I've lagged behind in my email replies this week.

Been doing some catching up this evening, and suddenly another email from this company comes in saying just this, and only this:

"I contacted you last week and requested information. You decided to ignore me. Fine. I will take the designs anyway."

Isn't that nice, just because of a late reply!!
Don't think I'd want to work with them now anyway with this attitude (god help their customers if they ever had a problem with their order), but any suggestions as to what I can do to prevent this from going any further?

I've replied as politely as I could, but any clues as to my options if they do go ahead and copy my work without my cooperation?
Remember they are in the USA and I am in the UK.

Any comments most welcome.

Oh, and if they do steal my work, I will name & shame.


aka CPS_Bomber from the
Casual Pilots Squadron

06-09-2007, 04:47 PM
I am not a lawyer but it seems that you may have a nice lawsuit on your hands, assuming that they go ahead and use your designs without your written consent.
Who are they btw? If enough people from here and other places get a petition type of thing going maybe that will get their attention.

06-09-2007, 04:52 PM
If you created your designs, and they are your unique work, it is illegal for them to sell something with your artwork on it.

06-09-2007, 05:09 PM
Not the brightest people in the world if they put it writing that they are stealing your stuff. Save that email. Contact your internet provider and see if they can establish legal proof that these peolpe sent it.

I would avoid the lawsuit if I were you. They are expensive, difficult to deal with, take up large amounts of time, take forever to resolve, etc. In the end, the lawyers are the only real winners.

If they really want your stuff, set up a licensing deal even if they are jerks. At least you will get some money. You can always wave their email under their nose if they they try to threaten you again.

06-09-2007, 05:13 PM
~S~ Choctaw111 & EiZON
Thanks for the response guys!

Yes indeed the artwork is my own original creations and copyrighted.
In fact if you visit any UK government business support center (www.businesslink.gov.uk), their take on it is that copyright ownership is automatic in the UK to the originator of the design/product - there is no actual registration process you have to go through to protect your work.
I have all the original paintings here in my studio, plus printed copies self posted & date stamped.

The company in question announces themselves as part of the "Approach Marketing Group Inc", however their actual website & company name I will hold onto for a bit to see if they get back to me.


06-09-2007, 05:33 PM
Originally posted by Zeus-cat:
Not the brightest people in the world if they put it writing that they are stealing your stuff. Save that email. Contact your internet provider and see if they can establish legal proof that these peolpe sent it.

Thanks Zeus-cat!
Good idea on the email side of things. I will do that now!

Cheers mate!

06-09-2007, 05:48 PM
Whooaaaaa, Not yet...
Let them use your designs.. monitor the market consumption and keep documented proof, and when they are making enough money from it then hit them with 'Percentage' royalty fees on your intellectual property.

But hit them big and hard, so as to recover your legal fees plus your retirement

06-09-2007, 05:55 PM
Absolutely. Nail them well and truly. What they are doing is so flagrant and arrogant it defies belief. I guess they think people in the UK won't bother. What a world.

06-09-2007, 06:10 PM
If it is copyrighted then you will make good money from the lawsuit if they are stupid(or greedy, that strange email sounds like a excuse) enought to use it, without you consent.

06-09-2007, 06:15 PM
Leak to al Jazeera that they publish and ridicule the image of the Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) and have the dirty work done for you. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif Who needs lawyers?

06-09-2007, 07:11 PM
Originally posted by LStarosta:
Leak to al Jazeera that they publish and ridicule the image of the Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) and have the dirty work done for you. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif Who needs lawyers?

Yeah, like Zeus-cat said, save the e-mail, and try and find any other evidence you can on this in the event you'll need some dirt... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/shady.gif

Blatant anouncement of stealing = very smart on their part.

06-09-2007, 08:23 PM
This thread is a good start I think. It's a record.

Try finding a way to date your work or ever hide a special signiture somewhere inside the artwork. Not easy but not impossible.

Print out all your email exchanges with them and keep them safe.

Obviously you are dealing with the wrong company. The good news is that it isn't so hard to keep track of their products. More good news is you've learnt that not only is this company not for you but also that your work has potential. You might want to approach other companies asap.

If you manage things well, you'll find the whole situation to your benefit. Also, consider writing to a local newspaper if things get hotter.

06-09-2007, 09:08 PM
Are they copyrighted designs? Even if they are, being that you are in the UK and they in the US, there's probably some international copyright issues that need to be explored. What's copyrighted in the US may not be protected in the UK and vice-versa is what I'm saying.

Good luck!


06-10-2007, 05:06 AM
Licence them with another company if you can, then you will have the legal backing of that organisation if it comes to that.

06-10-2007, 07:18 AM
Thanks for the replies guys!

Well, as this company only approached me this week, and the only work/designs they have of mine would be by copying them off my website. I have not passed on or created any original artworks to them.
It's just that as my artwork is primarily aviation based caricatures, the style & presentation is unique, so there would be no mistaking if it were my work being copied at a later date.

Anyway, I have sent them an email as thus:


With regards to your previous email as included at the end of this email.
I want to clarify that you DO NOT have my permission to use my artwork designs in any manner or form, and doing so will violate international copyright laws both here in the UK and in the USA.
All my work is copyrighted, and I will defend against the illegal use of my work, and I will take legal action against you and your company.

I request written confirmation from you within 48hours stating that you agree & understand you are NOT to use my work without my permission, or I will take this matter further - not just with legal action, but within the military & aviation community itself.

I look forward to your prompt reply.
Rob Henderson

Artist & Creator of "Caricature Aircraft Pictures"

We shall wait and see if there is a response to this.

Looking at this patch website, I see there is some Tomcat patches which are direct copies of profiles by another artist - I have tracked down this artist and his website, and there is no mention if his work being used in this way.
I have written to the artist to give him a heads up just incase he is unaware that these guys may be screwing him too (course, this one may be legit, but we will see).

I have also emailed the company direct about the situation using the email hyperlink on their website rather than a straight reply-to-sender.
I guess in this day and age, there is even the chance that this company is unaware of these email and it may be part of a grudge attack on them.

Again, thanks for all the replies, suggestions & support - it's very much appreciated!


06-10-2007, 08:09 AM
~S~ One and all!

Great news on this - just moments after my last post here, I recieved this one-liner from the company in response to my email concerning legal action:

"I understand sir and will not be copying or using your artwork for personal or business gain. My apologies for my temper. I thought I was being ignored."

...and to top it all, I just had this come in:

"I thought it best to write you back and really apologize for my comments. I am a former US Marine and have a big heart and very good intentions but a little short on temper and patience from time to time. My idea of working with you was based on the wonderful designs you have made when I accidentally ran across your website. Knowing the experiences I have had when reproducing aircraft artwork (with permission of course) into a fine embroidered design has met with wonderful interest here. I had hoped this would be possible with you and your designs as well. The caricature aspect makes it a unique and fun twist over the more conventional drawing out there. I am still very interested in working with you in some capacity and with the hundreds if not at least a thousand distributors I currently work with then this would make for a very complimentary side to my business and would develop increased business for you as well. That was my hope from the start. I apologize for my rudeness and for my short patience. I hope we may have a dialogue with respect to this possibility.

Thank you and again I am very sorry.


Former Marine or not, it amazes me that he's been able to stay in business since 1982 if thats the limit to his temper.
(temper fi...?) sorry, that was bad http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif
Poor excuse, but it is an apology, and all being well and end to the matter.....though I will be keeping tabs on his site for a while! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Again, thankyou all from the bottom of my heart for your kind words, support and response to the situation.
You are all first class gents, and I feel honored to know you through this forum. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

Again, thankyou one and all.


06-10-2007, 08:26 AM
Myself, now the air is cleared, I would put it behind me and see if you can now go fwd together and make something that is of benefit to you both........ ask him for a sample before commiting, believe me there is nothing in this world like the high when you see your artwork in print.....
I have had paintings turned into gift cards etc......... and it still stuns me they were..

Things like this do happen........ I had the Sun Newspaper print some of my Photography which they blatently ripped off the web to make one of their articles....... several irate emails later and Myself and the site it was on were recompensed for my work......

Imagine a Sun Photographer LOL........... thats one step down in my opinion from a toilet scourer...................... and I apologise to toilet scourers

06-10-2007, 08:29 AM
Surely on the forum we have never seen anyone like that.

Patch taking months to prepare.
Someone posts about a 'bug'.
Less than a week later the same person is totally abusive because no new patch with 'bug''fixed'.

We've never seen anyone like that!