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on 04-13-2007

First I get snow in April, and now THIS crap..

I usually don't get in to any drama in the webcomic world, but something happened a few days ago that really pissed me off. There is this cartoonist/painter/graphic-designer, Todd Goldman, who owns a pretty popular t-shirt company called "David & Goliath." During one of his art shows it has been discovered that he put up a painting that was actually copied off a well-known web comic, "Purple Pussy." This cartoon, picturing a little cute animal praying next to a bed, was originally drawn and published about five years ago by Dave Kelly (a.k.a. Shmorky). To see the two images, click here, or here for Goldman's other version.

So basically Todd Goldman found Dave Kelly's cartoon, and thinking he'd get away with it, Goldman copied it and started selling it as his own. This is a guy that sells his lithographs for at least $300 each. He also sells posters, t-shirts, "original" paintings, and other products as "his" art.

Just for the record, I do remember seeing that comic online a few years ago, though I was never an active fan of Dave Kelly's work.

Anyway, this discovery set off an "internet rage." Hundreds of webcomic fans became rabidly upset. Online blogs, forums, and webcomics flared up with the story. Todd Goldman's inbox became flooded with angry emails, for which he and/or his associates created an auto-response where he said he was simply stealing work from a pedophile. To see the email replies from Goldman, click here.

Finally, Kelly and Goldman spoke to a reporter, resulting in this article. Sounds like bullsh!t to me. Goldman claims that one of his associates brought Kelly's comic as a design idea. How does it change the fact that the cartoon was COPIED? How does it change the fact that Goldman uses someone else's ideas in his products?

Amidst the whole internet rage, many other examples of Goldman's plagiarisms emerged. Click here to view them. Many of those examples are actually copyright free, and some of them are a little too far-fetched. However, the fact remains that Goldman copies what others have previously created.

What pisses me the most about the entire thing is the idea too many people seem to have that whatever is up on the internet, must be copyright free. I came across this notion a few many times before, even at my own workplace. This isn't right. It's plagiarism. It's taking credit for someone else's blood and sweat. More people need to understand that. An example should be made of Todd Goldman for all to see. He should not get away from what he and his company have been doing. It is not enough that he claims he is going to give Kelly all the money he has made from using his image. This travesty should not be so easily forgotten or forgiven.

I hope more newspapers will pick up this story. Meanwhile -- pass it along. Boycott Todd Goldman!

said AleX

on 04-13-2007


There is one more thing that I need to say about the Todd Goldman controversy. I know my comic still has a relatively small number of readers, and chances are that many of you have already read about Goldman elsewhere. There is something though, that I have not read anyone else say yet:

No matter how angry this whole thing might make you -- please -- do not harass Todd Goldman. I know how rabid and evil web comic fans can be (remember the sad story of squidi.net vs Penny Arcade fans?). Do not become an asshole by calling his house, stalking him, or trying to hack his websites, etc.. You’d became something worse than what he is. Leave him alone, and instead simply do not buy any of his products and tell others of what he has done.

If you want to do more, I suggest contacting local newspapers.
said AleX





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