The Facebook page “Marvel and DC For Me” is using the crowdfunding apparel website TeeChip to sell shirts and hoodies with artwork lifted from DeviantArt without the artist’s permission.
Tom Kelly, a staple of artist alley in the Midwest, received a Facebook message from Brian Grabinski the showrunner of NWI Comic Con, informing him that a Facebook ad by “Marvel and DC For Me” appeared to be selling a shirt with his artwork on it. Kelly talked about the emotions he felt staring at his computer screen as someone else was profiting from his artwork.
“Surprised, irked and in a way flattered because I know they must have done some basic google search for Deadpool art so my art must have come up fairly quickly. Even the thieves liked my art enough to steal it. So a lot anger and a little pride. Like a 90-10 ratio of anger and flattery,” said Kelly.
Arian Noveir, a French artist that specializes in paint splatter superheroes confirmed through email that he did not give “Marvel and DC For Me” permission to use his Deadpool artwork as well.
“Marvel and DC For Me” is just a front to sell apparel through Facebook ads. There is no real website or contact information on their page. They did not return our request for comment. TeeChip even recommends that you advertise to increase sales of your t-shirt. Which brings Facebook to the table, as they are receiving advertising revenue from the sales of stolen artwork.
The first shirt “Marvel and DC For Me” produced has sold 2,458 pieces between $22.99 – $39.99 each. That’s somewhere between $56,509 and $98,295 not going to the artist! We have reached out the FBI to see if this is a federal crime due to the amount of the potential crime.
What makes TeeChip a shady operation is, as a user you can not see who you’re buying a shirt from. You can’t find the “Marvel and DC For Me” name or bio anywhere on the page. The only thing that links “Marvel and DC For Me” to the t-shirt is the Facebook post.
“Marvel and DC For Me” have 32,982 followers, which were probably bought using Facebook ads, but as a fan it is tough because you see an ad for a cool shirt and you want to buy it. Little do you know; the artist is receiving zero compensation for his/her work.
TeeChip, based out of Fremont, California, and when we reached out to them for comment, we were told to reach out to their sister company OOShirts. When we reached out to OOShirts for comment, they referred us back to TeeChip. What we did learn is that OOShirts does have an email to deal with copyright (email@example.com) and TeeChip has an escalations department (510-431-2744 / firstname.lastname@example.org)
At the time, this article was published Facebook, and the FBI had yet to respond to our inquiry.
If you are an artist that has had his or her artwork used by “Marvel and DC For Me” without your permission file a report wth the Federal Bureau of Investigation Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).
Artists can also file an intellectual property claim on Facebook here: reporting copyright violations