Copyright Infringement: A True Story
Copyright infringement is serious business and it affects creators big and small. My first introduction to it came about in a curious and humorous way when I decided to get a vinyl mural of a Chronokari Alpha image created by Fathead for my office wall. Fathead is a company that produces vinyl cut outs, decals and murals of licensed images featuring NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL stars that can be affixed to any wall in your house. They also have DC, Disney, Marvel and Star Wars products and when I saw them I thought it would be cool to get one of those with my own characters on it.
I went through my image library and picked a Chronokari Alpha image that I have also used as a t-shirt design. The process to get it set up as a mural on Fathead's site was pretty painless and after a few clicks the order was complete. Or so I thought. A few hours later I got an email from their customer care department informing me that I had used an unauthorized image for my mural and therefore the order would be cancelled. I raised a Spockian eyebrow for a few seconds and then chuckled to myself. I knew I had checked the box on Fathead's checkout page that indicated that I owned the copyright for the image. It was too late to contact their customer service department, so I decided to do so the following day.
After calling Fathead's customer service department, I was put in touch with a very helpful representative. He apologized for the inconvenience when I informed him that I was the artist who drew the image and that it was from my self-published novella. He asked me to send him proof of my copyright and once that was done we could redo the order. I ended up emailing him jpeg's of copies of the Canadian and U.S. copyright for Chronokari Alpha and he completed my order over the phone.
I'm more than happy that Fathead goes to such extremes to make sure the custom images that their customers are uploading don't infringe on any copyright laws. Better safe than sorry, despite the minor and humorous inconvenience and I can't wait for my giant sized mural of Miles and Derrick to arrive in the mail. See you in seven or less.