They might as well have broken into my home and stole my dearest possessions because stealing of an artist's work is like stealing a piece of their heart. It is no little matter and I feel very violated by the whole thing.
It was only a few short weeks ago that I was blissfully drawing little angels and stuffed nursery toys, having no idea that a thief was lurking in the shadows of Amazon.com and other corners of the world wide web.
I recall clearly that night, just taking one more quick peek at my Facebook wall to see if there was any new news about a dear friend who was gravely ill. Swiping down though my feed, I noticed a sponsored ad appearing on my wall that showed a cute little goat on a metal sign. I like goats of course since I paint and draw them all the time but this goat made me stop and take a second look. My initial thoughts were that this goat looked very familiar. I snapped a screen shot of it to remind me to check into this matter more closely and I headed off to bed.
The next morning, the ads appeared again and this time it was the same goat but the background had changed. This company was advertising all over my Facebook feed and the same goat was always there smiling up at me. I walked right into my inventory room where I have all my original painting hanging on the wall that are currently for sale on my Etsy Shop. Right there, front and center was my original little 8x8x1.5 inch acrylic painting I did last year that I titled "Silly Little Goat". I held it up and compared it to the goat on my phone. Just as I had suspected, I realized at that moment that I was the victim of intellectual property theft. What has followed since that time is hours and hours of me working to get all these listings pulled down.
One company had this little goat listed 32 times and another one had it listed 14 times. I found 4 Etsy Shops and about 20 different listings on Amazon. I still have no idea who stole it first but because there is no honor among thieves, they just steal from each other. It's like a stage 4 cancer that has metastasized. It's discouraging to say least, but I have to stay diligent and address each infraction as I find them. I keep a Google doc file for "Stolen Artwork" where I keep the URL and the company name. I make a note when I email them the cease and desist letter. So far almost all of them have apologized and removed the listing. I'm sure they are more sorry that they actually got caught than being REALLY SORRY. I then cut and paste the URL to my "Resolved" list.
Anyway...I thought I would share the herd of goat imposters and have you compare them to the original. As you can see, adding a little dandelion in the mouth isn't enough to disguise their treachery.