It started with a friendly mention on twitter. Someone posted a screenshot of a piece I made for fun (an album titled "Godzilla Sings," based off a jokey Toho studios behind the scenes picture with a man in a Godzilla suit playing the guitar). This fake album cover had been posted in an online forum, and people were freaking out about it, asking if it was real, etc.
1. No, it's not real. And no, I can't sell it. As you know "Godzilla" is under copyright and that means I can't use it without permission. That's why his name never appears in any of my work. This was a fun goof I made in February 2015 and posted on Tumblr and social media as a silly little joke. Yes, Etsy is full of people using Godzilla's name & likeness without permission, but that's never something I wanted to do. Which brings me to...
2. Please don't share images online without attributing the original author. That's the beauty of Tumblr, which makes it easy to reblog pictures from their original source. Yet once work makes it through Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and wherever else it's usually lost any kind of attribution as to where it came from and how it was made.*
In this case you might wonder, what's the big deal? I can't sell this anyway, so what's the harm in sharing it? A fair point. But removing my credit from this piece means that not only do people not know that it's fake (which causes some confusion on Facebook), but now I don't get the chance to have my other work exposed to people who might enjoy it. As I've said before, selling these prints online is how I pay my bills.
I sincerely doubt any of this was done maliciously, or to try and get credit for themselves; people just don't think about this kind of stuff. Which is why I'm asking: maybe next time, think about it before you repost that artwork. Credit the artist who made it; it's often their livelihood at stake.
*Not sure how to find out where an image came from? Here's how to use Google Reverse Image Search, which will help find the original article.
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