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Plagiarism and the importance of copyright.


Lee.

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Afternoon, kids.

Over on the Something Awful.com forums, there is high drama unfolding in the wake of Todd "Goliath" Goldman, of "davidandgoliath.com" "fame" apparently stealing the art of Dave Kelley, who goes by the name of "Shmorky" on the SA forums, and who has been a webcomics creator for years.

Goldman, for those of you who don't know, is one of those :censored:ty-tee-shirt creators whose works fly off the shelves at stores like Ardene and Hot Topic, a late-20s (possibly early-30's) male who caters to the early-teenaged girl set.

The David and Goliath site.

Anyway, it turns out that Goldman completely stole, nay, traced, a Kelley-created comic that originally appeared in print in 2001, and has been selling prints of it in "fine-art" stores for prices in the thousands.

Yep. A price that high for poorly-drawn "art."

The drama is unfolding right here; you won't have to sign up for the forums, since it's a $10 hit, but you may have to tolerate some genuinely odd cuss filters.

This isn't the only thing Goldman has stolen, either. Pretty much everything the man has produced, seemingly, is stolen from somewhere else.

Why am I posting this? Am I friends with Shmorky? Not at all. But as someone who appreciates design, and as someone who knows how hard it is to create something from nothing, to have an untalented douchebag like Goldman steal others' work and profit from it pisses me off no end.

If it pisses you off, too, you'll follow the links and see what's going on.

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Dammit.

Well, in a nutshell, after Dave Kelley posted the initial "holy cow, Goliath stole from me" entry, several other illustrators of web fame came forward to mention that he stole from them too. In other words, things have snowballed.

It has also come to light that Goldman has stolen/traced from a Schoolhouse Rock DVD cover, virtually every "Wacky" Walmart-style teeshirt out there, and more.

3499wk0.jpg4hakrbb.jpg

Just sayin'...

Also, kids have gold teeth now? What?

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No communications yet, one reporter who called Kelley wanted to get Goldman on the phone as well so that Kelley could ask why he did it, but Goldman isn't talking to anyone.

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One of the SA posters has thoughtfully posted a page-by-page summary of the proceedings so far.

PAGE 1: Shmorky (creator of Purple :censored:) was alerted by someone that his comic was hanging in a gallery. Shmorky posted this thread to show the similarities between the two. People mostly comment on how similar they are and how blatant the rip-off is. Shmorky says that he just wants to talk to Goldman and ask him why he did it, and then lawyer up if necessary. This quote is found from Goldman (found here: http://media.www.chicagoflame.com/media/st...es-506946.shtml

?Goldman attributes his inspiration to his wittiness and weird sense of humor.

?I'm just wacked out of my mind. Things just come to me really quickly. I have complete ADD so I've never finished a book before. I haven't really watched cartoons or read comic books. It's just my witty sense of humor and my love to draw,? Goldman said?

PAGE 2: People Suggest Shmorky calls Goldman and records it, but this is quickly shot down as people chime in to say that this is illegal in most states. Roy Lichtenstein is brought up and will be debated later, but Goldman?s MySpace is found:

http://profile.myspace.com/index.cf...riendID=5866786. At the time I am writing this the link is invalid.

Another link is found with Goldman?s paintings at an exhibition named Gold Digger: http://www.jackgallery.com/golddigger/paintings/index.htm. Smorky?s piece can be found there.

PAGE 3: Shmorky asks for other galleries with Goldman?s work in them, and this link is posted: http://www.seminoleparadise.com/content.as...amp;section=4_3

As well as: http://www.peabodyfineart.com/goldman/goldbio.htm

Some more quotes of Goldman?s creative mind are uncovered here: http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/s.../566679623.html

Shmorky informs us that the best course of action would be to spread this information around as much as possible. The first of many similarities is found: http://www.retrocrush.com/sa/TGP122.jpg

http://forums.somethingawful.com/attachmen...ostid=325589370

Somebody posts it on reddit: http://reddit.com/info/1fw4a/comments

PAGE 4: A goon blogs this on his front page: http://www.retrocrush.com/

Youthoughtwewouldntnotice posts it: http://www.youthoughtwewouldntnotice.com/blog3/

Things really start to pick up when a Digg article is made: http://digg.com/celebrity/Todd_Goliath_Goldman_Art_Thief

And Shmorky directs his loyal followers that the best course of action would be to continue to Digg and spread the news.

PAGE 5: The Lenore comparison is first brought up as you can see from both these photos his characters are very similar to Lenore.

http://img.waffleimages.com/659493b26d80a6...bb4/5564_1L.jpg

http://img.waffleimages.com/659493b26d80a6...bb4/5564_1L.jpg

PAGE 6

The Digg article is being hit like crazy at this point, and all the Something Awful haters seem to be coming out of the woodwork. It is assumed that some of them are later responsible for alerting Goldman to Smorky?s shady past. Digg article hits the front page.

Someone posts a myspace bulletin and it gets passed around: ?TODAY SHMORKY HAD HIS ART STOLEN BY TODD GOLIATH!!!!! IF YOU DONT POST THIS IN 500 MORE PLACES HE WILL COME WHEN YOU SLEEP AND SLIT YOUR THROAT AND STEAL ALL YOUR ART. IF YOU DO THEN YOU WILL HAVE GOOD LUCK FOR LIFE?

PAGE 7: A Wikipedia article is cited as an interesting precedent for Shmorky?s impending case: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rogers_v._Koons

Shmorky informs us that he just talked to a reporter and things are happening at a fast rate.

PAGE 8: Dirge registers an account under the name ?Taxidermied.? He accidently posted a new thread and got harassed for it. Everyone is glad he joined the party though. Here?s dirge?s site: http://taxidermied.com/gallery/art/

Smorky informs us that an interview will take place on April 10 between himself and Goldman. After being asked about Lenore being ripped off by Goldman, Dirge informs us that he sent a cease and desist, but didn?t pursue it further due to his divorce going on at that time.

PAGE 9: Goldman?s ?Goodbye kitty? is noted to have similarities to and old gif, which will be located here: http://img.waffleimages.com/041d0a08dd36a0...4126a7/neko.gif

PAGE 10: Another Lenore ripoff, and with an SA saying : http://img.waffleimages.com/97acb3ed38e1bd...0f8/3277_1L.jpg

PAGE 11: Another similarity is found, this time between a Vasquez character, and a Goldman shirt is found:

http://img.waffleimages.com/97acb3ed38e1bd...0f8/3277_1L.jpg

http://img.waffleimages.com/12c6f612bc167c...4/deadbunny.jpg

The Neko cat?s Wikipedia is found: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neko_%28computer_program%29

PAGE TWELVE: A something awful Photoshop is victimized: http://www.jackgallery.com/golddigger/pain...ages/TG2120.jpg

http://forums.somethingawful.com/attachmen...ostid=325623703

Shmorky edits his first post to show that Goldman actually TRACED Shmorky?s original comic.

PAGE 13: Goldman?s painting are found to be sold for disgusting amounts: http://www.animationartgallery.com/atoddgoldman.html

The Digg article is closing in on 1000 diggs. A remarkably similar shirt is foun at threadless.com, but nobody knows which was first:

http://www.threadless.com/product/167/Nuts

http://www.davidandgoliathtees.com/index.p...&perpage=16

Another crappy article about Goldman: http://media.www.chicagoflame.com/media/st...es-506946.shtml

PAGE 14: Digg article hits 1000. Mr. Goldman?s email is posted: todd@davidandgoliathtees.com

A book with the same name as one of the slogans on Mr. Goldman?s shirt?s can be found here: http://www.amazon.com/Everyone-Entitled-Op...y/dp/0345409523

And the shirt here:

http://www.davidandgoliathtees.com/index.p...&perpage=16

PAGE 15: a Facebook group is created for this occasion: http://manchester.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2315522448

Somone get?s a near avatar, because of ?Dear god? looking like ?Pear god?

http://i18.tinypic.com/2urb7ya.jpg

PAGE 16: Something Positive posts the story on their front page: http://www.somethingpositive.net/

PAGE 17: Shmorky tells us that any goons living near one of Goldman?s galleries should check it out. Copyright is discussed and Shmorky is advised by some legal savy goons that he should register his cartoon before he files a claim. A forum discusses the issue here: http://forums.gamewinners.com/forums/showthread.php?t=529502

PAGE 18: Shmorky updates his original post with more links to articles about this. A metafilter discussion is linked: http://www.metafilter.com/60099/Plagiarist...w-rocks-at-them

The contact page is found, included is an AIM screen name: http://www.davidandgoliathtees.com/index.php?mode=CC

It is noted again that searching ?Todd Goliath? brings up a ton of hits to him being a plagiarist. ?art thief? bring up a second place hit in a google search.

Local new station WACH Fox 57, is contacted of the story.

PAGE NINEEEN: Shmorky calls Wikipedia an abomination. Copyright is discussed again, and it is revealed that, Keenspot Free Comic Book Day 2004, published the particular Shmorky cartoon. It is suggested that it would have then been copywriten since it was published.

PAGE 20: More tee-shirt similarities are posted:

http://www.wickedcoolstuff.com/jesat.html

http://www.wackyplanet.com/jesus-saves.html

http://www.stickergiant.com/page/sg...magfunrel/y8057

Todd?s PR guy has an email too: chris@americanrebelpr.com

A few emails are sent to that address, and someone talks to the aim screen name. The guy basically says ?This is a company not Todd.?

PAGE 21: A very damning gif is posted regarding the Neko cat, and Goldman?s cat. http://binsybaby.livejournal.com/452205.ht...844845#t9844845

Yet another blogger joins the cuase:

http://www.starslipcrisis.com/

PAGE 22: Several more ?similarities? are noticed.

http://www.davidandgoliathtees.com/.../posters/16.jpg

http://happybunny.orbitearthstores....cts_id/135.html

http://www.davidandgoliathtees.com/.../posters/18.jpg

http://www.amazon.com/You-Say-Bitch...g/dp/1580086373

http://www.davidandgoliathtees.com/images/posters/3.jpg

http://wildwoodsurvival.com/humour/...kpeopleswf.html

http://img.waffleimages.com/4dc8f973962d30...93a/3364_0L.jpg

http://img.waffleimages.com/aa90139dee7143...b0a/fat.ht5.gif

PAGE 23: Shmorky says that on the advice of a lawyer friend, he says he needs to make shirts with his version of the comic, and fast. Another blog mentions the issue:

http://www.tcj.com/journalista/

Shmorky tells everyone to stop contacting David and Goliath Tees, as they are not at fault.

Yet another shirt similarity:

http://imagesocket.com/view/01_origff5.PNG

http://content.imagesocket.com/thumbs/01_ripoff649.PNG

One more site to add to the lists:

http://www.comicbookresources.com/columns/?column=13

PAGE 24

Goldman copyied a School House Rock character:

http://i14.tinypic.com/3499wk0.jpg

http://i15.tinypic.com/4hakrbb.jpg

Lowtax makes the shirt available at the awful mart: https://www.awfulmart.com/index.php?crn=205...ion=show_detail

A TV show character is found to be very similar:

http://img.waffleimages.com/cf6c0614176b6c...76156221987.png

Another supporter:

http://www.pvponline.com/article/3253/mon-apr-09 with rant:

http://www.pvponline.com/blog

And another:

http://www.smbc-comics.com/

PAGE 25

Lowtax announced he and Shmorky are splitting the shirt profits 50/50

Dirge posts ?his take on things?

http://taxidermied.livejournal.com/

PAGE 26:

Another board posted the story to help the cause:

http://boards.sportslogos.net/index.php?showtopic=48229

live journal with the story as well:

http://syndicated.livejournal.com/luka_rss...html?style=mine

A hilarious carton mocking the siutaion:

http://www.hockeyzombie.com/

Someone sends an email to Todd and gets a reply bashing Smorky calling him a pedofile and linking them to pornography at this site:

http://seth.beepboopinternet.com/davekelly/

PAGE 26: More people corroborate the email reply. Everyone piles on saying that not only is this liable, but he sent porn links to minors. Someone else joins in to support the cause:

http://www.punchanpie.net/cgi-bin/autokeenlite.cgi

PAGE 27: Shmorky tells us that the image linked in Todd?s auto reply is not him.

PAGE 28: A full header of the auto reply is posted from todd@goliathtees.com

Screen Caps for the email:

http://sa.zector.co.uk/slave/files/fb/fb1b...a4.jpg#via=salr

PAGE 29:

Yet another screen cap:

http://kalleboo.mirror.waffleimages.com/fi...d424b07c08f.png

PAGE 30:

The issue of alerting authorities about the linking of porn to minors is discussed, and even alerting the FBI is tossed around, but ultimitely dismissed.

One goon took it upon himself to archive the entire site (including the pornography) that was linked in Todd?s email. In case it got taken down. It can be found here:

http://rapidshare.com/files/2519951...et.com.rar.html

PAGE 31: Shmorky says that he will not bring up the email in the case.

A zip file of all images posted in the thread so far:

http://www.megaupload.com/?d=EXNXZMDN

PAGE 32: Todd deletes his myspace account:

http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fusea...riendid=5950890

{at this moment it is back up}

PAGE 33: One enterprising young goon took it upon himself to snatch up one of Mr. Goldman?s myspace sites and use it to post damning photos of his hackery:

http://www.myspace.com/toddharrisgoldman

PAGE 34: A striking similarity between one of Goldman?s drawings of a cat, a purse, and a fairly old sticker is found:

http://www.hauntedhousecollectibles.com/ac...kitty_purse.jpg

http://www.choiceshirts.com/images/A1/28/A12825C-lg.jpg

http://img.waffleimages.com/892aae2dad4e56...f25e9/SS863.jpg

PAGE 35:

Here is artwork copied exactly:

http://www.davidandgoliathtees.com/index.p...&perpage=16

http://img.waffleimages.com/aa6616065632a9...ird.249.165.gif

Here is one showing of his cat design on another shirt:

http://img.waffleimages.com/b755253fc4c5d1...a7774/kittyporn%20copy.jpg

PAGE 36: Another design copy noticed on sandels.

http://www.davidandgoliathtees.com/shop/im...tees6/47_0L.jpg

http://i17.ebayimg.com/06/i/000/97/28/66e5_1.JPG

An email is sent to Disney regarding the School House Rock rip-off.

PAGE 37: One more webcomic throws its support Shmorky?s way:

http://www.uglyhill.com/index.html

Page 38: Several similar T-shirt slogans are noticed:

http://www.davidandgoliathtees.com/shop/im...es6/3221_0L.jpg

http://imagecache2.allposters.com/images/153/826202.jpg

http://www.davidandgoliathtees.com/shop/im...es6/1340_0L.jpg

http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/P/B000...SCLZZZZZZZ_.jpg

http://www.davidandgoliathtees.com/shop/im...es6/3246_0L.jpg

http://us.st11.yimg.com/store1.yimg.com/I/...ds_1888_2238487

http://www.davidandgoliathtees.com/shop/im...es6/3249_0L.jpg

http://images.quizilla.com/Y/yourgoodfrien..._lllikebutt.gif

http://www.davidandgoliathtees.com/shop/im...tees6/36_0L.jpg

http://imagecache2.allposters.com/images/p...uck-Posters.jpg

The magnets and sandals with the cat image are found out to be related to Mr. Goldman, as they are located in the same building. ?Bad Kitty,? and Fred is Red? are in fact Mr. Goldman?s

One of Durge?s characters also is redone in a very similar tee by Goldman:

http://img.waffleimages.com/ae9ea1a4e48748...442/lasanta.jpg

http://img.waffleimages.com/b92e516f5d547a...f4/posking1.jpg

http://img.waffleimages.com/e1b2623ced1307...red_rip_off.jpg

PAGE 38:

Yet ANOTHER blog helping out:

http://www.comics2film.com/b/index.php?blo...p;tb=1&pb=1

And a live Journal:

http://community.livejournal.com/ohnotheydidnt/11776280.html

PAGE 39: One more link

http://www.missdynamite.com/blog/2007/04/t...-art-thief.html

And boing boing:

http://www.boingboing.net/

Another:

http://lizgreenfield.livejournal.com/17861...=305093#t305093

PAGE 40: Lichtenstein is brought up, and quickly dismissed, as he does not apply in this case. More help for the cause:

http://rstevens.livejournal.com/176129.html

A very funny series of photos is posted showing that someone can simply google a picture and find the art Todd used for his shirts:

http://img.waffleimages.com/6de37481a25f8d...703/wt9_425.jpg

http://img.waffleimages.com/74ded0e2e858dc...45e9337289e/owl%20cartoon%20search.jpg

http://img.waffleimages.com/907115d15428c6...ve_a_hoot_1.gif

http://img.waffleimages.com/57395d5389fe80...ve_a_hoot_2.jpg

PAGE 41: One of his paintings from the goldigger showcase has been removed. The previous link was:

http://www.jackgallery.com/golddigger/

PAGE 42: A nice site was posted with the most pertinent rip ?offs

http://frithweaver.livejournal.com/15752.html

PAGE 43:

Another site consolidating Todd?s most egregious offences:

http://www.miketyndall.com/todd_goldman/

PAGE 44: Another summary site:

http://originaltodd.vox.com/

A painting by Todd and an older painting have striking similarities:

http://img.waffleimages.com/42d652dd531d08...a074f4/5345.jpg

http://img.waffleimages.com/7bd473429ccb8e...wrightwrong.gif

Page 45: The Digg article is the 6th most popular in entertainment for the week:

http://digg.com/view/entertainment/popular/7days

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Those articles praising Goldman are ridiculous. How much legal trouble do you think he could possibly be in here? I mean, that's a lot of money made off of stolen art.

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I hope the put him in jail, where a bunch of guys gently carress him to sleep.

Not gonna happen, but it just looks funny.

By the way -- note that the censor everything, but at the bottom of the original post, where we here would have "BigBrain61 edited this post at 23:01"

It has:

Shmorky :censored:ed around with this message at Apr 10, 2007 around 20:01

Irony? You decide.

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Apparently, this will finally see real print in a day or two, as a reporter at the Las Vegas Sun has interviewed Kelly and (allegedly) Goldman.

A spokesman for davidandgoliathtees has said that Todd feels "remorse".

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Remorse? He's just sorry his thievery was exposed. It doesn't matter how "sorry" he is, the evidence is there and he should be in up to his eyes in legal trouble right now.

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If its "fine art" its not plagarism its appropriation. So if he's selling the stuff through fine art dealers on canvas (even as prints) the law is actually on his side. As a designer I dont like the idea that someone can steal a design and make money off it. As an artist I think we cant limit freedom of speech or else we lose expression and social awareness. (< see 'Nazi')

IF these are T's, he can actually say he used the style and that his drawings differ enough from the originals that they arent plagarized. Is it fair? Life isnt fair! Deal.

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