Sunday, January 13, 2008

Original Art Stories: The Fake Steve Rude

This kind of stuff just burns me. Over the last couple of days I've helped shut down at least one pirate on eBay. Said seller was offering up those shoddy CD-Roms you've all seen with comic books scanned onto them. The classic part was that he claimed that all the material was public domain - as I said to Tom Brevoort and the legal team at DC, if stuff like 52, Crisis, Fantastic Four, New Gods and Spider-Man are public domain then watch me make a million in a week. Of course they're not public domain, selling them takes money out of creators pockets and the legal teams did the right thing and shut the lot out.

Now this surfaces. A few days ago Steve Rude, in the hopes of raising more funds to keep his Rude Dude company afloat (he's self-publishing the brilliant series Nexus) placed the original watercolour painting of issue #2 of Thor: Godstorm onto eBay. Go and look, and bid. It's well out of my price range, as much as I'd love to own it (and don't let the current bid amount fool you, it'll go for a fair bit more). Steve is reliable, dependable and if he says he has the art then you can put bank on it. Suddenly another version pops up. Offered by a seller with zero feedback, located in India, the auction is a rather poor steal of Steve's even down to the description, which they didn't even copy over properly. If you want the original then buy it from Steve, not some criminal Maa Ki in India. I'm tempted to place a bid of $1,000,000 just to see the reaction the guy'd get when eBay hits him with the bill. It'd be easy then to file an 'Item Not Recieved' as we know he doesn't have it. Hey, let's ALL bid it through the roof.

It gets better. The same fraudulent seller has copied over some comic book auctions. With them he's copied over the description of the legit seller, Collectible Planet. How do I know? Because with this auction, if you check the description, it says the standard line, "Check out my other auctions." Fine so far? Well, nope, because the link in that line leads to Collectible Planet! Go and click for yourself - it's hilarious, the idiot can't even steal properly. I'd say that, based on those auctions alone, EVERYTHING the seller has for auction they do not own. If you bid, and pay, then you're throwing your money down the tube, not to mention giving a rip off merchant your email address and possible your payment details. Seriously, if you've got money to throw away then throw it to a worthy charity, or hit my PayPal button and throw some my way ;-)

Buyer beware indeed. When you find one of these then let me know and I'll report it.

UPDATE! I'm pretty damn happy to say that eBay did indeed see the light and canceled the Indian (fake) auctions. I'm surprised that they did because when I reported it, complete with all the relevant details, they sent back their usual canned response that the item didn't appear to violate their guidelines. I know that Steve Rude went after the seller in question under the Verified Rights Owner (VERO) program, and I expect that Collectible Planet did the same. Excellent.

Two pirates gone, let's go for some more.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice work Danny! I had some jerk steal my user name on ebay and try and sell all sorts of high priced items, looking to rip people off. Guys like you really help honest sellers/buyers. Thank you! George Travls.