Fake billboard "promoting" eBay rip-off artist Cai Jiang Xun

Paul Richmond

Joined May 2009

  • Artist

Artist's Description


Follow the saga here:

Artist Paul Richmond recently discovered that his paintings are being re-created and sold on eBay by a Chinese “fake art factory.” With the help of some creative friends, he is working to catch the thief with his pants down, and he’s reaching out to artists and art enthusiasts to help him send eBay a message.

“Ebay won’t close the seller’s account even after receiving multiple complaints about copyright violation. They will only remove individual listings. I’ve heard from a number of artists who have experienced this exact same scenario,” Richmond explained.

Jack Mackenroth, fashion designer and Project Runway alum, was the model for one of Richmond’s pin-up paintings that is being reproduced fraudulently. According to Mackenroth, “I’m always happy to donate my ass to the arts but it’s a shame when forgeries compromise the originality of the work and take away from the promotion and income of the true artist."

So Richmond, whose Cheesecake Boy series depicts male models in states of accidental exposure, launched a plan to bring about exposure of a different kind – to the cause of internet copyright infringement. He began a Facebook group called “Ebay, stop sellers who blatantly rip off artists!” and hopes that as it grows, it can become a place where people share information about their experiences with copyright violation, as well as petition eBay for stricter enforcement of their rules.

In the meantime, he also began corresponding with the seller anonymously. The conversation, in which Richmond and friends pose as the owners of a store called “Pin-Up Fantasy” looking to carry the “artist’s” work, has become a popular feature on his blog.

Two of Richmond’s paintings were originally being offered in the seller’s eBay store, but in the course of their communication, he was soon offered twenty one other pieces from the same series. “I was furious when I learned that so many of my paintings were being passed off as someone else’s work. I felt so violated, but I knew I had to turn it around and make something positive come out of the situation. With the help of my friends Maria, Brooke, and Praveen, it’s actually become quite amusing!”

They have managed to convince the seller to respond to a series of extensive interview questions ranging from “What is it like being a gay man in China” to “How has the internet aided your career?” The fraudulent artist even provided a photo of himself in front of one of the Cheesecake Boy paintings and filled out copyright forms to protect “his” intellectual property.

Maria Fanning, one of Paul’s collaborators who writes under the pseudonym Darlene Priestly, added “Not only have they put lead in our children’s toys and poison in our toothpaste, but now they’re stealing our gay erotica. Is nothing sacred where profits made from cheap knock-offs are concerned? This is an issue for anyone who takes pride in their work and wants to make an honest living in America. These thieves not only deserve the virtual de-pantsing that Paul Richmond will provide, but also a giant virtual spanking!”

Brooke Albrecht (writing as Jolene MaCherda) added “My muse, artist Paul Richmond, must prevail over corporate America. Help Pauly keep his pants on with $$ in his pocket.”

Paul Richmond’s blog is updated daily with the latest correspondence. Richmond hopes that their efforts will help bring attention to the issue and encourage eBay to take a stronger stance to protect artists from copyright infringement in the future. Join the grassroots spanking by “liking” “Ebay, stop sellers who blatantly rip off artists!” on Facebook.

Facebook group “EBay, stop sellers who blatantly rip off artists!”: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=142666389...
Paul Richmond’s Blog Post “I’ve Been Bootlegged”: http://paulrichmondstudio.blogspot.com/p/ive-be...

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