midgerock


quality posts: 6 Private Messages midgerock
emberdione wrote:So clearly none of you have ever studied Calculus. That insanely trippy math that was "discovered" by two guys independently. It even lead to one of them being labeled a plagiarist. Google it.

There are things that people are going to do similar. Having a c circled in red is pretty *obviously* a thing that *any* kid who has ever been to school is going to recognize. These symbols appear repeatedly in our culture FOR A REASON.

It's like the stupid little test that asks you a bunch of stupid questions you answer fast and then asks you to name a color and tool. Everyone says Red Hammer. Because for whatever reason in our culture red is the first color we think of and hammer is the most common tool.

Now, I am not saying Ramyb isn't or is ripping people off. I am saying that unless you can overlay designs and show where he has lifted strokes from other artists, you don't have a case. The dude makes a crap ton of t-shirts for a crap ton of sites, there are going to be similarities. The question is, can you prove any of them are actually stolen? None of the examples shown in this thread have convinced me. All seem like similar ideas, but none are clearly copied. (You want to see clearly copied, go to Cafe Press...) Even the cherry blossom tree one, which is the closest, can't make the case because how iconic is a cherry tree? I mean really... It's like saying anyone who uses the letter a that's red stole from Hawthorne.

It's all about being immersed in the same ideas, same themes, same colors, and same restrictions. Why are there soooo many shirts dealing with poor little Pluto? Because WE ALL feel that connection. We all get the joke. We all have that instinctual response and then want the shirt.

And finally, one last point, a great deal of art/writing/design gets "stolen" because the second person sees what the first did and goes, hey, that's pretty neat. But man, they messed up this and this. With those two things different, it could be much much better. I should do one, just so I can do it better. Then the second guy does *exactly* that. You think every fantasy author hasn't read LotR and thought, oh man, this could be so much better?

The thing that really gets me is that in most of these cases, one design is clearly superior to the other, and it's about 50/50 on if it is Ramyb's or not. So as far as I am concerned, good job. The people who believe they are "original" are doing good work and being pushed to come up with better designs and the people who supposedly aren't "original" are improving some great ideas and making some really iconic shirts.



so...
how's the kool-aid?

geekfactor12


quality posts: 11 Private Messages geekfactor12

You know, I actually agree with the original purpose of the thread, which was pointing out that those two specific designs were too close for comfort to two designs created by Woot artists. This is also a big issue facing the t-shirt design community in general, where the line between influence, coincidence, and rip can become blurry.

But most of the other examples being posted strike me as being pretty absurd.

For example, a Doctor Who owl design was mentioned earlier in the thread as something Ramy ripped off. That's incredibly unfair, unless you want to claim that the Threadless artist ripped me off as well (mine, while terrible, was posted online in 2010).

A lot of these "rips" don't pass the sniff test. Two flaming tigers is easily explained, since they're both based on the same very well known poem. I'm also having a hard time seeing the art nouveau flame border comparison as legitimate. Obviously both artists are using Mucha's work as their inspiration, from which both are borrowing the motif of the arc border and embedded circles. It is in no way exceptional or unusual that Ramy would choose to use a flame there. It's the obvious choice to pair with a phoenix (the only other options I can even think of are like ashes and a feather, both less intuitive and less attractive given the shape required).

It feels like a genuine, well-founded concern is spiraling into a witch hunt, which is detrimental to what could otherwise be a good discussion about best practices in creating art and responsibly reacting to one's artistic influences.

palookaboy


quality posts: 0 Private Messages palookaboy
emberdione wrote:snip



Yes. People have similar ideas all the time. The point is that Ramy seems to have ideas that are unoriginal. All the time. And then produces designs from which obvious similarities can be shown between those and other designs from a community in which he is a very active part.

If a man blows a stop sign once, maybe he wasn't paying attention at the moment. If he blows the stop sign over and over, he's a reckless driver.

emberdione


quality posts: 3 Private Messages emberdione
palookaboy wrote:Yes. People have similar ideas all the time. The point is that Ramy seems to have ideas that are unoriginal. All the time. And then produces designs from which obvious similarities can be shown between those and other designs from a community in which he is a very active part.

If a man blows a stop sign once, maybe he wasn't paying attention at the moment. If he blows the stop sign over and over, he's a reckless driver.



Please read my entire post before replying, thanks.

To re-post the important part, people doing similar things, with similar themes and restrictions, with similar likes and dislikes, are going to come up with similar ideas. It's happened before, it'll happen again. Until he *actually* steals a piece of art, don't call him a thief, call him derivative, because that's really what it is.

chumpmagic


quality posts: 9 Private Messages chumpmagic
DianaSprinkle wrote:I like that Ramyb Firefox shirt and don't have a problem with it(so cute). It's a logical joke considering the Firefox logo and it's in a different style. I'm not sure what to tell you. I'm glad you're looking out for me but I'm not upset about this.

Mostly I'm marveling at the "if you draw a Sakura tree you are stealing" part of this thread.



Just pointing out the pattern... In all honesty, I just selected yours because it was applicable and one I remembered off the top of my head (that wasn't already used here). Still love you though


tarmawolf


quality posts: 1 Private Messages tarmawolf
DianaSprinkle wrote:I

Mostly I'm marveling at the "if you draw a Sakura tree you are stealing" part of this thread.




It wasn't that he drew a Sakura tree. It was that it was just one more instance in a pattern of disturbing similarities with other works from artists with which he competes on the same sites.

tjschaeffer


quality posts: 7 Private Messages tjschaeffer

I'm going to go back to the Sakura tree for a second, and basically just issue an apology to Ramy for pointing out something which, looking at it in hindsight, wasn't there. Yes, the two designs do have a very similar composition, but a little more investigation on the matter would have revealed that, generally, drawings of Sakura trees tend to look like that. It wasn't meant to be a "hey, look what else that thief did" kind of thing.

I can see how, given the progression of the thread, it looked like your entire history was being picked through with a fine tooth comb. So I am sorry for that. Perception is as important as intent, and the way my actions looked were different than their intent.

Also, I'm not sure why it felt important for me to apologize. Some might say it's silly. I don't know. But I like the shirt.woot community. Seeing all the amazing works here has managed to get me back into drawing and digital design after many years away, which I never thought would happen. Uhh...sorry for the bit of a digression there

tjschaeffer


quality posts: 7 Private Messages tjschaeffer

EDIT:

Server error caused a double post there, so instead I'm going to tell a story about Newton and Leibniz, the inventors of calculus.

Both of them claimed to be the first ones to discover calculus, and each had their own set of detractors. Yes, it is true that Newton basically set about to destroy Leibniz. And yes, Leibniz did likely make an independent discovery of calculus. At the very least, his contributions are still recognized. The differential form that we use in calculus (dy/dx) is Leibniz's.

But what is often ignored is that Leibniz was not completely innocent. He doctored a number of his manuscripts to add in dates and materials that were not originally there.

The point is that while Newton did try to destroy Leibniz, and while Leibniz was probably correct, the truth of the situation is somewhere in the middle.

clevergirl


quality posts: 0 Private Messages clevergirl

It seems to me that the strong negative emotions towards Ramy Badie might have little to do with his uninspired career as an idea "borrower" (which bothers people, no matter how you febreeze it).
Ramy is a prolific artist (the title is tarnished enough that I feel comfortable using it), producing in quantites that can shame a school of art student cramming an end-of-the-year portfolio (I know, I've done it).
He often submits more than one entry per derby (sometimes more), which begs the question "How?". I dont think its a great secret that Ramy's work smacks of pre-made animal templates, repeated and recycled to the point that WOOT can safely commision the turbunguin as a substitute for its monkey mascot.

The bigger problem is the quality of his stuff, and here I must claim art-snob-status and all you critics can take a moment to scoff. Ramy's work does not compare in quality to Wences's or Patrick's, two artists who get printed here quite often, yet his are the "masterpieces" I find popping up in my weekly 9gag skirmish.
And before you whip out the "subjective" argument, let me point out that there are reasons why amputee ninja turtles living in impossible worlds with multiple broken perspectives bother people (This has not stopped the aforemention turtle to pay Ramy dividends to the approximate sum of $3k and counting).
Either our old chap Steve Jobs was right and Ramy's pinnacle of artistic expression is what the crowd demands, or there must be a cultivated community of uncompensated(!?) fans that help Ramy's stuff find its way onto soft soft cotton, fans that gather from places as far as deviantart, reddit and now 9gag (to my dismay).
Scarier still is a world where both scenarios are true (which seems likeliest to me), in which case, the weekly derby is no place for idealistic girls like me, who enjoy quality linework, proper perspective (let us not forget the Darth and Table fiasco) and god forbid - variety.

My suggestion to wooters - be picky and demand quality, there are plenty of good designs submitted each derby that get totally buried and largely ignored (why do I feel I just wasted my virtual breath?)
Artists who work hard on their designs and see no way past the hegemony - don't waste your time on derby entries (gonna ban me for this one, woot?)
Ramy, I doubt that you care (as per your actions) but it would be nice if you have more respect for your craft, your audience, and your fellow artists (this can be read as "take some advice from Matt Kohr")
DianaSprinkle - I see what you did there ;). If I was Neo i'd say "déjà vu", but then I guess theres no crime if Ramy and yourself have an understanding, amirite? (I do like yours so much more, congrats)

I leave you with this question: Is it an art contest if people compete based on popularity rather than the quality of their work?
(I know tgentry has expounded on this, defending how shirt.woot does things, but here's the thing - those "equalizing" rules woot instituted regarding thumbnails - they only made browsing the derby more bearable.)

"...That way lies stagnation" - Van Gogh

Exeunt

Mavyn


quality posts: 22 Private Messages Mavyn

I'm reminded of when a teacher accused me of cheating on an exam. She pointed out that only me and the guy sitting behind me chose to match letter to number, rather than matching number to letter.

I was a straight A student, he averaged C's.

My response was something along the lines of ' I can't believe you think I cheated off his paper!'

It worked then, too.

My speech is not parsing. I am speaking in ellipsis.

bassanimation


quality posts: 98 Private Messages bassanimation
geekfactor12 wrote:You know, I actually agree with the original purpose of the thread, which was pointing out that those two specific designs were too close for comfort to two designs created by Woot artists. This is also a big issue facing the t-shirt design community in general, where the line between influence, coincidence, and rip can become blurry.

But most of the other examples being posted strike me as being pretty absurd.

For example, a Doctor Who owl design was mentioned earlier in the thread as something Ramy ripped off. That's incredibly unfair, unless you want to claim that the Threadless artist ripped me off as well (mine, while terrible, was posted online in 2010).

A lot of these "rips" don't pass the sniff test. Two flaming tigers is easily explained, since they're both based on the same very well known poem. I'm also having a hard time seeing the art nouveau flame border comparison as legitimate. Obviously both artists are using Mucha's work as their inspiration, from which both are borrowing the motif of the arc border and embedded circles. It is in no way exceptional or unusual that Ramy would choose to use a flame there. It's the obvious choice to pair with a phoenix (the only other options I can even think of are like ashes and a feather, both less intuitive and less attractive given the shape required).

It feels like a genuine, well-founded concern is spiraling into a witch hunt, which is detrimental to what could otherwise be a good discussion about best practices in creating art and responsibly reacting to one's artistic influences.



I agree with you 100%, MJ.

I see the first two examples as reason for concern, but the resolution should be between the artists, off site.

Regarding influences and skirting close to existing ideas, i think we've all come close to existing ideas before in our work. Its natural for our brains to recall stuff and gravitate to it. As for similar concepts, I had the idea to do a Dr. Hoo design too. Then a couple weeks later the Threadless one appeared, and this is without knowing about MJs version or Terry Fan's version. Im not a thief, or an unoriginal harpy, but i do know of this Doctor Who...and owls! Its a connection that is very easy to make.

I think we can safely say that it is hard to make something that wont strike someone as similar to something else. If you feel a design or image is too close to something, approach the designer yourself and explain. I think its a healthier way to go about stuff and can avoid alot of public upsettery. Wow is that a word? Oh i have autocorrect off.... BLAST! I thought I had a 20 pointer!

midgerock


quality posts: 6 Private Messages midgerock
bassanimation wrote:I agree with you 100%, MJ.

I see the first two examples as reason for concern, but the resolution should be between the artists, off site.

Regarding influences and skirting close to existing ideas, i think we've all come close to existing ideas before in our work. Its natural for our brains to recall stuff and gravitate to it. As for similar concepts, I had the idea to do a Dr. Hoo design too. Then a couple weeks later the Threadless one appeared, and this is without knowing about MJs version or Terry Fan's version. Im not a thief, or an unoriginal harpy, but i do know of this Doctor Who...and owls! Its a connection that is very easy to make.

I think we can safely say that it is hard to make something that wont strike someone as similar to something else. If you feel a design or image is too close to something, approach the designer yourself and explain. I think its a healthier way to go about stuff and can avoid alot of public upsettery. Wow is that a word? Oh i have autocorrect off.... BLAST! I thought I had a 20 pointer!



I think the discussion continues to go in circles honestly. The reason the discussion unravelling is Ramy's response to said artists concerns which was with great disregard and back handed. I am in a number of artist groups and we discuss designs and ideas. Many of us strive to pursue ideas that are fresh and not desiring to step on others toes. a common courtesy extended to one another in the group and those who are not and many of us pursue and encourage.

This is a best practice.

But even before I or others pose an idea we may pursue many of us run a google search to see if its been done. Real easy take less than 5 seconds. Most times this resolves how saturated an idea is in the market.

This is a best practice.

But if someone who doesn't care if its been done before and doesn't care about what other artists may have done or doesn't want to extend that common courtesy then that person will do whatever they want, whenever they want. Sure its not illegal. ideas come and go and no one has rights to ideas per sae but its just bad business and for lack of better words, not cool.

This is not a best practice.

chumpmagic


quality posts: 9 Private Messages chumpmagic

Mj and Bass might have a point, but it just so hard to remain level-headed when ramyB's only real defense is the trash talk and put down other artists


palookaboy


quality posts: 0 Private Messages palookaboy
emberdione wrote:Please read my entire post before replying, thanks.

To re-post the important part, people doing similar things, with similar themes and restrictions, with similar likes and dislikes, are going to come up with similar ideas. It's happened before, it'll happen again. Until he *actually* steals a piece of art, don't call him a thief, call him derivative, because that's really what it is.



I did read your entire post. You're welcome. People coming up with similar ideas is to be expected in art, especially in artistic communities like shirt.woot. But when a single artist exhibits a pattern of such behavior, it becomes increasingly difficult to defend it as happenstance. When an artist also has a history of disregard for artistic communities (see: history with DA, Otaka, etc.), it's even more difficult.

So to respond to your reference about the invention of Calculus, Gottfried Leibniz was likely not a plagiarist. But if he had also coincidentally came up with several other ideas that multiple contemporaries also came up with, it looks suspicious.

ljwilke


quality posts: 0 Private Messages ljwilke

honestly, some people stretch it too far in finding their 'examples.' the sakura tree? anyone who ever put that on a shirt is just as guilty of borrowing, as it's been around longer than t-shirts. dr. who/owl? that's a no-brainer joke, so it's no surprise several people would come up with it independently. same goes for tigers made of fire.

celebrate mediocrity is right there with the onion shirts. it might be accidental but it seems awfully fishy to me (yes, string beans with faces wouldn't work, but what about a carrot or potato?)

apathy? um, he just admitted to it. he sort of said he was sorry, but he also said it happened. so people can debate if it's really wrong or just a faux pas, but no one can try to claim it's coincidental, since he totally admitted he freaking did it.

bluejester


quality posts: 564 Private Messages bluejester

Well, I just got a chance to catch up on the drama, so here's my quick summary and thoughts:

So, somebody found designs on Ramy's site that are pretty much retooling of other people's ideas. It comes across as more than a bit tacky, especially given that the similarities are numerous enough (IMHO) that it's a stretch to merely classify it as being inspired by other people's works. Especially when other people take exception to the use of their ideas without credit or compensation. A simple sorry is not good enough in this case.

Ramy responded after a bit, but rather than just pulling the designs from his site, and possibly splitting profits with the artists he copied/"inspired himself from," he took the road of being aloof and acting as if it was a simple mistake and he was above the allegations being leveled. In this case, he acted neither as a gentleman nor with class. Maybe I'm a bit old fashioned in this case, but stealing from a woman then turning around and saying that you thought she'd be okay with it? In what world is it okay for a guy to treat a woman that way? (Not that I think Boots couldn't take Ramy in a fight. My money is totally on Jamie, I'm just sayin' ya know?)

Bottom line ends with a few practical suggestions: I think that woot needs to stop allowing Ramy to take out Ad space on their site, and he needs to pull the designs in question. Although the second is unlikely, I think that Woot should give teeturtle the boot. Yes, they would likely link to it if he prints in the future, but that doesn't mean it needs to show up on the front page when I come to shirt.woot.

Sorry to see this turn of events.

cptgone


quality posts: 4 Private Messages cptgone

yikes!

it's a good things Woot shirts aren't to be worn as pants, wouldn't want to find myself taking the bus as naked as a turbunguin cause someone stole my tees.

Spiritgreen


quality posts: 215 Private Messages Spiritgreen
chumpmagic wrote:Mj and Bass might have a point, but it just so hard to remain level-headed when ramyB's only real defense is the trash talk and put down other artists



Yeah... I agree with MJ but part of the response to fishbiscuit was handled badly.

I can't blame Ramy for being indignant about this rolling snowball of accusations and countering some of them with other coincidental designs. In fb5's case it's possible he isn't too familiar with Celebrate Mediocrity, I know it mostly from TeeFury and other non-Woot sites. It's fair to say Ramy may not have been familiar with it as much as fb5 wasn't familiar with Ramy's coffee molecule shirt - I'm sure that was the point he was getting at - but regardless of all that the fact is the teeturtle shirt is uncomfortably similar to one of her best known designs and it's simply not right to sell it.

Ramy, I think in that case the best thing is to accept that it's an unfortunate coincidence and take the shirt down so as not to step on another artist's toes. It's not an admission of wrongdoing, it's just the right thing to do. If you'd complained to fishbiscuit about the coffee molecule design you would have been in the right there and the same would have been expected of her.

So let's please keep a level head, as hard as it is.


Just like MJ said, there are way too many other examples of 'stolen' designs here that are as coincidental and irrelevant as the ones that Ramy posted back in his response. Odysseyroc didn't steal Bring Back Pluto, Ramy didn't steal Dr. Hoo. Versions of the onion bully existed before Walmazan drew his (although this seems to have been forgotten).

These are puns and memes that are so common as to almost be owned be no-one. As artists we should do our best to respect each others' ownership and feelings when similar designs get made, but we all have to accept that when we go to the pop culture/meme pool too often, the results end up looking pretty samey.

People, this is inevitable.


The worst thing you can say about Ramy is this:

Ramy is Shirt.Woot's most popular designer because he is the most mass-market. He tackles popular things in a very straightforward way every week. Cuteness. Meme. Pop-culture reference. Geek culture. Arty tree / bird / books / dragon... It's a sometimes lazy recipe for massive success and he does it very well, but because it might be lacking a unique artistic vision or point of view it bumps into a hundred other artists' work in a way that, over time, can add up into something that looks suspicious.

Ramy, I'm sorry if that comes across as insulting - I'm certainly generalizing - but I think it's better off being out in the open because that's what causes these accusations. I'd love to see you be a little more original and express a personal point of view more often, but there's nothing inherently unethical about how you work. You have great drive and artistic skill, and do get unfairly treated.

The most important thing is that on rare occasions like this when a design is too similar because another artists' work inspired it (something we all do to an extent) or it just happens to be too close for comfort and has upset someone - then it's best to handle it as considerately as possible. It's a two way street.

I hope fishbiscuit and Ramy can talk privately too. It's easy for things to be expressed badly in a public arena.

orabbit


quality posts: 31 Private Messages orabbit

In defense of my Tyger Burning Bright comparison, my point was that 5 minutes of homework would show that a similar shirt existed. I don't doubt Ramy thought of it himself; it's a fairly obvious image when the subject is poetry. But Ian Leino is not exactly obscure in the t-shirt world, and it wouldn't have been onerous to find out that someone else had already milked that cow. Unless you're not concerned with that sort of triviality.

Narfcake


quality posts: 287 Private Messages Narfcake
Spiritgreen wrote:...
I can't blame Ramy for being indignant about this rolling snowball of accusations and countering some of them with other coincidental designs. In fb5's case it's possible he isn't too familiar with Celebrate Mediocrity, I know it mostly from TeeFury and other non-Woot sites.



Requoting midgerock here ...
"As an artist I take the time to search if similar concepts are out there before even starting a design. I do this for 2 reasons, common courtesy to other artists and because I truly try to pursue to create funny and artistically original work. But if you don't want to do that, well that says a lot about you as an artist and designer. It doesn't take long to run a search."

Plugging in "celebrate mediocrity" in Google/Shopping yields Fishbiscuit's design in the #2, #3, #7, #9, and #10 positions.

As for the caffeine molecule ... there are many variants of that one, so honestly, I can't tie those two designs together. Which explains why I didn't really care for either of them.

... On the rare occasions like this when a design is too similar because another artists' work inspired it (something we all do to an extent) or it just happens to be too close for comfort and has upset someone - then it's best to handle it as considerately as possible.

Simple enough, right?


Simple ... if one actually respects the intellectual property of others. Which as we've seen, is more of an afterthought rather than a rule. Admitting that Boot's design was the inspiration should have been addressed before, not now.

As a customer, I don't have any financial gain in all this. I do have some financial control to whom my dollars end up to, however, and on more than one occasion, have helped yield hundreds to thousands more to an artist.

Spiritgreen


quality posts: 215 Private Messages Spiritgreen

@Narfcake, right! Shirt.Woot has a "no similar shirts" rule for a reason, it protects the rights to creative work and keeps artists happy.

Every site and every artist should do the same. Avoid problems before they happen.

odysseyroc


quality posts: 33 Private Messages odysseyroc
Spiritgreen wrote:@Narfcake, right! Shirt.Woot has a "no similar shirts" rule for a reason, it protects the rights to creative work and keeps artists happy.

Every site and every artist should do the same. Avoid problems before they happen.



You seem to have glossed over the part where he admitted to "borrowing" Jamie's idea.





bassanimation


quality posts: 98 Private Messages bassanimation
chumpmagic wrote:Mj and Bass might have a point, but it just so hard to remain level-headed when ramyB's only real defense is the trash talk and put down other artists



Not to call any kettles and pots around here, but there's a LOT of trash talk going on, on all sides.

I really think it's important for the truly affected parties to deal with this on their own. It's fine if people disapprove of what Ramy did. I think the two shirts are too close myself, and I definitely think the original artists have cause for complaint. But that's their bone to pick, so they should pick it.

Ive seen so many designs that were close to others, including designs from -very- reputable artists. I dont feel the need to go link-crazy, but you know it happens. Im not "defending" any person here, Im simply trying to make a point about the origin of ideas.

I am personally ok with various forms of an idea existing, as long as it's not a complete mimic. What that means to me as a consumer AND as an artist is that there's variety for me to choose from. I can tell when something's rippy and when something was inspired by influence. There is a difference. I wont support a rip, and I can smell a rip. That sounds like a fart joke...Im sorry. ^^;

grrlmarvel


quality posts: 12 Private Messages grrlmarvel

I agree with a lot of the points in this. My biggest concern is how we are talking to each other... how Ramy spoke to Fish and Odysseyroc
was inappropriate and rude. He treated Boots with respect and immediately backhanded Fish and Odysseyroc... what because they aren't as high on the cool list?

I have my own thoughts on Ramy and the whole situation, but since I can't remain calm about it I will focus on the thing that I can... respect.

The most amazing thing to me about the Shirt Woot community was the support and respect that was here when I started. Odysseyroc was such a great support and help to me. He didn't have to be. He didn't know me. Many of you don't know me but have been nice and have been supportive... I remember Midge starting too and was like yeah another guy I can chat with about nerd stuff.

Whether you like the person's style or art, there is no reason you can't be polite or discuss things in an adult fashion. I felt that Boots and Fish spoke of their feelings and they had the right to it. Ramy could have come back and spoke of his feelings and he would have had every right to speak to those as well. Instead he seemed to attack Fish... disrespected her and belittled her.

THAT is what bothered me the most. This has always been a hot button for folks and yes sometimes it gets out of control, but when you start attacking people in the community who have helped others, have shown support and strong values... it's hard not to get upset... I think Chump mentioned that as well.

Fish is a friend. It's hard to see her work belittled when I know she works hard and does her due diligence to research the heck out of every idea even asking us if we've seen it as well.

I think yes that the next level should probably be taken offline and PM'd. But the bigger issue is we should be a supportive community. A group that respects each other and Ramy proved he does not respect everyone like the rest of us do.

zombienerd


quality posts: 0 Private Messages zombienerd
bassanimation wrote:I really think it's important for the truly affected parties to deal with this on their own.



You're right. Let's all forget this ever happened and let Ramy keep ripping off artists for thousands of dollars in profit. It's been handled so efficiently in the past and none of the ripped designs ever went on to get printed and let him profit from theft. And I'm sure that Ramy will give the actual creators of his designs half of the profit because he's a good person and genuinely respects other artists.

taternuggets


quality posts: 22 Private Messages taternuggets
zombienerd wrote:You're right. Let's all forget this ever happened and let Ramy keep ripping off artists for thousands of dollars in profit. It's been handled so efficiently in the past and none of the ripped designs ever went on to get printed and let him profit from theft. And I'm sure that Ramy will give the actual creators of his designs half of the profit because he's a good person and genuinely respects other artists.




Nothing follows.

bounty42


quality posts: 15 Private Messages bounty42
mrwednesday wrote: This isn't about two people making Dr. Who as an owl shirts (though given that the shirt you copied from is high on the google image results it's no surprise that's where you ripped from).



We need to be careful about quoting Google Search ranking as Law, especially if you have Chrome. Google has been using a biased ranking for a while, and it actually remembers things you've looked at, both in search and out of it. So the very act of LOOKING at those images gives them a higher google ranking for you than for someone who's never seen them before.



Numquam minoris aestimo potentia stultis, maxime in magna coetus
------------------------------------
■(1:40 PM, 7/27/2012) bounty42 quips, "Forget Guest Editor, what we need is a Guest Rejectionator."
■(10:40 AM, 6/21/2012 ) bounty42 inquires, "Is it just me, or do we not typically get this many Editors Choice shirts?"
■(2:02 PM, 6/15/2012) bounty42 runs numbers.
■(10:40 AM, 6/7/2012) bounty42 dispenses wisdom for all those 'too late' naysayers, "A woot shirt is never late, nor is it early, it arrives precisely when it means to."
■(3:20 PM, 5/18/2012) bounty42 states, "The turtle is very cute, and I love the smug look he's got."

bluchez


quality posts: 2 Private Messages bluchez

I can't believe that the people trying to throw ramy under the bus don't realize that they are actually helping him out. The original post makes sense and is very shady and needed to be addressed. The response is just as shady and needs to be addressed. Half of the rest of the posts (and all of the ones involving OMMG~RIPZ!!!) actually water down the point and make it less meaningful.

You guys are actually sabotaging your stated intentions by pouring too many incorrect accusations on top of a meaningful one. The effect is that the accusations as a whole will be dismissed. It is not woot's fault for not taking these things seriously after you muck the waters up so much. One actual infraction would be so much more meaningful if it was left on it's own without being surrounded by all the other BS.

A little restraint in accusations and mud slinging, and the actual issues just might be addressed.

chennai8


quality posts: 2 Private Messages chennai8
bluchez wrote:I can't believe that the people trying to throw ramy under the bus don't realize that they are actually helping him out. The original post makes sense and is very shady and needed to be addressed. The response is just as shady and needs to be addressed. Half of the rest of the posts (and all of the ones involving OMMG~RIPZ!!!) actually water down the point and make it less meaningful.

You guys are actually sabotaging your stated intentions by pouring too many incorrect accusations on top of a meaningful one. The effect is that the accusations as a whole will be dismissed. It is not woot's fault for not taking these things seriously after you muck the waters up so much. One actual infraction would be so much more meaningful if it was left on it's own without being surrounded by all the other BS.

A little restraint in accusations and mud slinging, and the actual issues just might be addressed.



I don't think Woot has any jurisdiction on this case It's not straight art lift, it's concept and Woot is been doing same concept as other sites since 2007...

This is about Boots and FB's loss, esp. considering Boots did some collaboration with Ramy, He gotta have some respect for friends. He can't replace friends with the income from that shirt sale or i dunno how it works in his world.

neyfam2000 wrote:Woot!--going from "Deal-a-day" to "Site-a-day"

Narfcake


quality posts: 287 Private Messages Narfcake
zombienerd wrote:You're right. Let's all forget this ever happened and let Ramy keep ripping off artists for thousands of dollars in profit. It's been handled so efficiently in the past and none of the ripped designs ever went on to get printed and let him profit from theft. And I'm sure that Ramy will give the actual creators of his designs half of the profit because he's a good person and genuinely respects other artists.


Requoted.

Was there truth to his statement? Maybe. As much as I want to, though, and given the past history, it's too hard for me to believe all of it.

Is there resolution that can be had out of all this? Yes. But until I hear something amicable from at least Jamie, I will stand where I stand.

citizencoyote


quality posts: 42 Private Messages citizencoyote
geekfactor12 wrote:
It feels like a genuine, well-founded concern is spiraling into a witch hunt, which is detrimental to what could otherwise be a good discussion about best practices in creating art and responsibly reacting to one's artistic influences.



As others have noted, I think this is the best take-away from the thread at this point. It's not just a legal obligation. It's your own morality and respect for yourself and those who came before.

As a side note, I think the best designs are those where, if an influence is apparent, it's still impossible to pin to a specific example of prior art. Imitation is the finest form of flattery and all that.

Spiritgreen


quality posts: 215 Private Messages Spiritgreen
odysseyroc wrote:You seem to have glossed over the part where he admitted to "borrowing" Jamie's idea.



Not my intention, I figured that was already addressed.

I only came into the thread to stick up for Jamie and for Naheed (as she knows from our Facebook messages). Yes, I can see Ramy's side of the situation too, at least to the extent that I think this thread is a little out of control and encouraging them to talk would be productive.

Whether it was helpful or not I guess I've said all I can.*


*Spiritgreen may not be effective in all cases. Ask your doctor if it is right for you.

j5


quality posts: 63 Private Messages j5
clevergirl wrote:
< good stuff>
.
.
Either our old chap Steve Jobs was right and Ramy's pinnacle of artistic expression is what the crowd demands, or there must be a cultivated community of uncompensated(!?) fans that help Ramy's stuff find its way onto soft soft cotton, fans that gather from places as far as deviantart, reddit and now 9gag (to my dismay).
Scarier still is a world where both scenarios are true (which seems likeliest to me), in which case, the weekly derby is no place for idealistic girls like me, who enjoy quality linework, proper perspective (let us not forget the Darth and Table fiasco) and god forbid - variety.

My suggestion to wooters - be picky and demand quality, there are plenty of good designs submitted each derby that get totally buried and largely ignored (why do I feel I just wasted my virtual breath?)
Artists who work hard on their designs and see no way past the hegemony - don't waste your time on derby entries (gonna ban me for this one, woot?)
.
< more good stuff>
.
I leave you with this question: Is it an art contest if people compete based on popularity rather than the quality of their work?
(I know tgentry has expounded on this, defending how shirt.woot does things, but here's the thing - those "equalizing" rules woot instituted regarding thumbnails - they only made browsing the derby more bearable.)

"...That way lies stagnation" - Van Gogh

Exeunt


Spot on. clevergirl indeed.
Outside of the original intent of this thread, which seems to have served its purpose and then some, I think these are very salient points.
To take it further; it seems that, from the perspective of the "Internet generation" (damn whipper snappers, gitoff mah lawn!), IP in general has been devalued to next to nothing ("if it's on the Internet, it's free for the taking"), so the expectation that ideas hold any value at all to these folks is unrealistic. Information wants to be free and all that. (These are not my views, btw. I'm rather old)

move along

bluetuba


quality posts: 58 Private Messages bluetuba
bluchez wrote:
You guys are actually sabotaging your stated intentions by pouring too many incorrect accusations on top of a meaningful one. The effect is that the accusations as a whole will be dismissed.



I think this is a very good point. There are plenty of solid examples of Ramyb being a slimeball without trying to imply that literally everything he designs is stolen. This just creates a strawman for Ramy and his fans to knock down and claim victory.

There is no arguing that the vast majority of his work is derivative and commonplace, the uproar here should be about specific examples of him clearly stealing concepts from others.

Given what we know about his attutide and past (and current?) ethics there is no reasonable way anybody could excuse his repeated coincidences as innocent.

"You can't just dress a Minion like Spock, and add a caption that says "Logical Me". There's a prison for people like that. Below my house."

ramyb


quality posts: 20 Private Messages ramyb

I thought I should mention that I contacted both Jamie and Fish right after making my posts yesterday, and am just awaiting a response. A lot of people seem to think that I was trying to belittle Fishbiscuit, which was not my intention at all. I just wanted to make it clear that I had no intention of stealing, and hadn't seen the shirt before designing mine. I will admit that I was extremely frustrated with the way the situation developed, and if that came through, I'm sorry about that.

That said, this isn't a one-sided issue. There are several people who are consistently extremely abrasive, rude and belittling in their posts. I don't think it is unwarranted for me to get defensive when I am spoken to that way (I am obviously not talking about Fishbiscuit or Jamie here, to be clear).

These types of threads always inevitably get very ugly. I just wanted to say thanks to all the people who have tried to mediate and keep things as civil as possible on both sides.

fishbiscuit5


quality posts: 35 Private Messages fishbiscuit5

I wasn’t going to post here again but I really feel like I need to interject my perspective at this point.

First, thank you to the artists and community members who have stuck their necks out here to support Jamie and me. It’s reassuring to know that woot truly is a caring community.

Second, I want to let Ramy know that his backhanded comments took me by surprise and were hurtful. If that was not your intent, Ramy, I wish you would have been more careful with your word choice. Even though you were frustrated, I have never done anything to you and didn’t deserve that. Condescension and sarcasm are never a good option in conflict resolution, especially on a public forum. I treat my fellow artists with respect and courtesy and I expect the same in return.

Third, whether my design was intentionally copied or not, the fact remains that it happened. A sincere apology and compromise would have been the correct, timely response, not snide comments and an attempt to deflect the issue by posting one of my other designs, or marginalizing my work based on the number of sales you've received on your site. Yes, you sent me a PM but it was dismissive just like your post. I haven’t responded because I honestly don’t know what to say. You shouldn’t have to ask us if we want you to remove those designs. As a common courtesy to your fellow artists, you should have done it by now on your own.

Back to the original issue, admitting you were “influenced” by Jamie’s design really needs to be addressed, especially since you are so often in the middle of this type of controversy. Similar ideas happen, but not to the same person with such consistency. Intentional or not, more care needs to be taken in researching your ideas. Midge does a simple search, as do others in our group of artists. It’s just good practice and prevents issues like this from habitually occurring to the same person. Perhaps this should have all been discussed in private, but I think it was good to get it out in the open so other artists can benefit from our progress.

Finally, what’s done is done, but it’s time to make amends, not excuses. We are not just random screen names and goofy avatars on the Internet. We are peers and colleagues with real faces and real feelings. I believe a show of mutual respect going forward will go a long way in mending fences, but for now, I’ll take an apology for your unkind comments and casual dismissal of my design.



aletayr


quality posts: 0 Private Messages aletayr

I don't know if I'm beating a dead horse, but since part of the discussion has revolved around informing newcomers/outsiders of offenses so they don't support 'borrowed' designs, I thought I'd throw in my two cents as such an outsider/newcomer. And basically my opinion is covered in these two quotes from earlier on the thread.

"It feels like a genuine, well-founded concern is spiraling into a witch hunt, which is detrimental to what could otherwise be a good discussion about best practices in creating art and responsibly reacting to one's artistic influences."



"I can't believe that the people trying to throw ramy under the bus don't realize that they are actually helping him out. The original post makes sense and is very shady and needed to be addressed. The response is just as shady and needs to be addressed. Half of the rest of the posts (and all of the ones involving OMMG~RIPZ!!!) actually water down the point and make it less meaningful.

You guys are actually sabotaging your stated intentions by pouring too many incorrect accusations on top of a meaningful one. The effect is that the accusations as a whole will be dismissed. It is not woot's fault for not taking these things seriously after you muck the waters up so much. One actual infraction would be so much more meaningful if it was left on it's own without being surrounded by all the other BS.

A little restraint in accusations and mud slinging, and the actual issues just might be addressed."



The beginning page (mostly) seemed like good discussion over a legitimate concern. After that, the torches and pitchforks came out, which are too easy to dismiss as 'haters gonna hate' to reference the meme.

And when I compare Ramy's posts with several other people's posts on this thread, I can't believe he's getting called out for being rude or snarky or dismissive. His posts may not have been entirely polite, but had I been in his position, my responses would've been much more defensive.

Also, keep in mind that to be wrongly accused of plagiarism can be just as hurtful as realizing your own work's been plagiarized. In the end I'm leaving with the same opinion of Ramy I had coming in, which is that I pretty much that I think neither highly of him nor poorly. Unfortunately, I can't say the same for a few others who have posted.

Ultimately, if you're going to criticize someone publicly, keep in mind how your posts will appear to someone coming in with no background.

Anyway, I think that covers everything I wanted to say, and I probably won't be checking back since this is just my opinion. Take it or leave it for what it's worth, but I wanted to offer it up as an outsider's perspective who doesn't know anyone in this community, so you all know how it looks (to me).

Narfcake


quality posts: 287 Private Messages Narfcake

I want to reiterate this part ...

fishbiscuit5 wrote:... Finally, what’s done is done, but it’s time to make amends, not excuses. We are not just random screen names and goofy avatars on the Internet. We are peers and colleagues with real faces and real feelings. I believe a show of mutual respect going forward will go a long way in mending fences ...



Focusing on the true issues at stake here, it's been a few days already since all this broke out. I don't know what has progressed, but as of this posting, both of the shirts in context are still up. And if I have to guess ... well, I don't think that a "One Cheer For Broccoli" resolution is going to be sufficient here.

I hope that in the meantime, Ramy, you've truly put some thought into this. And if you want my thoughts from "an outsider's perspective", you know how to reach me.

lisabethjo


quality posts: 1 Private Messages lisabethjo

I've tried to find the shirts on the tee turtle site and can not. What a train wreck. I've just wasted an hour of my life reading this thread but I couldn't look away.

garrettwheat


quality posts: 3 Private Messages garrettwheat

I will be honest and say I don't follow the derby as much as I'd like, but I see both sides of this situation. I've seen designs that there's no excuse - you had to have seen it before coming up with yours. To designs that even if you had seen it - it makes a completely different feel to it, whereas I would have bought one and not the other.

To some up (take it for what it's worth)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CW0DUg63lqU