Last year I created these t-shirt designs for my good friend Bam to have printed and sold at Eve Down Under. In order to accomplish this I contacted CCP and went thru legal channels, they had a document drawn up, which all parties signed and shared. The process went smoothly and only took about a week. This was exactly one year ago.
Over the years I've tried breaking the rules, following the rules, being a positive force for change, being professional, writing proposals, making awesome art, promoting, marketing, and pretty much every other thing I could think of under the sun. I've been banned from Zazzle and had my store front taken down by CCP legal. I've voluntarily taken down other items. I've worked with CCP legal successfully. And not so successfully. I've sat in a roundtable about Eve merchandise at Fanfest and helped promote a more open and opportunity based relationship with CCP and the player base. I even held my own presentation about the subject and put myself out there on that foundation. I became the first player to work directly with CCP to provide created art posters in partnership with QMX Online. A process I was hoping would open doors to others, result in an amazing and wonderful Eve Store, and incredible products for all of us.
Every day I find things like this.
Or things like this.
Or things like these.
Heck, just type Eve Online Shirt into Google and have a look for yourself. Over the last year, the sheer amount of illegal merchandise available online using Eve IP has grown tenfold. Maybe more. It is rather out-of-control. There is a vacuum that is being filled by opportunists. And not by legit providers. There is only one way to combat this growing problem and that is by providing a quality, legitimate alternative. Which we still do not have.
Thing is, this is not my fight any longer. You don't know this, because I've kept it private for the last four months, but the relationship I worked hard to build between myself and CCP no longer exists. And I'm speaking of the poster series here. The agreement between us was cancelled by CCP back in March. Just in time for them to sell my posters at Fanfest and not have to pay me anything for them. My inquiries in that specific direction have gone unanswered since then.
I bring this up now for the same reasons I have always strived to be open and honest with my readers and my fans. Because you deserve to know. I get requests every single day for merchandise, for t-shirt designs, for phone cases, for wall stickers, for everything under the sun. This is why, back in March, I replaced every single Art Print image on Flickr with a hi-resolution version - so that you could download them yourself and print them out for FREE. What can I do? I can't sell them without breaking the law, so all I am left with is nothing.
I will continue, as I always have, to work with those that need help. But as far as Eve merchandise goes, unless something changes, I'm done with it.
I have to start moving on to other things. As the great Roger Waters wrote:
"All alone, or in two's,
The ones who really love you
Walk up and down outside the wall.
Some hand in hand
And some gathered together in bands.
The bleeding hearts and artists
Make their stand.
And when they've given you their all
Some stagger and fall, after all it's not easy
Banging your heart against some mad bugger's wall."
None of this makes a lick of sense to me.