The Eve Store (cough)


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."


In the meantime, do what Albert did and take my art and make your own thing with it. Albert also started supporting me on my Patreon page!  While you can't pay me directly for using my art, you can always pay me indirectly to keep making more art. What a weird ass world we live in.

None of this makes a lick of sense to me.



13 comments:

  1. They are fools for not better utilizing you or other contributors in the community. It's sad, most other companies get it but they just don't. Their loss, they keep promising a store and not delivering it isn't funny anymore, it's just sad statement about their organization or lack thereof.

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  2. I'm sorry to hear that Rixx - did CCP say why they were cancelling the deal with you? And did that really mean they could sell the posters without paying you? That sounds really shady.

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    1. All I was told was that they weren't continuing with QMX Online (although the posters are still for sale there) and they needed to "re-evaluate" their agreements with all parties. There was a bit more, which I'm not at liberty to discuss. But that was essentially it, the extra details don't change anything. And yes, they sold my posters at Fanfest without an agreement. So I won't see a dime from those sales.

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    2. Wait, so if there was no outstanding agreement how did they have the right to sell your work? Or did your previous agreement relinquish that?

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  3. Sorry to hear that CCP wasting the opportunities you’re giving them. I had some ideas that I want to send to CCP, to make merchandising easier for a company of the size of CCP. But if they don’t even want to use your talent, then I don’t waste my time (and little talent) for working on concepts. I’ll stick at making books for myself and support people like you on Patreon...

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  4. *Insert any facepalm meme here*

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  5. >Just in time for them to sell my posters at Fanfest and not have to pay me anything for them.

    That can't be legal in any fashion.

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    1. Contesting copyright is very expensive. Plus it's very uncertain in this case - CCP clearly owns the copyrights on the ship designs.

      There's also the issue of jurisdiction, it's possible that CCP's EULA stipulation that disputes should be resolved in the Icelandic courts would be respected by an American court where presumably the process would start.

      Also even if Rixx were to win CCP would be likely to fight it.

      All told it would get very expensive on both sides and as an Eve fan Rixx may not want to bankrupt the company even if he were in the right.

      Copyright law is awful. The lobbyists always claim that it protects the artists but it protects companies more.

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  6. You know there is a small twist in US copyright law, where a small change constitutes a new product not covered by the copyright law. If you have access to a good lawyer look at it, as customizing some designs might get you through. I know this cause one of my sons went through a similar process with a cartoon company and it was proven that while based on characters created by the cartoon company his designs were new/changed designs and we won the dispute. The company then reached out to us for an agreement and my son started making good bucks out of it. I know this is also valid for music.

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  7. "Just in time for them to sell my posters at Fanfest and not have to pay me anything for them."

    What in the actual fuck?! That's absolutely batshit crazy.

    I've resisted the temptation to buy unlicensed EVE merchandise in favour of the eventual EVE store. As I wasn't an ex-lawyer I couldn't afford the stuff from Musterbrand so I had to make do with what I could get at Fanfest itself.

    Here I am waiting for the new-new EVE store (now a year late) and to find out that CCP apparently actively screws people trying to work with them is really annoying.

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  8. I was thinking of resubscribing but now I don't want to give CCP any money.

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  9. Hi Rixx Javix

    Very old - now sleeping - Eve Online player here. I'm very sad to read this. Just one question : besides your patreon page (to which I will contribute if I download the amazing titan over London scene), in case I buy one of your poster series on QMX Online, will you get credits for that (I mean, financial credits oc) ?

    Thanks

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  10. I am so sorry to hear this. Your designs are unique and really inspired. As someone with a rather complicated work and business biography, I simply sympathize with you.

    CCPs decision to sell those posters without a legal basis to do so, is simply disgusting and disrespectful of your work and person. The material you created added so much publicity and value to the brand, that they should have paid you for it from the start or at least show you some gratitude. Even though I have not played even for a long time and just read up on it now and then, your design embedded themselves in my memory.

    I wish you the best for all your endeavors.

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