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A serious case of art thievery (UPDATED)

Journal Entry: Mon Sep 16, 2013, 1:35 AM
THIS IS AN OLD JOURNAL OF A 'CLOSED' CASE
I KEEP IT ON MY MAIN PAGE TO WARN PEOPLE
AND TO LET THE THIEF KNOW I'M STILL WATCHING HER


******* LAST UPDATE *******
I'm having trouble adding info on this journal without making it unreadable, and I'm using all my free time to gather more info and evidence of the theft.
Please read the comments of fellow artists down there, they explain much better than what I could possibly repeat here, and they are in chronological order. Thanks :-)

**** UPDATE ****
They found many of her images on Google+ at this address: plus.google.com/10694788924014…
If you please can check them and see if you recognize any of your artwork, stolen, posted there, please SAVE EVIDENCE of the theft before she takes it down!
There are now many angry artists decided to stop her for good, evidence is important!

---------------------------------------------------

Hi all.
I've been notified by :iconeresaw: (thanks!) about a website selling some of my artworks without permission.
This german guy owns a 'gallery' (sigh) which clearly contains stolen art from DA artists. Mostly fractal, fantasy and sci-fi artists. Unfortunately he only submits excerpts of the books he prints, so it's impossible to have a list of all artists who fell victim of his robbery without going to his gallery in Germany.

I already found images of some of my favorite DA artists in there, and I am alerting them as soon as I find their works.
I'm also saving the files he posted for future reference, even if he tried to forbid it by putting passwords on the PDF files.
Furthermore, I've alerted the DA Group :icondoombringers: and I'm sure their work will help.

In my case, he stole dozens and dozens of my artworks without permission, removing my signature and writing his, adding also a fake copyright symbol with an arbitrary year. Of course I have a dozen ways to demonstrate he can't be the author; he also made stupid mistakes which I can't reveal here to not alert him.

In my 5 years of experience on DA this is the second biggest art thievery I saw, after the famous one involving Chad Love Lieberman (you can laugh here if you remember that guy who used the money he made to insure his own nuts)

I NEED HELP from you all! :crying:

If you can please spread this and alert other artists, so everyone can check if their works were stolen, I would much appreciate it :-)

The website is: www.ma1stnews.de/galerie-maran… and you must navigate it clicking on the tabs below and above the images. Clicking on the images will open PDF files.

***UPDATE***
All the links to the books/calendars/prints on sell have been removed from his/her website on Tue Sept 17th 2013
***UPDATE***

For Facebook users: you can also check his page here www.facebook.com/pages/Maran-A…, where dozen of other rip-offs are shown. No need to add that every comment on his FB profile is very welcomed :-)

***UPDATE***
On Tuesday, September 17th 2013 at about 11:40 GMT he removed all stolen images from his FB page
***UPDATE***

I also found him on Flickr, Twitter, Google+, Youtube and Pinterest.

I am trying to have him removing my works for now, but every artist involved should ask him to do it. I know it won't be enough if he owns a physical gallery in his city; that's why I'm also considering measures to have his gallery visited by some kind of authorities.

I'm not accustomed to use DA as a social network for my personal problems, I just wish to add that my artworks are all I've left with in my life. This is a violation very serious to me and I won't have peace until I see a satisfactory end of this thievery.

Have a nice day everyone! :hug:


P.S. My artistic activity is on hold until I'll be able to calm down my nerves.


*****FINAL UPDATE*****
Thanks to all the artists on DA this person finally removed her illegal copies from Facebook, as well as from her online art gallery. In a surreal rant she said she was the victim and we, the original creators of the art she stole, were the cheaters :D

Anyway, this is why you can't find anymore proofs of her criminal activity on those websites. I saved some of her files though, available to anyone who could have doubts about my claims.

I still don't know if she actually owns a physical art gallery or printing shop or whatever. I'm trying to figure it out before deciding if and how best act against her to be sure she won't go on or restart her activity in the future.

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:icondiejodis:
dieJodis Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2014
She still has some Fans on Pinterest.
Dunno if this is a friend of her, but...
www.pinterest.com/pin/26317979…
This woman has a lot of "Marans" work in her gallery, with all Information to puchase it.
Reply
:iconvidom:
Vidom Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Must be her friend, she lives in the same town. Some images have indeed been re-pinned, but most have been deleted. Let's say 95% of her illegal activity disappeared from internet, but some echoes still remain.
The single artists should act if they want the last ones to be removed from Pinterest, and I alerted everyone I could find already.  
Reply
:icondiejodis:
dieJodis Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2014
I checked on it. She still sells her artbooks and calender 2014. You need to mail her personally to get her List.
Reply
:iconvidom:
Vidom Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I can't find evidence of it, even if I know she left her email address open for orders. If you can please send me a link where she sells them, I would be grateful. 
BTW, as far as I know she never replied any email of cease&desist or anything else.
Reply
:icondiejodis:
dieJodis Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2014
She writes on her homepage that she sells her art after contact via e-mail or phone. She writes also that she needed to erase her galeries bcs her Art was stolen and the thief claims the Art as hers/hims. But she has not the money to go to court and she will work further in silent.  Now she waits if the Thief trys to go to court and would make himself also guilty of fraud in obtaining a judgement.

I think she realy has a metal problem....
Reply
:iconvidom:
Vidom Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh, yes, she wrote that thing to justify herself to her customers. Poor woman! Actually she stole from dozen of artists and we all have the proofs. I saved proofs and have them ready in case she comes back, but right now I guess we have to be happy with the fact she was forced to take down all her marketing net. She got many copyright infringement notes on every website she posted the stolen works on.
I keep a trace of her illegal activity on my DA page mostly to warn future customers; everyone buying from her must know they're buying illegal stuff.
Reply
:iconsnow-katt:
Snow-katt Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2013
link is dead
gives an error  404 
Reply
:iconvidom:
Vidom Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
While I keep an eye on her, she was forced to deactivate or empty all her online accounts with stolen material. This all started almost 2 months ago, and all the links were working at that time :-)
Reply
:iconsnow-katt:
Snow-katt Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2013
i see its an ongoing  saga 
i generally   dont  care much for art thieves 
my  art is a bit too  ideosynchratic  to  steal  (  ie its hard  to claim  it as  your own  )
Reply
:iconvidom:
Vidom Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Selling stolen art is a crime, she's the worst of thieves.
Reply
:iconsnow-katt:
Snow-katt Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2014
and  2 months later how is the saga  ?
Reply
:iconvidom:
Vidom Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I have no news about her. I search daily about her name, address, city, fractal art, words she used, submissions of artworks on many websites (even in german language) and I keep count of the number of recurrences of her name around the net. Right now she's hiding beautifully, or she quit (I mostly believe it's the latter). I don't believe she can cheat many people anymore, though; her reputation won't dissipate easily.
I don't believe it's over, she put too much time in doing that thing, but I'm patient and if she will be back I'll get her (not me personally, but the real police) :-)
Reply
:iconbrianosaka:
brianosaka Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2014  Professional Artist
I live in Berlin... if you see any physical activity of this sort from this person here, let me know and I can visit any public shop or gallery :)
Würzburg is rather far from here ..............!
Reply
:iconvidom:
Vidom Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks for your support :-)
I hope it won't be necessary, though ;-)
Reply
(1 Reply)
:icondark-beam:
dark-beam Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2013  Student Artist
:lmao: !!! Ho calcolato che se avesse impiegato un solo giorno per creare ogni opera d'arte rubata, senza mai interrompersi, avrebbe dovuto iniziare 20 anni fa!!! Ma che faccia da c.u.l.o che può avere una gran str... per rubare così tante cose da tanta gente diversa? E poi spanderla su tutto internet!!! :o ... Inimmaginabile!
Reply
:iconvidom:
Vidom Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Ci ha lavorato per mesi di sicuro, per quello credo che stia cercando ancora di venderli... :-(
Su internet ha una bella pubblicità ora, grazie alle persone su DA, ma credo che nella sua cittadina sia ancora considerata una vera 'artista' :rofl:
Prende una photo-manipulation or un disegno digitale e dice che è frattale, pensa anche alla sua ignoranza!!!
 
Reply
:icondark-beam:
dark-beam Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2013  Student Artist
:o ... l' "artista" più veloce del west :D
Reply
:iconsteelsoldat:
Steelsoldat Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2013  Student Artist
this is great ^_^
Reply
:iconvidom:
Vidom Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I hope you mean the end of it, not the theft itself :thumbsup: :D
Reply
:iconsteelsoldat:
Steelsoldat Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2013  Student Artist
i do mean the end and your effort, I don't want to see you leave xD
Reply
:iconvidom:
Vidom Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks a lot :highfive:
Reply
:iconsteelsoldat:
Steelsoldat Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2013  Student Artist
no problem you more or less inspired me to make fractals :3
Reply
:iconvidom:
Vidom Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Wow that's great!
Oh, I see you like V for Vendetta... if only that would inspire more and more people :D The timing would be perfect now.
Reply
:iconkatlienc:
katlienc Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2013

I am glad you helped to close down that site.

 

Reply
:iconvidom:
Vidom Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
:-)
Reply
:iconteresenielsen:
TereseNielsen Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2013
All 5 of the images she stole from me have been removed. Actually her entire Google+ account seems to be non existent now. 
Reply
:iconvidom:
Vidom Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yes she deleted those works finally (or Google closed her account for too many complaints, I don't know)
I remember your name and your messages on Google+, I saved the evidence just in case.
Thanks :-)
Reply
:iconcrystal-firefly:
Crystal-Firefly Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Hey there, I tried the link but I don't get there. "Error 404" is shown. Does it mean, the site has been deactivated or deleted?
Reply
:iconvidom:
Vidom Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yes, all websites she used to promote the stolen art have been closed or deactivated or emptied.
What's left is only a few repins of her messages on Pinterest, and her silly self-defense message visible here: www.ma1stnews.de/galerie-maran…
Of course all the material can be still on her computer, but only police with a search warrant could find it, not us :-)
Reply
:icontanjagrimstvedt:
TanjaGrimstvedt Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2013
what I don't get is: Why does picasa/google+ not delete the images?? Hundreds of people are complaining and nothing happens.....that is sad....
Reply
:iconvidom:
Vidom Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm wondering about this too. I'm sure many artists filed a complaint to Google, I can't believe why they aren't acting yet.
3 days ago I filed a DMCA complain here on DA, they solved the problem deleting the unauthorized deviation and warning the submitter in few hours.
Reply
:icontanjagrimstvedt:
TanjaGrimstvedt Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2013
I mean, if they go on showing those images with her advertising that she is selling them, google does something illegal too, aren't they? It's just in their own interest to take them down, unless they are working in the background on something....and that would mean our "lady" really is in trouble. Well, she is anyway, I bet :giggle:
Reply
:iconvidom:
Vidom Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yes, Google is subject to copyright laws and they should delete them. I still can't understand why they are so slow, but DMCA formal complaints need a physical person taking care of them and can't be automated. I hope they're just slow.
Still can't understand why she didn't delete the works from Google+, but she's leaving more time to artists to find their works in there, that's going to hit her hard :-)
Reply
:iconraymondminnaar:
RaymondMinnaar Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
just saw one of mine there  i read  some of the guys comments such a panzy.  claiming that the actual artists stole the work from him        
Reply
:iconvidom:
Vidom Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
She must be crazy. And she's 55 years old, not 15.
Reply
:iconsilverquetzal:
SilverQuetzal Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2013
55!!!! WTF! I m shocked right now!
Reply
:iconvidom:
Vidom Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
:D She must be really young inside! :D
Reply
:iconsilverquetzal:
SilverQuetzal Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2013
naw ... I hope she will "grow up" very fast now!
Reply
:iconfaerietear:
FaerieTear Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
It's really making me angry. This person is german, so I can read her statement on her google+ site, since I'm german as well. It's unbelievable that she really is claming, all the original artists have stolen from HER, not the other way round. oO But I KNOW a lot of "her" pictures there, and I know, that they are from artists on dA. I have no words for such.... I don't know. Stupidity. And I feel sorry for all the artists here she has stolen from and makes money from. 

I hope this person gets what she deserves.
Reply
:iconvidom:
Vidom Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yes, it would be incredible if a hundred artists on DA suddenly go crazy and attack her for no reason :D
I believe she wrote that not to us, but to her customers and friends in her city. I read she is considered a sort of 'artist' there, it could be the shame is gnawing at her (seeing how deliberately she did it, I don't thing she is capable of being ashamed though) and she's trying to depict us as mad persons :-)


Reply
:iconseamanarts-artwork:
SeamanArts-Artwork Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I am totally shocked that someone has the audacity to try and sell so many works of art by well known artists stating that they are their own. 
We know it happens, but not on this scale.  
It is pretty obvious that this person does not know the internet art world very well or they would not have proceeded to post up so many on well know sites to sell them as their own works of art. 
To see some of them defaced as well is such a shame.  
If this person wanted fame, they certainly have it now, but not for the work they have done.
I hope this person realises what they have done.

Good work to all those who have tracked this person down. It just shows that the art community is always united and come together when art is stolen/defaced/sold.

Will be watching this with interest.
Reply
:iconvidom:
Vidom Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks for the comment and your support. DA artists are indeed a powerful friendly community, I'd hug them all.
In my opinion that thief is now in shock or something, or forgot all the website where she advertised her scam. Anyway her crime was short lived, compared to the stain she got on her name forever.

Reply
:icontanjagrimstvedt:
TanjaGrimstvedt Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2013
I am registered on pinterest and started to report some of the images already! 
Reply
:iconvidom:
Vidom Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh, does she still have an active account? I can't access it :-(
Reply
:icontanjagrimstvedt:
TanjaGrimstvedt Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2013
No, her account is deactivated. But others repin "her" images. :) 
Reply
:iconvidom:
Vidom Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh OK :-)
Reply
:icontomahawk-monkey:
Tomahawk-Monkey Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Hey thanks for notifying me about this, pretty sad -__-.
I'm pretty astounded you were able to track this back to me too.  
Thank you :)
Reply
:iconvidom:
Vidom Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You're welcome :-)
Reply
:iconnamiyakou:
NamiyaKou Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2013  Professional Artist
Wow what a story!
I feel sick! Seriously, stealing 7000 artworks (wtf!) and making a profit with them is just terrible, and a crime of course!
But the impudence of silently shutting down her pages and writing up this little 'message to her buyers' whining about how she has tried watermarking her work but people still stole it, AND how people now DARE to accuse her of art theft? 
I'm speechless as to what a terrible person she is! 

Best of luck to all of you, I wish you all the best in clearing this case and that something actually happens and this person gets what they deserve!
And if you need any more translations of German, give me a private message.
Reply
:iconvidom:
Vidom Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks for your support :-)
I believe her arrogance is mostly directed to her previous customers. She surely know what she did to artists, in my opinion she's trying to avoid complaints from the people she cheated.
In fact she never replied to any messages we sent her, I assume she's not really talking to us; if she is, then she needs a good asylum.
Reply
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