Update: Sarkeesian FanArt Issue Under Debate

Sarkeesian resolves copyright allegations with quick open dialogue.

Earlier this morning, I wrote that Anita Sarkeesian had been accused of stealing FanArt for her Troves vs Women in Gaming project. However, as of fourteen hours ago, Tamara Smith reports that Sarkeesian has been in touch, and the issue is being resolved. 

While I predicted that only the trolls would be quick to judge, I failed to realize that my immediate condemnation of Sarkeesian also came too soon. 

For that I apologize to both Sarkeesian and Smith. Their polite debate and engagement is a model that I hope to follow in the future as I endeavor to first give people (particularly my heroines) the benefit of the doubt. 

I had hoped that Sarkeesian and Smith could publicly resolve Smith's complain in mature dialogue. This hope has been realized, something I thought impossible given the gaming community's history of responding to detractors. 

While the situation has not been resolved to Smith's satisfaction, Sarkeesian has been in touch and the two are continuing dialogue regarding the use of Smith's artwork in Sarkeesian's work. 

Tamara Smith and Anita Sarkeesian have ultimately provided us with positive model for both criticism and response. 

It is a completely valid thing to criticize an issue, particularly if you feel like your work has been stolen. In both her initial letter and in her public address of copyright concerns, Smith was by open and honest, allowing for polite debate of the issue. Her insistence on polite dialogue and working through the proper channels has been amazing to watch, as has her clarification of copyright law

While simple bibliography may have circumvented this issue in the first place, Sarkeesian's willingness to engage is exactly how a creator of any public content should respond when faced with valid criticism. Hopefully Sarkeesian can continue to this dialogue to the satisfaction of her own followers and Smith. 

While I may still have some mixed feelings regarding Sarkeesian's initial use of the image (and whether Fair Use laws are completely adequate in many regards), I am appreciative of the conduct of both parties. Thanks to both ladies for modeling how professional an internet argument can be, and teaching me to: 1) hold my horses 2) check my sources. 

Published Mar. 7th 2014
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  • A Lulzy Apprentice
    First and foremost Anita needs to prove she is a non-profit. This is easy and can be done in ten seconds. Just tell Tammy what the EIN number or the name of the non-profit is. Btw, I suspect the reason this has not happened is because there is no non-profit or she does not want people to se her filings with the IRS. All non-profit financials are available to the public upon request. This is the law. There is no way around it.

    In addition the KickStarter rules are designed to discourage causes and non profits. I think people need to face up to the very real possibility that the money was not used for what it was intended and that FemFreq is not engaged in any non-profit activities.

    She needs to prove her first claim. That she is a non-profit or that Tropes vs Women is a non-profit endeavor. She needs to disclose the EIN, employer indentification number, or associated name for the non-profit. With just south of 160k given to her there will be tax records. There should be records.
  • Cortalia
    I know Tamara Smiths pain. It's not exactly the same thing, but I can't count how many times I've done up logo designs for "company x" only to have them take my proof down the street, have it traced (usually poorly at that) and then have the signs, decals, wraps, apparel, ect made their instead.

    Now not only has the shop down the street blatantly stolen my artwork, they've made a mess of it using auto-trace's.. or just sucking, using cheap materials and overall mis-representing the art that I made. However in my case my hands are tied since technically while on the clock all art I make belongs to the shop I work at, not me and thus it is up to the owner to seek any theft of intellectual property claims, to which "we have more pressing matters" aka.. were too busy to "worry" about it.
  • Ray_7590
    Unfortunately for Tamara Smith it isn't a conclusion to her liking. I hesitant to call it resolved, as she still asking for valid proof of Feminist Frequency non-profit status, which the organization is apparently is to my surprise. Anita's partner, Jonathan McIntosh isn't much for empathy. I don't often read his tweets, but when I do I have an uncontrollable cringe most of the time. I find it amusing that some pro-Anita Sarkeesian supporters are harassing this lady calling her a money grabber, attention seeker, etc. some went to the condescending route, I'm looking at you, Jonathan Blow! They are just as bad as those jerks who harassed Anita. Just shows there are assholes on both sides of the argument.

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