Monday, October 11, 2010

Plagiarist Smackdown!!!



*****


Has David Boyer (hiding under the name David Byron and all his other names) plagiarized Activision? 

Compare the two covers above.  You tell me.

When respected publishing icon Tyree Campbell of Sams Dot Publishing agreed to publish the anthology "Crimson Screams" which was edited by David Byron (Boyer), "Iron" Dave(Boyer) told Mr. Campbell that he would provide his (David Boyer's) own artwork- this according to Mr. Campbell, who is above reproach.  But this was before he knew about Boyer's/Byron's plagiarism issues.  So Mr. Campbell, who is the most honest publisher you could ever ask to deal with, might have been taken in like the rest of us.  If so, then he's not very happy, either.

So tell me, in your opinion, after claiming that he (David Boyer/ David Byron) provided his own original artwork to Mr. Campbell, has Mr. Boyer (Byron) really ripped off Activision and Sam's Dot Publishing or what?  Or do you think he got written permission from Activision?  He never mentioned any of this to Mr. Campbell, so maybe he was trying to avoid asking for written permission.  So much easier to just take what's not yours and try to profit from it.  Compare the pictures again.  If he did rip them off,  do you think Activision is going to stand for that??
Now that Activision's lawyers have been notified, how pissed are they? 

If corporate lawyers were salsa, do you think they'd be mild, hot, or flaming hot over him taking their picture and claiming it as his own?  I can't wait to find out.

I think "Iron" Dave is starting to rust.


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37 comments:

Travis Cody said...

Seems to me that the guy, whatever name he chooses, can't be trusted. I don't know if he ripped off the artwork, but if he can't be bothered to write his own material, why should we believe he can be bothered to commission his own artwork?

Rick said...

I'm with you, Travis. And those two covers do look a little similar, don't they? I just talked to Tyree Campbells and he does have the emails where Boyer/Bryon claims that its his artwork.... uhhhhh- no!

Steve Buchheit said...

There's a slightly misunderstood rule of if two pieces are art are similar, commonly referred to the 10-35% rule. Basically, if two works of art are close to each other, if there is at least 10-35% difference, they are considered separate creations.

However, that's if the owners of the art can prove they created their art separately (the part most people gloss over). I think it's pretty clear the figure in the Activision game is the same as on the cover (with a different background and some color modification). The muscle striations and "popping" veins/arteries are too close to be anything else (however, a judge would have to agree, but I think it's pretty clear that it is the same character). The color adjustment and different background doesn't mean squat.

And there's nothing I can think of that would make this a "fair usage" issue (considering it was for profit, wasn't derivative, parody, or any of the other possibilities).

If Dave didn't secure the rights from Activision (or the illustrator, depending on who owns the rights for reproduction - I doubt this is a stock image, which would involve a third party), I think the Activision lawyers (or the illustrator if it was created outside Activision and wasn't "work for hire") have a good case for misappropriation of their copyrighted materials.

Unfortunately for Tyree Campbell, it depends on how solid his contract is on if he's off the line. He does, however, have legal recourse to sue Dave for misrepresentation (IANAL, he should talk with his own lawyers to see how to protect himself and show "good faith" to correct the issue and what his rights are to recoup any damages from Dave).

This is a classic case of contract and copyright law.

And just in general, the 10-35% rule us only for works of art that the originators can show were created without regard to each other (such as illustrators using the same source material, but are not aware of each other's work). Not in the "but if you change it 10-35% your okay" vein (as so often is represented in the urban myth kind of way).

Rick said...

Hi Steve! Thanks for weighing in on this. Since you know so much about graphic design and have so much experience, I'm really glad for everyone to see your input.

The weird thing is, Boyer/ Byron claimed the artwork as his own in his emails to Tyree.

And great point, it was done for profit, which puts the whole matter in a different league.

Vesper said...

All of this is just so awful, Rick. I'm incredibly sorry that you have to go through this and other people too... I hope he'll get his just "pay".

Rick said...

I believe that's coming his way, Vesper! Lots of work to do, but since he didn't want to come totally clean about his many identities and plagaries, we'll just keep going after the truth.

cussedness said...

It's definitely plagiarism with the cover. No amount of minor detail changes is going to compensate for a central figure that large and dominating of the space involved.

The rule of thumb back in the days before CGI was 3/5 (ie three major changes or five minor)

G said...

I think that the lawyers would be flaming hot in this case.

Nothing like digging your own grave, jumping in and covering yourself up in the process, plus playing the graveside music in the process.

Kind of reminds me of that old Star Trek episode where this guy David Boyer is Henry Mudd and everyone else is Norman.

Rick said...

Hi Cussedness- you mean there was life before CGI? And now there are a bunch of people searching all his other artwork for copyright infringement.

Rick said...

Yep, G, he's definitely Mudd- and covered with it, too!

David said...

Just found another apparent identity for Dave Byron ...

Dave Diotalevi ...

He has a Myspace account here:
http://www.myspace.com/davediotalevi?actp=n%2b0prKAebczfG13CmB%2fL170xxzjSK8k%2f19igSi%2f1c3uQLTXTYANJMky0qJd%2b9I2kGTDHP7c8RX%2fDq%2fIaC2QRghTPYtr4FSQf%2f2YTR29fbjeherznwXW0pMeB7%2fVYeN7kR%2fYROWXtdYJ458rYETH0HVUaAA4WYyxn%2b2NJMKwUFN%2fo0L21lUDwZMj%2bcjpu3v3Asu1PRBCHJ83AliJwMa0UiomoYk%2b1a7HNaBLg4UQeAwOcEV%2fneUwrYPeV2Wa0w5Zb

This used to be the 'Iron Dave' Myspace page and it has now been changed to be the page for this new 'Dave' author. My partner Sam also recognises the photo on the page as one that Dave used on the 'Iron Dave' page ...

And some new websites relating to this apparent new identity ...

http://wheresmyx.blogspot.com/
http://www.davewritesbooks.com

David

PS: Some looking around at the publisher of Dave D's book shows it to be Kunati Books ... and a link about all their woes here: http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=29961

So is Derek Armstrong who used to run Kunati also Dave Byron ... the MO seems remarkably similar to me.

Rick said...

Okay, David, I'll have it looked into. It's kind of like "Where's Waldo?" isn't it?

Wait, your name is David, too, isn't it? We'll be sending the aerial surveillance team over to make sure your not a new incarnation of Dave.

You'll all laugh at this, but guess how many emails and tags he's tried as "Incognito Dave?" You know, changes his name or uses someone else to contact and thinks no one can figure this out.

Rick said...

Hey David- the research team isn't confident it's the same guy. Need to look into it further. We'll check it out. Because Boyer is a plagiarist, I want to make sure that we properly investigate every possibility before saying it's so.

Travis Erwin said...

Go get 'im Rick.

Rick said...

Travis, I've always wanted to say, "Book 'em, Danno!"

Charles Gramlich said...

Let's so hope he doesn't rise from the dead, cause he's getting 'staked' now.

Rick said...

Okay, that was funny, Charles!

But to continue the analogy, he's been dragged out to the sunlight, and you know what happens to vampires when the sun hits them.

By the way, have you read "12?"

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Where's Waldo?...it's more like Where's Weirdo? Those two covers are almost exactly alike! I think he is stupid to think he could get away with such blatant plagiarism.

Rick said...

Yes, K, the general consensus seems to be the "stupid" element is a big factor!

Stewart Sternberg said...

Maybe Byron is good at copying pictures. You know, like the contest challenge to draw the parrot, dog, or pirate on the matchbook cover. I'm just saying. Did you know the book was nominated for a Nobel Prize?

Rick said...

A Nobel prize- wow that would by his third one! (after creating world peace, smashing the atom, and shortening the lines at the Secretary of State/ DMV).

JR's Thumbprints said...

The trouble with this slime-ball-dave-guy is that he's so used to stealing that he'll continue under whatever alias he chooses. He needs to add convicted-felon to his rapsheet, but I'm afraid that won't stop him either. Just a personal observation.

Rick said...

Dave Boyer, convicted felon... you're right, JR, it has a nice ring to it!

Mona said...

Ah! war of plagiarism! I would sue Shakespeare for that if I could!

Where are they casting the vote for JR Thumbprint?

Rick said...

Hi Mona! I think JR should flat out run for office.

ANNA-LYS said...

Iron Dave looks more
like a rusty nail on
an old barn, lately :-D

Keep up the good
Sami spirit lol

Rick said...

Hi ANA-LYS! Did you notice that his head looks a little flatter after we hammered him?

cussedness said...

I got his book taken down on lulu. I'm still hunting him.

He ripped off Jane Timm Baxter, one of my company's authors. That makes it personal.

No more interested observer.

Rick said...

cussedness- I'll have more info for you tonight if it's okay to email it to you. let me know. I'll check your blog to see if you have the details posted, but if not, can you email me and let me know what happened? Thanks.

cussedness said...

Most of what I'm doing, I post on Rusty about. I have also sent you a bcc

Rick said...

Thanks, cussedness!

Lana Gramlich said...

The more I read about this dickwad the madder I get.

S.Blundell said...

Rick ... nice post! Wow ripping of Activision (Trokia Games), but here's the real victim, the artist who is no other than Tim Bradstreet (Cover Artist on Punisher, and a ton of comics). What a turd ... might just have to track down Tim being that he's another favourite artist of mine. I also noticed that he took another image off another Vampire IP. What a dick!

Rick said...

S. Blundell- Yeah, do it! this guy steals from everyone and anything legal we can do to stop him is good by me. Let me know how I can help because I'd love to.

We're working on locating his other art sources this weekend.

Nickolaus Pacione said...

Well I got the story taken out of the anthology and it's nearly fixed, just need a few more things and looking for a good website divider that's a stock image so I can HTML the back cover. Some of the other contributors didn't understand why I made this personal. It's because I considered Boyer to be a friend, but now I see him as a human cockroach.

Rick said...

Well done, Nickolaus!

Raven said...

Oh dear, do you think that being exposed and named and shamed will deter Boyer/Byron in the least? I don't.

I've known different sorts of chronic liars, some of them rather sweet and innocent actually, mere BS artists who were looking for sympathy or respect without doing harm; telling tales of all their surgeries (nonexistent) or adventures in Vietnam as infantry, Special Forces, and Air America pilot (concurrently, when you added it up). As long as you believed nothing, you suffered nothing. As long as you looked convinced and nodded at the right moments, they were satisfied. An easy enough conversation for a party or a bar.

Not quite the same situation with actual swindlers and thieves, people who lie in order to get other people's property for themselves. There's a reward-feedback of long standing, and our mere disapproval isn't going to wipe that out. Stamp out *this* front, they'll just start another. Nothing will stop them save sheer inability.

That may or may not mean prison -- some swindlers have continued to run scams from inside prison....