I just had the weirdest thing happen recently. The odds of me finding this have to be incredibly small. It was one of those jaw-dropping moments...quite literally my jaw dropped LOL! Guess you want to know what it was eh? :)
On a typical Saturday morning I'll sleep in a bit, stumble out to the coffee maker and get that thang going and then settle down at my desk to check emails, surf the web and sometimes I will play a PC game. This particular morning I decided to play a hidden object game. I like the ones with pretty graphics and not too many puzzles or riddles to solve. Hey...I'm just waking up, I don't want to have to think!
Anyhoo, I went to Big Fish Games where you can download a game to try for free. While the game was loading I grabbed my cuppa Joe and settled back down. I was in the second room in this seek and find game, which they called the 'Treasure Room', and my eyes were scanning the room for the first object when it struck me that there was something familiar. I looked closer and it was the image of one of my vases! (this is where my jaw dropped). I was stunned. It was a very surreal experience and it was the last thing I ever expected.
Here is the image they used
Here is a link to a larger image of it in my gallery on deviantART
I really had a hard time believing it for a moment. I had no idea that game developers troll the web for images to steal and use in their games. I am very naive I guess.
Upon further inspection I realize that there is also a much larger image of the same vase in the bottom right corner of the same scene. I began to get mad. Sick to my stomach really.
I know there are art thieves that think nothing of using other artists' images for their own profit. Last year I stumbled upon a person trying to sell images of one of my paintings. I really thought that, since most of my art is 3-dimensional that someone would actually have to make it to re-sell or use it for their profit. In other words I always felt safe and secure.
I really do not want to start plastering a watermark across my photos. It really spoils the image and, from what I hear with today's technology, that is a very easy thing to remove.
I decided to write a letter to Big Fish Games. I knew that they were not the developers but I hoped they could help me get in touch with them. I contacted Big Fish one other time about a different issue and I was really impressed with their customer service. It is truly outstanding!
Someone responded two days later asking for more information and assured me that they would do everything they could. I then receive an email from their legal department and she gave me the name of the developer and his contact information.
I am trying to decide what I want them to do. Remove the images? Some type of compensation? My name in the credits? Realistically what can I expect?
This is where I am now.
Anyone have any advice or wisdom on such a thing?