We've covered the 2 Image Solutions controversy pretty well to death, but I feel it's appropriate to share one more perspective about the controversy surrounding the pillows featuring the images of cosplayers. Pixie Belle, a New England cosplayer, attended Anime Next and asked us to share her side of the story after she had been mentioned by a 2 Image representative in a previous article. Her email has been posted, with her permission, below:
Hello, my name is Pixie Belle in the cosplay community and I was the person that Eric from 2 Image Solutions was talking about in his response to you. I wanted to send this to tell you that what he said is misquoted and I am totally not happy with him and I don't want to be seen like I was.
The true story is this, my roommate had found out she had a pillow of her in the dealers room without her knowledge so me, my boyfriend and my other roommate went to go look. When we found the booth, we discovered that three pillows were on sale with my likeness on them. On one side what a picture of my front, and the other side was a picture of my back, with details given to my lower half. I had no clue about my likeness being sold and I was outraged upon seeing it.
At first my boyfriend tried to get a word with him, as well as discussed it with his partner, who told my boyfriend he was not allowed to speak with him, and to respect his, "Art." When I showed him my business card, which had the same exact picture of me as was on the pillow, she ignored us and went to handle other customers.
When we spoke to Eric I told him I wanted to see the contract. He didn't have physical copies so he instead showed us a digital on on his phone, which showed my name and email typed up, not an actual signature. My boyfriend asked for a physical copy, and this was the only one we were shown. He gave me one of the pillows as a "freebie" and stashed away the two other pillows of my likeness, as well as told me I was, "Popular".
Last year at AnimeNext, Eric was taking random cosplayers off the path to do free photos with. He said how it was something new and he would put it on his deviantart, he just asked for my deviantart, name and e-mail on a piece of paper so he could send it to me. It was just a piece of paper that said Name, e-mail, and deviantart and then spaces to write. That was all, no legal anything with it. When I saw the response he gave your website it furthered my outrage. How he could say that they were keepsakes makes no sense. If it's a keepsake you only make as many as that person wants, not multiples to sell to random people. At that point it isn't a keepsake, it is just merchandise for random strangers to go home with and do what they will.
I had said that if he had my contract then he could use my image for photography related products only on prints, posters and stickers, NOT on body pillows or physical merchandise. Another thing he failed to mention was how utterly creeped out I was when he decided that telling me I was a "popular" seller was a good idea. All that did was leave a sick feeling in my stomach, which is why I left the booth. He did indeed supply me with a pillow, and I took it as physical evidence, due to one of the other cosplayers looking for possible legal action, and there might be need of physical evidence.
I am supplying you with two photos of the pillow itself, one of it's front, and one of it's back (Which I didn't know Keepsakes involve pictures of backsides.) Also, as the picture of the Loki as proof, the pillows he was selling are much larger than he claimed. How do pillows promote his special "360" photos if they only show two views?
I am contacting you to let it be known that contrary to what Eric said, in no shape or form am I happy or okay with this and I am still waiting for an e-mail from him. If he wishes to contact me about this further, he has my email, as well as the emails of all involved, and has not yet contacted us personally. All I ask, more like all we ask, is for Eric to stop selling our likenesses for profit and destroy any merchandise Eric still deems worthy to sell, for as he can clearly see, he's upsetting people.
Since Pixie sent us this email, 2 Image has decided to pull the merchandise and no longer make it available for sale, a fact that Pixie acknowledged in a follow up email. However, Pixie asked that we share her email to provide some closure for herself and to let others know about her experiences about this weekend.
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About the Author - Christian Hoffer
Christian Hoffer is the exasperated Abbott to the Outhouse's Costello. When he's not yelling at the Newsroom for upsetting readers or complaining to his wife about why the Internet is stupid, he sits in his dingy business office trying to find new ways to make the site earn money. Hoffer is also the only person in history stupid enough to moderate two comic book forums at once.
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