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On Stolen Art, Fraud and NFTs

July 02, 2021 3 min read

Thank you to all the people who informed me that I am being impersonated on Rarible. Regrettably, someone is minting NFTs of my work and selling and dispersing them around the internet as “gifts” – and also selling them at a really low price. This is super disheartening on a variety of levels. I've been having a hard time sharing new work on social media because of amount of counterfeits I've been finding. My work is put onto blankets, tapestries, prints, phone cases, and not to mention full editions of Prisma Visions, Cosma Visions, Light Visions and Green Glyphs. I know that things I post get shared countless times without credits and that is just part of the game, but we're entering into a really precarious time in the world where counterfeits and knock-offs are making up more and more of the market. If we keep buying and promoting counterfeits then they will keep making them. I know many artists are struggling with this and it is rarely talked about. 
 
After reading about some of the detrimental environmental effects of NFTs I made a conscious decision to wait until there was method of minting and creating NFTs that didn’t impose such a threat on the world. I only made one NFT of The Goldfeather Player which is listed onFoundation. Every other NFT you find of my work is fraud.  
 
We do daily takedowns of knock-offs and counterfeits of my art. Every. single. day. Prisma Visions has become a beast to contain, and we can't really at this point. There are just so many different counterfeit editions. Websites like Etsy, Wish, and Amazon have creators and artists jump through hoops to prove that their work is their work, It becomes exhausting, and expensive. I have a copyright lawyer now and we have to copyright everything I make long before it even becomes a tangible thing.  
If you're unsure of the legitimacy of something do some research ahead of buying. There are three things you can look for when determining if something is real: PRICE, PLACE and PERFECTION. If something is super cheap, it's likely a fake. If you find something on wish, it is likely a fake. If you find something low quality, it is likely fake. 
With the fake Rarible account, at first I saw it and I thought "did I make this account and completely forget about it?" It looked so real, they used my name, my face and my website and bio, it felt like identity theft more than these things usually do. We need to be holding these mega companies like Rarible accountable for not vetting creators especially with something so environmentally detrimental like NFTs, where anyone can list anything they want for a fraction of a dollar, it’s really such a shame that this is where we’ve found ourselves.  
 
Anyways, we're working on having these taken down (I believe the account has been suspended now) and hopefully having the editions burned from existence, but it's not as easy as pushing a button, just know that we're on it. 
I’d ask anyone who got got one of these NFTs to reach out to hello@jamesreads.com, the same goes when you find something else that looks suspicious. We appreciate the early heads up.
 I appreciate you all.
 
Love, James


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