Outlaw Press is a small press outfit that publishes for Tunnels & Trolls, run by one Jim Shipman. Late last month, a South American guy noticed that a cover for one of their products was miscredited and posted on RPG.net about it. Innocent mistake? Overreaction? Well, as time wore on, actual RPG artists took note and started noticing work of theirs appearing as covers on Outlaw Press products. A huge list of artists.
In the last month, a staggering 70+ works of art have been identified as having been stolen by Outlaw Press and used in their publications, as well as a large laundry list of other kinds of IP theft. There’s a convenient PDF someone put together showing the various copyrighted works and the products ripping them off. Much of the art isn’t even just copyrighted by a random artist, but was work for hire and actually owned by Games Workshop, Dreamworks, and Blizzard. All their products have been yanked from RPGNow for these shenanigans, and is getting yanked from Amazon and other locations as the wronged parties hunt down everywhere these tainted products are being sold. Apparently and incredibly, Shipman has responded to all this with vague evasions and defiant “I do what I want” declarations, continuing to sell these products despite being notified of the art theft. In fact, Ken St. Andre and Flying Buffalo pulled his Tunnels & Trolls license over it, but that’s not stopping Jim! “I have warehoused products to sell!” he declares.
He is still selling his wares clandestinely on eBay and other places under shifting seller names, including jimship1, Hobbit_King@yahoo.com, and actionseller99.
Do not buy anything from Jim Shipman or Outlaw Press, now or in the future! And feel free and take whatever kind of righteous retribution you see fit upon him, his products, his Web site, and his business. He’s flaunting the law and ripping off legitimate artists and creators trying to make their way generating content for their favorite games.