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.
That name sounded familiar. I wonder if he’s any relation to James Shipman who was doing much the same stuff about 20 years ago?
This whole incident is pretty disgusting. I can only hope the artists involve band together and raise this issue with the appropriate authorities.
Also: the animated snow running over your posts is kind of freaky. 🙂
According to Dana Jorgensen, yes.
It seems that he’s flown under the radar a long, long time, relying on the victims’ limited resources to move on and victimise others. This time he seems to have gotten a bit too brazen, and as a consequence has actually gotten enough attention to, hopefully, get stomped.
Damn, I wish there was an edit fuction. Strike the “according to” part. I was thinking of someone else Dana talks about on that Blog of Shame who’d ripped Dana off years ago.
However, that link does mention the Gamma World bootlegs that were mentioned on the RPGnet thread. Shipman’s bootlegging (in the worse sense) goes back at least that far.
@mthomas768- LOL, yeah, the snow’s a special seasonal wordpress.com feature. At least in Firefox it makes my status bar freak out something awful but I figured what the heck, we actually had snow down here in Austin the other day and that is worth celebrating.
The artists are banding together but it’s likely there’s little real recompense – a class action lawsuit on “a guy who lives in his parents’ basement” (just extrapolating, his outlaw-games.com domain registry has his parents’ house listed in the WHOIS) is unlikely to get them any money, and the legal system is surprisingly bad when it comes to “getting someone to stop ripping people off.”
Oh, whoops! I forgot to link the PDF with the detailed proof – it has Outlaw Press covers side by side with the art pieces, links to the original galleries they come from, and claims from the original artists that they are not licensed. I linked it above but it’s worth putting here too.
makes me shudder. what an idiot.
Shipman claims to have paid a British artbroker over $4000 for the “stolen” artwork. The broker may have appropriated all the art. However, he has been told to not use any stolen artwork on any Tunnels and Trolls products and to stop publishing them immediately. I probably should delete that old blog about Gristlegrim. A closer examination of what he sent me as a finished product proved to be so faulty that I grew angry with him, told him not to sell it, and members of Trollhalla not to buy it.
Some of the Outlaw Press products are legitimate, however. My novel, Griffin Feathers, features a fine painted front cover by Simon Tranter that I personally paid for.
Needless to say we are all very unhappy with Mr. Shipman right now. My followers at Trollhalla have been asked not to send him any more T & T material. I think Outlaw Press will be coming to an end soon. Wait and see.
–Ken St. Andre
A long time coming, this is.
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I’ll get the burning torches and pitchforks.
And post on ConceptArt to see if artists there had their work stolen.
It’s one thing to support the Libertarian Case against Copyright. But it’s another to defiantly be brusk about not giving proper credit.
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Just to warn you: Shipman has re-surfaced.
God damn that guy’s like a cockroach.
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Yup; he has some of out art stolen as well. I mailed Clark regarding this.
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Ok so i just got told about all of this and i am one of the artists with stolen work the cover to Sewers of Khazan is my work wow my first rip off and I can assure you that i did not give permission to use it nor received any thing for it being used. I am so mad right now!
Why does Amazon list Ken St. Andre’s novel GRIFFIN FEATHERS as published by Outlaw Press in April 2010?
Simple. Outlaw Press is the publisher. I am not the first author to have his work pirated by an unscrupulous publisher. It’s a good novel and a bad publisher. A lawsuit is not an option. Simply can’t afford it. No one should believe anything written by Shipman. Ask yourself this. Who wrote what? Anything written by Shipman should be considered doubtful. That copyright date is bogus–an attempt to steal copyright from me. Griffin Feathers was written in 2008 and first published in 2009. IMHO, the novel is worth reading. But if you buy it, you’re helping to support a crook. Something of a dilemma, eh?
–Ken St. Andre
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