Then something weird happened. In the sea of unrest a few voices started asking questions. The questions were largely ignored as the chanting for retribution and countersuits increased in number and volume. I must admit I ignored them as well, I was busy writing indignant e-mails and getting a noose ready for the lynching. A few more brave souls added their doubt and one even took the time to link some of the images in question. The images were enough to make me stop for a minute. It wasn't just a resemblance or simple misunderstanding - the images in questions were exact copies in most instances. Not only that, but the images were also from several artis, some of whom were very established and could even provide registered copyrights.
As I was digesting this information I got an e-mail from Richard E. Askew. It was brief and to the point - it was a reply to my e-mail from none other than the founder of Stockart.com, the company that was under fire for picking on the little guy. Obviously this was a sign that I needed totake the opportunity and do some digging of my own. My initial reply was a simple thanks for replying, I'll withhold judgment until I had more info. Mr. Askew replied again with another e-mail with quite a few details of the dispute. Now I really had something to go on. I asked if I could post his reply and he was gracious enough to send the e-mail below, which it looks like he eventually sent out to everyone who e-mailed a complain.
Enough of my rambling, on with the other side of the story -
Dear Respected Design Community,
I do want to personally thank you for your concern. I understand your concern! Stockart.com is proud to advocate and represent the copyrights and works of the many award-winning and talented artists who have provided their work to Stockart.com for rights managed licensing for over a decade. The works which are of concern to Stockart.com and Mr. Engle include, and are not limited to, the works of:
Robert L. Prince
Stockart.com intends to use an appropriate "legal" forum to resolve Stockart.com's concerns about the above and many other works; one which will allow Stockart.com to explain why Stockart.com claims rights in the many images which these artists have provided to Stockart.com, one which affords dignity to the artists whose work Stockart.com represents; one which will treat Mr. Engle with dignity and respect; one which will give Mr. Engle an opportunity explain why he believes he has authorship or copyrights in the many images with which Stockart.com is concerned.
So is it too late to take back a knee-jerk reaction? Maybe, but I think I will sit this one out until there is a settlement.