So people out there if you're ever emailing an artist or two don't include an opening line like this:
"Don't get all excited [about our website]. About the only 'art' our websites have is stolen or 'not quite legally borrowed' as our lawyers tend to say."Whether you mean this sarcastically or seriously, it's just not a good first impression. Thoughts that will go through an artist's mind upon reading you only use stolen art will include "is any of that art mine?" "is any of it by my friends?" "are you threatening to steal my art?" "why would I help this site be successful, if none of the artists will get any share of that success due to their hardwork being STOLEN?"
Stealing is stealing. Declaring it to an artist as though it is a joke and/or okay is frankly adding insult to injury. There is no way we're going to look at your project in a positive or trusting light!
In this specific case the offending website was not only serious about stealing, but it stated in a sarcastic tone... As there was indeed stolen artwork on their site. I know some of it was stolen as I recognized a piece, alerted that art's owner, and he confirmed my suspicion. He also now intends to pursue the site's operators to have it removed.
Needless to say there will be no plug for this website here. (Though to calm all palaeo-artists since I'm not including the link, overall most of this "art" was in fact stills from movies and TV show or photographs of Dinosaur statues (badly) photoshopped into other photographs. There was only one 3D piece, and it just so happened I knew the artist...). We may have more on the saga to get some of the artwork taken down... We'll see how it goes.
So come on people of the web, instead of emailing us to look at your ripping off our colleagues, email them and ask their permission to use their work first!