Petition to Support Fellow Artists
posted: November 19, 2008

Stop the Suit Petition is a link to a non-partisan petition by artists requesting  
that the Graphic Artists Guild withdraw its lawsuit against the IPA and our fellow illustrators  
Brad Holland, Cynthia Turner, Ken Dubrowski, and copyright lawyer Bruce Leyman and Terry Brown.

I urge all to go sign the petition to respectfully communicate to the Guild that suing artists 
is not a way for an artists' advocacy organization
to solve our industry problems.
Hal Mayforth November 19, 2008
It has been said that trying to organize illustrators is akin to herding cats. It is my hope that we can put aside our feline tendencies and get behind this petition. And once you sign it, please pass it along.
Bob Staake November 19, 2008
it has never ever been clear to me what exactly the graphic artists guild does, the illustrators partnership does, or for that matter WHY members of the trilateral commission feel the need to wear hollowed-out boar heads during their meetings. that said, if the trilateral commission cares to sue me for making the above statement, go for it.
Robert Saunders November 19, 2008
Thanks Rich, I don't know what the specific merits of the suit are, but it warrants at the a critical look. Kind of a scary thought, to be an artist who is being sued by an artists advocacy organization.
fuchs November 19, 2008
done and done. i'm not quite sure what the actual deal is (apart from the obvious suspicion), I just signed it out of principle.
Kyle T. Webster November 19, 2008
Donald Kilpatrick November 19, 2008
I echo Hal's sentiments. I will sign it.
Chris Buzelli November 20, 2008
Thanks Brian. I forgot we are in the 21st century. No need for pens and paper.
Brian Stauffer November 20, 2008
No need to pass it on down, you simply go to the link Rag posted above and send them an email with your name and number of years in the profession. They add it manually. To me, this isn't about taking sides. It's about the free and open expression of OPEN information. There is a lesson from history when it comes to those who attempt to damn the inevitable.
Bill Brown November 20, 2008
Richard, How can you claim that the petition is "non-partisan?" The link you provide leads to a site that features only a highly-biased press release from IPA, and no other information. Since the IPA is the party being sued, it looks to me that the petition is highly partisan. Please, either provide objective information from an uninvolved source, or balance the IPA press release with one from the Guild, or admit that the petition is partisan. Thank you.
Christoph Hitz November 20, 2008
My heart says "Yes" and my wallet screams "Noooooo!" so I signed it.
Bill Brown November 20, 2008
I see how "non-partisan" you are. You only publish comments that agree with your point of view. Pathetic.
Robert Saunders November 21, 2008
Rich, do you or does anybody else know if there are legal penalties for signing a petition? Could I get sued just by making my opinion public on an issue?
Daniel Vasconcellos November 22, 2008
Mr. Brown, I'm sorry the petition's intent was not more clear. That you argue the “partisan” angle, but not the focus of the petition, is interesting, but I'm not willing to accept your reframing of the issue here. The IPA press release was used on the petition because it was THE ONLY PUBLIC SOURCE OF INFORMATION available about the lawsuit. We came across the press release at the Massachusetts Artists Leadership & Entrepreneurship Conference 2008 held here in Boston, the first weekend in November. It was added to the petition so folks would know what we were talking about. The petition DOES NOT attempt to argue the merits of the lawsuit filed against INDIVIDUAL artists, just the fact that an artists rights organization has chosen to sue individual artists. We are creators - not destroyers. These individuals are our friends and colleagues. They have spouses, and families they support, financial responsibilities, kids, bills, hopes, fears, more bills, and like every artist I know, they struggle to make a living in this difficult and wonderful profession during very challenging times. Yes, they are passionate industry voices for what they believe in. Willing to invest their own money and time to protect that which they see threatened. Agree or disagree is a lawsuit bankrupting fellow artists (and their families) an appropriate response -- from within their own creative community?!... I for one don't think personal destruction is an acceptable way we settle disagreements, and so far more than two-hundred individual fellow creatives have added their voices in agreement. I trust creators will judge ALL organizations wishing to represent our interests based on that organizations' actions and not its rhetoric. I believe artitsts will support ALL those who truly reflect their professional hopes and creative aspirations. I believe in artists... suits, not so much. I believe the Guild will do the right thing. Finally, can we please forget that tired, old 'partisan' debate. Consider the issue on principle; if you agree an artists organization suing individual artists is wrong, then add your name to the petition, and call the organizations to say so. If you agree with this sort of tactic then remain silent.... and watch what happens. Regards, Dan
Tim OBrien November 23, 2008
Well said Dan. I know that some eyes in our industry glaze over when they hear about anything IPA/GAG. This issue does not need one to be a rabid proponent of the IPA or GAG to find that it is wrong for the GAG to use it's resources to crush individual artists. Who are these defendants? Ken Dubrowski is a hard working illustrator with a family of 3 little girls and a wife. Terry Brown was a long time Director of the Society of Illustrators and it should be stated that he always kept the Society's best interest at heart when the time for discussions of his salary came up each year. It was many years of personal sacrifice and as such was compensated far below other directors in the industry. Terry is just now starting to re-establish himself in new roles outside the Society. He has two sons in college. I can list the others, but you get the point. These are not companies or dangerous criminals, they are our friends and hopefully free to utilize their freedom of speech as protected by the first amendment to the United States Constitution Would bankrupting these people help our industry? Does the Graphic Artist Guild dare to suggest they are working to protect YOU? I think it would be valuable for 'Bill Brown' to offer compelling reasons that these people need to be sued for a million dollars.
Marc November 23, 2008
It's hard not to look at this situation and feel like it could happen to you as well; that's not a partisan point of view, that's just human nature. It's bizarre to me to see any artist advocacy group suing individual artists, and it does feel like it creates an atmosphere that's the very opposite of what art springs from: an open exchange of ideas and viewpoints. I don't want to weigh in on the "merits" of the case—I'm not a lawyer, and I'm not picking sides—but I do know the folks named in this suit have volunteered on behalf of all artists in the field, giving their time and own money to improving conditions for the rest of us; to see them at personal risk from an expensive lawsuit is tragic. There has to be a better way to resolve differences between artists than through courts and lawyers.
Robert Saunders November 24, 2008
In cases like this unless the number of signatures reaches critical mass, the suit quietly proceeds forward...because supporters aren't coming to the aid of the defendants. When you're the target of a lawsuit, even if it's frivolous, nobody magically rescues you; you're alone, and if you don't have the money for legal representation you have to capitulate to the offended party's terms: In this case, cease protesting and speaking out about industry issues—the equivalent of a gag order. Is that good for the rest of us in the industry? Is it tantamount to shooting the whistle-blower? Just wondering.
Robert Saunders November 26, 2008
On this Thanksgiving Eve, I'm thankful to have a profession of creators who when need arises have shown great potential to pull together as one, and in particular a select few individuals who at great personal sacrifice and legal peril have raised issues, informed the rest of us about what's going on around us, and pointed out the way to act in our own best interest. I'm confident that rather than stand passive we will choose to act. To me that's the best guarantee that when the day comes when we find our own selves at risk, we'll rest secure knowing we've paid in advance the debt for our own deliverance.