Twitter Just Got Ugly for Jake Parker

  • People are throwing fits about the trademarking of Inktober.

    I hate watching Twitter-mob ******** like this happen to good people. It’s one of the most maddening things about social media.

    Jake, I know you didn’t mean for the trademark attorneys to go after incidental #inktober artist sales. I have a law degree, and even I would have assumed the attorneys would only have gone after people using the Inktober name as if it were their own property.

    I can only imagine that most people on this forum have your back, for what little it’s worth.

  • Here are the man’s own words on the matter:

  • This will not go well for Jake. Once it reaches the frenzied and reactionary twitterverse, it does it matter what's factual or not. Whatever book he will be selling in the near future will have its sales harmed incredibly.

    If I remember at one time artists were encouraged to use the logo with their work, in Jake's statement it is now reserved for "sponsors".

  • Twitter is basically a frothing madhouse.

  • Moderator

    I'm torn about this. Considering for the last decade there was no discouragement to use the wording "Inktober" in titles of books that are collections of artists personal participation in a word-mash hashtag challange used to inspire artist to create a new piece each day with no restrictions on not following the given prompts, and encouraging other to simply just create, this just seems very off putting.

    Check out this amazon takedown notice from and artist

    Seeing artists get taken down for what was 100% acceptable in so many years past leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

    There should have been a discouragement from using the term in book titles if there were ever plans for trademarking, or at least notifying people back in '17 that there were plans to trademark in order to give people time to change postings/inventory to comply with the coming trademark so they could avoid being hit with a C&D and potentially loosing their amazon account or other issues that could arise from it. I think people feel blindsided by this.

    What about people that literally take "Inktober commissions". A commission for each day of inktober, using the themes provided. That is commercially profiting off of the name..

    Participating is now also free advertising for a for profit brand, when other brands have to pay for advertising. I personally don't have a problem with this, never hurts to promote something you enjoy, but I know and have already seen others that don't like the idea of that.

    There is goretober, kinktober, spooktober, and more. These could be seen as trying to infringe on the concept and word mashing of theme + october. Look at starbucks suing a woman over sambucks (her name was samantha bucks). At what point will it come to something like that? There are many other instances of companies suing over a concept or wording being close to theirs. Kinktober is one letter off from Inktober and probably a challenge that Jake wouldn't personally appreciate as it is risky and lewd.

    I would be interested in pentober, would that be seen as a threat? Artober?

    I don't know, but I wish Jake the best. I still love all of his stuff, and Inktober.

  • Blah. This sucks. I don't know Jake, but he definitely seems like the kind of person who would have agonized for a long while before making this decision. I read his Instagram post on the subject and it certainly sounds like his motives are pure.

  • I can understand given how big it has gotten and how much of his time it now takes up that last Inktober there was official merch and products, such as a subscription art supplies box (can't remember which one). I also saw people using those boxes and finding them very useful if they weren't familiar with ink or even if they were because it made it feel more fun and inclusive for them. I think this is a great idea, especially since as it gets bigger I feel more people are posting and less people are interacting so it can start to feel like your shouting into a void.
    Since there is now officially approved products I can also understand Jake's desire to protect people from cheap knock offs. No one wants a new person to purchase a poorly made sketchbook thinking it's an official and thus good sketchbook for inking.
    Likewise as Inktober becomes more famous it would be very bad if someone using the official Inktober logo went and sold an artbook full of disgusting hate art. Making it seem that it is officially supported by Jake and Inktober.

    As I understand it from his official statement. Your welcome to take commissions, sell art books etc. Just don't suggest that they are official products approved by Jake and the Inktober team, eg don't use the Inktober logo. And this I see as fair enough.

    What I did have a problem with was that Jake didn't inform the community that he was planning to do this or the new guidelines beforehand. I think a lot of this could have been avoided if he had been more transparent from the start. However I am not a lawyer and there might be a good reason he didn't.

  • I'm kinda sad this has made it's way to the SVS forums. It's always been a nice oasis from social media drama where I can still interact with other artists, ya know? But I suppose it was inevitable.

    While I do not know Jake on a personal level, I have met him a number of times at conventions and he has never struck me as the shady or greedy sort. The few conversations I've had with him have always left me with the impression that he is a very kind person who is truly excited about the success of other artists. I think his youtube content, the podcast, and SVS itself are all testaments to that (along with Will and Lee too, of course).

    My first reaction remains my current reaction: I find it really hard to believe that this was done maliciously.
    If anything, this just illustrates how little is understood about copyright in the art world even among artists. I myself still have questions, but I'm willing to wait patiently while things get clarified.

    It's still sad to see the amount of conclusion jumping that happened before Jake even had a chance to explain the situation; though I can't say I'm surprised given that the uproar started on Facebook and Twitter. I'm sure there will be people that write off inktober moving forward, whether from anger or fear, and that is a shame.

  • SVS OG

    @CLCanadyArts i think goretober, kinktober, etc. are safe. As well as receiving commissions or selling the work you did. It’s only when people purposefully use the Inktober logo without Jake’s permission which is prohibited. Though I do understand your point about the people who are currently selling products with the Inktober logo but these products were made a few years back. They didn’t know this will be a thing.

    Anyway, for anyone of you out there. Here’s an excerpt from Jake’s post that I feel best summarizes his message.

    *Over the years I have encouraged artists to sell the drawings they made during Inktober, to collect those drawings into books or make prints out of them and sell those too. I still think that’s a great idea.

    If you are an artist, I am NOT trying to stop you from participating in the Inktober challenge or even from selling your Inktober drawings. Yet, there is a right way and a wrong way to reference Inktober. As a participating artist, you CAN certainly sell your Inktober drawings. As a participating artist, you CAN reference Inktober in the sale of your drawings, but I’m asking that you do so in the following manner:

    Please don’t use my INKTOBER logo—this is reserved for sponsors.

    Totally cool to use the word INKTOBER together with the year of participation (i.e. INKTOBER 2019).

    Use INKTOBER + Year as a subtitle, not as a leading title on the cover of your sketchbook. For example, it’s ok to use the subtitle “based on INKTOBER 2019 prompts” or similar reference. The public needs a way to distinguish my stuff from your stuff. It is no more complicated than that

    If you are an artist and your book is not currently consistent with the above guidelines, please contact me and I will work with you. I am not trying to stifle the creativity here, but rather I am simply trying to maintain the integrity of the challenge.

  • Moderator

    @Kasey-Snow It was inevitable that this would pop up on svs, as we participate in Inktober on here. It's just a discussion. I wasn't ripping him apart, I hope that wasn't how it sounded. Just voicing some worries.

    I think Jake is a good guy, and I don't imagine he would be a hawk about it, but to keep a trademark he might be forced to defend it in ways he himself might not want to. I hope it all works out in the end. 😃

    It would be sad to see people write it off. I'm sure many will jump ship, but hopefully they will come back around as more info comes out.

  • Moderator

    @Nyrryl-Cadiz Yeah my biggest concern was over the lack of warning to let people fix things before the C&Ds went out as amazon and etsy aren't very forgiving, yes one can fight it, but some may still get harmed over it. I hope it works out for everyone.

    I still fully support inktober. Wearing my Inktober hoodie right now. 😉

  • @CosmoglotJay Twitter is depressing and hateful far too often these days. I tried using it as a news feed for interesting updates about things I'm interested in which occasionally it is good for but it is becoming harder to justify its use.

  • While I’m not surprised to see artists taking a hissy fit because lawyers went on a C&D spree, I’m sad to see that these artists seem to be overlooking the fact that this is about protecting the Inktober brand because idiots used it to create racist merchandise.

    Not Jake’s fault that some people don’t understand branding which artists should learn about at least to protect themselves should their artwork ever be compromised. I’ve experienced this at my day job in the very in uncreative corporate world — the stories I can tell about all the branding violations colleagues thought were perfectly ok.

    Jake did include contact information for artists to work things out so I don’t know why people are screaming bloody murder.

  • @CLCanadyArts said in Twitter Just Got Ugly for Jake Parker:

    @Kasey-Snow It was inevitable that this would pop up on svs, as we participate in Inktober on here. It's just a discussion. I wasn't ripping him apart, I hope that wasn't how it sounded. Just voicing some worries.

    Not at all, I was just lamenting, haha. No worries.

  • @CosmoglotJay Thank you Jay, i've just shared it.

    It's a shame this is happening when you're trying to be a bit altruistic or do something good for the community but unfortunately with spotlight often there's a lot of envy around and i believe these people were already there, they just weren't apparent or didn't spoke up and just needed something like this to spark their need to express themselves about what are their thoughts on Inktober.

    [Edit] I do understand both points of view but if you want to make something known in the world you have to brand it, and getting sponsors to make the word go round is just a part of it. I also believe if he is the one behind the Inktober challenge he's entitled to do whatever he wants with it.

    Apart from Inktober i think Jake is a terrific artist that doesn't need to prove anything to anyone, but nonetheless it's a shame he's getting all this backlash but he shouldn't give up on inktober .

    BTW using other people's IP is overrated in our culture in my humble opinion, start your own thing.

  • While I feel bad for the blowback Jake is receiving, he brought it on himself. When inktober was something newer, the term was thrown about and used freely. People were encouraged to use the "official" logo on their work. I dont ever remember seeing a trademark bug on it.

    The term began use in 2009 and the registration not filed until 2017. It could be argued that the trademark should have been refused due to the encouragement of free use and generic application of the term.

    I doubt this is to protect the term from being used by "racists" (do artists really want to start being offended by art they disagree with?) but has everything to do with cashing in.

    Who is going to trademark "slowvember"?

  • Moderator

    @jimsz He coined the term, ran the challenge, runs the website, has an official logo, and official merch. Outside of random companies making inktober merch, possibly with his logo with no kickbacks to, Jake, at some point if he didn't trademark it some other company would have jumped on the trademark, Then that company could control and change it into whatever they wanted, and potentially sue people, including Jake. There are some extremely predatory business people out there..

    It's a sticky situation, not sure how it can be selectively enforced. I was wondering if books had a title #inktober "john doe's #inktober 2019" or something like that, would that circumvent the trademark issue? It would be acknowledging that it is participation in a hashtag, but not official. Hashtags are how it is searched mostly anyways so it could be useful.

    I don't want to see Jake get screwed, or those that participate. I hope something is figured out before people loose their accounts on commerce sites.

  • Moderator

    @CLCanadyArts That isn't s subtitle though. So maybe something like "John Doe sketches Vol 1. (Subtitle) #inktober 2019 sketches"

  • Honestly we'll need to wait to see how some of these issues get resolved. It's too early.

    If what I'm reading is true (and again, I don't know the details), Jake copyrighted "Inktober" as a word. His intentions on his blog make it appear that he's only interested in protecting the logo for the sponsors. But since there are lawyers involved, they may be interpreting it literally and now they're sinking their teeth into everything they get their hands on.

    In a month from now the landscape might look completely different where only a few people are being served and anyone that didn't use the logo or had retroactive works for sale are back to business as usual.

    Gotta let it play out and see.

  • @CosmoglotJay that is a real shame, I don’t know him but I really like Jake as an artist. I also hope it doesn’t affect his podcasts, his insights and advice are brilliant. I can completely understand his reason for getting sponsors for inktober. I just hope any misunderstanding get resolved for all involved soon.

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