You Stole My Artwork: An Open Letter to Anita Sarkeesian

3/7 - THANK YOU for the signal boost. I’ve received an official response. Update is here.

(Big thanks to @Sarochi1 for this comp comparing my art to the Tropes vs Women. Read full article.)


Long Story Short: You stole my art, used it for commercial purposes, and won’t even respond to my polite inquiries.

Financial and legal complications aside, I hope you understand that you’ve taken away my personal voice and ownership as a fellow content creator. Without my permission or knowledge, you’ve taken my work out of context to use for your own agenda, leaving me no control over how my work is seen or used. I found myself surprised to be incidentally supporting and endorsing a campaign I had no prior knowledge about.

Content is gifted, donated, licensed, commissioned, and purchased. It should NOT be stolen.

On one hand, it’s super cool to know that my art was in a TedTalk. (!!!) But on the other hand, you googled “Princess Daphne”, downloaded my fan artwork from my own blog website, removed the background & signature, placed it into a branding logo, and continued to use this stolen work even AFTER raising $150k on Kickstarter.

Ok ok, benefit of the doubt. Copyright law can be complicated. Maybe you thought that any images on Google must be free to use however you want. Honest mistake, no harm no foul?

Except that I (and several of your supporters) have tried to contact you to nicely resolve this via your website, Twitter, and even Kickstarter. Unfortunately, there’s been no response from you of any kind. I’d assume you were away from the computer, except you’ve still been actively engaging on social media during this time.

Honestly, I don’t have the time/energy at the moment to try to get you to notice me. I do hope one day you’ll attempt to resolve this situation, and fully understand why stealing is not only morally wrong, but also detrimental to content creators of all mediums.

I’d still really like to resolve this issue, so I hope you find the time and consideration to one day respond to the original letter I sent you, re-posted below. 



Hello. I am the professional artist who painted the Princess Daphne image that Feminist Frequency/Tropes vs Women has been using as part of their logo and branding in several places online.

Here’s one of several online examples:

My original artwork is here:

I don’t have a record of licensing this image to Feminist Frequency for commercial use. Do you have any relevant paperwork showing that your company has legitimately licensed this image, and that this is a simple misunderstanding instead of intentional copyright infringement?

Since you state in interviews that the video series infringing on my copyrighted work is non-profit: do you also have valid proof of 501(c)3 status, or a transparent breakdown showing that the Kickstarter campaign’s net earnings (including derivative opportunities such as paid speaking engagements & site donations) are not being used to benefit any private shareholder or individual.

I don’t mean to be harsh, but content creation is how I make my living and professional reputation. I typically do not license my work or lend endorsement in situations where there isn’t the utmost transparency. I would greatly appreciate a speedy response (within 24 hours) so we can proceed to resolve this situation.

Thanks for your time,
Tamara Smith

(FYI, letter is based on these open source letters, and remains open source for anyone who it might help. Feel free to use.)

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