|FFIX Week going on at Tumblr!|
"I've seen a lot of people sharing this website and warning others about it's methods, (which is great and a sign us artists look out for each other) but by doing so unfortunately they might be contributing to the problem while they believe they are fighting it. And I think not everybody realizes what's actually going on.
As a webdesigner I believe I can shed some more light on the situation.
Allow me to explain:
What does this 'Poster Shop' website do?
What this website was designed for is to generate traffic for a certain website-domain (by people visiting the website and sharing it to their friends) and to gather visitors'data and E-mail information. (by people using the 'search' function and/or contact-form trying to contact the website).
That's it's ONLY function; gathering traffic and potential customer data for domain X and business Y (or other shady purposes). Who visits?, what is his/her E-mail? and thanks for generating traffic to our site! They know their potential reach now, locations of target audience, can sell your E-mail with added info you're most likely 'artists' etc etc.
It's NOT really a poster-selling website. It's clickbait. A 'look-alike' info gatherer
A lot of it's functions are not working (not real) and an actual purchase seems impossible (out of stock - or error messages). There's countless other indications that it's FAKE but I won't bore you with those now.(webdesigners: have a look at the source-code).
There's no real company registration, location etc. either.
In fact...most likely ALL your moves have already been anticipated:
That you would get upset when you see your artwork there, that you would share this news with your friends, that you would search if your own or friends artworks would be there, and if so , you'd get in touch with them or share about this website. They don't care...there's no customer-service worried there or somebody feeling bad because accidentally your artwork was shown (but yourself); it was all intended as that was exactly what this website was designed for: to stir up a targeted community (in this case artists) and to gather a lot of resources and traffic from them.
It's a non-existent company operating from an empty office. Selling 'traffic' to investors instead of posters to art loving audiences. They sell an empty storage place as a well visited store.
It's really smart. But not in the respectable way.
Welcome to internet 3.0 where you're a tool for dubious commercial (or other) individuals who use the internet in their advantage in ways the goodminded audiences cannot even grasp. And you cannot trace them, hardly enforce anything on them, and just have to take it where it hurts. And it will only increase.
Having a domain that gets a lot of visitors and which is shared by many giving it a high search-engine position is very valuable; it sells advertisements and convinces investors.
You might think they'd know it's a fake website but they won't; they'll just see traffic numbers and search engine positions. Many well known companies use these tricks as well.
The traffic generated, data and E-mails gathered might not even be used for this 'Poster Shop' website but for a different (unknown) website/purpose all together.
This can be done via simple re-directs and also by simply changing the content of website over time (this fake will get a lot of visits already, and then the real site will have a perfect position on the internet already when that goes online and replaces the current fake content) and of course...selling 'customer info and audience demographics' is where the money is made online. It's what for example Facebook's entire businessmodel is based on.
I don't want to keep people from raising awareness , nor am I suggesting to ignore the issue, but keep the above in mind when you do so. In that same light I fear the petition (although I of course support it) might even be counterproductive and again aid their evil plans but not us as artists. I am not sure about this: but perhaps ignoring it is the best option since no actual artwork is being sold. Putting it in the spotlight might work against us. I am not here to offer the solution, just shedding a light on the problem.
Unfortunately these systems are set up in ways they're virtually impossible to counter; by acknowledging they are there or by trying to remove them ....they grow and multiply.
(Like you also see with the countless porn and other spam in art groups all the time).
There's no internet police coming to the rescue either and nobody where you can really file a complaint; good luck finding a Russian dude running a fake UK company that could be operated from anywhere in the world. And renamed and redirected within seconds.
THIS is what those fun hacker-movies in the 80's were all about; directing the people where you want them to go and anticipating their behavior to your own advantage.
I hope that made sense and helped to shed a light on the situation.
Stick together as artists and don't let it keep you from making and sharing your amazing artwork with the world!"
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Artist notes: Deep in developing comics and building up my portfolio for upcoming conventions. Thanks for your patience and thank you even more for your on-going support. I love sharing my art with you!
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