One piece I’ve held back because I thought it would someday make a great book cover, is entitled “Identity Crisis.” A digitally sliced, diced and morphed composite of about a dozen photos I’ve taken of one of my skulls, it’s one of my better attempts at surrealism.
A few days ago, Zazzle offered its photographic postage on discount for four hours, starting at midnight. Since I decided to debut “Identity Crisis” in Parallax, it seemed like a good idea to promote the book with some custom postage, so I ordered a couple of books.
About a day and a half later, I received the following excerpt in an email from “Zazzle Content Management”:
“We’re having trouble approving your ZazzleStamps design titled “identity crisis b.” In order to assist us, would you please reply to this email with honest responses to the following question(s):
1. What is the source of this image? Where did you find it?
2. Do you have permission to use this image?”
Now, I realize that there is an entire laundry-list of restrictions and exceptions regarding content, and I didn’t really worry that my stylized disintegrating skull would pose a serious threat to mental health, but I certainly did not anticipate this kind of treatment.
If Zazzle had asked nicely, I would have been delighted to certify that “Identity Crisis” is indeed my original work, and reassure the company that I own all rights to the image.
“Where did you find it?” Zazzle apparently doesn’t bother with the throat – it goes directly for the ‘nads.
I personally do not see any reason to do business with a company that-even by implication-calls me a liar and a thief.
Point of irony: posters and T-shirts of book-cover art I’ve licensed to sell for charity are still for sale on Zazzle. You can see one of them here: http://tinyurl.com/ye7qwbf