Poker Paint Controversy Reignites as Photographers Allege Copyright Infringement; Proprietor Responds

Again in September, an argument broke out after a number of outstanding poker photographers charged artwork corporate Poker Paint for the use of their footage with neither permission nor repayment.

Primarily based out of Washington, DC, and run by means of poker participant Brett Butz, Poker Paint commercially sells artwork items and NFTs by means of taking {a photograph} and reasonably alters into multi-colored stylized variations. Within the procedure, all copyright watermarks, oftentimes together with the identify of the photographer, are got rid of.

Hayley Hochstetler, who has taken footage for each Run Good Poker Series and PokerNews, used to be one of the most first to talk out in opposition to Poker Paint’s observe.

“He’s been doing it for a while,” Eric Harkins of Image Masters added on the time. “We don’t hate his stuff, however we’re pissed off along with his ethics – or lack thereof.”

The problem considerations copyright regulation, significantly Poker Paint profiting off the paintings of others with out permission, let on my own repayment.

“A copyright infringement happens when anyone else workouts a number of of the unique rights of the copyright proprietor with out his or her permission,” the Professional Photographers of America website explains.

To start with, Butz used to be defensive over the grievance on social media believing his paintings represented unique works. On the other hand, he did state that he used to be “no longer adversarial to giving photographers a share.”

Poker photographers Danny Maxwell, Drew Amato, and Joe Giron have been amongst those that asked Poker Paint take away the appropriate paintings and to be compensated.

“In case you are in reality dedicated to creating issues proper to us content material creators, you want to take away all content material you don’t have authorization to show or promote,” Giron wrote. “Then, a procedure has to begin to make an audit and whole accounting of your gross sales because it pertains to the bought artistic endeavors from the unauthorized usages to be able to compensate us.”

Sooner or later, Butz issued an apology promising adjustments in his industry type prior to putting off all appropriate items from his web page and social media.

The topic perceived to die down after that however used to be lately reignited when it used to be alleged Poker Paint used to be proceeding to promote copyrighted subject material.

Controversy Reignites

On December fifth, Maxwell spotted that his paintings, amongst others, used to be nonetheless being utilized by Poker Paint. He proceeded to name out Butz on Twitter.

“Brett you might be nonetheless the use of some copyrighted pictures for your footage mine incorporated please stop & desist and take away any/all of my footage from those pictures,” wrote Maxwell.

Butz answered with a tweet that learn: “Let’s no longer give this man a platform, thank you.”

Award-nominated poker reporter Christian Zetzsche countered: “There are a number of copyrighted footage that I will be able to spot inside a couple of seconds to which you don’t have any rights in any respect. It doesn’t appear as in case you have discovered your courses from the former infringement.”

Poker professional Daniel Strelitz then picked up the problem by means of asking whether or not the problem used to be a felony or ethical one.

Poker media and content creators were quick to chime in.

“Yes it’s blatantly illegal. What do you suppose would happen to you if you took Avengers: Endgame, ran it through a snapchat filter, and tried to sell Blu-rays of it?” Thomas “SrslySirius” Keeling responded.

“What he is doing is absolutely illegal and he’s well aware it is .. many major poker entities has served him with Cease & Desist letters and he’s knowingly violating those … next step lawsuits,” Dan Ross of Hold’em Media said.

PokerNews spoke with several poker photographers who confirmed they sent Butz and Poker Paint a cease and desist.

In addition to poker photos, Poker Paint offers several other collections inspired by landmarks, animals, etc. For example, they’ve utilized several scenes from Star Trek and turned them into artwork as a part of the “Star Trek: Lower Decks” collection.

Poker Paint Star Trek

Butz Responds for Poker Paint

PokerNews reached out to Butz to seek clarity on the situation.

“I’m trying to work with almost everyone,” Butz said. “Only reason this is dragged on is because some people wanted 40% … 40% is a bit ridiculous. I respect shooting for it, but it’s not that big of a part of the creation process, I moved up from 2% to 20-25%.”

When asked if he could share the names of any photographers he was currently working with, Butz responded: “It’s not as many people as I thought but there will be plenty of ambitious photographers to work with over the summer at next WSOP!”

When asked again if there were any photographers working with Poker Paint that PokerNews could verify, Butz simply stated: “Don’t see why that’s relevant.”

PokerNews then asked if Poker Paint had changed anything in the way they do things (I.e. not using certain images, reaching out to photographers for permission, etc.).

“Plenty of things, I’m not a fan of how you’re asking these questions,” Butz retorted.

He added: “They decide to slander my company instead of reaching out to me? This is already blown up more than it should.”

When asked who constituted “they,” how they slandered the company, and whether or not Butz believed those who’ve spoken out have legitimate concerns, he responded: “It’s being figured out.”

Butz declined to elaborate on what exactly “being figured out” meant.

PokerNews spoke with several poker photographers and while a select few confirmed they have been in talks with Butz, others stated firmly they have no interest in working with Poker Paint.

Brett Butz
Poker Paint founder Brett Butz in costume.

Author: Bradley Watson