This is a great example of thinking out of the box.
A Taiwanese artist discovered that her fan art pieces were being printed on stationery items, such as notebooks:
The prints, which were based on the character Connor in the video game Detroit: Beyond Human, were then sold on the Chinese shopping website Taobao without her consent.
Official channels did not work
According to Taiwan News, since she wasn't earning a cent from these "pirated" sales, the artist tried to get in touch with the Chinese vendor selling the stationery items.
However, she didn't hear back from him, or the store owner.
She then reported her case to Taobao itself -- and apparently didn't hear back from them either.
A Taiwanese netizen learned of the artist's predicament.
Realising that she wasn't making any headway, he decided to help out by taking a different approach.
Netizen contacted vendor directly
Contacting the Chinese vendor directly, the netizen pretended to tip him off with some "insider info" about the artist.
A customer service person representing the vendor then responded.
The conversation between the netizen (N) and the vendor (V) reads:
"N: Hey admin, the artist for this painting is a pro-independence activist!
V: That can't be [Wide-Eyed emoji]
N: This is an artist from Taiwan, right? I saw her posts declaring her pro-independence stance before. (Sent screenshot of product with the artist's drawing)
Admin, do you want to reconsider using her drawings?
V: We didn't notice it. I will let the shop owner know."
"N: Yes, it's better to deal with it ASAP.
V: [Smiling Face With Smiling Eyes emoji]
N: It'll be terrible if others found out about it.
N: It'll be really bad if this goes on Weibo.
V: We will consider it.
N: She also drew RK900. (Referring to another drawing of the upgraded Connor android model)
V: What other drawings?
N: The red drawing you're using as the cover and the one with the words RK900. Both are by the same Taiwanese artist."
"V: Ok, I will let the store owner know.
N: Yes, the sooner the better. If it's exposed, it'll be disastrous.
N: If you guys are flagged, the store can't operate either.
V: Ok, will deal with it ASAP. Thanks dearie."
Conversation shared to online forum
The screen shots of the conversation were shared on the online forum PTT on Aug. 26.
The netizen then said all the pictures except the promotional image were taken down within 10 minutes.
The user who posted them, wbsinger, then adds the following lines:
"Fighting Chinese counterfeits.
Proclaim Taiwanese independence.
Fast and effective."
Other forum users enjoyed the prank:
"This picture should be translated into different languages: English, Japanese, Korean. Let the whole world know about the way to resolve similar issues."
"Just a mere mention of 'pro-independence' can make the Chinese soil their pants."
That's certainly one way to deal with "pirates".
You can read a Twitter thread (in English) of the situation below:
A wild story: A painter from #Taiwan found out his works were printed on stationaries sold on Taobao. So what did he do? Instead of fighting with the Chinese manufacturer, he reported himself as pro Taiwan independence, and the products were immediately taken off Taobao. https://t.co/MrJAbknCDB— William Yang (@WilliamYang120) September 5, 2018
Top image adapted from PTT Forum