Lee JeeHyung accuses Francesco Mattina of copying his work

Here is a weird story that I have been drawn into. I received an email out of the blue from a Borja Barbeito Arias about a “Legal Issue” involving Francesco Mattina copying the work of Lee JeeHyung. The email is below. It had a Facebook link for a post JeeHyung did showing off the following images.

Now mind you, I do not have anything to do with the drawing of the cover, the commissioning of the art work, the publication of the book, or the sale of the book, but I got this email:

The email link takes you to Lee JeeHyung’s Facebook site, which had this to say:

The pictures listed showed a story we did a while back that featured  the Francesco Mattina Exclusive for Venom #150 for Orlando Megacon

Lee JeeHyung shows a picture that he did in 2015 of Mary Jane in this pose.

Which he claims was the basis for the Venom #150 Mattina variant, which he reversed and lined up in a similar pose.

Needless to say, we posted the image as part of DMCA Fair Use, as the Fanexpo store was sponsoring a giveaway and we had the reveal for the covers.
Again, Marvel published the book, Mattina drew the cover, FanExpo sold the books, all we did was show off the cover, which I believe is fully covered under the DMCA.
Needless to say, if the artist believes that we are in violation of the DMCA, please feel free to send us a take down notice, you can contact us via the contact tab above or via the email address shown of the email printed above.

50 thoughts on “Lee JeeHyung accuses Francesco Mattina of copying his work”

    1. Tony and I talk on the back end about this stuff routinely. Copyright law is actually one of my pet legal interests outside my more mundane day-to-day work.
      Unfortunately, my practice is bound by the interlocking constraints of my own particular evil galactic empires (read: Bar Associations, Exclusivity and Retainer Agreements).
      I will say this, if that particular cabal of Koreans want to sue Tony for copyright infringement, without getting into too much detail, it would be a strenuous, long, drawn-out, and expensive endeavor for them to ultimately find out that they have no claim.
      Even their claim against Mattina (although somewhat valid) is a difficult argument to bring to a judgment. These are all the theoretical and hypothetical musings of a lowly corporate attorney, though.

    1. Mattina did. But the point is, I am not involved with any of it in anyway besides putting up a picture of the cover.
      Sent from my iPhone

      1. The other artists probably has a language barrier issue, not knowing that CHU has nothing to do with the actual artwork.

  1. The high heel hanging off the foot was the straw that broke the camels back. One thing to have the same sitting pose but literally you can Super impose them and they have the same silhouette. Would hate to be mattina at the moment.

  2. Wow – now obviously CHU did absolutely zero wrong so it’s very puzzling why they would contact/threaten you of all people about this, but that does indeed look like an exact swipe on Mattina’s end. Sounds like a lawyer that has no idea what he/she is doing.

  3. Is it wrong for me to say that Mattina improved the artwork though? I mean, come on.. the other guys work is sort of okay (don’t listen to me, that other art sucks donkey balls), Mattina at this point pretty much copied the pose and the legs with heel, flipped horizontally but then improved the remaining art with his own.
    Do I encourage stealing other people’s art to pass as your own? No, but if Mattina wanted to copy my own art, I’d probably be flattered.. 🙂

      1. Well, and the exact, near perfect pose between the two. I mean, the legs and lower body are exactly identical. There’s no doubt one of them was traced from the other..

  4. If I were Lee ya I would be pissed. I would be pissed all my Venom covers are failures while Mattina knocks it out of the park for Venom covers multiple times in a week.

  5. I agree with the whole language barrier comment. Chu shouldn’t be held accountable all you did was show the cover to a book that marvel has solicited.

  6. Lol someone pointed out on a google plus group but that last pic. Look at “venom” backwards it looks like it says Money

    1. Apparently they have already run one. I don’t know I don’t read their stuff unless someone pointed out how early similar two stories are. From what I’ve heard though they left any reference to comics heating up out of it. As well as any screenshot that the artist used of my site. Go figure

    2. Lol, Bleeding Cool. That’s still around? It’s more about liberal news than comic news. To each their own, but I prefer unbiased and drama-free comic info.

  7. How is a pose stolen artwork. If he took Lee’s picture and added some fireworks to the back and called it Mattina’s work that would be stolen art. But using the same pose which Lee probably took from some other artist to begin with is not art theft. If I paint Jean Grey in the Mona Lisa pose I’m not stealing da Vinchi’s art work. I’ve seen this pose before with the shoe half off, just can’t put my finger on it. Thinking it’s a old Selene, or Emma Frost, or Madelyne Pryor pose.

      1. Well if you check all his recent venomized covers the Mag one is suspect as well. I’ll research the others I suggest everyone try and find what prints or books Mattina ripped off see if we can make a nice gallery.

      2. Lol that sounds like a fun project to do. I love Mattina but if this is a recurring thing it has to make you think

    1. Speaking of which isn’t there a venomized Phoenix that looks exactly like another artist work. I’m drawing a blank here but maybe someone else knows what I’m talking about. The venomized Phoenix was put out by Unknown comics I believe

    2. It’s not the pose itself that’s at play here.. it’s the “substantial similarity” that the two images side by side have. I found the following:
      “Under copyright law, the standard for infringement is “substantial similarity.” Substantial similarity means an average observer would recognize that the second work takes copyrightable authorship from the first one.”

  8. I think this is beyond coincidence now. Apparently Mattina likes using existing art to use as his own models to create his own artwork.. tis is very sad indeed.
    It’s one thing if you are doing art for fun but if you’re being paid by Marvel or another big name publisher, you need to come up with your own original art.

  9. This is crazy. I copy art when I draw. It helps in improving my skills. But I give credit to the artist. Just like Image did with there homages couple months ago. This is SAD… Thinking this person put out some Unbelievable work to just find out he added VENOM symbiote to the art without giving any credit. What a shame. What a shame.

  10. Hmmm i see the similarity but I wonder if it’s truly plagiarism or just a dick move. Either way Anthony getting contacted is the strangest part. Should be obvious CHU has nothing to do with it.

    1. Oh yeah CHU had nothing to do with it but put a post that cover the art that “we thought” was Mattina’s original work.

    2. Them going after CHU is like someone going after the news for reporting. Not sure if their is any weight to them trying to do anything.

  11. I’m guessing they just saw the CHU post about the exclusive and assumed CHU was actually sponsoring it, not just reporting on it.

    1. That’s the sticking point. When was the “original” created. I could do one in the same pose and date it 2010 and make the same claim.

  12. Tell the truth, your really Francesco Mattina, this whole CHU thing is just a side hustle. You are ultimate secret insider ;-). I wonder when you contacted Wookie for advice, did you say, ”Help me Wookie, your our only hope”.

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