If you listen to death metal, you’ve seen a Dan Seagrave painting before. The prolific visual artist’s work is featured on some of extreme metal’s most classic album covers, including record sleeves by Entombed, Dismember, Rivers of Nihil, Morbid Angel, and Landmine Marathon. However, though Dan owns these artworks, he was not consulted about their use by Zee Productions, the company behind popular punk, rock, and metal jigsaw puzzle imprint Rock Saws. Now, Dan has sent a cease and desist order to Rock Saws demanding they stop producing his work.
According to an e-mail posted on Dan’;s Instagram, Rock Saws is producing puzzles featuring several of Dan’s paintings as part of an agreement with Earache Records (who, it should be noted, are probably behind the recently-announced Napalm Death jigsaw puzzles). However, according to Dan, this was not Earache’s choice to make, and Rock Saws is reproducing them without his input or permission.
The artworks in question are:
“I am notifying you at this early stage to inform you of my rightful interest in protecting my copyrights and to respectfully insist that you immediately cease and desist any actual or intended production, sales, distributions, pre-orders, of these unauthorized products,” wrote Dan in his e-mail. “Earache Records has no right whatsoever to be making licenses to anyone with my artwork and was put on notice of its wrongful claims years ago.”
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Following yesterdays posts. Many questions were raised. Therefore here is the content of my email sent to Rock Saws on July 20th.2020 It shows a broader historical context on the matter, for those who may be interested. This is Page 1 of 3 @earacherecords @rocksawsuk @plasticheadmegastore
Some readers might see this as Dan Seagrave trying to take a few hours of fun away from your average hobby-oriented metalhead — but the truth is that artists are constantly having their work stolen or misused without their permission. This is how Dan makes his money, and he has a right to defend his interests. More so, Earache Records have a reputation within the world of heavy music for being difficult to work with and at times unfair, so his references to communications with the label sound on-brand for them.
Here’s hoping that Dan and Rock Saws sort out these issues.
Words by Chris Krovatin