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How to make money on violating copyrights!
Posted by Szymon Masiak
February 12, 2013, at 11:45 AM

We are living in very interesting times. We are being molded by the environment and we are trying to pass the upbringing we received onto our children. I have a saying I like to repeat: "We create the history". I imagine that everyone, who works in this branch of business (special effects, video editing and motion graphics) agrees with that statement. What is more, we also create the future.

 

This article was written for everybody, who buys plugins and lives in a motion graphics; Apple Motion, Adobe Premiere, AE & Final Cut X world. My name is Szymon Masiak, I am the founder and owner of MotionVFX.
We believe in hard, honest work. Everything our company has achieved is the outcome of hard work of the whole team and we mutually struggle for collective success. Everyone of the 15 people in our staff knows that creating a good product depends on making it great and making it original, so we don't tolerate imitating or copying someone else's work. However it may be that not everyone works this way and by stealing from others (yes, I write with full awareness of the gravity of that word) they release products that appear to be an exact copy of our work.

On February 5th 2013 about 3:49 PM (GMT+1) we released a brand new product called mDusts. It's a collection of 100 2K (2048x1152) Apple ProRes 422 files. Despite the fact that the pace we work with is sometimes crazy I try to think of every possible aspect of our products to make every client happy. I think of myself as of a professional and we, MotionVFX, deliver only professional products.
We have worked on mDusts for the last several weeks using RED One camera (which we bought for these kinds of productions), our new video studio and an old vacuum cleaner (we used flour in some shots, but it didn't look as natural as an actual dust from the old vacuum cleaner). We have all the source R3D files, which in some cases were shot at even 4K.

Every company that is a part of the Final Cut Pro X environment keeps an eye on the competition and, from my experience, everyone tries to stay out of each other's way. Besides MotionVFX there are several brands that produce plugins for FCPX (e.g Noise Industries, CrumplePop, Ripple Training, Industrial Revolution or Red Giant), but, from time to time, a less known (often completely new) company arises and releases a product similar to one that already exists in your collection. Sometimes this product IS from your collection and is half the price of your plugin. You put so much money and time into this project and you start to wonder: how is this possible?

 

Pixel Film Studios was recently taking us aback by the pace, in which they created and released their products. There seemed to be no week without a release of a brand new plugin. I was often wondering: "How is that possible? They have to have at least 50 people in their team to keep it all together!" I was thinking this way until 48 hours after the release of our mDusts, they added a brand new product to their offer. It was called Produst.
One of my Twitter friends, Nate B. sent me a question: "Did Pixel Film Studios straight up resell your dust stock as their own "ProDust?" Ironic that they came out with it days after you guys did." I read the message twice, because I couldn't believe in what I was reading and then I got petrified. I nervously went to their website, watched the promo movie and my blood pressure measurements went through the ceiling.
The process of creating such elements is characterised by remembering certain unique elements or moments (e.g. one speck of dust blown by the vacuum cleaner moving in a specific way).
It is physically impossible for two people to shot two thousand or more organically flowing particles in the same way. There is no way for a camera-shot material to show two different places across the globe with 1) identical dust particles 2) corresponding air flow and conditions.

 

The first thing our team shouted after watching the competition's promo was: "These are our mDusts!". We started our investigation by purchasing the "competitive" product. In the meantime, one of our team members was browsing the site of our competition (a mirror link can be found here: Original Produsts Site - PLEASE NOTE that they have replaced their promo video last night however we've downloaded their original video which is available here: Original Produsts Promo) and noticed one of our mDust elements used in their promo movie. "I remember shooting this bit!" - he said.
He created a screen shot and overlaid our mDust_042.mov over it. He adjusted the scale, rotation and flipped it, and it turned out that the competition is using our files. Exactly, dust particle for dust particle. You can watch and judge for yourself here (please play it in HD and full screen):

 


After downloading the product we had purchased, we noticed that it contains 100 files and takes about 15 GB of disk space - just like mDusts. How did they release such a similar product just two days after mDusts' premiere? Read further below...

https://www.motionvfx.com/tutorials/blog/mdusts/comparison/Produst_delivery.png

(screenshot from original Produst Delivery - click to see it full screen. Original files were replaced last night by Pixel Film Studio so don't bother downloading them)

This is how original files were packed:

https://www.motionvfx.com/tutorials/blog/mdusts/comparison/SpeedDownload_Screenshot.png
(screenshot from Speed Download software showing when we have downloaded Produsts)

I decided to purchase and compare Produst with mDusts after I discovered an order in our mStore that was placed by Chrisitna Austin less than 10 hours after mDusts' release.
I don't know whether you know that Pixel Film Studios is run by David Austin and his wife Christina Austin. After looking into the log file I noticed that mDusts were purchased by Christina on February 6th 2013 around 02:17 (GMT+1). Coincidence? We think not, but we are not lawyers or the police. We are just software and application tools developers trying to make great, unique and highly useful products for our customers around the world.

 

Five people (including me) started comparing the files. Produst's files were created on February 6th 2013, so Mr. and Mrs. Austin had to work hard that day to only scale down the files to HD (our files are sold in 2K resolution). We knew our files well, but would we be able to proof that Pixel Film Studio sells our files without permission and for half of the original price? The answer came after a few minutes of comparison. Watch the video below and draw your own conclusions.

Hard to imagine, isn't it? On the example above you can see how our mDust_05.mov was flipped in X axis, scaled down and slowed down to about 97% of its original speed. The additional "blue dust" was added to draw our attention away from the fact that this is our file.

Here is the video with both files next to each other:

Now I was certain: the footage sold by Pixel Film Studio was created from our files!
I kept talking to myself that coincidences like that may happen, but still, I kept comparing the files.

Here is our mDust_019 and Produst 038 comparison:

It turned out that we were absolutely right! These were our files. Sure, they were modified, moved around, scaled and sometimes slowed down... BUT THEY WERE OUR FILES!!!
You can download both files here to compare them by yourself: mDust_019 and Produst 38 (right click to download the files).
As an addition, here is our original R3D file to compare: mDust_019_R3D_File.zip

Make sure to compare the dates! Our R3D files were created in November 2012 !


Here's another example where our mDust_023 was rotated, scalled and mixed with another file to create Produst 68 file:


What should I make of it? Maybe you can tell me? Maybe you are a victim of fraud as well? Maybe I should quote the guy from the television and say: "Check it and start fighting for your rights"? If that's what making plugins in Pixel Film Studio looks like then maybe it is time to ask yourself a question: is your plugin bought, modified, repackaged and sold for half a price?

Additionally, I must say that a couple of companies similar to ours reacted to one of our Tweets during the weekend, suspecting similar behavior from the PFS's side. They asked me to remain anonymous, as they are conducting their own investigation.

 

Moreover, Pixel Film Studio has a couple of other products in their offer that on further examination appear very similar to ours.
For instance, On October 10th 2012 they purchased our mLooks product. A couple of weeks later they released 2 similar plugins - Provintage and Provogue. They've also purchased our mFlare and released something called Proflares. Conclusions? Draw them yourselves...

 

You will probably ask: what did I do to clarify the situation between me and Pixel Film Studio. I sent them an e-mail, which you can read below. Additionally, I wrote a post on their Facebook profile, stating that their product violates MotionVFX's copyrights. I got banned and my post was removed. The same thing happened to other people, who wanted an explanation: what are the differences between your product and mDusts?. All those questions began to dissapear. Moreover, all my comments from the Produsts promo on Vimeo were deleted.

Here's my correspondance with Pixel Film Studio:

https://www.motionvfx.com/tutorials/blog/mdusts/comparison/email.png

(Click the image above to read it in full screen)

 

Am I really mistaken? Am I really incapable of recognizing my own work? Or maybe I'm just a silly Pole, who is not a native English speaker? I leave that for you to decide. Just remember that we have all the original R3D files, from which mDusts were created.

In the end you might wonder: how did I realize that it was them, who bought our product? Checking the mDusts orders we came across the Austin's address. All we had to do was compare the surnames and locations with Pixel Film Studio's data. Later on we bought their "product", compared the files and everything became clear. We were defrauded. Not only MotionVFX, but everybody, who bought anything from Pixel Film Studio. Maybe some of their other products were based on your files?

 

At the end of the day we all lose if we steal from each other.
We hope this is an honest mistake but all the evidence to date certainly seems to point in the other direction. If you feel you have been wronged in any way we would love to hear from you. We are pursuing all the legal avenues open to us, but frankly we would rather make more great products for you than spend our time building legal cases.
On behalf of everyone in our company and for the thousands of great customers, partners and friends we have around the world, I apologize for any confusion.
If you have purchased any products and you are as confused or professionally and personally hurt as we are, contact me and I will make it right for you,

Sincerely,
Szymon Masiak
motionVFX.com

 

PS.
I wrote the above article and made all the comparisons between Feb 8 - 11 after downloading Produsts from Pixel Film Studio. In the meantime, Pixel Film Studio replaced their Produst trying to make it looke more like their own production. It was probably a very intensive weekend for them to replace elements they have stolen from us, as they even released a 9 min long video showing that they didn't steal anything. I'm glad we had downloaded the files they have originally started to sell before they replaced them.
Also a few minutes ago I've got an email from a friend who received the following message from Mr. Austin: "We are trying to do damage control MotionVFX has been posting slander all over the internet about our company and we are trying to defend ourselves peacefully. Very easy to prove him wrong  But he has been making fake composites of our stuff and his to ruin our brand. Not cool. We made a sample of each of our dust effects so people could compare. Im trying to handle this peaceful but he never responds to emails.".

My comment: this is pathetic.

Today's morning I have also received an email from a different company, which would like to stay anonymous, saying: "There are some pretty suspicious things - for instance, their film grain pattern appears to be taken from someone else and then tiled to make it "different".  This seems so be their approach - take other people's assets and then mash them up to hide the origin.".

Judge it for yourself.

 

* UPDATE, Feb 14, 2014
Yesterday, I received the following explanation from Pixel Film Studio: "Syzmon, we sincerely apologize. After reviewing the work of one of our former employees, we realize that they used some of the footage of your product. Something I was unaware of at the time of sending the emails to you. A totally unnecessary move since we have hours of dust footage of our own and was not the intent at all. In an attempt to cover up his lazyness, his work the files were switched after 8 hours within launch of the product.".

Also, on FCPX's Facebook page Mr. Austin wrote: "Pixel FIlm Studios has come under fire lately from MotionVFX. The shame is it is justified to an extent. We had a employee resign yesterday after feeling an enormous amount of pressure on the things that were done to complete Produst.
Unfortunately young employees sometimes don't realize the things they do and how they can effect the people around them. This employee is great person who just made a bad decision.
We created all footage in our office and have hours of film shot with our cameras to create the desired effect. After reviewing the first 20 pro dust composites with this employee, everything was fine. We left him alone to do his job and tell us when he was done. We packaged it, made a demo and sold it.
The next morning I got an email from motionvfx staying we were pirating footage. To my knowledge… "That was CRAZY!" We had spend the whole day recording the necessary footage to complete the day earlier. Meanwhile the employee was already fixing the mess after guilt. I still have not seen the footage containing the Motion Dust. Lesson learned… When your name is on something… Make sure you know every dent and scratch!
We looked at our records after and it showed new versions of the video were uploaded from his house and the office. 8-10 hours after the original release. Therefore we will be refunding all the customers who purchased in the first day and require they delete any footage off of their computers immediately. We will also send them a new download of our footage Produst as an apology.
This can happen to anyone and unfortunately MotionVFX capitalized on this moment to ruin competition. Mission accomplished? Maybe… However, we have awesome effects and will continue to do so moving forward. We would like to take responsibility as a company for this and apologize to MotionVFX. This is the only time this will ever happen.
This does not reflect our company culture one bit. Our company culture is to have freedom, treat our workers like gold with an enormous amount of trust. Moments like this… it didn't work out for the best.
Thanks everyone for the support!
David
"

Even though we don't buy this story, we accept the apology. We will not start any legal action against Pixel Film Studio. Let's all move on. I hope this article will be a great lesson for everyone.

Comments:
Ben Balser
February 12, 2013
The evidence is pretty clear to me. Shame on PFS! They won't get my money.
Reply
alanmac
February 12, 2013
This is downright wrong - never bought their FX but now never will. Always liked your work Szymon (and the 14 others)
Cass
February 12, 2013
That's shocking. I bought one of their plug-ins last week after viewing a very promising promo video. It's not as good as they made it out to be, and it came with no parameters to adjust things. My fav plug-in though is one I bought from you folks - mLooks Wedding Edition. Some awesome looks, and can adjust parameters to suit the shot/my needs.

Won't be buying from Pixel Films Studios again.
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amoeba
February 12, 2013
disgraceful thieving behaviour, well done on catching them out and NAMING AND SHAMING.
Do not let them get away with it.

I've had previous experience with my content re appropriation, and blagging,
I sorted it out personally, glasgow style, and they will never do it again.
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CMBmovies
February 12, 2013
Unbelievable! I've purchased a few Pixel Studios products including ProVintage and feel a little violated. I thought they seemed similar to Mlooks having purchased mlooks 1 and 2 along with mBurns and mFlare. I feel a little sick :/ I wonder if I can get a refund and spend the money on MotionVFX products!
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Szymon Masiak
February 12, 2013
Go ahead and refund it while they still exist. I'll be happy to give everyone who'll do the same our plugins for free.
CBlakeston
February 13, 2013
Hi Szymon, I've emailed them and asked for a refund on all of their products I've purchased as their behaviour is something I don't wish to support. I wish I'd spent the money on mLooks Wedding and mDust now :)
Szymon Masiak
February 13, 2013
When you'll get your refund, drop me a mail at info@motionvfx.com and you'll receive some free plugins from us.
Ron Priest
February 12, 2013
Im not a bit surprised about this news. I too have been wondering how they have been putting out so many FCPX effects so fast and they always seem to do it right after you've just seen some other company release an effect (their own). They have no one to blame for their troubles but themselves, hopefully they will be stopped in their tracks.
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Zero
February 12, 2013
Hopefully all the companies victimized by these parasites can band together and take legal action as a collective whole.

Wishing you all the best in tiding through these trying times.
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Belsimo
February 12, 2013
Shame on them!.. your arguments are strong. No doubt that Pixel Films Studios is a band of thieves and pirates (Prothieves and Propirates)
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Nathanaël Havez
February 12, 2013
I've never seen something like that before. This is just disgusting for you and pro customers like us.
I fully support MotiovVFX in this case, especially because they're still trying to hide the evidence after all of this.
Keep doing the good work Szymon, we know that you and your team have always been legit with us !
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pchung
February 12, 2013
Oh, I too bought a few effects from PFS. I see migration happen on my side relatively soon. I feel sad that I am hurting the original creator and also myself (have to pay "twice" at the end)
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Appalled
February 12, 2013
Whatever you do, DO NOT let them get away with this. Do not think that you'll "take the higher road" and let them walk away with a warning and a slap on the wrist. What they've done is incredibly wrong, and you need to sue them until they post a public apology on their site, or face monetary damages.
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marcushardy
February 12, 2013
Having both Produst (before they altered it) and mDust, I was able to recreate all of the examples Szymon shows here, and I can say without a doubt that they outright robbed motionVFX.com. I've already emailed them with my disdain for this behaviour and informed them that I will no longer be purchasing their products. In a world this creative, theft is never necessary.
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Szymon Masiak
February 12, 2013
Marcus, THANK YOU for confirming that fact !!!
Cheerilee
February 12, 2013
Nicely stolen. I hope ProDust is less expensive. I don't know why you care, since the warez scene is going to spank both of you anyway. :3 <3
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TERRY
February 12, 2013
Wow this is shameful, I was going to buy ProDust (but now I 'll wait till mDust goes on sale even if it costs more). I'm from California and its embarrassing to have a local company like this doing such bad things! I bought some of their other filters and they did look suspiciously similar to mLooks and mFlare, mVintage. I'm gonna also stop feeding the monster... Go Szymon!
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orytek
February 12, 2013
I never liked the fact that they offered no trial and just wanted you to drop down your money based on a quick promo video.
One of the popular fcp resource sites seemed to be fans of theirs and was showing their stuff constantly. Hope that's over.
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Doco Dave
February 12, 2013
Kick ass!!!

We are behind you!

You will be getting all my money...they are going to get squat!

David Hallett
Owner
Photo Reaction
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jonathanrichards
February 12, 2013
Astonishing. I'm a plugin developer myself (small time) and I was getting a little overwhelmed as they released product after product. I was wondering how they do it. I'm just about to release my latest plugin and it has taken many many long hours to create. I'd be gutted if they stole it. It's time these guys were exposed.

Thank you Syymon.
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fightthefunk
February 12, 2013
Szymon and mLooks have always been completely professional and their products are absolutely superb. After 700 plus products I'd find in hard to believe that Szymon and his team would try to stop creating. The evidence against PixelFilm studios is irrefutable. Seriously irrefutable, I still cant understand why they didn't take the 6 hour offer. Unreal! I'd be interested in seeing their raw footage, that they claim to have......;) I am seriously shocked by this, and to be honest the speed at which Pixel Film were releasing their products was definitely noticeable and peculiar to me. I was initially impressed by their rate of releases. It seems that it was to good to be true. Szymon I am a firm and huge supporter of your Co. and if there is anything I can do let me know. Unfortunately, I dont have Pixel Film products as I kept saying why would I buy that if Szymon has it... "the proof is in the pudding" - that feeling that I think most of us (involved in this realm) had all along seems to be spot on. BT
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David Cleverly Australia
February 13, 2013
This is VERY disappointing. I have been following PFS almost daily to see what great things they have to reveal with Credit Card at the ready. I have been a supporter of PFS and purchased several of their products and have been happy with all of them except TRANSDUB. I saw MotionVFX had similar products but - being mindful of costs these days - always went for the cheaper option (and 99% of the time it did the job nicely for me). HOWEVER: I do now really have to consider my purchasing position from now on because of this. As I said...VERY upsetting because I thought these guys were onto a good thing and making a lot of people happy by releasing great products regularly. The had almost a cult following. What now??
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Tlbrownmusic
February 13, 2013
Wow. I'm so shocked and upset to read about this. I'm a fairly new fcpx user and I passed over your products many times because pixel film studios had the plugins for so much cheaper. I've purchased proflare pro looks pro mood pro vague and many others. I'm so sorry this has happened to you guys. You ll see my business from now on I'll just have to save more money to purchase them. I'll pray for your company and your legal proceedings. God bless.
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Griff
February 13, 2013
Unbelievable. The evidence here is irrefutable!

Great work by you and your team to expose this pathetic attempt to knock off your product.
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flataddicted
February 13, 2013
As I truly do understand that this must drive you crazy being a small business owner who feels that my service is ripped off yearly... however, I do feel that this post creates more problems when customers like me have never even heard of this company and may or may not go to this site now with all the links on yours. I have just visited it and feel like this could further hurt your sales as you've just educated a lot of people on being able to buy products that are yours at half the price. I am a loyal customer to MVFX and not currently looking to buy an plugins but they're may be some who will and unfortunately may rush to buy from them now. Sorry... my wife's an attorney and it rubs off on my to see all sides of a situation. They clear took from you and that's wrong but you may be further helping them, just saying!
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Szymon Masiak
February 13, 2013
Totally understand, my friend. But would you let it go? Of course, there is a risk, but people needs to know about it.
Wesley Blokker
February 13, 2013
Damn Szymon, this is madness!

I love your approach to all of this! Well done! I hope that company goes out of business!
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Yammerin
February 13, 2013
You build a good case, and I can understand your anger.

It might have been wiser to keep this private.

Your public posting could turn around and bite you. Just because you think you are right, truthful and the wronged party doesn't make you immune to legal problems.

All it would take is a judge deciding that something you wrote was not 100% accurate. Not a lie, but just not absolutely accurate in every regard.

He accuses you of slander, but he's confusing that with libel. AFAIK, slander is defamation out loud, and libel is defamation in print. Libel is worse, because it lasts. Libel is what you should talk about with your attorney.

From my understanding, there are two components necessary for defamation to occur. The statement must be false, and it must cause tangible harm to the libeled party. Obviously, you have harmed him and his company. You can see in the comments from other customers vowing to take away his business and otherwise blackball him. It's also obvious that you intended to destroy his reputation, and you threatened to do so if he didn't comply with your demands.

Which means that you better hope he doesn't file suit against you, and if he does, you'd better hope that you can prove every word of every single post, tweet and blog are 100% accurate. Because if they find that you exaggerated or were otherwise inaccurate or mistaken, then they can find you guilty of libel, and you can be held responsible for all their lost business and emotional anguish.

But you have nothing to worry about, right? You told the truth, right? What could go wrong?

Welcome to the wonderful world of the legal system.

Here's something that could go wrong: you accused him of copyright infringement. That's not as simple as it seems. Your products are royalty-free clips licensed specifically to create what lawyers call Derivative Works. That's where you use someone else's protected material and incorporate it into a new work. By definition, a "royalty free" product is licensed for the creation of Derivative Works without penalty or payment.

You also said that he violated your EULA by using your product to create a new product that competes with your company. That was prohibited.

Here's the rub: violating your EULA isn't copyright infringement. It's breach of contract.

And it gets worse. By rotating, flipping, and scaling your footage and then adding blue dust to it, he can make a case that he created a Derivative Work. A new work that incorporates your footage. If the Judge agrees, then there's no copyright infringement, because you license Derivative Works when you offer royalty-free footage.

In the same way, even if he used your product to create the advertising for his own product, the Judge might think he is creating a Derivative Work, so there's no infringement. Now, you might get him on a trade violation for false advertising or misrepresentation, but that's not copyright infringement.

If he can prove to a Judge that he did not infringe on your copyrights, then your statements would be both false and harmful. Therefore, libelous and --cha-ching! Money in the bank for him.

If I were you, I'd be on the phone with my lawyer tomorrow, making darn sure that there was legal proof of copyright infringement. I'd also be asking a lot of questions about how not to lose a libel suit.

It really sucks to get sued when you feel you're the injured party. That's why when something goes wrong, you should always call your lawyer first, instead of taking to the internet.

I'm not a lawyer, and I'm not giving you legal advice of any kind. This is me typing like a drunken monkey and trying to sound smart. Often wrong, never in doubt.

Good luck with all this. I hope it all resolves without legal action.
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blah
February 13, 2013
If the EULA was written correctly, it should be worded clearly enough to explain how the work can be used and that said work can not "subvert the intent of the license." This person is pretty clearly subverting the intent of any license I have ever read that goes with stock, fonts, etc. Sue them!
earthwhile
July 7, 2014
Why are you stating this here publicly, rather than privately to Szymon? If the dorks at Pixel Films didn't think of suing MotionVFX, maybe now they are. You may also be a reason Szymon gets sued!
Alastair - Useful Design
February 13, 2013
Even their business name is an unoriginal mish-mash of one of the biggest names in CGI. Good Luck SImon. I've always admired your companies original work and incredible productivity!
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lightgale
February 13, 2013
Keep up the good work and hire a good lawyer. It's not like someone did a homevideo with your files, it's not even unfair competition. It's a theft, plain and simple. Maybe they thought that Poland is a far and small enough country and motionFX small enough company for them to be safe, who knows... Anyways, good luck and keep up the good work.
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billbruce60
February 13, 2013
I just caught this news via your Facebook posting. Firstly, I have to say a big SORRY to you, Szymon, and all of your hard working team at MotionVFX. I have bought many wonderful templates and plugins from yourselves over the last year and I love how your stuff makes my stuff truly sparkle!
The reason I apologise is because I actually bought ProDust from PixelFS the day it came out - again following a post on Facebook from FCP.co - as it seemed at the time like it was 'spot on' for a farm barn scene I had just edited. I didn't realise their product was a straight steal from yours. I am disgusted by the news you have revealed here. As a designer first and foremost I totally empathise with your anger and frustration. It is like daylight robbery (without the lens flare enhancements) when someone directly shoplifts to make some quick cash on all your hard earned efforts. They should be ashamed of themselves, and I hope there's no dist left when you take them to cleaners in court!
From now on you will continue to be my first stop for Motion templates and plugins for my FCPX editing, and if I ever see see anything that looks like it came from your stable I will probably check back with you guys first before buying it.
Keep the faith!
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Szymon Masiak
February 13, 2013
Thank buddy. Drop me a mail at info@motionvfx.com so I could generate mDusts link for you for free, so you'll be able to confirm what I wrote. At least that I can do.
Mymakao
February 13, 2013
It's f*cking crazy ! Courage, go up to the end, you should not allow to pass this kind of thing!
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Sean J V
February 13, 2013
So sorry to hear this...especially as i just bought 2 products from them today... wish i'd held on to my money now and bought from you guys. Like others have said, they tempted me with their lower prices and constant appearance on fcp.co... I'll definitely be buying motionfx next time. Ironically, one of the products i bought doesn't work...their support said it would be fixed in an update...so cash down and a non-working file in return. Lovely. :-(
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chickenthief
February 13, 2013
Go talk to a copyright lawyer. First to protect your work in the future, second to sue them. That's what the courts are for, to sort this stuff out and you've got a legitimate problem here.
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m
February 13, 2013
Pixel Film Studios Live Support
949-273-877

Just sayin....
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Jooks
February 13, 2013
Possibly the most immoral, lousy, cheating company i've ever heard of. how on earth could they just repackage and sell another company's product??!! The evidence is loud and clear. This S.Austin is a total snake.

How he's even got the balls to defend his thievery. Amazing. Just unbelievable.
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MTD
February 13, 2013
Shouldn't Vimeo pull the Pixel Film Studio videos as they contain copyrighted material used without permission/license and presented as original work?
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Til
February 13, 2013
I thought about buying some of their products yesterday because i liked some of them (especially "ProDust"), but thankfully I read this article before. I can't imagine they created even one of their Plugins by themselves.
Frankly, I never heard of motionvfx, but now you have a new customer. :)
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Zenfoolio
February 13, 2013
Hello Simon- Very unfortunate. I'm sure you're extremely pissed off as any of us would be.

I'm assuming, having had a little interaction with you, that you're not making these accusations for no reason.

"Yammerin's" comments here lay out why a lawsuit will probably not be worth the money and trouble, and would certainly not guarantee an outcome that you would hope for. Not to mention the jurisdiction issues.

May I suggest that you publicly invite the owner of Pixel Film Studios to agree to have the two plugins compared by two independent experts (One you choose, and one they choose. There are many that would volunteer their time to do this comparison, I could suggest a few.) and agree publicly to live with the results of the comparison. One side will not be happy with the results, but it might be a way for both parties to move on and for customers of both companies to make up their own minds, given that a court of law never will.

If they refuse this, then that can speak for itself.

Either way, I'm sure this incident will not stop you from continuing your creative work that helps so many producers make their products better.

Best regards.
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Art
February 14, 2013
I posted a question on FB page of PixelFilms asking about the differences between the two products as I was curious.

They removed my post and now i appear to be banned from posting on their page ( is Vermont now in Poland?). Not that i care to post on their site anyways. Also noticed as of tonight there is not one mention of ProDust on their Facebook page OR their Pixel Films website. Hmmm... Does this mean that if they took down everything they didn't actually create themselves there would be nothing left on their site?
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Jay
February 14, 2013
Regards Austin's damage limitation story/get out of jail free card - that it was a rouge employee who used the files, who is now fired from the company - isn't that a bit ludicrous? It been proved that the original files were bought by (?) Austin and his wife (on record) or do lowly 'new employees' have access to the company directors credit cards in their studio? (highly unlikely)

A- It's quite clear the files were bought by management

B- would anyone really believe Austin would have such a loose hold on his product, staff, company, that the out-right duplication and inclusion of another companies product in their own, an exact file-copy, would go un noticed prior signing the product off for sale?

Very interested in seeing where this story goes, with all sincerity for the sake of what is right i hope they are sued to the hilt and pay by the way of ethics for their out-right thievery and disrespect of others work.
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Jay
February 14, 2013
also . . hang on . . why on earth would an employee have been given a purchased version of your effect clips? this is the crux of the story right? It doesn't even make sense. Even IF Austin wanted his staff to create something similar surely one would point said employee to your online promo video (?) and not go to the trouble and expense of PURCHASING A FULL SET.

I am in disbelief that you've ever so graciously decided not to pursue legal action. Baffled in fact.

I've also downloaded your comparison clip as linked above. I actually have been looking for just that exact clip by chance and wish to pay/donate some money for it. Please do provide paypal details of where i can make payment.

Thanks.
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Szymon Masiak
February 14, 2013
No needs Jay, it's free for the sake of this case. If you want to support us, please purchase any of our products. Thank you!
Jay
February 14, 2013
Can i have that in writing? :) Cheers
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Chunder
February 14, 2013
They apologized. It was a rogue employee. ;-) Hey, that excuse worked for the banks right?
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Szymon Masiak
February 14, 2013
Good point :)
Charlie
February 14, 2013
Hey!, you stole my comment from creative cow! In a thread about stealing stuff?!? The irony burns! Anyway, glad you liked it enough to steal it. ;-)

http://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/335/47998
Szymon Masiak
February 14, 2013
Charlie, do you want his IP address? :D
Jay Chundered
February 15, 2013
i don't think passing on a good joke is quite in the same league as re-packaging and selling someone else's plugin product as your own though?! would l you like a literary commission? has a legal president been set yet for this kind of evil, heartless plagiarism??!

I just thank god you included a link to the original thread to creative cow for all to see the original joke, and that you won't be suing me! but even then it wasn't me was it, another employee must have been at my computer while i was on lunch see :)))))

ahhhh!
jonathanrichards
February 14, 2013
I really think you're giving up on this too easily.

This situation has a foul smell to it. Aside from mDust, how about the other plugin's you cited?

He really shouldn't be allowed to get away with it that easily.

Rogue employee? Really...
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Szymon Masiak
February 14, 2013
So what do you suggest? A public lawsuit? I leave it for everyone to judge and throw the stones.
jonathanrichards
February 14, 2013
I think you are rattled by what Yammerin has stated.
Jooks
February 14, 2013
Simon - 'jonathanrichards' is right. i believe you are giving up rather easily and i do wonder why? sure you're quite clearly the bigger man here but why let such utter thievery just, go?

it's not even a small ting. it's blatantly clear they did that which you claim. why let them get away with it? why?

are you afraid of a counter-sue? that somehow your claim/set of facts isn't water tight? i don't see how that could be the case. i also don't see the community thinking any less of you for standing up for yourself.

doing whats right in every regard is hardly going to reflect badly on you or your company.

i've read on other sites it's been said that this Steve.A is full of s***. i've read all emails published and would have to say i agree. not only that but his retorts and excuses amount to pretty much just taking the p*ss out of you and humiliating himself.

hell have a whip-round i'm sure you'll find people willing to contribute towards legal costs. do the right thing.
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Paul Smythe
February 14, 2013
this isn't the first time a certain company has been 'inspired' by the work of others . . .

http://gmc.yoyogames.com/index.php?showtopic=566501
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fightthefunk
February 14, 2013
This is great! This is positive and Szymon this puts you in like a Zen area above most. I respect this and as PFS guy states even though it obviously wasn't your mission, I'll be loyal to motionVFX, because it is tough for me to buy the story above as well. But you know the world is a funny thing. You guys give frequent discounts anyway...What goes around comes around and things will balance on their own. If PFS is sincere then they wont loose business because they actually do have quite a few plugs. If the case is that PFS is not sincere then the actions they took will undoubtedly be paid for. To clarify, it wont be Szymon, inducing the punishment but it'll be because of the actions of the company, who publicly took responsibility. The scapegoat is irrelevant. The action happened. And quite frankly PFS is lucky that Szymon is not going to pursue this any further. "Let's all move on," is simply the best thing. What we all want to do is maintain a healthy and bolstering environment for creativity and not be mixed up and wasting time in all this BS, again induced by PFS. (My humble opinion) Lets see what we can do with the dust!
Jerome
February 14, 2013
Wow. I was about to buy ProDust, wrote an email to the company to ask for a discount if I bought a self-chosen bundle (and got a discount-code in return, how nice!) but all of a sudden ProDust was gone. Googling for it brought me to fcp.co and here.
But still no dust in my FCPX and yours is, well maybe not expensive, but it's a lot of money. Good luck though, I hope this was a once-but-never-again story.
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CRiZZO
February 14, 2013
I almost purchased the iPad app yesterday. Glad I didn't give them my money. This is downright shameful!
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floh.fahrenberger
February 15, 2013
I am very sorry that there are people like this in the world. Just last week I was browsing through the PFS website, I'm just glad I didn't buy anything. And, as an additional plus, this article convinced me to finally buy the mDusts license I've been thinking about. :)
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remydeveze
February 17, 2013
Reading this post, I am glad to have never promote any PFS products on my french blog about editing tools and I'll continue to make reviews on Szymon and motionvfx team work : effects, filters and motion templates. I'll also tell my readers about this piracy!
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remydeveze
February 17, 2013
a french review on this piracy affair!
http://remydeveze.com/2013/02/17/piratage-entre-editeurs-de-plugins-fcpx/
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n8ture
February 17, 2013
I picked up a copy of ProDust before I learned of all this. I've also purchased a few other of their products as well.
Has anyone been able to get a refund from them for ProDust? I'd be happy to delete the files from my drive and purchase from you.
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Wes
February 18, 2013
The worst part is their pattern of behavior. They'll buy your product first and they try to repackage it like they created it themselves. It sucks to hear that good creative friends of mine have been scammed by these unoriginal assholes. I really hope their business gets shut down for good so they can learn the error of their ways.
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jooks
February 19, 2013
Is there any update on this story or has it been buried already? shame. if he gets away with this.
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Sable
February 20, 2013
Yeah I wonder too... If you just google "Pixel Farm Studios" you have to go more than 5 pages to get to any reference to this scandal...does anyone know how to get this story on the first google search page? Everyone with a web page should link to it for starters I guess...
Brian
February 21, 2013
I tweeted them about it and it was scrubbed! Now, I'm getting bizarre txt messages and phone calls. They must have looked me up and added the number to all sorts of places. Or, their "rogue" employee did:)
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Andres Crow
February 21, 2013
Shame on PFS! users should use social media to take them down!
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ideasbydrew
March 7, 2013
as a leader and head of a company or organization, you do not through your employees under the bus like that. even though it may not be true, everything that happens there is your fault and your responsibiity. man up and stop blaming a young employeee that made a bad decision. what a douche!!!
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Evan
March 11, 2013
Thank You Thank You Thank You for posting this Szymon! I personally own a few of your products and love them. Being a creator myself, the whole thing with Piracy drives me livid! Everything in my iTunes library has been purchased, all of my apps are registered and all in all I do business in an honest manner. When I hear of this kind of stuff and that you caught them in the act, GOOD FOR YOU! Keep making great plugins, and to all the creatives out there, don't let scum like PFS get away with stuff like that.
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Tim Moran
March 12, 2013
I think it was Picasso who said that "Good artists copy, great artists steal." They got caught. I hope this doesn't turn into a case like Apple vs Samsung. :P
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theifist
April 1, 2013
if it makes ya feel any better I steal All their shit. Never paid a red cent for some bulshit I shoot myself when i need it. chumps.
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Fishscale
September 27, 2013
This story is so f*g infuriating it's not even funny. Then they have the balls to blame it on some "young kid" who they left alone to finish the job. Unf*nbelievable.
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Jared
January 29, 2014
Yuck, I feel like crap now as I purchased the ProDust pack from PFS. I am torn as they have some great stuff and are not too expensive on my very limited budget, however, they appear to have stolen from you. I don't buy their story either. That said, I assume after this incident they are being closely watched, I'm sure if they steal anything else, we will all hear about it.
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Vince Pinoy
October 31, 2014
whew! good thing i googled, thanks for this.. i almost buy the PRO3DT. now checking MotionVFX plugins.
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Stereotronic
February 3, 2015
Wow... thanks for the info.... About to drop some $ on their products when purely by coincidence I saw this post. They will not get my cash anymore. Highly unethical. The claim the perpetrator resigned?... he should have been fired on the spot. will support motionvfx, and your products are high quality. One gets what one pays for.
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ihdmedia
April 10, 2015
WOW, just found this story... I own so many of their plugins...have been using them all day today. Always wondered how they turned them out so fast. I will use the ones I have but will never buy again. What a shame!
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skibotech
July 11, 2015
I absolutely love the Motionvfx plugins and templates and have been using them form a few years now. I've also bought from Pixel Studios "products" in the past. Never again.
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lyntonbrown
July 31, 2015
I'm in shock, I almost purchased a couple of plugins from them today but stumbled across your blog. I won't be giving them any of my money again.
Keep up the good work Szymon, wish I could purchase all your products.
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Liv
August 30, 2015
They renamed produst with propixie . Unbelievable!
Good Job Motionvfx! To expensive for me, but your work is beautiful!
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Dan HS
March 5, 2016
I was just about to buy a 5 plugins from PFS, just thought i'd do a little research first. Glad I did, I don't have a lot of spare as an independent film maker, but Im certainly not spending it with a company who steals others creative work. Dan.
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mick
March 9, 2016
I was going to get a few plugins from them, mainly for pro removal, but seen as they copy other work i won't bother. want to be sure all my work doesn't violate copy write in any way. now just wondering if anyone knows an alternative to pro removal?
Akosphoto.com
June 7, 2016
This Pixelfilmstudios.com - Pixel Film Studios , Final Cut Pro Plugins effects which do not work mostly, seems to be a one man show shop run by David Austin, who only a couple of years ago still was doing wedding videos. So far I purchased only a handful for their Final cut Pro Plugins effects plugins, one of them did not work at all, and support people (likely the guy himself faking another name etc) is not fixing the plugin at all, but this support conversation keeps on answering questions I never had asked, i am guessing to satisfy a conversation with themselves,since he can not fix plugins. And likely in order to NEVER solve the actual problem at hand, but instead to be able to justify later on, that there was support given.... But at the end of the day : Pixelfilmstudios.com - Pixel Film Studios are faulty Final Cut Pro Plugins effects alltogether, sold on a website that looks like he has 100 employees". Since 2014 this plugin has never worked, nor has this one man show support conversation even fixed anything at all, besides it being a vast waste of time. This one man show, David Austin , is hiding behind a seemingly serious store, well designed. I do NOT want my money back, I want this software to work as advertised, or that he stops selling nonfunctioning software. For this is clearly fraudulent advertisement for a non functioning Product. I would advice everyone out there to look for plugins somewhere else, very shady shop here ! It seems that many of the positive reviews out there are written by David Austin or his wife Christine Austin themselves, using aliases, a clear conflict of interest here. There are tons of blogs talking about him stealing templates from other well established Final cut Pro Plugins effects software shops, which makes me come to the conclusion that i might have purchased one of those he cloned from someone else, and that's also why he can not fix it, nor make it work, since he is not being a coder/programmer himself.
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Greg H
July 28, 2016
Good for you for standing up to them. I found your post after doing a search for support for one of Pixel's products. They have zero support apparently. I was planning on buying their dust plugin today, but instead I will get it from you. Our company designs have been stolen too countless times. We make furniture though and it's impossible to do anything about it.
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Burn Your Bridges
August 12, 2016
As a former employee of PFS I'd just like to confirm that Dave Austin is an effing Nazi and almost everything him and his team produces is plagiarized and I'd love to see his stupid little empire crash and burn in his face.
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In a Better Place
January 1, 2017
As another former PFS employee, I too can affirm these claims. I don't know about "Nazi", but David Austin is not a good person. He is brash and arrogant. He only cares about himself. He makes demeaning remarks towards workers. His mantra is "don't sleep, make me some money." The good news is that he barely ever shows up to the office.

And yes, he does encourage employees to look at the competition for "inspiration."
Adi Goldstein
February 7, 2017
Im in i'm in shockkkkkk !
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Scottjames
March 25, 2017
I'm a noob to FCPX and unfortunately I spent about $230 on PFS products yesterday. They're absolute garbage. It's obvious the developers don't know what they're doing. You can't even change the fonts on any of the titles. Szymon, I wish I had gone to your site first. What a difference.
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