Gov’t Steals Cartoonist’s Intellectual Property

Malaysia’s Ministry of Health has distributed face masks with illustrations on use and disposal.

The problem is that the illustrations come from cartoon instructions by Evangeline Neo.

And the government agency didn’t ask or receive permission from the cartoonist.
Or even credit the cartoonist.

Eva created two versions of her Mask comics, one not signed:

There were 2 versions, this was the first version with my eyes open. The second expanded version had my eyes closed to look sick:

As it was posted with another instructional comic, so I did not sign this particular page.

When informed the Malaysian government did explain and apologize:

I have received a phone call from Angkatan Pertahanan Awam Malaysia Negeri Johor to apologise for using my comics without permission nor credit. The reason they gave was they found my image on Google [empahsis added]. But I told them even so, it is still possible to find out who the artist is as I sometimes receive emails to ask for usage permission.

As the comic had already been printed and distributed, I have asked them to do one of the following if they are continuing to print more. To either remove the trashbin clipart that was not drawn by me, then credit the artwork back to “Evacomics”, or remove it and commission another artist to draw.

The incident prompted Eva to create a comic strip about copyright in the internet age.

Hat tip to Hype for the heads up.

From Evangeline’s LinkedIn page:

A comic artist from Singapore, Evangeline Neo has been publishing her own comic series via web since 2007.