Monday, December 31, 2012

Bullying From Dr. Ketchum? (Updated)

Actual Photo used with permission, No Reuse without permission from Alex Evans 


Bullying From Dr. Ketchum?
On Threatening A Noted Sasquatch Artist
By TCC Team Member Dorraine Fisher

It’s been rumored that Dr. Ketchum has been throwing her weight around the Bigfoot community for quite some time but has managed to keep that side of herself under the radar. But a recent incident involving noted Sasquatch artist, Alex Evans, may prove a little harder to hide. Apparently the doctor has threatened her with legal action over some artwork Alex did for another client. And these threats took place via email.

It all started on August 15, 2010, when Alex posted an art piece called “Come On” on the Oregon Bigfoot website. It was a portrait of Bigfoot based on the recollections of an Ohio eye-witness. I verified the piece myself and the date it was posted through Oregon Bigfoot.

Almost exactly a year later, on August 13, 2011, Thom Cantrall sent Sally Ramey samples of Alex’s work. According to a redacted e-mail shared with Alex, Sally recommended to Dr. Ketchum that Alex be asked to do artwork for the DNA project. The date of the recommendation was August 17, 2011 and it included samples of Alex’s work … “Come On” among them.

In September of 2011, the doctor sent what Alex describes as “a great photo” of Bigfoot to use in developing artwork for the DNA project. The doctor claimed ownership of this photo and its origin is unknown, so it can’t be shown here. Alex loosely based a drawing on the photo, simply entitled “Ketchum Head,” but due to the photo’s low resolution, she did have to significantly interpret facial features.
In the summer of 2012, the two women had a disagreement regarding payment for two paintings Dr. Ketchum had commissioned from Alex in 2011. Seeing that this could cause huge problems for the project including a need to do a complete redesign of the websites on which many of Alex’s works were featured, Sally negotiated a truce between them. But during the disagreement, Alex, a cancer survivor, had revealed to Dr. Ketchum she was on a very small, limited income.

And Dr. Ketchum appears to be trying to take advantage of that fact.

On December 20, 2012, Alex informed the doctor that she no longer had permission to use any of her artwork for the project, and the following is the email discussion between the two women:

Melba,
I saw today's post on the Bigfoot Evidence blog that your website has been hacked, and that my artwork still appears on your project website. Since you gave me such a hard time over paying for the two paintings you commissioned from me well over a year ago, I no longer want my art associated with you. I hereby demand that you remove all of my art from the Sasquatch Genome Project's website. In addition, I demand that my art be removed from the Sasquatch Preservation Alliance's website. I also demand that you not use the art I prepared for your designer clothing label, Authentic Sasquatch Wildwear, as well as the various designs I did for your t-shirt sales program. You no longer have my permission to use any of my art for any reason whatsoever. Remember, I never signed over my copyright, or any document, giving you exclusive or limited permission, or one of your NDAs.
Alex

Dr. Ketchum responded that same day (unrelated phrases omitted for brevity):

Alex,
we are not using anything of yours, nor do we want to do so … we have done new designs for everything. … To my knowledge, my "website" has not been hacked.
MSK

Then on December 29, 2012, Dr. Ketchum suddenly notified Alex that she did not have permission to use, “Come On,” a piece to which Dr. Ketchum has no legal claim:

Alex,

One other thing, the drawing that you did from the photo I own the copyright on, entitled “come on”, you do not have my permission to sell or use it in any way.
Thanks,
Melba

Also on December 29, 2012, Alex responded and explained copyright law to Dr. Ketchum. It laid out that copyright on a photo does not automatically extend to an artist’s interpretation of that photo. Not that this really matters in this case, since “Come On” was done more than a year BEFORE Alex ever even saw Dr. Ketchum’s photo. The copyright information is omitted for brevity here, but in Alex’s response, she addresses, “Come On,” specifically, which is the core of the issue.

Melba,
….I also think you are confused about the piece you mentioned in your e-mail. “Come On” was a work I did quite some time before our association and I have documentation for this. The piece I did from your photo [the “Ketchum Head”] is not one I have interest in using. I am attaching a scan of it for your reference. If you want me to sell you exclusive rights to it, I would charge $75.

Alex

On December 30, 2012, Dr. Ketchum would not acknowledge the history of “Come On,” claiming that Alex did the 2010 piece from the photo she sent Alex in September 2011. She forwarded Alex an October 2011 e-mail in which Alex comments on the photo (and even notes its similarity to a second witness piece she was doing at the time):

"Come on" was the one that I sent you, the black one. The one you are thinking it is was from the website [the Ketchum Head} and that was from your interpretation and I do not want anything to do with that one. I am attaching the black one so you can clearly see that "come on" was from it. It was done before the website one. Your response and promise not to share it is below:

WOW Melba!! Absolutely the best photograph I've ever seen of one's face!! It fits the description to a T of one I'm working on now from a Fla. sighting of one crossing a roadway at close proximity. Thank you so much for sharing it with me, and as we talked about on the phone, I will keep it entirely to myself ...
Kindest Regards,
Alex

Also on December 30, 2012, Alex responded and further affirmed that “Come On,” was NOT done from Dr. Ketchum’s photo, and that the resemblance is only coincidental. She even explained that she would never have even mixed the photo in with a witness description, and she reasserted her rights under copyright law.

Melba,
In the message referenced below, I only agreed not to show anyone the photograph you sent me.

The piece I call “Come On” was done for client in OH. If the message referenced below, I even mention that your photograph resembled the description involved in another piece I was already working on at the time. The similarity is simply coincidence.

I can assure you that I did not use your photograph as a reference for the eye witness' piece at all, since my eye witness works are done to the specifications of the witness' description. In fact, I show the works in progress to the witnesses several times to ensure that I am getting every detail correct to what THEY saw. I would never have mixed any "inspiration" from your photo into that process at all, because it would have compromised what I sought to achieve for the witness.

You have no legal right to impose limitations on my creative product without copyright ownership. And as I have stated before, you no longer have permission to use any of my work.

Copyright law states that even if I garnered anything from that photo on any subsequent works, they are still my interpretations and MY art. The copyright still remains with me and I may use it in any way I choose.

Alex


On the same day, Alex also sent Dr. Ketchum the original 2010 post of “Come On” that she made to Oregon Bigfoot. Note the date at the end:

Senior Member Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:39 pm
Posts: 609
 Location: {omitted for privacy]
Re: Alex's Sasquatch
_________________
Sun Aug 15, 2010 6:27 pm

Dr. Ketchum then followed up with a legal threat to sue Alex, and clearly pointed out the cost it would impose on Alex if she did. The doctor appeared to be in denial of the fact that “Come On” was not based on the photo, and that it predates Alex seeing the photo by more than a year. Her e-mail appears here in its entirety:

Yes, but now I am able to do something legal about things whether you believe you are right or not. It will cost you to defend yourself so please do not force my hand. This is the only drawing that I am asking you not to sell or publicize. An eyewitness account is one thing, a direct reproduction of my photo is another. It is even at the same angle.

Alex also sent the following e-mail to Dr. Ketchum on December 30, 2012. In it, she referenced legal protection of her copyright, which Dr. Ketchum knows Alex cannot afford to pursue:

Melba,

You have NO legal right to restrict my use of MY work product unless I have signed over or sold you my copyright. I have not signed ANY document with you, including any limited or exclusive use agreements.

It sounds like you are trying to twist copyright law around, and that is not the way the law works - period. If you are using ANY of my work, I will protect my copyright through legal action.
This also includes ANY of the designs I did for your t-shirt/clothing programs.

Alex

And then there was Dr. Ketchum’s final response on December 30:

I do not want anything to do with any of your art. I don't even want to use that picture for any purposes. I just warn you that if you use that particular piece, there will be litigation since it is derived from my picture and there is nobody that could argue that. The courts can decide whether you have infringed my rights. Especially since I have it in writing that you were not to share it.

To this day, Alex has received no payment for any of her commissioned work, but the key issue is that the piece “Come On” was done more than a year before she was commissioned by Dr. Ketchum to do any artwork, so it absolutely could NOT be what Dr. Ketchum claims. Dr. Ketchum also received the piece herself in an Aug. 17, 2011 email, about one month before sending Alex the photo. But she still insists the artwork belongs to her.

And this is not the first time this has happened with Dr. Ketchum, as Alex’s friend Thom Cantrall can attest.

He made this statement about the doctor in a private Facebook group for artists.

Thom Cantrall said:

"I was first introduced to this aspect of Dr. Ketchum's ethic when I recommended the work of a friend in California who has some spectacular photos and casts of footprints and trackways. Dr. Ketchum would not license their use, as everyone else who publishes does, but was insisting that he GIVE HER full rights to his works... i.e., she would OWN his work without any kind of compensation whatsoever! In the world of intellectual property, unless that property is SOLD to another, it remains the property of the creator of said property. NO ONE can usurp another's work, no matter WHERE they find it!"

About her decision to go public, Alex said, “I am just stating facts and protecting my work. The truth needs to come out and because I never signed anything with Dr. Ketchum, I am free to discuss this situation as I wish.” *******DF

[ NOTE: These emails were provided by Alex Evans and were not hacked]

[Thom Cantrall gave us permission to use his statements]
[Disclaimer:  The views and opinions expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect those of the author or The crypto crew.]

©The Crypto Crew



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25 comments:

  1. Very uncool of Ketchum, as well as displaying a great ignorance of the relevant laws. To essentially threaten to harass Alex with what she practically admits is a nuisance suit pretty-much effs herself when it comes to bringing said suit to court. Personally, I think she's been advised better and is bluffing, but it's still extremely uncool and displays quite a narcissistic and controlling personality.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I will be back to read it when I have nothing to upchuck.

    Stopped with "Designer Sasquatch Wildwear."

    Scientist or Promoter?
    Not paying for paintings is low.
    Threatening to sue to keep them without paying, priceless.

    Crimey, Dr. Watson.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Ketchum is not only full of shit but also too cheap to pay for artwork she commissioned.. pathetic if anyone take sher seriously or believes her "testing"

    ReplyDelete
  4. Very unproffessional of Ketchum! She has conducted herself as a spoiled pop star. Her credsbility & integrity is out the window. Geesh, where does she get the "Above Others" attitude?

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  5. Couple of things:
    I know of Alex and all reports are she is lovely to work with.
    $75 for the complete and exclusive use of a drawing is outrageously low, Ketchum sounds broke.
    Not paying for commissioned work promptly, or at all, amounts to theft, but requires Alex to sue, sad. Ketchum sounds dishonest.
    Telling someone, now you have the money and rather than pay $75 or that owed for the other drawings, you want to sue to "show them." That step costs literally thousands. Ketchum sound both mean and stupid.
    Responding with, "I don't want anything to do with your art, you just can't use it," sounds does sound like a Bully, determined to take the ball from the playground.
    I know of Ketchum, from several people, and all reports are she is a jealous, greedy type. And now looking just a little detached from reality.
    Thanks Crypto, had to see it for myself.

    ReplyDelete
  6. The picture Ketchum paints of herself from all angles get worse by the day. Sounds like an issue with "control"

    BTW, she wasn't the first to discover the human element through DNA - that accolade goes to Dr. Curt Nelson, senior scientist at the University of Minnesota. His preliminary work with only 300 base pairs back in 2006 was the beginning of the Sasquatch is human mtDNA discovery. Strangely though, Nelson found one nucleotide polymorphism he likened to the chimpanzee. How did that get in there?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Actually, I believe someone associated with Brown University was first and the results presented three years before that at the PA bigfoot conference by Robert Daigle.

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  8. That is true, in fact I think Wayne University found "the human element" in evidence Will Duncan sent to him out of Tennessee but it was considered "contamination" as many lab analysis did back then. I recall wondering how all these lab reports could be finding the human element and still all of them being written off as "contamination." Nelson however had his results make public on 2007 MonsterQuest episode.

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  9. Wow. Ketchum once again proves she's untrustworthy. What a joke she is....

    ReplyDelete
  10. What a pathetic woman/cat lady. Meow. Just pay the lady her money. Meow.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I'm new to the scene,but from the sound of things,Melba is riding the coat tails of a lot of researchers and info they provided and then she got lawered up and started taking advantage of the providers...It always goes this way and does not have to happen but for greed.....

    ReplyDelete
  12. Two sides to every story....Ketchum says in an interview that she s almost cracking under the pressure of all of this attention....Probably getting sick of everybody and everything...Not defending her,,,sounds like she s in over her head now and lawyers ahve stepped in to advise her

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. anonymous 8:50 AM, if she's getting advice from a legal team or Pauides or Robin, it doesn't matter, it all bad, apparently it is all bad advice. she does not behave like a professional. She has the adult option not to read what her detractors write and she has the option to ditch those around her advising her.

      Delete
  13. Who cares, somebody and presumably her, will be the one to publicly declare Sasquatch whatever it may be and we should all not really care about the fighting over words as long as it's proven a real species. That's what we're all here for - not who the players are and whom you don't like or like - what does it matter who finds Bigfoot as long as we do so all this inane planned ridicule can stop.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Stopped with "Designer Sasquatch Wildwear."

    So much for the DNA claim.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I really hate hearing this news about Dr. Ketchum's behavior towards this ladies own personally drawn work done for Dr. Ketchum by Ketchum's own request. I have also offered ideas which are being used w/o any re-compensation for my thoughts and ideas either. My efforts were all to help support this species legally by law from harm so I did not expect to be paid, but this woman's story is just wrong, and I cannot support such behavior. I sincerely wonder if Dr. Ketchum's 5 years of living and breathing researching BF DNA and writing up her thesis plus running her office has just left her unable to cope with any issues beyond her daily life. However, This lady should be paid in my humble opinion for the BF drawings that were commissioned per Dr. Ketchum.

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  16. When are people going to realize this woman is nothing but a TOTAL FRAUD and in it for whatever money she can get? She has done things like this before like demanding that people take down websites with their images on it and so forth. Apparently she thinks that anyone she talks to or tells anything to cannot ever write about it, blog about it, create images of it or whatever. She even thinks that people aren't allowed to post their own pictures on their own websites. This isn't the first time she has threatened to sue someone over petty garbage like this.
    Remember this is from a woman that claims she isn't interested in ANY money or financial gain, but only in protecting the species. Yeah right.
    I would love to see every single person that she signed those NDA's with suddenly come out and break them to tell everything they know. Force her hand. She'd have to hire a lawyer to sue every single one of them. You think she has that kind of money?? NO WAY. EXPOSE her for the FRAUD she is. Dragging this "study" out for 5 years claiming that she has solved the whole thing but can't talk about any of it, is nothing but a load of crap. All she's interested in is money.
    Reading that story about that decent woman who is owed a lot of money by MK, just made me madder and madder the more I read. It's times like this I wish to GOD I was a lawyer. I'd donate my services and literally sue MK into oblivion. I'd force her to hire lawyers, take depositions, the whole 9 yards. I'd bankrupt her just for what she did to ALEX. Taking advantage of someone because they just came off of CHEMO and don't have very much money and then threatening to ruin her with legal action is just about the lowest thing someone could do. That's bottom of the barrel garbage there. That tells you what kind of person she really is. I wish more people that KNEW her would come out and tell their stories. Then those that still believe her might wake up and finally see what they have put their faith in for the last 5 years.....a total HUCKSTER.
    What a piece of trash.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Its amazing, that all anyone is doing is attacking her character. They are not going over her work.
    Its a smear campaign by people because they don't like the woman. Why aren't you go after the shady stuff with Team Tazer or the Serria Kill stuff?

    Seems all anyone is able to do is attack her character.
    I guess you all are perfect and have never in your life bullied anyone or been a terrible person to anyone.

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  18. we are not attacking her character: we are pointing out her despicable behavior. now that it's been discovered that she quoted three sources that are self-acknowledged jokes in her "scientific" paper... well, is that the fault of "the haters" too? how much is she paying you Cathiee to troll all the BF sites and defend her? or is that you, Melba? i actually have always enjoyed Dave Paulides' interviews, and I'm a fan of George Knapp's, but Melba Ketchum is a scheming, lying fraud. i think someone should look into suing her for fraud, so we can subpoena the "records."

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  19. I don't blame everyone for dragging down Ketchum, as it appears she may be worthy of the negative comments, but maybe we could also focus on lifting up Alex Evans. Where can her artwork be purchased? Does she have a website? Don't get discouraged Alex! Lots of good people in this world!

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    Replies
    1. Last time I talked to Alex, she told me a website for her artwork was coming but until then I guess you would need to contact her directly.

      Delete
  20. verry good Thomas Marcum... good point!

    ReplyDelete

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