THE SPACE GIANTS
(originally posted August 2004)


This next saga brought a whole new twist to my experiences with eBay's Verified Rights Owner Program (VeRO). Unable to foster any sensibility in eBay's program, only one option remained: utilize the existing system to force VeRO's own hand and eliminate the one guy who'd ridden the faulty system to new lows.

Dust off those reading glasses...



THE STASH
January 2004 marked the beginning of an eBay selling rampage of unprecedented proportions. The Hawaiian Prince, without a doubt one of Austin's most driven and eclectic collectors, had tapped me to sell his MASSIVE vintage Japanese toy collection. Most of the items dated from the 70's and 80's and almost every one was in tip-top condition with all original packaging. This was the kind of stash collectors lose sleep over. Even with a steady flow of thirty to fifty listings a week, I anticipated selling well into 2005. While I'm old hat at collecting and grading and selling records, the toy realm was a new world. Thanks to Prince and in particular to his friend Storm (who has a stunningly encyclopedic knowledge of these items), I had much guidance in the way of names, manufacturers, years, and prices. This information along with big, bright pictures and a tireless listing regimen made the liquidation process much quicker and more successful than originally expected. With few exceptions, everyone (Prince, myself, and especially buyers and collectors) have been very happy. Having said that, the toy collecting population has far more non-paying bidders, auction disrupters, and high-maintenance overgrown babies per capita than my usual selling realms. Why is that not surprising? But hey, I ain't complaining... the extra income mostly compensated for the additional headaches. What no reasonable person (or even Nostradamus himself) could have predicted was the firestorm that would be released by a Japanese character named Magma Taishi.





The two images above were included in the original eBay listing.


ENTER THE DARK ANGEL
Among several dozen listings on April 25th was a MAGMA TAISHI Model Kit. It sold for an unremarkable $66 to eBay user edee001. After the listing ended, edee001 e-mailed that payment would be forthcoming. He also wrote: "I am assuming, based on the listing, that it is complete, partially put together, and includes the instruction sheet with parts list." I replied: "Yes, everything that's in the photo. I don't know anything about Japanese toys, but I do know the original owner kept everything down to the staples."

Payment arrived on the 27th via PayPal, and I sent the model on the 28th. With the item in transit, I received the following e-mail on the 29th:

Date: Thu, 29 Apr 2004 07:27:31 -0500
From: Dark Angel [edee01@hotmail.com]
Subject: RE: MAGMA TAISHI ~ Mini Model kit 21 ~ Asohima 1978 (Item #3188646540)

I found ANOTHER image of the Kit,(image enclosed) and It shows a vehicle
below the robot on the cover art, and to the side where yours is empty, and
on the back it shows a vehicle in the image, after writing the owner to
inquire, and sending him the image of the one I won from you, he' says it
looks like the vehicle IS NOT THERE, but he can't tell for sure, Which Is
why I asked if it was checked, complete and the INSTRUCTIONS with parts
list.
I send this NOW, before it arrives, to document my concerns. I just fear
I spent 73.00 for an Incomplete kit.Especially after I won, inquired, and
the description of complete became "Whats in the Picture", and it may
indeed be complete, I certinly hope so....
I'm the US owner of the property "The Space Giants" which is Based on
Magma Taishi (see Space Giants in my Ebay Powerslam Productions store) and
we are trying to build a collection of japanese toys based on same, like
this Magma Taishi Kit! Thanks, Not trying to be a pain, just checking, I
would be greatly dissapointed to get one for 73.00 just for it to be missing
a key part...I guess if it is I'm Stuck...sorry, and Thanks...-edee001.

I replied with the following message (quoting my previous e-mail):
Date: Thu 4/29/2004 11:03 AM
From: Ryan Richardson
To: 'Dark Angel'
Cc: 'powerslamproductions@hotmail.com'

I reiterate my previous reply...

: : Yes, everything that's in the photo. I don't know anything about
: : Japanese toys, but I do know the original owner kept everything
: : down to the staples.

... which is consistent with the original item description. Rest
assured if there are any problems or you are not happy, simply
let me know. - ryan
The following day, I awoke to a carbon-copy of an e-mail and two images sent by edee001 to eBay's VeRO department.


Date: Fri 4/30/2004 10:34 AM
From: Dark Angel [edee01@hotmail.com]
Subject: VERO:E: Form Included INcomplete!CLEAR IN THE INSTRUCTIONS!! (Item #3188646540)
To: toast@austin.rr.com
Cc: vero@ebay.com, cswebform@vero.com, squaretrade@ebay.com

Ebay Vero:
THIS PERSON IS SELLING IMCOMPLETE MOODEL KITS of MAGMA TAISHI, and I own The US Trademark on the character images AND WILL NOT LET IT BE ASSOCIATED WITH CROOKED BUSSINESS PACKAGES!...AND DEMAND THE BELOW MENTION AUCTION, WHICH I BID ON AND won TO SEE PRODUCT along with future auctions with my trademark images currently being documented for cancellation as submitted!

Listen mr. "Complete Down To The Staples"
LISTEN...AS I SUSPECTED, THIS KIT IS 1/2 GONE, SEE THE IMAGES I SENT, THEN GO BACK AND READ YOUR LISTING! I GOT 73 DOLLARS INVESTED IN A half KIT!!!!IF I DON'T SEE A REFUND SOON, I GAURANTEE YOU NEVER SELL ANOTHER IMPORT WITH THE IMAGES OF MY TMCHARACTER AGAIN!!! HOW CAN YOU CLAIM A I DEMAND A FULL & IMMEDIATE REFUND!!!MODEL IS COMPLETE WHEN IT'S HALF GONE! THE ROCKET SPRING ARMS ARE BROKE...YOU'RE JUST A SQUARE UP DEALER HUH! THIS KIT IS NOOT AT ALL AS DESCRIBE!!!YOURE LISTING SAID NEAR MINT! PARTIALLY ASSEMBLED! THE WHOLE VEHICLE IS MISSING! YOU COULD READ THE PARTS LIST!! NO WHERE ON YOUR LISTING...NO WHERE, DOES IT SAY,...AS IN PICTURE...IT SAYS COMPLETE!!!! YOU MADE ME LOOK LIKE A JERK! THE MISSING PART IS :
1.) ON THE INSTRUCTION SHEET
2.) ON THE PARTS LIST
3.) ON THE COLOR PHOTO
3.) It's 1/2 MISSING!!!! AS I SUSPECTED THE VEHICLE PICTURED CLEARLY ON THE INSTRUCTION SHEET! 73.oo SCAMED BY DOUBLE TALK!!! THERE MAY NOT BE LOTS TO DO, BUT I PROMISE A TM HOLDER, I WILL CANCEL ANY AUCTION, YOU HAVE , ON ANY CHARACTER I ON THE US TM ON, SO GET READY! I HOLD THE TM ON THIS CHARACTERS IMAGE! AND AM REPORTING THIS VERY ACTION TO EBAY VERO!!!! I CANNOT ALLOW YOU TO TAKE THIS KIND OF BUSSINESS PRACTICE ON CHARACTER I OWN THE TRADEMARK ON....STARTING WITH THIS ONE! SO I WILL BE HAVING VERO CANCEL THIS AND SEVERAL OTHER AUCTION S, EVEN IF MY TRADEMARK CHARACTER ONLY APPEARS ON THE BOX IN ADVERTISEMENT, WHUICH WILL KILL ABOUT 1/2 your listings!!! YOU THINK YOU CAN SCREW WITH ME AND STEAL MONEY FROM MY CHILDS MOUTH???? !! I KNEW WHEN YOU E-MAILED ME SAYING IT WAS and ADDING FOR THE 1st TIME, "Complete Whats in the image" ... WHICH YOUR DOCUMENTED LISTING DOES NOT SAY...

WHEN PEOPLE KNOW YOUR SELLING INCOMPLETE KITS AS COMPLETE, BOY, YOU'LL LOSE! AND I WILL COONTACT EVERY BIDDER FROM NOW ON.... I HOPE STEALING MY 73 DOLLARS WAS WORTH IT!!!! I'LL GET MY REFUND, BUT YOU'RE HONESTY IS QUESTIONABLE AT BEST...YOU KNEW parts where missing, and The whilwind has begun! SEND MY REFUND AND I"LL RETURN THIS PIECE OF INCOMPLETE CRAP....NOT UNTIL MY MONEY IS BACK...I GOT A ROYAL BUTT F'IN LAST TIME I TRUSTED YOU...IT WONT BE AGAIN....SEND MY MONEYY BACK...OR I'LL FILE WITH PAYPAL ALONG WITH EBAY....DO NOT BOTHER TO WRITE BACK, IT WILL GO IN THE TRASH UNREAD! ALL I WANT IS A REFUND, SO I CAN SEND BACK YOUR GARBAGE, with CONFIRMATION, AT MY COST...BECAUSE YOU CANNOT BE TRUSTED....IF I DON'T GET MY REFUND, I WILL BE on you till I get my 73.00 worth, via filing mail fraud, paypal fraud, ebay fraud...I'll even let the buyers at yahoo clubs know you crooking people....Think you got over for 73.00??? I WANT MY MONEY!

: : CEASE & DESIST! ORIGINAL FORM ON FILE AS OF 4/30/03
: : Electronic Notice of Claimed Infringement
: : (Original Signature on File)
: :
: : Date:april 30 2004
: :
: : eBay Inc.
: : Attn: eBay VeRO Program
: : 2145 Hamilton Ave.
: : San Jose, CA 95125
: : Fax Number: (408) 516-8811
: :
: : Dear eBay:
: :
: : I, the undersigned, state UNDER PENALTY OF PERJURY that
: :
: : " I am, the owner, or an agent authorized to act on behalf of the
: : owner,
: : of certain intellectual property rights.
: : " I have a good faith belief that the listings identified below (by item
: : number) offer items or contain materials that are not authorized by the
: : IP Owner, its agent, or the law, and therefore infringe the IP Owner_s
: : rights; and " The information in this notice is accurate.
: :
: : Please act expeditiously to remove the following listings.
: : Item Numbers:
: : Auction#'s
: :
: : 1. #3188646540
: :
: : List (or representative list) of works infringed: [TM on IMAGES of The
: : Space Giants, Goldar(magma taishi), Silvar, Gam, Rodak(goa),Earth, ect.]
: :
: : I may be contacted at:
: : Name and Title: Angel Gabriele
: : Company: Powerslam Productions
: : Address: PO Box 188 North Manchester In.46962
: : email address (for eBay): edee01@hotmail.com
: : email address (for sellers):powerslamproductions@hotmail.com
: : Telephone: None for public use for ebay 563-8012
: : Fax: None
: : In addition to the undersigned, the following persons have the proper
: : authority to sign future Notices of Claimed Infringement on behalf of
: : the IP Owner:
: :
: : Name:_Jeff Newman______________________________
: : Name:_Chris Ecker_____________________________
: : Name:_Dextra Hoffman____________________________
: : Name:_Charlotte DeLacruz______________________________
: :
: : Truthfully,
: :
: : /S/: [Angel Gabriele]



Another e-mail followed:

Date: Fri, 30 Apr 2004 10:37:16 -0500
From: Dark Angel [edee01@hotmail.com]
Subject: I DEMAND YOU REFUND MY MONEY!(Item #3188646540)

SEND MY MONEY BACK, SO I CAN AFFIORD TO SEND YOU BACK THIS INCOMPLETE PIECE
OF GARBAGE!!! YOU'RE RIGHT! SEEMS YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW HOW TO SEE IF THE
PARTS ARE THERE....IT'S NOT WORTH ANYTHING! GARBAGE.....YOU GOT ME ONCE,
SEND MY REFUND SO I'LL KHAVE MONEY TO SENFD THIS BACK!
And then an e-mail from PayPal that a complaint against my account had been filed:

Date: Fri, 30 Apr 2004 08:55:12 -0700
From: service@paypal.com
Subject: Resolution of Buyer Complaint: Case ID - PP-037-335-104
To: toast@austin.rr.com

Dear Ryan Richardson,

PayPal has received a complaint regarding a recent transaction on your
account. The buyer has reported that the merchandise was "Not as
Described" and is disputing the quality of goods received. PayPal
encourages you to work directly with the buyer in this instance to resolvethe issue.

------------------------------
Complaint Details
------------------------------

Transaction Date: Apr. 27, 2004
Transaction Amount: -$73.95 USD
Case Number: PP-037-335-104
Buyer's Name: Lanty Lahr
Buyer's Email: powerslamproductions@hotmail.com

PayPal does not tolerate fraud or illegal activities. This complaint has been noted in your PayPal account record. If
we find you have violated our policies, we will take action against your account, pending resolution of the complaints
against you.

Please contact the buyer directly to arrange an amicable resolution to this complaint.

Thank you in advance for your attention to this matter.

Sincerely,

Protection Services Department

At 11:30am, I replied to the "Dark Angel" (the only name that appeared on the incoming e-mail):
Sir:

I deal with hundreds of auctions a month. Clearly, I should've looked
closer at this item. As I said before, I'm not familiar with Japanese
toys, and it's totally impractical for me to look at each instruction
sheet. I rely on experienced buyers looking at the pictures. I'm sorry
you're not happy though I wish you have written to me first first asking
for a refund instead of going nothing short of insane with eBay forms
and PayPal complaints. It's OK though, I've dealt with people like you
before.

I WILL BE HAPPY TO SEND YOU A REFUND. I will refund your money immediately
upon return of this item. In my refund, I will also include the cost of
returning the item and will refund the cost of shipping to you. You won't
be out one dime. Please return via Priority Mail with delivery confirmation.
I must have the item in order to return it to the original owner. These
items are on consignment. My mailing address is:

Ryan Richardson
P.O. Box 49984
Austin, TX 78765

Lastly, in your mind, you've created a whole situation that doesn't
exist. I'm an honest seller who answered your questions as best I
could. I had no intention of ripping you off and no intention of
making you angry. Had you asked the questions before I sent off
the item, I could've inspected the model closer and even pulled
the auction if I found that items were missing. Since the problem
wasn't pointed out until after I sent the piece, obviously the only
thing I can offer is to refund your money. I think your e-mails
have been totally inappropriate as if you were dealing with someone
who steadfastly refused to redress the problem. You started threatening
me without so much as waiting for a reply. I'm doing everything in my
power to make things right. I'll look for the box. Thank you. - ryan
I then phoned PayPal and spoke with a representative regarding the complaint. I explained to her that I was certainly willing to issue a full refund upon return of the merchandise. She said my offer was duly noted and would be forwarded to the Complaints Department regarding the case file. I also pointed out the fact that a mere three days had elapsed between the date of payment to me and the date of the complaint. I told her that such a short period of time would seem to indicate the buyer wasn't exactly reasonable. The PayPal rep agreed. I also expressed my concern that this complaint would somehow be a "strike" against the good standing of my PayPal account. She said the complaint would not adversely affect my account if it was resolved. Several days later, the complaint disappeared from my account. After speaking to the PayPal representative, I sent an additional e-mail to the Dark Angel with the subject "eBay #3188646540 ~ notice of intention to refund your money" in order to reiterate that I was 100% willing to refund the purchase price and return cost on this item. My note to him quotes his previous e-mail, and his writing appears in ALL CAPS (as it was sent). This was the last e-mail I sent to edee001.

From: Ryan Richardson [toast@austin.rr.com]
To: 'Dark Angel' [edee01@hotmail.com]
Subject: eBay #3188646540 ~ notice of intention to refund your money

: : SEND MY MONEY BACK, SO I CAN AFFIORD TO SEND YOU BACK THIS
: : INCOMPLETE PIECE OF GARBAGE!!!

The return postage cost should be around $7, and I'll include
that on top of the refund for the original item and postage to you.

: : YOU'RE RIGHT! SEEMS YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW HOW TO
: : SEE IF THE
: : PARTS ARE THERE....IT'S NOT WORTH ANYTHING! GARBAGE....

This is simply not true. While it appears to be missing a part,
it is still very much worth something not only to the original
owner (who may just keep it or note for me exactly what's missing
so I can re-list it properly). I trust you will return the item
in the exact same condition that it was sent in.

: : YOU GOT ME ONCE,
: : SEND MY REFUND SO I'LL KHAVE MONEY TO SENFD THIS BACK!

I didn't "get you once". It's totally absurd. I've looked back
over my auction. There are two big pictures of the item. Like me,
you were obviously not familiar with the item and bid thinking it
was complete. It turns out it was not. The original owner was
very meticulous with his stuff (as I said he even kept staples in
the plastic bags of many toys). This toy was obviously an exception.
This toy turns out not to be "complete", a word I never used in reference
to this or any other toy. I have to let the pictures do the talking
for the very reason I'm not familiar with these toys.

The toy appears to have taken 2 - 3 days to get to you. Assuming
you get it sent today or tomorrow, I should have a refund via PayPal
to you no later than Monday or Tuesday. Once again, please use
Priority Mail with Delivery Confirmation. Thank you.

Ryan Richardson
P.O. Box 49984
Austin, TX 78765

Not much later, more e-mail rants (sent via eBay's message forwarding system) followed from edee001. He quotes my original auction description and then comments, not surprisingly, in ALL CAPS. "Dear" and "thank you" are automatically inserted by eBay.

Date: Fri, 30 Apr 2004 10:49:37 -0700
From: edee01@hotmail.com
Subject: Question from eBay Member: MAGMA TAISHI ~ Mini Model kit 21 ~ Asohima 1978
To: me@ryanrichardson.com

Dear ryebread,

HERES THE DESCRIPTION YOU WROTE....PERIOD.....IT IS NOT AT ALL AS DESCRIBED!

Near Mint condition toy in box with original accessories and enclosures (see picture). Partially built.
NO ACCESSORIES...I GOT SCREWED!
Near Mint condition toy in box with original accessories and enclosures (see picture). Partially built. LIE...73.95 for A 6 INCH BROKEN ROBOT WITH NO ACCESSORIES!!!
Near Mint condition toy in box with original accessories and enclosures (see picture). Partially built.
Near Mint condition toy in box with original accessories and enclosures (see picture). Partially built.
Near Mint condition toy in box with original accessories and enclosures (see picture). Partially built.
NO ACCESSORIES...I GOT SCREWED!
Near Mint condition toy in box with original accessories and enclosures (see picture). Partially built.
LIE...73.95 for A 6 INCH BROKEN ROBOT WITH NO ACCESSORIES!!!
Near Mint condition toy in box with original accessories and enclosures (see picture). Partially built.
Near Mint condition toy in box with original accessories and enclosures (see picture). Partially built.

To view the item, go to: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/ebayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=3188646540

Thank you,
edee001
And another one... my favorite e-mail yet:

Date: Fri, 30 Apr 2004 13:14:17 -0500
From: Dark Angel [edee01@hotmail.com]
Subject: RE: KEEP IT CROOK! STAY AWAY FROM ME...GET LOST(Item #3188646540)

I ASKED IF WAS COMPLETE BASED ON PARTS LIST and INSTRUCTION SHEET ...I
SPECIFICALY ASKED...YOU LIED...PERIOD...THE VEIHICLE, WHICH FORMS 3 SEPERATE
ACCESSOREIES IS NOT THERE...I ASKED...YOU LIED! STOP WASTING MY TIME!!! I
DIDNT LIE TO YOU....

Near Mint condition toy in box with original accessories and enclosures (see picture). Partially built.
NO ACCESSORIES...I GOT SCREWED!
Near Mint condition toy in box with original accessories and enclosures (see picture). Partially built.
LIE... 73.95 for A 6 INCH BROKEN ROBOT WITH NO ACCESSORIES!!!

YOU GOT SOME NERVE, I ASKED, AND GOT A SMUG REPLY...YOU WERE WRONG.... I'M
TIRED OF WASTING MY TIME ASKING AND BEING LIED TO!!!!! YOU WON'T BE DEALING
IN MY TRADEMARK ANYMORE, NOT WITHOUT I SEE MT DOUGH, PERIOD! LIKE I SAID I
HAVE ABSOLUTLEY NO REASON TO BELIEVE YOU OR ANYTHING ELSE YOU SAY...THIS WAS
NO SIMPLE MISTAKE...YOU THOUGHT YOU HAD AN IDIOT...I MAY BE A JERK, BUT I'M
NO IDIOT...IF YOU WANT THIS CRAP BACK, SEND MY DOUGH, STRAIGHT UP FLAT
OUT..DON'T BOTHER WRITING AGAIN, YOUR BLOCKED! ENJOY YOU LOOT...

You Know What...KEEP IT...If Paypal Can't get it back,, KEEP THE MONEY YOU
LOW LIFE LYING CROOK, IF YOU NEED TO STEAL MONEY THAT BAD...KEEP IT...I HOPE
YOU LIVE GOOD, YOU LOUSY CROOK...KEEP THE DOUGH....I'M NOT RETURNING
NUTHIN...YOU GOT ME CROOK...ENJOY...STAY THE HECK AWAY FROM ME !
AND...IF I SEE YOU SELLING ANYTHING OVER EBAY I CLAIM TRADEMARK ON, EVEN IF
IT APEARS IN AN AD, I'LL DO MY BEST TO CANCEL, SO GET LOST, CROOK, IT MAY BE
WORTH IT TO YOU TO LIE AND STEAL, NOT ME, IF YOU CAN LIVE WITH
YOURSELF..HEY...I'll get by, a little wiser.....

A couple days later, the e-mails were still coming. To ensure the Dark Angel received my replies, I'd carbon-copied my messages to both of his accounts. Apparently doing so made me particularly stupid...

Date: Sun, 02 May 2004 15:38:02 +0000
From: Dark Angel [powerslamproductions@hotmail.com]
Subject: (Item #3188646540)

THIS ADDRESS IS FOR PAYPAL PAYMENTS ONLY, IT IS NOT THE ADDRESS SUPLLIED BY
EBAY FOR CORESPONDENCE...SINCE YOU'VE NOT SENT A PAYMENT...DO NOT WRITE HERE
AGAIN...ARE YOU THAT STUPID ON TOP OF A LIAR???
I HAVE NOT READ, JUST THROWN AWAY,Any E-mails, I WAS WILLING TO BE
CALM, HAD YOU REFUNDED MY MONEY, things would be different...TOO LATE!
WHY SHOULD I BELIEVE YOU, IF YOU WERE HONEST, MY paypal Account
would have Additional funds, even if you had made a partially refund, based
on OVER 1/2 THE KIT was GONE...And your lie that it was COMPLETE and Near
Mint, partially assembled!
CLEAR from the package, model instructions and color images on the
box...CLEAR AS IT COULD BE....IT WAS NOT COMPLETE! But I stupidly Believed
you, TWICE!
Listen, Maybe I lost My Temper when I SPECICALLY ASKED twice, Even
FINDING A COMPLETE one and sending you an Image...BUT NO...YOU WANTED TO
WASTE MY TIME, LIE TO ME AS IF YOU DID KNOW...And Suddenly , AFTER THE FACT,
Say It WAS ONLY IN THE IMAGE, AND IF THAT WAS THE Case IT WAS STILL HALF GONE...
Well I got A robot (goldar Figure, with TWO BROKEN rocket/arms and
NOTHING ELSE for 73.95..
. Then I have to ship it back and Spend ANOTHER $7. 95, so , BECAUSE YOU LIED,
i'm out $15.90 In shipping Fees? AFTER BEING UP FRONT LIED TO, when I went
to great lenghths to AVOID THIS....
Your solution is I spend 15.90 total for absolutley nothing? BECAUSE YOU OUTRIGHT LIED...???
You're Out Of Your Mind.... And Maybe I'm gonna Eat The Amount,
But YOU WILL SOON SEE how much it was worth... CAUSE THERE ALREADY WTRITING
ABOUT YOUR CROOKED DEALINGS ON message Boards... PLUS, I'll be seeing to it
that ANYTHING you list Is canceled if it EVEN has my trademarked characters
in the "Also Available" on the package, ......
I see you continue to send e-mails, BUT I SAID NOT TO, You ignore
that like you ignore the truth!SPECICALLY SAID IF YOU CAN'T SEND BACK MY
MONEY, AND PROVE YOUR HONEST, LEAVE ME ALONE, As FAR AS REPORTING THE MAIL
FRAUD AT THE POST OFFICE, AND FRAUD COMPLAINTS WITH EBAY AND PAYPAY,
TUFF...YOU MADE THE BED...REAP IT!
YOU ROB ME, LIE TO ME, AND DON'T MAKE IT RIGHT, AT LEAST LEAVE ME
ALONE...BUT YOU COULDN'T DO THAT Either, SO Although I No LONGER WANT A
REFUND, (BECAUSE I DO NOT, AND AM NOT STUPID ENOUGH TO FALL FOR ANOTHER
LIE...GET IT... !)

YOU DIDN't EVEN HAVE CLASS ENOUGH FOR A PARTIAL REFUND...
SO LEAVE ME ALONE...reap the whilwind pal...You had A chance to do the right
thing, I assume I'm to Loose ANOTHER $7.95, to RETURN it...WOW...I GOOTTA
PAID TO GET SCREWED!
KEEP AWAY CROOK....AND WATCH WHAT YOU LIST....

AND IT'S MY TURN, NOT YOURS, YOU MADE A DEAL BASED ON YOUR LIE AND LOST THAT RIGHT

Did you send partially payment Back? No



PAY NO ATTENTION TO THAT MAN BEHIND THE CURTAIN

The priceless e-mails left me wondering... who is this Dark Angel? According to the About Me page posted for edee001, he is a "glorious leader, the Great and Powerful Angel" of Powerslam Productions. In other words, he was the kind of guy who refers to himself in the third person. Powerslam Productions is clearly a one-man show. Anyone with half a brain could see that "we" meant "my computer and I". Aside from his illustrious career in comics, I was pleased to learn (if any part of the page is to be believed) that the Dark Angel was, and perhaps continues to be, a pro wrestler. Clearly this guy had been on the receiving end of many a Piledriver and Suplex. The more I read, the more the immortal words of "Dirty" Harry Callahan rang in my ears: "yeah, you're a legend in your own mind".

The Dark Angel's e-mails were never signed. At first, I assumed his real name was Lanty Lahr, the name that appeared in my PayPal receipt. A quick Google search revealed that Lanty Lahr was the custodian at an Indiana elementary school. He'd been interviewed in the March 2004 issue of The Wormz Eye, the school newspaper. One sentence in particular led me to believe this had to be the guy: "His most memorable high school moment was his senior year in wrestling." Alas, however nicely that fit into my developing profile of the Dark Angel, it appears to have been incorrect. My assumption is that the Dark Angel called on his old wrestling chum Lanty to set up the PayPal account since — it seems reasonable to hypothesize — Powerslam Productions lacked the proper credentials to acquire the credit card needed to open an account. And, in return for that favor, the Dark Angel attaches his buddy's name to totally unwarranted PayPal complaints and uses the account to receive thousands of dollars from bootleg video sales. Hey, in the hard knock world of Indiana wrestling, I guess that's what friends are for.

In one of his e-mails, the Dark Angel included the information from his VeRO application which was signed "Angel Gabriele". While it was not surprising that VeRO accepted the signature at face value, I had a hard time believing such a name was legitimate. Without too much effort, I located a Yahoo SPACE GIANTS group where there'd been several posts concerning Powerslam Productions. The man behind the curtain was one Pasquale D. Gabriele (also known as The Dark Angel and Angel Gabriele and edee001 and Powerslam Productions) of Wabash, Indiana, a known mecca for former TV producers and retired wrestling stars. Suddenly the e-mails began to make sense.

In addition, I got a crash course in Magma Taishi and The Space Giants. I learned that Magma Taishi was the creation of Tezuka Osamu, often called the Father of Manga and the God of Comics. In 1966, Magma Taishi was transformed into a live action hero of a Japanese television series which lasted 52 episodes. Companies such as Bullmark and Aoshima had marketed toys in Japan. The show was eventually imported by Lakeside Television Company, dubbed into English, and broadcast in the U.S. as The Space Giants circa 1978. In 1979, Lakeside Television signed a one-shot deal allowing the publication of a Space Giants comic book based on the TV series. Pasquale D. Gabriele is listed as the Art Director and is credited with "co-script / layout and pacing" while Richard J. Lynn did the actual drawing; both are listed as co-holders of the comic's copyright. Incredibly, Gabriele's partial participation in this lone derivative ("based on the TV series") comic would be the basis for all his future claims.



PERJURING FOR PLEASURE... made easy with VeRO!

Gabriele's e-mails had my friends and me in hysterics (I couldn't resist forwarding them). The mere mention of CROOK made my friend Steve double over. It was hard to take any of it seriously. The giggles stopped, however, when I received the following notice from eBay:

From: whyended@ebay.com
To: me@ryanrichardson.com
Subject: VeRO NOTICE: eBay Listing(s) Removed - VeRO Program

Dear Ryan Richardson (me@ryanrichardson.com),

**PLEASE READ THIS IMPORTANT EMAIL REGARDING YOUR LISTING(S)**

We would like to let you know that we removed your listing:

3188646540 MAGMA TAISHI ~ Mini Model kit 21 ~ Asohima 1978

because the intellectual property rights owner notified us, under penalty of perjury, that your listing or the item itself infringes their copyright, trademark, or other rights.

We have credited any associated fees to your account. We have also notified the bidders that the listing(s) was removed, and that they are not obligated to complete the transaction. If you relist this or any other similar items on eBay, your account likely will be suspended.

If you believe your listing was ended in error, or have questions regarding the removal of this listing, please contact the intellectual property rights owner directly at:

Powerslam Productions
Powerslamproductions@hotmail.com

eBay is available to answer questions, but since it is the rights owner that requested the removal of your listing(s), we encourage you to contact them first.

For more information on eBay's cooperation with rights owners through the VeRO Program, and a list of rights
owners that have created About Me pages, please visit:

http://pages.ebay.com/help/confidence/vero-removed-listing.html
http://pages.ebay.com/help/community/vero-aboutme.html

Thank you for your cooperation.

Regards,

Customer Support (Trust and Safety Department)
eBay Inc
It was one thing to be forced to deal with unfounded and undeserved complaints but to have eBay throw their weight behind the claims... it baffled the mind. I was incredulous and outraged. Here I was selling a legitimately produced original item and providing a picture of the item in the auction. Stating the name or providing a picture of the product for sale on eBay does not constitute any kind of IP (Intellectual Property) infringement. Were that the case, no seller could sell any commercially produced items on eBay be it a Levi's® jean jacket or a Donald Duck doll. It was common sense, but I soon learned it was also established U.S. law known as the First Sale Doctrine. Moreover, this was a JAPANESE toy, and even in his overwrought eBay "About Me" page, edee001 specifically stated (albeit in misspelled fashion) "we have ABSOLUTLEY no claim to the original "Magma Taishi". Anyone with a whisper of sense would conclude that my item was wrongfully shut down. I immediately wrote back to VeRO about the notice and, as expected, I received a canned response which only raised my blood pressure even more. In spite of the futility, I fired back in frustration:

: : As you know, eBay neither handles your items nor possesses sufficient
: : information to make judgments regarding their legality or authorized
: : nature.

This is completely disingenuous as eBay does, in fact, make judgments.
Was my item not ended based on eBay's judgment that the VeRO form faxed-in
was completed with legitimate information? Does eBay not make a determination
that the person sending in the form does indeed own the rights which he/she claims?
What exactly is the verification process? According to the details of the VeRO
program, I believe a single phone call is the only scrutiny which a VeRO member
must undergo.

: : Accordingly, we rely upon Verified Rights Owner (VeRO) Program
: : participants to notify us when infringing items are listed on eBay.
: : Your listing was removed because we received a legal notice claiming
: : that your item or listing description infringes the rights owner's
: : trademark rights.

What if in actual fact that notice is not legal but illegal and false?
What compensation does a wrongly accused seller receive? The right to
list the item that wasn't even "infringing" in the first place? Does
eBay also use its authority to penalize those who use the VeRO system
to malicious ends? Does eBay pursue the "penalties of perjury" touted
in the VeRO fax-in form?

: : We ask that you do NOT relist the item that was removed, as doing so
: : could result in the suspension of your account.

I understand, and this item will not be re-listed for the simple fact
that the person who purchased it is also the same person filing the
VeRO complaint and "edee001", despite being dissatisfied with the
merchandise (apparently a piece was missing), refuses to return the
item for a complete refund including return shipping. Additionally,
he filed a Buyer Complaint with PayPal (on the day of receipt of the
Magma Taishi model kit) despite my repeated offers of a complete
refund upon return of the merchandise.

: : We provided you with the rights owner's contact information in the
: : notice sent when we removed the listing(s). If you have made a good
: : faith effort to resolve the situation with the rights owner, but have
: : been unable to do so, you may contact us by replying to this email and
: : we wil attempt to help you resolve the situation.
: :
: : Please let us know if you have any further questions or concerns.
: : Thank you for working with us on this important matter.

I believe eBay user "edee001" has carbon-copied most, if not, all of
his correspondence to eBay when sending e-mails to me. If those e-mails
are indeed being read, I think anyone in the Trust and Safety Department
can see that the good faith effort on my part is met with nothing short
of abuse and further threats.

This is clearly a matter for my attorney. "edee001" is guilty of fraud,
and I aim to prove just that in a court of law. Moreover, I believe eBay
is negligent in its enforcement of the VeRO system where such obvious
fraud not only goes unchecked but is actually enabled by the system itself.
I certainly agree this is an important matter, and I will be addressing
the threat of suspension with all available and appropriate means.

Respectfully,

- Ryan Richardson

eBay user RYEBREAD
since April 1998

I did some cursory Googling and — surprise, surprise — found some absolutely absurd VeRO enforcements. I also found my new favorite superhero (or, should I say, superheroine) in the form of Ms. Karen Dudnikov. VeRO bullies better think twice about pushing around this seamstress known as tabberone on eBay. Karen offered some helpful pointers and some much-needed cheerleading. But, before I followed in her footsteps, there was one other little lady I needed to call...




THE STRAIGHT FLUSH
What Gabriele couldn't have known was that, by exploiting the VeRO system, he'd broken the dam on a vast reservoir of anger and frustration built up inside over past battles with eBay's "Trust and Safety" department. The fight wasn't about some stupid model kit or just about being pushed around by some Indiana numb nut, it was about the whole VeRO system. The difference between this current situation and the past ones was that this time I could PROVE my case. The case didn't come down to a subjective view of "obscene material" or an opinion that a handmade cassette was or was not a legitimate commercial release. There were facts that spoke for themselves, and this time I was determined to make eBay listen.

When I mentioned lawyers to eBay, I wasn't bluffing. I was ready to go to the mat. I did what any grown man would do. I called my mommy. She just happened to be an attorney with 30 years corporate litigation experience and a scrappy personality to boot (I come by it honestly). "I know just the guy," she said. "I'll take care of it." The next day she revealed the ace up her sleeve: a longtime colleague and friend (let's call him Bruce) who specialized in Intellectual Property litigation and who was a partner at a powerhouse Manhattan firm. Better yet, he was already dealing with eBay on some other trademark issues, so my issues could simply be tacked onto discussions already scheduled. There was one caveat: he wouldn't lift a finger if his friend continued to insist on being billed. In other words, my mom had scored me a $500/hour lawyer for free. I screamed and stomped around my house. Finally. Finally, those motherfuckers at Safe Harbor were gonna HAVE to listen. And Gabriele was going to be taught a lesson: don't be an asshole.

I quickly drew up a summary of events for Bruce and his assistant. Several days later, Bruce forwarded my documentation to eBay's legal department and spoke with eBay's Associate General Counsel (henceforth AGC). After absorbing the absurd details of my fiasco, AGC assured him that any "strikes" against my account would be expunged and that AGC would personally call Gabriele to discuss the matter. AGC also stated that an "administrative hold" had been placed on my eBay account; this meant no adverse actions (e.g. further VeRO shutdowns, account suspension) could be taken without his approval. As promised, Gabriele received a phone call (described as a "shot across the bow") where AGC strongly suggested that trouble might follow if Gabriele continued to file unfounded VeRO complaints. In other words, Gabriele was told "you went way overboard, the guy you reported has a heavyweight lawyer, and you shouldn't repeat your mistake".

As a result of this phone call, AGC and I received the following "I'm sorry... well, not really" e-mail from Gabriele (as did Jeff Newman — I'm not sure how he fits in, but Gabriele included him as an authorized signer on his VeRO form):

Date: Thu, 27 May 2004 02:30:01 +0000
From: Dark Angel [powerslamproductions@hotmail.com]
Subject: Atten:**** ******* Ebay Vero
To: toast@austin.rr.com, vero@ebay.com
Cc: jeffnewman101@hotmail.com, powslam@aol.com

Concerned-

Please Accept my humble apologies for statements made out of ANGER, and
rest assured that although still not happy with the fact that I DID NOT
recieve what I paid For, I have moved on, and I have NO intentions Of
interfiering with ANYONES right to earn a living, nor do I have ANY
intentions of persuing cancellation of any auctions that do not
mis-represent my IP rights.

Please note that the auction in question, was canceled AFTER the sale was
complete, after product shipped, when product arrived incomplete, thus the
general ebay public was not aware it had been canceled...Still After a
discussion with Mr. *******, of Ebay vero, it was brought to my attention
that in this case, I MAY have overstepped my bounds, for my claimed
trademark on the images, and If this is the case I apologize. My council has
been contacted and notified of Ebay's concern, and will be contacting ebay
to further clarify rights, for future reference. But Ryebread has nothing to
concern himself with, I moved on.

Though not a justification, nor to rehash old problems, understand, as far
as this items MIS-REPRESENTING, I still have ALL e-mails on file, and this
item was NOT as listed, so I felt I was Crooked. Period.
I did try to inform seller of this item was NOT complete, by sending
other images, of complete product, PRIOR to Shipping(e-mail with headers on
file) which were met with "Item Is Complete".
So when it arrived, INCOMPLETE, JUST AS I TRIED TO EXPLAIN, I REALLY FELT
I WAS MADE A FOOL OF, and efforts to "rectify" it, by sending the item
BACK, for a refund, at my expense, was not an option. I had Already written
with the fact of it being incomplete, to NO Avail, so there was abdsolutley
no reason to believe my money would be refunded if I shipped it first. So
I'm a bad guy because I believe in the old proverb, "Fool Me Once...".
I Demanded a refund of my payment via Paypal, as a show of good faith,
and I would send Incomplete item back with confirmation upon refund. Why did
I have to take the risk again?This made sense to me, ESPECIALLY after my
trying to inform him of the incomplete kit, to no avail, I felt like I had
been intentionally crooked. And I still Do. It's my right as an american
citizen! But I had moved on, until the phone call.

Somehow, the Irony of Ebay calling me , over an auction I still BELIEVE
was (mayhap wrongly so)canceled within my rights, still amazes me, because
I'm the one out $73.00 for an item which was NOT as described, But I in NO
WAY intentionally abused Ebay's Vero System, Nor was my intent to missuse
Ebay Vero, as I still Believe I was within my trademark rights, but may not
have been. and I will be more careful in the future.

Angel, Powerslam

I contacted AGC again to thank him for intervening on my behalf. I noted that his actions were exceptional and that he'd restored a bit of my faith in eBay. Still, I couldn't help but express my misgivings about the lack of repercussions for Gabriele. eBay policy stated: "When a VeRO member contacts us to remove a listing, they are required to sign a legal document stating under penalty of perjury that they own the rights to the item or trademark used in the listing, and that the items listed are infringing upon their rights. They are not required to inform us of the specifics of exactly why, or what in the listing is infringing. We are then required by federal law to remove the listing from the site." Even IF Gabriele owned Space Giants rights, he'd reported my item solely out of spite and on completely false grounds. In the "About Me" page that he publicly posted on eBay, Gabriele specifically stated "we have ABSOLUTLEY no claim to the original 'Magma Taishi' (the Japanese version of the Goldarr character in our Space Giants series)". He had clearly lied and abused the VeRO system, so why wasn't his VeRO membership revoked? When I asked if eBay was going to pursue the "penalties of perjury" touted in its VeRO form, I was informed that — despite the fact that the form is provided by eBay and the VeRO system is of eBay's design — I was left to seek said penalties since, technically speaking, Gabriele had perjured himself against me, not eBay. I was beginning to see how eBay got the reputation as a Teflon® company... nothing sticks.

When I brought the matter up to my attorney, he replied: "My view, Ryan, is to leave well enough alone. **** came through as promised and personally intervened in a dispute that usually is way below his radar screen. We don't like what Gabriele has done any more than you do, but I think it would be presumptuous for us to demand more from eBay." This wasn't what I wanted to hear, but I wasn't about to look a gift horse in the mouth. Like eBay Counsel, my attorney had handled a matter "way below his radar screen", hadn't charged me a dime, and had put the problem to sleep far easier than a plebian like myself could have. I'd started out with visions of changing the fundamentally flawed VeRO system and now I was settling for even less than what I considered the Minimum Satisfactory Result. Ah well... the matter was apparently settled, and I had stuff to sell. Ride on. Nothing to see here.


THE FAT LADY DID NOT SING
A week had barely gone by before Gabriele was up to his old tricks (and I don't just mean listing bootleg Space Giants DVD's). And VeRO was listening again. In spite of the "administrative hold" supposedly on my account, ANOTHER item was shut down:

Date: Mon, 07 Jun 2004 10:43:39 -0700 (PDT)
From: whyended@ebay.com
Subject: VeRO NOTICE: eBay Listing(s) Removed - VeRO Program
To: toast@austin.rr.com

Dear Ryan Richardson (toast@austin.rr.com),

**PLEASE READ THIS IMPORTANT EMAIL REGARDING YOUR LISTING(S)**

We would like to let you know that we removed your listing:

5901696037 MAGMA TAISHI ~ 8" w/ header & insert ~ SPACE GIANTS

because the intellectual property rights owner notified us, under penalty of perjury, that your listing or the item itself infringes their copyright, trademark, or other rights.

We have credited any associated fees to your account. We have also notified the bidders that the listing(s) was removed, and that they are not obligated to complete the transaction.

If you relist this or any other similar items on eBay, your account likely will be suspended.

If you believe your listing was ended in error, or have questions regarding the removal of this listing, please contact the intellectual property rights owner directly at:

Powerslam Productions
powerslamproductions@hotmail.com

eBay is available to answer questions, but since it is the rights owner that requested the removal of your listing(s),
we encourage you to contact them first.

For more information on eBay's cooperation with rights owners through the VeRO Program, and a list of rights
owners that have created About Me pages, please visit:

http://pages.ebay.com/help/confidence/vero-removed-listing.html
http://pages.ebay.com/help/community/vero-aboutme.html

Thank you for your cooperation.

Regards,

Customer Support (Trust and Safety Department)
eBay Inc

eBay Counsel had given me his direct line (a huge boon — reaching a human, much less a higher-up, at eBay is notoriously difficult), and I wasted no time dialing the phone. Note: the following is not a word-for-word transcription (I usually don't tape my phone calls), but it is an accurate account of our conversation.

Counsel:
"I think what Gabriele is objecting to is your use of 'Space Giants' in the title since technically it's not a Space Giants toy but a Magma Taishi toy. There were no actual Space Giants toys manufactured, right?"

Me:
"Not that I know of. Magma Taishi aired as Space Giants in America. I'm a U.S.-based user selling mostly to people who know the program as Space Giants. It's a perfectly legitimate use. What if, for example, I had a vintage Italian figurine to sell on eBay? In Italy, the character would've sold under the name 'Topolino', but a much broader non-Italian speaking audience would know the character as 'Mickey Mouse'. Are you saying it would not be OK to put 'Mickey Mouse' in the title since technically it's a 'Topolino' toy, not a 'Mickey Mouse' toy?"

Counsel: (who, by the way, worked for Disney at one point)
"Well, in that case, it would be fine because the same company owns the rights in both countries."

Me:
"OK, but do you see what I'm getting at?"

Counsel:
"Yes, it brings up an interesting issue. In fact, this brings up some very interesting legal questions possibly with broader implications on eBay. I'll have to talk with some other people here. What did Bruce have to say about this?"

Me:
"Honestly, I didn't bother Bruce because I think it's so absurd. I thought there was supposed to be a hold on my account."

Counsel:
"It looks like Gabriele's complaint slipped through. Why can't you just leave out 'Space Giants' in the title and just list it in the description? I don't think there'd be any problems there."

Me:
"Because there's no good reason NOT to! Look, this is all ACADEMIC because Gabriele doesn't even own the rights!"

Counsel:
"eBay is not in the business of determining IP rights ownership. When he submits the form, we have to act on it".

Me:
"What if you've got more than one party claiming the same rights, wouldn't VeRO have to make a determination?"

The answer was, in so many words, "yes". I knew what I needed to do. Brothers and sisters, there was some TRUTH that needed to be set free, so it could the same for me (amen). A new name was about to be added to the illustrious VeRO roster, and that name was Bernard Schulman.


EASY DOES IT
In pursuing records for my collection, I've grown used to calling strangers out of the blue. There were only six listings for Bernard Schulman in the entire country... piece of cake! When I got home from work, I reached Bernard on the second call. As it was getting late (his time zone is an hour ahead of mine), I kept it short. Schulman was all too familiar with Gabriele's machinations. He asked that I send him something in writing, and an Express Mail packet went out the next morning. What I emphasized and what Schulman understood was that Gabriele's abuses were enabled by eBay. By establishing himself as the true IP owner for Space Giants within eBay's VeRO system, Schulman could nullify the rights Gabriele had wrongfully claimed (thereby solving my problem) and end the listings of bootleg Space Giants videos. A few days later, I came home to a voicemail from Schulman saying he'd contacted eBay's Legal Department: "Just sit tight, we're gonna get this guy."

Between travels and additional paperwork and expected bureaucratic delays, a few weeks passed before Schulman was finally set up with VeRO. In order to simplify the reporting procedure, VeRO provides an Electronic Reporting Tool for VeRO members. Once the VeRO member logs into his/her eBay account (specifically designated as a VeRO account to be used only for reporting infringing items — the user cannot buy or sell under this ID), a "Report Listing" button appears next to all eBay listings. See an infringing item? Two clicks and your VeRO form is properly filled out and sent it. Items are shut down within 24 hours but most often way, way sooner. This button proved all too alluring for the trigger-happy head of Powerslam Productions.

Soon enough, Gabriele got a taste of his own medicine. Though some items had been previously reported and shut down (part of the initial VeRO paperwork requirement involves reporting specific item numbers), the real blitz began on July 9th. Dozens of Gabriele listings of so-called "official" Space Giants DVD's and videos were shut down even if the auctions were long since completed. As expected, Gabriele relisted some DVD's the next day. These were shut down. In defiance of the VeRO warnings, Gabriele persisted in listing items over the next couple days. The listing periods were getting shorter and shorter (3-day, then 1-day) and the inevitable was drawing closer and closer. That patented Dark Angel hubris was working its magic. Gabriele then began listing The Adventures of Goldar DVD sets instead of Space Giants apparently hoping to fly under the radar. It didn't work; in fact, after several rounds of ended items and repeated warnings, Gabriele's edee001 account was suspended on July 12th. NO LONGER A REGISTERED USER... sweet music to my ears and to the ears of plenty of others pushed around by Gabriele. Sicilian wisdom dictates "revenge is a dish best served cold", but I must tell you, it ain't so bad piping hot either.

On July 17th, at the request of a Space Giants fan, I provided a summary of events to the Yahoo SPACE GIANTS group. Two days later, "cheesyscifi3" (Gabriele's lone defender in the group) posted what is perhaps the Dark Angel's finest written moment and most pathetic incarcation to date. Introducing Pasquale as VICTIM (get out your hankies)...

Date: Mon Jul 19, 2004 1:40 pm
Subject: Well to break up this little witch hunt...

Don't celebrate just yet. Doesn't look like I'll be buying anyone a
beer. PD intends to fight this in a court of law.

Apologies for hurting so many fans...

In Lue of Ryan Richardson extreme obsessive effort to destroy my
claim as TM holder on the IP entitled The Space Giants, as well as
myself & my family lives, I hereby publicly apologize to any fans of
the TV show THE SPACE GIANTS, that I may have somehow hurt or
damaged, unknowingly. When I sought to protect in the absence of any
policing of bootlegging on Ebay and for canceling a Ryan Richardson
auction of an incomplete model he misrepresented as complete (his
version of the story suits his needs.) Somehow, I became an
obsession, of Mr. Richardson's. I'm sorry I spurned him so, his
dedicated attention is kinda flattering, I never gave him a second
thought when he got me without a reach 'round.
It's nice to know a "NON" fan, who never saw an episode, was so
intent in seeing such confussion and termoil, over characters that
are little more than money to him, but for 25 years, were my life.
Glad the fans see him as the hero of the cause, riding in on his horse.

I did not know it was such a CRIME, to try to create a seperate
idenity between the excellent comic and series by Osamu Tezuka,
Maguma Taishi, and the totally rewritten different story we know as
The Space Giants.
I was more than happy to sell my little "Poorly drawn" comics,
till a member of the forum at Yahoo, informed me of the RAMPANT
bootlegging, with no quality control, nothing to protect the public
from bad copies, and I KNEW FOR A FACT, they WERE NOT public
Domain.... I strived for a quality product, and offered a full
warranty. What a villian I am...
Little did I suspect, that by trying to PROTECT the characters
I PAID FOR and aquired from Schulman 25 years ago (I DO have a
signed document) and until the court declares otherwise, I will
continue to to persue action. I may not have the money of spiteful
Mr. Richardson, but I feel the law protects me (where are the
records of MY BEING PAID since I was "hired") that **** *******, who
in a taped phone conversation 5/27/ at 7:20 PM addmitted
was "AFRAID" of this attorney. To see I was made fodder publicly,
(something I have NEVER DONE to a bootlegger, EVER) I don't post E-
mails to damage them. They publish them, on thier own, on the forum
[a note by cheesyscifi3 - Mr. Gabriele is not referring to our group
of dedicated fans] I've never seen... Planning in secret since
APRIL, to slander me, for claiming a TM I TRULEY BELIEVE to be mine!
I'm glad Mr. Schulman is in good health, and honestly wish him
the best with his effort to get the show on the air, perhaps it will
fair better than Ultraman Tiga that Fox recently aired... I hope it
does get re-aired. That would be great!
Seems I pissed off alot of people selling Space Giants, And became
the object of MUCH hatred and ridicule, because in 1979, I traded
for all rights, save TV. I will not violate a non-dislosure, nor do
I go back on my word, I'll let that happen in court.. they and only
they can decide if the agreement is valid...
I have learned to choose my battles. I have NEVER missreprented
the Space Giants, being truthful as I believed on my ME page. I had
no intention of this becoming a war with irate fans, who's only goal
was to challenge my claim... for reasons unknown, as I in NO WAY,
did harm to the characters in The Space Giants. I currently await
legal action from an attorney Of Richardson and Schulman, to
sue me for violation of copyright... I HAVE NOT HIDDEN MY CLAIM, NOR
HAVE I SNUCK BEHIND ANYONES BACK to conspire & attempt to steal
their means of support. Y'bet, I'm the low life Snake getting his just deserts.
I sincerly suspect, that Mr. Richardson is a BITTER LITTLE
MAN, who went to UNCOMMON LENGTHS to try destroy me, rejoicing in
cancellation on eBay as if he won a million dollars...I hope he
revels in the knowledge that sudden loss of our only income aided in
causing my 80 year old mother a stroke... only a little after a year
since her 37 year old daughter DIED OF CANCER, leaving two baby
girls, both under 6, for her to raise... Be proud you did it, you
are a big man... because I cancelled one auction, when he
misrepresented the product, and lied, and was called to task for his
lie, dispite the "friendly Spin" he puts on it. Rest PROUD
fine warrior... I know you're pleased, and I SINCERELY hope you
never are put in the same position for protecting what you believe is yours.
BUT remember I'm "The Bad Guy", for trying to protect rights I
have reason to believe are mine! I'm also pleased he is happy with
the fruits of his labor.
I hope Mr. Schulman appreciates that fact, because when they
(the DVDs) were being sold, there was no Bernard Schulman or
spiteful Ryan Richardson, who slants stories his way!
Any one would be upset if they wrote and ask why pieces [of the
model] were missing, and were assured SEVERAL times it was complete,
then after being lied to, I was told to send it back for refund. I
wasn't about to send it back and invest 7.50 so he could claim it
was broken by me, or that I took the parts, so I kept it... and ate
the loss...
CANCELLING THE AUCTION AS A MESSAGE TO NOT MISSREPRENT THE
CHARACTERS BY SELLING FAULTY GOODS... Boy what a villian I am...
Anyone interested in the DOCUMENTATION I'll be taking to court
can be e-mailed copies of the newspaper accounts from 1979, that
BACK my story of aquiring... I've already sent out several... 750MB
Thank you, and again, I apologize for any pain or loss I caused
to ANY FAN of the Space Giants, whom I have intentionally hurt, and
caused damage and loss, it was not my intent to steal your income,
or otherwise hurt you with my "Reign of Terror"... only protect what
I to this day, and will defend in court as my TM for the past 25 years.
To all others, whom have decided I am the spawn of Satan, and by
my efforts to bring new life through comics and publicity to
characters I aquired some 25 years ago. To PROTECT the TM I later
aquired, for a man who released the show in 1977 WITHOUT THE
benifiet of: Copyright 1977 Lakeside TV Company Inc, or Bernard
Schulman on the prints (THAT IS REQUIRED TO FILE ANYTIME IN THE
INTIAL COVERAGE PERIOD BASED ON PRE-1978 Copyright law).
Nor did it [notice] appear ANYWHERE in the 1972 article in the
Monster Times #9 article "Meet The Space Giants". So without our
filing, there would be published on file with government or
ANYWHERE, associating BERNARD SCHULMAN with the Space Giants, his
name appears only in our comic, not in either copyright filing,
1979 (VA-27-210) or the 1981 filing.
I have always responded to fans who approach me with a non-
attack attitude, true fans with questions. With pleasentness and the
truth to the best of MY knowledge. But truthfully, would NEVER gone
to great lenghts to hurt ANYONE, the way people went after me to
hurt my family, all along making ME out to be EVIL... I'm sorry my
actions hurt you THAT much...

Angel PD Gabriele Jr
aka Dark Angel

Powerslam Productions

Though "cheesyscifi3" refused my request for a celebratory beer, several other overjoyed Space Giants fans (some of whom had either been ripped off by or been harrassed by Gabriele) assured me suds were forthcoming. Anything produced by Anchor Brewing will do just fine. Arigato.


TO CONCLUDE...
July 25th 2004: In my original announcement to the Yahoo group, I promised to begin my weekly eBay auction listings with an original Magma Taishi vinyl, one of the very toys shut down by Gabriele. On July 18th, the listing began with a "thanks to Bernard Schulman" built right into the description. A Space Giants fan who'd been following the imbroglio submitted the $99.99 opening bid within a few hours of the auction's start. And in an absolutely beautiful turn of synchronicity, another eBay seller (unprompted and unaware and also in Austin, Texas) listed three Magma Taishi items on the same day... all with SPACE GIANTS in the title, of course. One of the three items was the accursed model kit that began this whole saga. It appeared complete (but, then again, I've already proven my fallibility in making such determinations). There was really only one thing to do: win it and have a portrait made (see below). Magma and I... together again. And for $2 less than Gabriele paid.




POSTSCRIPT!
August 4th 2004: As expected, eBay has reinstated Gabriele and his About Me page is (gasp) even more convoluted and sad than before! In addition to augmenting my already substantial catalog of personal epithets, Gabriele thanks his "loyal fans". I can't help but think of O.J. seeking the "real killer". Ah, what rich imaginations! In spite of his rantings therein, you won't see Gabriele listing any Space Giants bootlegs anytime soon. Reinstatement requires an affidavit wherein the seller promises not to list infringing items. I wonder what name The Dark Angel signed this time? Not that VeRO seems to care. Anyway, I bet he'll think twice (though once is probably hard enough) about shutting other's auctions down for no good reason. In the end, I'm glad Gabriele is back... the guilt I felt over the strokes, cancer, orphaning, and financial ruin I caused was getting to be a bit much.

End of saga? Why do I have a feeling the answer is "no"?


                                                             — Ryan Richardson (a/k/a That Weed Steppin' Non-Fan Texas Braggart)



Please direct all inquiries regarding SPACE GIANTS to:

Lakeside Television Co.
Mr. Bernard Schulman
300 High Point Dr. #712
Hartsdale, NY 10530
Please note that negative-feedback.com is in no way associated with Lakeside Television Company. At their request, I continue to provide the Schulmans assistance from time to time, but I have no stake or say in when or how Space Giants will be re-aired or reissued legitimately. Requests for rights clarifications (especially from eBay sellers who've had seemingly legitimate DVD's ended through eBay's VeRO program) should be directed to Lakeside Television Company, not me. I strongly suggest including your phone number with any correspondence. An instantaneous reply is unlikely and should not be expected.


                                                                          
introcassettessmut skrewed