Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Help Stop Copyright Infringement

I recently discovered that images of my art as well as images of artwork of several artists I know are appearing all over the internet. These images are being used without permission and almost always uncredited. I have seen them on MySpace, Photobucket, Facebook, and elsewhere. The number of images being used without permission is staggering.

Every image that I (as well as other artists) post on my site are copyrighted and owned by me. Therefore, it is illegal for anyone to use images from the internet (or anywhere for that matter) without getting permission in writing from the owner of the image. I have written to a few people who have used images without permission and they were very apologetic and promptly removed the images. They didn't realize it was illegal to use the images without permission. This is a problem that needs to be addressed. As I am trying to build a career with my art, it becomes counter-productive if I have to chase after people who are using my work. Yet, I still need to post my images in order for to see my work. It becomes a frustrating situation.

Here is where I need your help. If you ever come across an image of mine on a website please contact me. (If you see this happen with other artists let them know too.) The more eyes that are out there spotting the illegal use of copyrighted images the better chance I have of keeping this problem to a minimum. Also watch out for sites like Photobucket, Flickr, or Polyvore that indirectly or directly (in some cases) encourage the illegal use of copyrighted images.

It may seem like a compliment for others to post my images on their MySpace page or on their website, and it is in many ways. It is great that they like my work enough to want to use it. I am very likely to give permission for someone to use an image of my work if the person agrees to give proper credit. What they don't realize is that using an image without permission can harm me in the end.

I put many hours, sometimes weeks to complete a painting. I depend on the sale of m work to help pay for my medical bills, my health insurance, the cost of supplies, the rent, etc. Having images spread out throughout the internet without permission or credit to my name has the potential of a lost sale. It could, in some cases, dissolve a sale, if, for example, there is a pending license or contract. A lost sale means lost income, and that means it is that much harder to live.

I hope that one day all this notion of copyright and possession is no longer an issue. I am much more interested in painting and contributing to the world in a positive way. Unfortunately, until this problem gets better or we all find a way to survive without the need for money exchange, this will need to be addressed. (I am working on latter part actually...I'll share my thoughts in a later post.)

I appreciate your help and attention in this very serious matter.

DoAn

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DoAn Art is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions for the purposes of DoAn Art must be made payable to Fractured Atlas and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law. 

4 comments:

Pet and Loki said...

I know this won't stop people from being idiotic jerks but if you watermarked the images on your site the way Getty Images does it not only deters right-clicking and direct links but has the added benefit of advertising your name and URL if they do.

I guarantee you people looking to buy will know exactly why you are doing it.

(Does FAA have a watermark opiton though?)

DoAn said...

Thanks! I will look into this.
Fortunately FAA, Redbubble, and Imagekind (the print on demand publishers) have electronic watermarks inbedded in the images when I upload them.

I will have to find out how to do this on my own website and blog.

Pet and Loki said...

What image program do you use? I use Corel and when you type text in black you can open the "objects" panel and fade them with a transparency percentage before you merge/combine with the rest of the image. I would imagine all other image programs have the same option somewhere.

If you upload with the watermark already in it you can also stop the same jerks from hacking the code to release the image. They'd have to paint over it and that's too much work.

Anonymous said...

To watermark images on your own website,you can do it cheap by getting the program "The Print Shop" by Broderbund. It's a little different than some of the more traditional programs,because it's aimed at people who do web and print publishing. They have a watermark function in the menu. Also,it's a relatively cheap program to buy(less than $50.00 usually). Go to www.broderbund.com for more info, and good luck!

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