In light of my recent "ethics" events, I've been thinking about artists copyrights. I've talked about what is ethical but what about what is legal. Here are some facts and an example of how so many just don't get it.
This situation (part I and part II) is not the only time it has caused me pain and cost me a friendship, but first let me say this...
The artists signature on the art copyrights it.
I only have one painting out there that I know of that I forgot to sign and I know where it is and it is safe :)
The watermarks that you see on images (which are very annoying) hopefully help prevent people from copying and reproducing the piece. Some people put them all over the piece but I haven't been able to bring myself to do that....yet....
These two steps do not stop people who don't care....and with all the photoshop type programs out there...they can unfortunately be eliminated.
So far....I have not caught anyone doing this to my art although I am sure it happens...and yes, yes, I know "copying my work is the highest form of flattery"......whatever.....
I don't find it flattering and neither does any other artist I know!
I have a dear friend who is an AWESOME illustrator. It is what he has done for a living all his life as far as I know...he deals with it all the time but then he also has an agent that takes care of all of that for him. Still doesn't make him feel any better.
We have had long conversations on the subject....
But then there is something like this situation.....
Earlier this year, I put out a coloring book.
Inside the front page is this:
A little hard to read but the gist of it is...this work is created and copyrighted by me and no part may be reproduced, etc. without my permission.
Now I "had" a friend who bought the book, took one of the images, reproduced it and used it to make a needlework piece out of for her granddaughter I think.
She proudly sent it to me and it was really cute and I honestly didn't mind her doing it for her granddaughter...but then
she proceeded to tell me how she was going to send the pattern to another friend and if any of my students or anyone wants the pattern I can give it to them.
The conversation went downhill after that when I made an attempt to educate her about copyright and permission, etc.
She honestly had no idea she actually needed my permission to take my work, reproduce it, make a pattern and give it to others and it offended her.
After several heated emails from her, and me trying to educate her....we parted company....end of story....end of friendship.
I try to think what would I have done if the roles had been reversed.
I'd really like to think I would have said "Oh I am so sorry, thanks for the info and thanks for allowing me to do this and I won't do it again without asking"
I really think that is what I would have done....
Hmmmm...would I do it again? Yes. I didn't do anything wrong. I was educating a friend. If she had not been a friend, it would have been an entirely different story.
I say all this to educate you all.
I know her intentions were good....I know most of you have nothing but good intentions,
but stop and think before you take another artists work and make it your own.
"Here endeth the lesson" - Sean Connery, "The Untouchables"
Thanks for listening!