Where are the solutions?
Social Media sites .. including this blog.. thrive on the free and easy sharing of images. Where is the appropriate credit for the artists who create these images?
Are Indie Artists aware of options like the Creative Commons Licenses? (btw ... Creative Commons is a Massachusetts-chartered 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charitable corporation)
From the Creative Commons website: Founded in 2001 with the generous support of the Center for the Public Domain, CC is led by a Board of Directors comprised of thought leaders, education experts, technologists, legal scholars, investors, entrepreneurs and philanthropists.
Website for Center for the Public Domain:
While options like these are a step in the right direction.. too often they rely on the user to track down and credit or notify the creator.
Why can't individual images that are frequently shared be protected by a blanket license agreement that allows use and sharing on the platform.. but simultaneously credits and compensates the artist?
Art. Is. Not. Free. (chart below from Franchesco.com)
Inside the Sunday Jan 10 Los Angeles Times: a review by Michael Schaub for the book "The Idealist" by Justin Peters.
This quote in the review got my attention.
" ...Peters' history of copyright law is endlessly interesting — he's fluent in both English and lawyer-speak, and he does a great job explaining sometimes arcane legislation ..."
I'll be reading this book.. not so much for the story of Aaron Swartz... but for the author's views on the wild west of copyright law.
For now... I'm including the complete "Copyright Info for Artists" post here so it's handy. A current link for this post.. and other posts of note... can always be found on the YOUR GUIDE TO STUART NG BOOKS post on the blog every month.
Here's the original post w/ updates through Jan 6, 2016
I'm posting here some links I've found to these sources. There are lots of benefits to the internet .. but the rules are also being made up as we all go along. Hopefully, artists can continue to be proactive about revealing these rip-offs and work together to make the rules ... before someone else imposes rules on the artists.
Here's a great Jan 2014 article by Sam Levin in the East Bay Express that lists the names of artists who fought back and the lawyers who took on these cases: “When Corporations Want Profits, They Don’t Ask for Permission”
Here's a facebook page “Designers and Illustrators Against Plagiarism” that posts examples of rip-offs:
Here'a s blog called "You Thought We Wouldn't Notice" with commentary by a Los Angeles-based attorney
Current posts: http://www.youthoughtwewouldntnotice.com/
Here's a website for "Copyright Collaborative" an artists collective founded by Emily Danchuk, a lawyer in Maine: http://www.copyrightcollaborative.com/
I'm always looking for feedback on these sources ... or other sources artists are using.
(image used is stock image from Dreamstime) http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photography-lay-figure-sitting-copyright-symbol-image7137207
UPDATE -- JULY 29, 2014, after San Diego Comic Con
At the con, I met Dave from EFF.org (Electronic Frontier Foundation) who told me about New Media Rights, a non-profit assisting artists with intellectual property issues.
Here's info from the "about us" page of the New Media Rights website:
New Media Rights is a non-profit, independently funded program of California Western School of Lawthat provides legal services, education, and public policy advocacy for Internet users and creators.
And here's link to their website: http://newmediarights.org/
UPDATE SEPT 16, 2014
Recent conversation with two artist friends clued me into another image theft issue --- portfolios were people are stealing online images and trying to pass these stolen items as their own art! Seems to be fairly common issue -- more than one artist has reviewed a portfolio where THEIR OWN ART appeared attributed to the thief! Looking for some links on this .. but meanwhile, a general search for "Art portfolio stolen art" brought up a very illuminating list of links ... here are some samples...
How to protect your art tips from 'Empty Easel" website (LEAVING LINK UP, BUT NOT WORKING JAN 3, 2016)
"What to do if someone steals your design"
"How to check if your art is copied/stolen online using Google Image Search"
UPDATE SEPT 24, 2014
Here's an important link with a nifty, detailed FLOW CHART on Image Use Rights from a blog called "You the Designer" http://www.youthedesigner.com/graphic-design-resources/image-usage-rights/
UPDATE OCT 11, 2014
Blog post "Ultimate Guide to Finding and Using Images" explains why " It’s important to understand how to obtain images and properly use them because you can’t just grab any image from the Internet and place it on your blog. You could run into legal issues and intellectual property infringement, so it’s important to understand exactly what you can and cannot do." http://www.smartpassiveincome.com/how-to-find-images-blog-guide/?fb_action_ids=881537635192034&fb_action_types=og.likes
UPDATE OCT 22, 2014
link to gift industry panel discussion on impact of knock-off items:
Here's just a sample from this panel:
A victim of IP theft, Emily Martin, founder and designer of Orange Beautiful, a Chicago-based stationery company told Gifts and Decorative Accessories that she’s seen her artwork used by various individuals at parties and elsewhere on the Internet, but she didn't realize the real impact knock-offs could have until she saw one of her designs on a television competition. A contestant on the TLC network series Four Weddings had allegedly featured one of Martin's original designs for Orange Beautiful on her wedding cake, invitations and even a carved cheese. The network later ran the episode, and the winning design was the one allegedly ripped off from Orange Beautiful. Martin has tracked down the individuals who were featured on the show and has started to take legal action with a cease and desist letter.
also link for International Chamber of Commerce
UPDATE NOV 4, 2014
In Oct 2014, photographer Daniel Foster wrote a blog post about his experience when one of his images was stolen and used on items sold on Etsy.
This is his blog post about the incident and his follow-up with Etsy legal dept ..
The DCMA referenced in Foster's post is the "Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998" .. here is link to the PDF of the US Copyright Office Summary ...http://www.copyright.gov/legislation/dmca.pdf
And this is the link for Etsy's Copyright and Intellectual Property Policy
UPDATE NOV 10, 2014
Not exactly unauthorized use of images resources..... but here's a link to a list of 15 rules for creative success in the internet age http://boingboing.net/2014/11/04/molly-crabapples-rules-for-c.html
UPDATE NOV 27, 2014
Buzzfeed post promoting this company that will take your doodle (mostly art by kids) and turn it into a charming plush toy...http://www.buzzfeed.com/rachelzarrell/this-toy-company-will-turn-your-kids-doodles-into-an-awesome
so sweet .. EXCEPT ... the image above was STOLEN...The orignal art (below) ... and story about the theft ... on Sprinklexeater page on Diviantart http://sprinklexeater.deviantart.com/art/FAT-UNICORN-117301507
once again .. the artist knows about the theft ... but the image still being promoted via unauthorized use.
UPDATE MARCH 5, 2015 -- PRIMER ON TRADEMARK...
This is link to a super informative blog post titled "Isn't the Internet Big Enough for More Than One Angry Asian" written by blogger Jenn from her blog "Reappropriate.com"
In this blog post, she presents two sides of an interesting case of conflict about trademark issues between two bloggers: "Angry Asian Man " and "Angry Little Asian Girl"
UPDATE MAY 22, 2015 -- STORY ON "Artist" RICHARD PRINCE GALLERY SHOW OF STOLEN IMAGES
Website "Gothamist" posted this article about so-called "Artist" Richard Prince who steals images off the internet, blows them up, puts them in a show and sells them... without credit or compensation to sources of his "work"
UPDATE MAY 30, 2015
This link to my blog post on this "Instagram Photos Story" includes several links on this controversy... as well as background on the previous lawsuit involving this artist: http://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2015/05/get-inspired-artists-rights-references.html
UPDATE JUNE 8, 2015
SUNFROG shirts (dot) com has reputation for uncredited use of internet images...
Warning post from Artist Jillian about this group...
"I know that I have posted on fb about Sunfrog before---but please dont' buy clothing from these guys. They just snap images off of the internet and drop them onto their shirts and sell them without giving profit to the actual artists or even their permission. Recently they stole Art Corgi's logo and was selling it on a shirt---now they are using other artist's work"
HOLY COW -- Sunfrog even has their own "copyright and intellectual property policy" page, where they explain how they "ooops" may be using stolen art...Here's link to their policy page: