Copy, right?

Copy, right?

Tue, 2017-01-17 12:10

It is understandable that images on the Internet are borrowed for fun and pleasure, review or sharing. My screensaver is a drawing by a French artist.* This website to a large extent relies on other peoples images but they are attributed where possible and there is no financial advantage. My own drawings have turned up on various social sites and that’s fine, flattering even. There is a difference however when using the images created by others for commercial purposes of ones own without attribution or recompense to the creator. Money being made by raises the question of copyright.
Just prior to Christmas I had the following email - which I have edited to protect the guilty.
I thought I would bring this to your attention, there is a Wxxxxx
based 'artist' called Stephen xxxx who trades as Dxxxxx Art who has
stolen your iconic cartoon of The Beatles from The Let it Be section and
has been signing these & selling them on as his own artwork. I enclose
proof of this from his Facebook page.
Yours faithfully
A Fan
Not on Facebook myself I asked a close relative to look into it on my behalf. The images here show the resulting exchange. The part concealment of Stephen’s identity is because I am oddly reluctant to really screw the guy to a reputation for behavior from which he may repent. Those that know him will recognize him, as will those that may have considered buying these prints from him.
Reading his responses to the praise he is given it is not difficult to believe at that he was allowing it to be understood that he was the author of the drawing. He has added some kind of signature and a date. He was offering to sell prints.
I find it difficult to know what to say about Stephen. I cannot imagine he was thinking. Does he make a habit of this kind of thing? If this is his first effort then being caused some embarrassment may be all he needs to get him off the path of crime, turn him from the dark side. If this is a repeat offence then he needs exposure to prevent unsuspecting clients of his ‘prints’ being misled and buying counterfeit goods.

* Screensaver subsequently changed to the Rembrandt etching 'Faust'.

It is understandable that images on the Internet are borrowed for fun and pleasure, review or sharing. My screensaver is a drawing by a French artist.* This website to a large extent relies on other peoples images but they are attributed where possible and there is no financial advantage. My own drawings have turned up on various social sites and that’s fine, flattering even. There is a difference however when using the images created by others for commercial purposes of ones own without attribution or recompense to the creator. Money being made by raises the question of copyright.
Just prior to Christmas I had the following email - which I have edited to protect the guilty.
I thought I would bring this to your attention, there is a Wxxxxx
based 'artist' called Stephen xxxx who trades as Dxxxxx Art who has
stolen your iconic cartoon of The Beatles from The Let it Be section and
has been signing these & selling them on as his own artwork. I enclose
proof of this from his Facebook page.
Yours faithfully
A Fan
Not on Facebook myself I asked a close relative to look into it on my behalf. The images here show the resulting exchange. The part concealment of Stephen’s identity is because I am oddly reluctant to really screw the guy to a reputation for behavior from which he may repent. Those that know him will recognize him, as will those that may have considered buying these prints from him.
Reading his responses to the praise he is given it is not difficult to believe at that he was allowing it to be understood that he was the author of the drawing. He has added some kind of signature and a date. He was offering to sell prints.
I find it difficult to know what to say about Stephen. I cannot imagine he was thinking. Does he make a habit of this kind of thing? If this is his first effort then being caused some embarrassment may be all he needs to get him off the path of crime, turn him from the dark side. If this is a repeat offence then he needs exposure to prevent unsuspecting clients of his ‘prints’ being misled and buying counterfeit goods.

* Screensaver subsequently changed to the Rembrandt etching 'Faust'.

Comments

Hello Arthur,

I'm Stephen, who inadvertently used your work, for which I can only apologise again. I have an admin who looks after my page - since I have a day job - and when he left I got a new admin. The new guy accepted a commission and instead of getting an image supplied he chose one himself. I was under the impression it was supplied which is what I usually do. I have retracted and deleted the drawing and hope that no harm has been done to your good self. We have gained an internet troll but that's probably due sufferance for my admin . Again, I can only apologise. I have only today learned of your website and understand your frustration. Please accept my apologies and that there was no intention to cause harm in accepting the job. The prints have been retracted/refunded, most were never sent, and the original remains with the guy who asked for it. He does not want a replacement and I cannot force the issue. I can, and wish to, donate the money - £100 - to a charity of your choice instead. Please let me know which.

Could I ask how you go about making sure an image doesn't belong to another artists copyright? I'm not that internet savvy and my admins have no idea either. Do I have to search the whole of the internet to check or is there some way to check. I'd be grateful for your knowledge in this respect as it has happened to me before with a supplied image that had been copied several times before and it turned out it was on its 4th generation! I have also refused a piece because I expected it to be under copyright and the requestor shown me that it wasn’t. The only guidance I have ever received is that work under copyright should state that it is under copyright, though this seems to simplistic and impractical. I’d be grateful for any help and guidance you could provide.

Thank you in advance.

Stephen

Hullo Stephen,

I appreciate hearing from you.

A donation to a charity is always a good idea. Something for children would be my choice should you do it.

There is no way I can know if your explanation is true or not. I have been told, and you admit, this is not the first time you have run into this kind of difficulty.
It sounds as though your business plan relies on using images created by others - stop doing that would be my advice on how to solve your problem with copyright and attribution.

Best
Arthur

Hullo Stephen,

I have received the email you sent with the attachment of a receipt from the NSPCC for £100.

Good.

Best,
Arthur

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN
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