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.
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'.