View Full Version : Copyright breach?
03-21-2002, 06:34 AM
I sold a magnet of my art on eBay to a guy who just a minute ago casually informed me that last year he bought a Christmas print from me (or it might have been set of greetings cards) and sent the picture to all his contacts - about 500!
Now, he received no money from this, obviously, and he hasn't done me or my work any harm, but he shouldn't even have copied my work in the first place, should he?? (I don't think he has any idea that he shouldn't have done it, or he wouldnt have told me!)
Should I let it slide, or should I tactfully point out that he shouldn't be doing this?! Or maybe I am wrong and it was OK for him to do it?!
03-21-2002, 07:48 AM
Definitely let him know that what he did wasn't right to do. It very well may have been an innocent error but and error that should never be repeated.
03-21-2002, 08:25 AM
Helen, cheryl is right. Copyright means that it is unlawful to copy, manipulate or reproduce in any manner is not permissable. Since no harm came of it, I would inform him of the the copyright act and for future endeavors, it would be in his best interest not to do so. Next time, he may not come across an artist as nice or forgiving as you..:)
03-21-2002, 08:41 AM
If he hadn't confessed, how would you know? Very difficult to control.
I agree that you could explain about copyright. You could also turn it into a marketing exercise. Since he has 500 interested contacts, how about asking to be properly credited with a link to your website?
03-21-2002, 10:58 AM
sandrafletcher has a good idea about linking to your site. I think you're right about him not knowing, but he should be told of the copyright laws for the future. He still might do it, and you won't be able to control it if he does but it might prevent him from copying someone's work who is less accommodating about it.
03-21-2002, 11:47 AM
Even though he was unaware, it was wrong and he definitely should be told----spread awareness!!
I had another 'artist' who has her work in galleries, say she had copied my collage cards off a web site and shared them with her friends. I was agast, did she think because she knew me it was OK? Or that it was only collage & not copyrighted?? I let it go because she should have known it wasn't proper. But if the web page didn't say so is it up for grabs??? Not my site but a friends.
03-21-2002, 11:51 AM
Thanx everyone! I have told him in what I hope is a polite way that he should not copy or distribute an artist's work, even once, let alone 500 times - but I collected payment for the magnet from him first! LOL!! :p
The marketing idea would have been a good one, but the moment has passed now! The copy he sent out to everyone at least had my signature on. (Not that that will really do too much good while I'm 'unknown'! LOL!)
I think it's disgusting, Cathleen, that an ARTIST would behave so inconsiderately! :eek: Far worse than my experience!
03-21-2002, 12:10 PM
I looked at your magnets, I got curious---really nice work.
How are these done? I also saw your web site quickly and marked it to go back and spend time there. You are involved in so many mediums! I am still trying to master oils!
03-21-2002, 03:38 PM
Copyright laws...differ from state to state and country to country I would suggest you get a copy and study it thourghly....unless you have your work copyrighted you may find anyone can do what they like with it.
03-21-2002, 03:41 PM
This came up in another forum that I participated. One of the members who was a lawyer explained it this way. It would not be copyright infringement if :
1) He credited the original work to you.
2) The distributed image was his own photo or scan.
3) He didn't charge the recipients money.
Ethically it wasn't the best choice, but legally he may be allright.
The best way to prevent this spreading of artistic joy would be to have a legal agreement not to to reproduce the work in any form (although a photo of it hanging on a wall or in a display is still legal).
There is a an artist around here that has a 5"x8" contact card that she distributes with her business cards. She has a disclaimer on the bottom that says "feel free to reproduced this card as a whole and distribute to your friends."
03-21-2002, 04:02 PM
thanks Andrew------now I know why there is so much pilfered art, the copyright is way too grey an area. If I create it, it should belong to me------period! None of this fair use crap!
03-21-2002, 04:22 PM
Me, I would just let it slide -- And get on with living.
You had (and the word is probably "had") a good client that taught you a good lesson for free. You can cover it now so that it doesn't happen again. This buyer really did you a big favor.
And I Thank-You for doing us a huge favor by sharing your experience.
03-21-2002, 05:41 PM
It would be really useful to have this thread archived in the Legal section of Art Business, no?
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