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Old 03-16-2009, 06:05 PM
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johnok johnok is offline
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What do you know about... Fine Art Registry

Hi,

Is registering with the Fine Art Registry (www.fineartregistry.com) worth it?

What experience have you had with them?

John
(This topic is an offshoot from recent disucssions on prints vs giclee's vs reproductions, etc.)
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Old 03-16-2009, 07:13 PM
painterswife painterswife is offline
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Re: What do you know about... Fine Art Registry

We looked at the company and the idea. We did not see that it added enough value for us.

Our other concern was the" feud" or what ever you want to call it with the cruise ship art thing. If you do any research at all you see lots of crazy posts about lawsuits etc. Not something we wanted to be associated with. We don't know the whole story, who is right or wrong but it seemed to tarnish the whole idea.
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Old 03-16-2009, 08:55 PM
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Re: What do you know about... Fine Art Registry

Quote:
Originally Posted by painterswife
We looked at the company and the idea. We did not see that it added enough value for us.

Our other concern was the" feud" or what ever you want to call it with the cruise ship art thing. If you do any research at all you see lots of crazy posts about lawsuits etc. Not something we wanted to be associated with. We don't know the whole story, who is right or wrong but it seemed to tarnish the whole idea.

I heard about the cruise ship thing... is that something Fine Art Registry is fighting? How exactly are they involved?

John
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Old 03-17-2009, 07:01 AM
painterswife painterswife is offline
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Re: What do you know about... Fine Art Registry

I don't know the details. I do know that when we looked for reviews of the system a couple of years ago, most of the stuff on google was related to the two involved parties bad mouthing each other all over the internet.

We did not need to know more.
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Old 03-17-2009, 10:54 AM
painterswife painterswife is offline
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Re: What do you know about... Fine Art Registry

This is an interesting read.

http://garyarseneau.blogspot.com/200...iction-in.html
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Old 03-17-2009, 02:32 PM
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Re: What do you know about... Fine Art Registry

Quote:
Originally Posted by painterswife


Part way down that article it makes a statement that artists who use someone else to produce their giclee's loose copyright protection on the reproductions.

Basically, according to the article, if an artist does not have the copyright "reassigned" back himself then the print shop can reproduce the image as many time as they want without having to notify the artist. Do they really own the copyright at that point for the reproductions?

Did I read that right? I thought the artist retains all copyrights (even on reproductions) unless specifically they sign over the copyright to someone else. What are they talking about?

John

Last edited by johnok : 03-17-2009 at 03:02 PM.
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Old 03-17-2009, 03:46 PM
V.Bleile V.Bleile is offline
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Re: What do you know about... Fine Art Registry

This is what it stated:

"Subsequently, any “derivatives” ie., reproductions of an artist's original artwork and those reproduction rights, under U.S. Copyright Law, would be owned by the printer who reproduced it.

Therefore, unless the artist had those “reproduction rights” reassigned in writing back to them from the "printer" who reproduced them, those same individuals would have the right to reproduced more without the permission or knowledge of the artist."

I have never heard of this and my gut feeling is this is in error. (Especially given the misspelling) I do know that unless otherwise addressed the printer does own any scan, plates, etc, they have made to complete the job, but I can't imagine that grants them copyright to the image, or allows them to legally produce reproductions from them.

I will see what else I can dig up on this subject.
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Old 03-17-2009, 05:07 PM
gwarseneau gwarseneau is offline
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Re: What do you know about... Fine Art Registry

fyi


(excerpt from my "Currier & Ives -CANARD-, over 168 years of non-disclosed chromist-made reproductions misrepresented as lithographs" monograph posted on my blog. To find that blog on Google, enter Gary Arseneau and Currier & Ives. I would have listed the link but being this is my first post, the site won't let me.)

On page 350 in the 1991 HarperCollins Dictionary of Art Terms & Techniques by Ralph Mayer, the term “reproduction” is defined as: “A general term for any copy, likeness, or counterpart of an original work of art or of a photograph, done in the same medium as the original or in another, and done by someone other than the creator of the original.”

Additionally, on page 574 in the 1991 The Fifth Edition of the Artist’s Handbook of Materials and Techniques by Ralph Mayer, the author writes: “The major traditional graphic-arts processes of long standing and continued popularity are lithograph, etching, drypoint, woodcutting or wood engraving, aquatint, and soft-ground etching. ...The term “graphic arts” excludes all forms of mechanically reproduced works photographed or redrawn on plates; all processes in which the artist did not participate to his or her fullest capacity are reproductions.”

U. S. COPYRIGHT LAW
Furthermore, in the 21st-century under U.S. Copyright Law 103, the "copyright in a compilation or derivative work extends only to the material contributed by the author of such work" and under U.S. Copyright Law 106a, the "Right of Attribution - shall not apply to a reproduction."

What that means is the printer would own the reproductions rights to the derivatives they reproduced from the artist's original artwork.

PRINTING TRADE CUSTOMS
This perspective is confirmed by the Printing Industries of America, Inc. in their 21st-century published Printing Trade Customs, which, in part, states: “6. PREPARATORY MATERIALS Working mechanical art, type, negatives, positives, flats, plates, and other items when supplied by the printer, shall remain his exclusive property unless otherwise agreed in writing.”


Misconceptions about these issues are widespread but the vast majority of printers who reproduce anything certainly are informed.

Respectfully,

Gary Arseneau
artist, creator of original lithographs & scholar
Fernandina Beach, Florida
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Old 03-17-2009, 05:27 PM
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Re: What do you know about... Fine Art Registry

Quote:
Originally Posted by gwarseneau
...U. S. COPYRIGHT LAW
Furthermore, in the 21st-century under U.S. Copyright Law 103, the "copyright in a compilation or derivative work extends only to the material contributed by the author of such work" and under U.S. Copyright Law 106a, the "Right of Attribution - shall not apply to a reproduction."

What that means is the printer would own the reproductions rights to the derivatives they reproduced from the artist's original artwork.
...

So... if I did not explicitly, in writing, retain copyrights to me only, then my giclee supplier is the new owner of my reproduction copyrights? In the case of giclees he holds master electronic files... I undersdtood that he owned those "tools"... but does he have the legal right to start offering reproductions of my prints on his own... independant of me?

What does that mean?

I researched copyright protection up front but never got this understanding. I would not knowingly walk into a print shop and say, "here... take my work and its now yours to reproduce as you please... go and make money for yourself... its my gift to you." I still feel like I'm missing something on this.

John

Last edited by johnok : 03-17-2009 at 05:40 PM.
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Old 03-17-2009, 06:52 PM
gwarseneau gwarseneau is offline
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Re: What do you know about... Fine Art Registry

First, to answer your question about Fine Art Registry, go to Google and enter my name Gary Arseneau and Fine Art Registry. My three posted monographs document the flaws surrounding their concept.

(Once again, I would give you the links but this is my second posting.)

Second, a reproduction, using any technology much less giclee technology is a derivative of a pre-existing work of visual art such as a painting, watercolor and the like. The artist obviously owns their orignal work of visual art and the reproduction rights to have reproduction reproduced.

Whether you register your original work of visual art with the U.S. Copyright Office or not, your original work of visual art is automatically copyrighted. The difference, briefly said, between a registered original work of visual art and an unregistered original work of visual art is ability to recover damages from someone who may violate, with or without intent, your copyright by reproducing it without your permission. Unregistered copyright is harder to recover damages because you would have to prove they profited by its' use but on the otherhand a registered copyrighted work of visual art, a violation of that copyright could lead to damages rewarded even if no profit was realized.

Now, as for your circumstances, if a giclee printer scanned your work in a digital file and/or somehow reproduced a digital file specifically for printing a reproduction{s} for you, obviously with your knowledge and permission, unless those files and reproduction rights were reassigned back to you in writing (and notarized), the printer would -own- them. If that printer were to sell those files to someone else, legally they would own them. If the printer were to die, the heirs would own them. If the printer goes bankrupt, the bank or creditor would own them.

Respectfully, unless you know your rights, you have -none-.

Now of course any printer, even before the economic chaos of today, would almost assuredly reassign any rights they incur under U.S. Copyright Law back to the artist to get their business. Unfortunately, from my experience and knowledge, they rarely volunteer to inform the artist, much less volunteer to transfer those reproductions rights because that would mean they would be obiligated to give the artist all the digital files, plates, negatives and the like used to reproduce their image. Since all that costs money and much of it can be recycled, why would they, the printer, give up something that anyone rarely asks for.

So, if you pay for a 1,000 reproductions, contractually the printer is only obiligated to give you a 1,000. All the overruns and the like, the printer would own. If you find that hard to believe ask any artist who asks about such overruns if they are so informed, much less see them. They almost always have to pay extra to get them.

Remember, why shouldn't the artist pay for them, since the printer owns them.

When I had a reproduction/poster reproduced at a printer in Georgia, I got the sales rep for the printer to reassign all reproductions rights incurred by the printer under U.S. Copyright Law back to me in writing and notarized before I agreed to do business with them. On the appointed day to run that reproduction/poster through the press, I arrived to witness the printing and collect them. I wasn't allowed to access the building till -9AM- after they had already run a couple hundred pre-press reproductions for registration and color. Those couple hundred overruns were in a large cardboard trash box to be tossed in a dumpster later. I started to retrieve them and stack them to take later when the head press guy said I can't do that. I tactfully as possible I said I can and that I own all of them. The head press guy didn't believe me and immediatedly called the owners down to set me straight. When the owners told the head press guy I was right, he was stunned. No one has every been allowed to do that before in his twenty odd years of experience.

Just imagine, if I naively thought I could limit any edition of reproductions, much less mine and I didn't get those rights reassigned from the printer, I would either be the fool or my patrons or both. Not to mention all those not ready for prime time reproductions with the registration being off and color skewed being potentially distributed without my knowledge altering the public's perception of my work and undermining my ability to cash in.

Later, when I finally loaded up my boxes of reproduction/posters, I asked one of the owners of the print shop if any other artist other than me had ever asked to have those reproductions rights they, the printer, incur under U.S. Copyright Law reassigned back to the artist. He said: "No."

Finally, even if you don't quite believe it, get the reproductions rights reassigned back from the printer to you in writing and notarized to be safe. It is better to overdo it than regret it someday. Remember, the printer wants your business, the vast majority don't care about these reproduction rights. They just want your business.

In closing, one more note of interest. There is absolutely no reason for any printer to keep your digital files on file. Take them with you. Keep tight control of those files otherwise despite your best efforts you might someday end up saying: "they were so nice and trustworthy, how could they do this to me?"

There is more about the giclee technology, but that is for another discussion.

Good Luck,

Gary Arseneau
artist, creator of original lithographs & scholar
Fernandina Beach, Florida
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Old 03-17-2009, 07:07 PM
painterswife painterswife is offline
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Re: What do you know about... Fine Art Registry

http://garyarseneau.blogspot.com/200...registrys.html

http://garyarseneau.blogspot.com/200...tions-are.html
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Old 03-17-2009, 07:09 PM
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Re: What do you know about... Fine Art Registry

WHAT! I never knew this. I persoanlly never had such a contract with my photographer and giclee maker. They have the master files because we set up our busienss plan to run the giclees as orders came in. I have copies of the master files too, but I never thought they had reproduction rights. I thought only I made that call.

So where is the protection for artists? It sounds like every artist who works with a giclee maker is in effect handing over all their basic reproduction copyright protections - at least for that derivative work. Your also correct that an artist could not garantee limited edition runs because you never know what your giclee maker will do in the future. Like you pointed out most artists never even asked your print maker about reassigning the copyrights back to the artist. I will make sure I discuss this with my guys going forward.

John
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Old 03-17-2009, 07:25 PM
gwarseneau gwarseneau is offline
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Re: What do you know about... Fine Art Registry

Anything reproduced is a reproduction. So, if an artist uses the giclee technology to reproduce their original works of visual art, they should be disclosed, at best, as giclee reproductions.

As for giclee technology, read the following excerpt from one of my published monographs:

-Unfortunately, a real concern for “giclee” reproductions is the lightfastness issue. In otherwords, is the so-called -GICLEE- technology the best or the worst reproduction process in the industry?

INKS OR DYES
The giclee reproduction technology up till recently only used water-based “dyes” (animal, vegetable or aniline). How can you determine if the giclee reproduction has been reproduced using water-based dyes?

The answer is do the printer, gallery or artist recommend not getting the image wet? Dyes can run if they get wet. (Inks, when dry, do not.) Or do they recommend a protective coating which is another red flag to protect the water-based dyes from running, much less assist in its’ lightfastness.

On the other hand, recent technological advances in grinding ink (mineral) down to 4 micons and coating them with clear polyuthyrene allows them to use the same printers to reproduce without clogging the jets which would happen immediately with normal ink. So, by using clear polyuthyrene coated inks, the image once dry will not run if the image should somehow get wet.

LIGHTFASTNESS
The other benefit with the use of ink instead of dyes is the lightfastness.

In October 1996, Art Calendar devoted almost an entire published issue to giclee reproduction. The lightfastness issue of dyes used for giclee reproduction were documented from the testing from Group Leader, R&D Paste Inks, Handschy Industries Charles Lakie. In reference to digital dye-based reproductions ie. “giclee,” Charles Lakie wrote: “The difference in fade resistance can be compared to a car (Mel’s Litho) vs. a cereal box (digital editions). The car’s color can withstand any earthly environment and the color will still be there---the color is formulated to last longer than the car itself. The cereal box is formulated to last as long as it takes to put the box of cereal on the store shelves, sell it, put it into a cabinet, take it out only to eat it, and eventually throw it away. There is a minimal exposure to any type of light, so cheaper pigments are used. However, if by chance the box ended up outdoors under the same conditions as a car, the colors would disappear from the box -- this would take anywhere from a couple of days to a couple of weeks.”

So, whether -GICLEES- are lightfast or not, they are, at best, -REPRODUCTIONS-.

The link is: http://garyarseneau.blogspot.com/200...tions-are.html

I hope the enclosed is of interest.

Gary Arseneau
artist, creator of original lithographs & scholar
Fernandina Beach, Florida
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Old 03-17-2009, 08:05 PM
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GKW GKW is offline
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Re: What do you know about... Fine Art Registry

With all respect Gary, Things have come a long way since 1996. That was 13 years ago. I own a few lithos that look like they have been pasted on the inside of a south facing window when they were in fact hung on an interior facing wall. One is about 19 y/o. Giclees printed today with todays tech, inks, and media are far more than you claim. I have personally done some tests. One image, four prints, two of which were lithos and two of which were giclees. All were of the same image. I hung one giclee and one litho in a southern facing window. Literally taped to it. The other two were controls in a dark print drawer. After 6 weeks (Alaska in June we have approx. average of 17 hours of sunlight/day) I checked the window prints. The litho was badly anemic and the giclee was the same as the control. This is one of the reasons I have a hard time believing your claims.
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Old 03-17-2009, 08:22 PM
V.Bleile V.Bleile is offline
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Re: What do you know about... Fine Art Registry

Quote:
Originally Posted by gwarseneau
Now of course any printer, even before the economic chaos of today, would almost assuredly reassign any rights they incur under U.S. Copyright Law back to the artist

This seems like a 'given' but maybe it's not so. Perhaps one thing to take from this is to make sure, in writing, that you retain all copyright before any artwork reproduction takes place. Better safe than sorry!

I have used two different companies for my reproductions, one in GA and one in OH. Both state in the contracts that any and all copyright ownership in the printed material is maintained as property of the artist.

In researching this subject I have not found much. There was that cruise ship print incident (printer producing & selling unauthorized copies) and those folks plead guilty to two counts of fraud and one of transportation of stolen property. I found one case of a printer who after the job, used a company's artwork in their own brochure without permission. They were also found to have infringed. But it didn't say, -they may have re-assigned the copyright back to the owner. I did find one instance where the artist had signed a printing contract that contained language giving their copyrights to the printer. OUCH!

Still, I am reminded of the audio-visual pirates who claim that selling their VHS version of a movie is legal because it was only released on DVD, and the format change to VHS makes it a derivative. That doesn't fly. Putting a Harry Potter book to CD and marketing it hasn't worked either. Painting a watercolor copy of a photo is infringement. I find it hard to believe that making a giclee copy from an original would be a derivative, and legal. If so, there's nothing to stop someone who buys an original from going into business selling giclees (derivatives) of that either. Yet it has been stated by numerous law sources that buying the work does not grant the purchaser rights of reproduction. Unless specifically transferred, all copyright remains with the IP owner.

I do know that copyright law is not black & white, open to interpretation, and very expensive to bring suit against one who infringes!
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