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Old 04-30-2004, 01:56 AM
max nelson max nelson is offline
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Pirated art

I have just finished reading a lengthy article in this month's issue of "Art-Talk" regarding the incredible amount of pirated sculpture and other art works. It's an epidemic that I, and perhaps many of you, was not remotely aware of.

This is a site that was mentioned in the article to help give some insight as to the degree these bandits are going to:

http://www.bronzecopyright.com/startseite_engl.htm

Seems there is a phantom artist by the name "Leonardo Rossi" that if he acutally existed would be the most prolific artist to ever have lived. China, Thialand and numerous other countries are producing knock offs by the thousands and selling them on ebay, garden centers, conventions etc.

Many unknowing (perhaps) buyers are thinking they are getting the old "too good to be true" bargain.

Thought that you would want to know of this.
Max
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Old 04-30-2004, 09:39 AM
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Re: Pirated art

Thanks for the info Max.
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Old 04-30-2004, 01:15 PM
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Re: Pirated art

Hi Max, thank you for taking the time to share this information with us. There are always people who make a living off the creativity and sweat of others. As for the copying part I have to wonder just how safe artists works are (mould wise) that are sending their work to these countries for casting and bronzing? I think the works of artists are probably safer in the US foundries than over seas. Much easier to keep an eye on your work if a US foundry. Just some thoughts...
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Old 05-13-2004, 12:53 PM
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Re: Pirated art

Hi, gang,

Thank you for including the website URL. I'd seen a little blurb about this on my mentor-sculptor's website (his are some that are being copied), but didn't realize there was a joint website/organization about it. I'm fairly certain he has never used a foundry outside the U.S. It doesn't take much for foreign foundries to make bad copies, based upon photos. They don't have to get their hands upon the original in order to render a poor quality copy. Shameless, pitiful, and flat-out WRONG, as far as I'm concerned. (grumble) I hope the organization can get it stopped. I'll do what I can to assist them. If nothing else, point my local artist friends to the website. Let's ban together!
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Old 05-13-2004, 07:22 PM
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ArtsyLynda ArtsyLynda is offline
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Re: Pirated art

Quote:
Originally Posted by MKathleen
Hi Max, thank you for taking the time to share this information with us. There are always people who make a living off the creativity and sweat of others. As for the copying part I have to wonder just how safe artists works are (mould wise) that are sending their work to these countries for casting and bronzing? I think the works of artists are probably safer in the US foundries than over seas. Much easier to keep an eye on your work if a US foundry. Just some thoughts...


I've been in touch with the artists who started this website, and they have not had their work cast in China or elsewhere. I've seen their work in lots of "garden art" and "art and antique" kind of stores and thought, "Gee, nice design, too bad the sculptor wasn't very talented -- and how can they sell a piece that big for that little money???" Now I know. I saw a piece with two children on a teeter-totter (lifesized, like 3 year olds) that was selling for only $2500! And I've seen the one of the boy sitting on the mail box post too, many times. And the one of the ducks in the reeds. Amazingly bad copies. This stuff has to stop.

Lynda
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Old 05-28-2004, 01:01 AM
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Re: Pirated art

Hi folks. I want to clearify something. I am not new to carving, in the sense that i did it from day one. Im not particualy great, although as with any artist, there are some who think the world of my pieces.

Now I have a gallery, on another site i would like you to look at. In particular, the AZTEC VASE.

http://xc_xtc.overgrow.com

Please excuse the sites purposes and just look at the work. Now, I have NEVER been able to carve relief in 2D, or with a small 3rd D. Alwas, full 3D for me. I took this vase as an example and it finally worked for me. I do intend on selling my piece, is this piracy? I see it as artistic perception, learning... etc.

I want to make note here that I have never recieved more then 150$ CAN for ANY piece Ive done and these guys sound like whiners when it comes to 20 000$ US. If i could obtain a fraction of that, i would be merrily satisfied, and solve 90% of my lifes problems... but then i guess it would be too easy or somethin..

Origanal Vase:
Attached Images
   

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Old 05-31-2004, 11:38 AM
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Re: Pirated art

[quote=xc_xtc]
Please excuse the sites purposes and just look at the work. Now, I have NEVER been able to carve relief in 2D, or with a small 3rd D. Alwas, full 3D for me. I took this vase as an example and it finally worked for me. I do intend on selling my piece, is this piracy? I see it as artistic perception, learning... etc.

I want to make note here that I have never recieved more then 150$ CAN for ANY piece Ive done and these guys sound like whiners when it comes to 20 000$ US. If i could obtain a fraction of that, i would be merrily satisfied, and solve 90% of my lifes problems... but then i guess it would be too easy or somethin..

[quote]

Piracy is piracy, and if people are copying these artists' work, they're robbing these artists of income. They have every legal and moral right to fight for their copyrights' protection, and by these BIG artists doing so, they're protecting the rights of the "smaller" artists -- that's how the world works. They make the noise because they have the money, prestige and power to do so. By them setting legal precedent, they protect the rest of us from similar things happening to our work.

That said -- you have copied the design of another artist. Such copying is part of learning, but you're not legally supposed to sell such works. However, you have copied a design that's based on ancient artifacts. You MIGHT have a loophole there. In the future, when you want a "masterwork" to learn from, pick one that's over 100 years old so the copyright will most likely have expired (except in the case of "major" artists who have estates that have renewed the copyrights in the name of the estate -- IOW, don't try copying Rodin, Rembrandt, Degas or folks like that). Do your research before you start carving. You can copy Aztec carvings from museums -- no problem. Go sit in the museum and draw out the design, then go home and carve it, and you're doing what student artists have done for ages. Copying these pots, which are obviously recently created, that's a big no-no -- and having that image on the web -- if that artist finds out about it, you could be in trouble (and you can't legally claim a copyright on this piece, as I understand the copyright law -- it's "after" that potter, not your own work). There are artists who scout eBay regularly to see who's stolen their designs. Cross stitch pattern designers (for instance) think it's just fine to copy paintings they find on the web. It's NOT. There are some Equine Art Guild members who have formed a group to fine and prosecute these infringers. None of these artists are making huge amounts of money from any of their work (but some do make their entire living from it), but every piece that's pirated from their work (no permission given, no licensing fee paid) takes money out of their pockets. Their families are dependent on that income, and it's not right or fair -- or legal -- to steal their artistic ideas. This is a serious issue for all artists, not just the "big time" guys.
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Old 05-31-2004, 12:11 PM
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Re: Pirated art

I understand your point, xc_xtc. It sounds like you are taking designs from ancient works. Artists everywhere do that. Frankly, there's nothing new under the sun and something 100% original is rare. So, when you get ideas from ancient works, I don't consider that "wrong." When modern works get copied and sold for cheaper than the original artist is charging....well, that is where problems arise.

I feel the artists on this site are fighting a legitimate battle. The mentor sculptor of which I talked earlier (and whose work is being copied) earns that $20,000. Through his time, sweat, and sacrifice, he has worked his way to earning that much for a piece. He is so precise and loves the work so much that he can spend months on one sculpture. He has invested himself into each piece. Then, when someone comes along and slaps together an imitation to undercut him on price...well, it is frustrating to him and to everyone who knows what all he puts into his work.

Some say it is flattering to the artist to get copied. I suppose, in some sense, it is. But, when the copier then sells the work as their own (and most especially at a reduced price), it is a form of theft.
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Old 08-05-2006, 06:11 PM
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Impala Lechner Impala Lechner is offline
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Re: Pirated art

To all Artists !!!
Since I am getting more and more experience with Intellectual Property rights
I highly suggest that ALL ARTISTS

1. are GETTING AN USA COPYRIGHT CERTIFICATE TODAY !
2. Look under: http://www.bronzecopyright.com/index.php?sE1=1&sE2=2
3. Take pictures during their physical working process !
4. Put the copyright symbol © on their sculpture, plus
5. Their name
6. Year of creation
7. Number of edition
8. Make a heavy copyright statement in your web site, that your art is protected (example: my starter site: www.impalal-lechner.com)
9. Join our web site: www.bronzecopyright.com I hear it all the time and we do have written comments from infringers, companies, which sell knock offs, that they look in our web site on a regular base to get information, of what is under copyright and what is not ! They will most likely NOT knock off your work, if you show your original work in the www.bronzecopyright.com web site !
10. Even for Europeans I recommand a US Copyright Certificate ! The world got very small these days. It is only US$ 30.- per sculpture.

BUT, guess what: what the copyright thieves are doing now:
they steel our designs in taking pictures in Galleries, our advertisement, our web sites, in art shows, whereever, copy them and copyright your design at the Copyright Office.
In this way they own a copyright certificate themselves, from your design !!!!

SO, in the future, if you do not protect yourself, you better hide your ART in a basement, where NO ONE can see your work !

BUT since we artists live from showing our artwork, exposing our bronzes, we have to get better protection !

Your legal rights get very slim if you can not prove your own copyright with the US Copyright Office !
If you do not own your copyright with the US Copyright Office, the infringers will prove in the end that they own your copyright ! Who comes first, gets served first !
I do not even show my work anymore before I have copyrighted it !

In the future we will create a data base where artists can protect their bronzes, maybe in just putting your web site in our bronzecopyright.com web site, so companies can have a look and see what is real and what is a copy!

This information is very serious and important for your survival as an artist !
If you do nothing you can count on the fact that your work will be copied sooner or later.

REMEMBER, some of us, ONE single artist has up to 30 sculptures as copies on the market !

The cheap bronzes and bronze copies are a multi million DOLLAR BUSSINES !
From my own experience I know if WE AS ARTISTS do not ACT, ORIGINAL ART will be rare in the future !
We can be VERY FORTUNATE if we pull this challenge off !
In Europe we have nearly NO COPIES anymore on the market, BUT in the USA there are plenty !
Some of the knock off companies are already BUYING artists to work for them and they sell bronzes from artists and the fakes simultaneously!
Do you want to be employed in future to make any money at all, since money makes the world go around and NOT ETHICS ?!

So, take action ! GET PROTECTED !

Just one more story: all the artists in the web site www.bronzecopyright.com do have a US Copyright Certificate, we raided several companies in Germany, the infringers are on criminal and civil charges in Germany, now they came up fake copyright certificates from a “Thai Artist”. He created 33 bronze sculptures from Jane DeDecker, Desmond Fountain, Gary Lee Price, Victor Issa, Rosalind Cook, Dawn Weimer and Richard MacDonalds.

Artists, please take the situation serious !
Impala Lechner, Bronze Artist www.impala-lechner.com
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Old 08-13-2007, 08:21 PM
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Re: Pirated art

This pirating has hit locally in the rural Seattle area. Just read:

Enumclaw sculpture in limbo until its origin verified
By Lauren Vane
Times Southeast Bureau

DEAN RUTZ / THE SEATTLE TIMES
The city of Enumclaw bought the sculpture to commemorate the 25th anniversary of its arts commission.

Enumclaw Mayor John Wise has canceled the official unveiling of a public art sculpture while city officials investigate whether the piece is a fake.

City officials bought the sculpture online two years ago for $5,700 without knowing who the artist was. Amid questions about the authenticity of the sculpture, the city says it is researching the origin of the piece, "Boys in the Band," a sculpture of child musicians that was bought to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Enumclaw Arts Commission.

Earlier this week, Cultural Programs Manager Gary LaTurner said the city planned to unveil the sculpture, fake or not, at this weekend's art walk. The piece is signed by Jim Davidson, a name linked to accusations of art fraud. If the city determines the sculpture is counterfeit, officials say, it will be removed from City Hall grounds and destroyed.

Counterfeiting, a big problem in the bronze-sculpting community, hurts artists' reputations and devalues their work.

"We just don't know what the history of it was, so we're going to find out," City Administrator Mark Bauer said.

Saturday's unveiling was scheduled as the kick-off event for the city's Art Walk through downtown.

In response to questions, LaTurner said he didn't research the artist's name before or after the city bought the piece.

The city found the piece online at Wishihadthat.com and paid $5,700 for it. The sculpture, which had to be assembled, arrived broken. The company refused to take it back, but gave the city a $1,000 refund and suggested gluing the broken piece on.

The arts commission believed the piece was a legitimate reproduction when it was bought, said Larry Fetter, director of Enumclaw Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services. The piece was the first reproduction the city had bought and officials didn't know there was anything to be concerned about.

City workers started searching for the artist Thursday, Fetter said. They plan to talk to art professionals, do online research and find other owners of Jim Davidson art, Bauer said.
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Old 08-13-2007, 10:09 PM
sculpturedolls sculpturedolls is offline
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Re: Pirated art

Very enlightening article. Thanks for showing a current example of what Impala Lechner has been educating us all about. Here is a link to a page on her website that discusses the psuedo art by ficticious Jim Davidson....

http://www.bronzecopyright.com/index...E1=3&sE2=3&i=3

The world is such a small place any more and the fraululent minds are perusing our websites and stealing what they want. Not a nice place for artists to exist and thrive in. We just have to be aware of it and take precautions.

Thanks again for the heads up about this,

~Tamara
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Old 08-13-2007, 10:57 PM
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Andrewcody Andrewcody is offline
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Re: Pirated art

I think 'the too good to be true price' should give a good indication that there might be an issue with any art work. A price of $5,700 for a 'Bronze" statue of the size shown in the photograph must surely have set off a few alarm bells? The old axiom that only the greedy get stung seem appropriate here. The cost of the bronze, the labour to cast and the weld the assembly, the cost of the patina process alone would probably use up most of that budget. Then there is some profit to be made, plus any royalty due the artist (if any, or the estate or the owner of the design). Maybe Bronzes are cheaper in the States?

That the statue was damaged when delivered should have set of alarm number 2. Being told you could 'glue' the pieces together.....well my personal volcano would have erupted.
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Old 08-26-2007, 12:09 PM
sculpturedolls sculpturedolls is offline
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Re: Pirated art

Here's an update on the sculpture in question. Link below:

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2003850993_sculpture24m.html

Excerpts from the article are copied below:

Enumclaw satisfied suspect sculpture is the real deal

By Lauren Vane
Times Southeast Bureau
PREV 1 of 2 NEXT


DEAN RUTZ / THE SEATTLE TIMES
The "Boys in the Band" sits on the corner of Enumclaw's City Hall.


DEAN RUTZ / THE SEATTLE TIMES
The sculpture was signed by Jim Davidson, a name connected to online accusations of bronze-sculpture fraud.


Related
The "Boys in the Band" is staying put in front of Enumclaw City Hall.
City officials "rigorously researched" and were forwarded an e-mail from someone claiming to be a Thai artist who created the sculpture. That, they say, is proof enough that the work is authentic.
"We're satisfied," Cultural Programs manager Gary LaTurner said. "It's resolved."
...............................
Wishihadthat.com said the sculpture came from home-décor importer Art & Frame Direct in Florida. In an e-mail to Welch, Art & Frame Direct CEO George Eouse said "Davidson" had copied other artists' work early in his career, a common practice in Thailand.
But Eouse said he taught "Davidson" that, in America, he should only sculpt and cast his ideas.
"It was a mistake, and furthermore, restitution was made to the artists who it affected," Eouse wrote in the e-mail. "The copies were destroyed, and Jim never did it again."..............

piece purchased by Enumclaw is "a nice item that served its purpose at a fair price by a very good creative living artist," Eouse's e-mail said.
"[Davidson pieces] are great sculptures made affordable for a larger audience by the manufacturing and the cost-effective labor," Eouse wrote........................
He says he doesn't see how an e-mail proves the artist's existence.
"Receiving an e-mail from a guy who claims to be in Thailand claiming to be the artist of the piece seemed kind of sketchy to me," Ennis said.
Experts at the Seattle Art Museum say they wouldn't rely on an e-mail to authenticate an artist or his work. ...................
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Old 08-26-2007, 02:53 PM
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Re: Pirated art

Thanks for posting that, sculpturedolls. I saw that too. Unbelievable that even identity theft is ok, as long as the price is right. That this is proof enough, and that they won't even seek further verification is dismaying at the least!

I guess it is time to sell them a Picasso, then, eh? Or a Henry Moore? Just send them an e-mail, and they're happy!

I STILL fault the Arts Commision for NOT selecting a local (for at least regional) artist, or modifying their call to artists with a price limit refective of their budget!

I still won't deal with them ever again. . . .
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Old 08-30-2007, 03:52 PM
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Re: Pirated art

Artist Wanted
Who is this Artist ?? If not Jim Davidson??
Please contact us if you are the original artist!!!!!

[email protected]
or
[email protected]

http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/atta...d=1188498 703

here is the sculpture "Boys in the Band": by "Jim Davidson"

The City of Enumclaw/Seattle, in WA, USA is looking for the real artist !
Enumclaw officials researched the sculpture's origin.

Here background information on bronze infringements and fake artist names:

Dear Reader,
we received several e-mails from people having read the article in the Seattle Time newspaper and asking me if us know the artist from "Boys in the Band".

We are of many artists damaged by ruthless infringers.
Many of us international artists (mainly American citizens) united and created the web page www.bronzecopyright.com

From our experience we are convinced that the sculpture in the city of Enumclaw is most likely a fake or put together from several other sculptures from real artists.

We are in criminal court with a foundry in Thailand. We raided many companies world wide.
We know the unbelievable damage these people do to authentic artworks and artist's livelihood. We know that companies make millions in selling fakes.
The company WhisIHadThat, Mr. Jim Weld, sold infringements from us until last week. We sent them a Cease&Desist letter in the summer of 2005 already for 6 different infringements, last week, Aug. 20th 07, AGAIN they had two knock offs for sale in their web site and received another Cease&Desist letter from us. Even though they know our web site as a source to get information, they do not look, they do not care.

Additionally, Art Frame Direct was informed about the problem and they continue to sell knock offs; now you can enter their site only with a pass word, for their protection against us real artists.
We went into their storage in LA and discovered many infringements.

These people do not care, they think who has the money has the power and that we artists are helpless.

In the beginning of the problem in 1996 until 2002 the foundries in Thailand were inspired by western business people to cast "nice bronzes", lots of fakes. The western companies brought photos from our catalogs, pictures from our sculptures that they took in galleries or during art shows. Then the Thai foundries had the sculptures made by their workers. Later they got the info from our web sites in addition.

The foundries in Thailand cast hundreds of different knock offs from living artists and sold them world wide, even with the title of our originals, pictures from our catalogs shown on their website or even used our names to sell our fakes.
We know of about 50 artists which got infringed, some single artist has up to 30 knock offs from her/his collection on the market. A total plunder of original art!

We had no idea for many years until the National Sculpture Society in New York, their magazine Sculpture Review, in Summer 2002, dedicated the complete edition # on fakes: the bomb exploded.
Jane Dedecker sued a big company, Henri Studio, Impala Lechner sued them in 2003, Gary Lee Price sued Randolph Rose.....and then all of us raided many companies.....which had made millions on our knock offs.

These Thai foundries and the western companies invented "artist" names,like "Jim Davidson" or "Leonardo Rossi" so they could sell the infringements as an "authentic" piece of art, made by an "authentic" artist, to galleries, garden centers, antiques shops and customers. Other foundries in Thailand invented other fake artist names like "A. Moreau, Aug. Moreau, Moreau, Paul Anderson, Max Turner Jean Baptiste" for their fake sculptures, to have also an "authentic artist" for the public.

A German company even created a certificate for "Leonardo Rossi",including a picture from him.
http://www.bronzecopyright.com/index.php?sE1=1&sE2=3

In 2004 the German company was raided by seven international artists and is now still in criminal court. For their defense this company and the Thai foundry came up in 2006 with 35 fake certificates,including pictures of the fakes, delivered to the criminal court.
A worker from the Thai foundry had signed all of them, pretending to be the originator and artist.
Our investigators found out that he can not read or write, lives in a slum. He admitted everything to our investigators, but was not willing to help us anymore, since he was afraid to lose his 10 year long job working in this Thai foundry. Now the fake artist "Leonardo Rossi" was suddenly, - after 11years, a person, but he does not look like the guy on the picture of the fake certificate !

Also in the USA artists like Jane DeDecker, Gary Lee Price, Desmond Fountian, Rosalind Cook, Dawn Weimer, Victor Issa, Richard MacDonalds and many others, fought for our rights. People began also to search for the artist
“Jim Davidson"; we got many e-mails and suddenly more Thai foundries and their dealers took an innocent uneducated foundry worker of theirs and turned him into the originator...... "Jim Davidson" became Sorravut Hattakitkos, like "Leonardo Rossi" became Wichai Jongrak.

BUT thousands of "Jim Davidson" infringements are still sold until today through many companies world wide !
Here a knock off from Walt Horton, copied by Jim Davidson: http://www.largeart.com/detail.aspx?ID=58

This company sold until last week infringements from artists in this web site: http://www.bronzecopyright.com/

Reading the Seattle Times article, the company Art Frame Direct goes one step further and admits that Jim Davidson has copied USA artists in his earlier career and the copies are destroyed.
In which career ?
BUT the copies are still sold and not destroyed ! We just saw several in June.
One more liar to get out of the mass !
And what will be the next excuse ?

These people never thought that we "stupid, lazy, crazy,unorganized artists" would make such a stand off and start hunting the infringers world wide, they never thought, that they would ever get in danger .....but ....

As the danger grew, more law suet’s were won by us, it was too dangerous for the Thai foundries to produce more fakes from real artists, so they created "the other sculptures":
changed our originals
mixed originals from different artists together......
changed them slightly or not so slightly and so on.

For example, in one case: after that they could not sell a knock off "officially" anymore,(they still continued to sell the knock off,even after a raid in the Thai foundry)they just painted the knock off and turned the geese into ducks.

Also: they do not use real bronze and the alloy is of such poor quality, that it breaks or it will decay quickly.
Mostly they use led in their alloy, besides Coca Cola cans.
Also: for example,they produced a 6 foot sculpture for $280.- and sold it to wholesale companies for this price; the dealers sold it to galleries for $1,050.-,whereas they resell it for $3,000 or $4,000. We produce the sculpture in an US foundry for $5,000., foundry costs only!

Or: the same infringed design from ONE original of an artist was found with the signature of four different artist names!
http://web.mac.com/impalaart/iWeb/AA...eXArtists.html

Since there are millions of dollars involved and it is such big business they do anything to defend it.

People buy and have NO IDEA what is really going on !

Here is a nice web site how it works: http://www.michaelfineart.com/

We are in contact with the FBI and many other institutions, which think these people belong to the organized crime.
Maybe we will find the genuine artist soon !
Quite a story, we hope we could paint the picture for you, that these infringers are ruthless and lawless, and maybe that brings some light into the darkness of this sculpture in Enumclaw !
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