Is your artwork safe online?


Copyright Infringement: Part 2

While searching for my own artwork last year, I recognized several paintings from fellow artists online. These obviously stolen images (not affiliated with the original artists) were listed for sale as canvas prints (dirt cheap too!) shipped "direct from artist" on the largest ecommerce site in the world. (Alibaba) I've searched reviews and complaints, there were 100K unresolved. The BBB rated the site with less than 1 star. And as far as copyright infringement, China is not governed by US Copyright law. And has no copyright/intellectual property rights protection on record that I have found. Good luck getting action or response to any complaints or collecting any damages.

A good friend and fellow artist told me about another experience where an art school teacher assigned a project to her students to re-create a painting, using a template image, into a marketable product. The image was of my friends original artwork. The teacher had photographed one of her paintings at an art festival, uploaded to her PC, used photoshop to turn it into a template which was printed for 68 intermediate art students. When the top 12 students turned in the finished project, this painting had been reproduced as stained glass panel, wall decals, magnets, several jewelry designs and 2 screen printed t-shirts. The t-shirts (winning student) were sent to a local printer for 1000 shirts to be sold at the school's annual fund raiser.

When the artwork is used without permission and results in profit, what should be done? Obviously the art teacher never intended on copyright infringement or steal an image from an artist, but ...that's what happened.

It was dumb luck that the artist ever found out about it, right?
The sale of the t shirts (with the image) were for a private school fundraiser not for personal profit. Should that matter?

Since then, the matter has been resolved to the artist satisfaction. And a continuous stream of familar artworks are listed, posted, bought and sold on a few internationally owned and operated e-commerce websites (you know which ones) everyday!

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