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February 2014

"I love your work and want to make one for myself"

I-LOVE-YOUR-WORK-copy-Red-Blue

There are rampant versions of copycats within the arts and crafts community.
Some are cloaked in naiveté, admiration and enthusiasm.The problems are multi-faceted.

One of the problems is that the copycats don't realize they are stealing from the professionals they most admire.


GoldenRulesforPostingKBHallThe issues are serious. By our silence, we in the arts and crafts community are cultivating a climate of copycats. Bringing this issue into the open is not going to be popular, but the undercurrents are eroding our economic, ethical and legal boundaries.

Today's post is about the ethical boundaries and economic impact. There are two general categories.

1) Copycats cloaked in admiration.
These copycats make work to look like the artist/maker they most admire. Instead of buying the work of their art or craft hero, they create sub-quality unauthorized knock-offs. While copies for your personal use with a "Non-commercial Intent" are legal under Fair Use, this practice has a negative impact on the craft community impacting revenue for practicing artists and makers.

Parallel examples are multi-faceted such as commissioning "copy cat work" from another maker. There are too many nuanced examples to illustrate them all.

2) Copycat workshops/tutorials. 

The copycat workshop has several corrosive manifestations. One aspect is the enthusiast that wants tutorials and workshops instead of buying the master's work. The innovator, lacking a market for selling their work may ultimately relent to teaching a workshop purely for economic survival. Or the master might feel obligated or pressured to teach these copycat workshops by the very admirers of their work. 

This copycat culture has become a breeding ground without clear boundaries. Instead of an expanding marketplace for quality and innovative art and craft, we have an expanding culture of copycats. The economy of workshops, schools, and magazines have significant growth largely as parasites on the innovations of the masters.

For the sake of brevity I have simplified the issues....but consider this overall to be a serious problem. A poor economy and eroding prices must increasingly compete with copycats who want to "make one for myself" instead of supporting the master.

Instead of enjoying an object or artwork for its visual impact, content issues, technical skill or innovation, these copycats see the potential for making their own derivative work. This is moving from BAD to UGLY.

Why do we want to clone and copy the original?

Why do we want to copy the formula for someone else's success instead of creating our own? 

Below are observations from people that have written to me about these issues. The identity of the writer is not included, but their voices are not singular.  No artist, maker or workshop teacher is listed below to protect their identity. I have heard these opinions echoed frequently over the past four years. The chorus is growing louder.  

       *******
I-LOVE-YOUR-WORK-copy-blue-800"I often get emails out of the blue about my techniques, I am not sure how to respond. There are a few techniques I have developed that I feel are unique in my field & that set my work apart in the marketplace. I am all for people learning and developing skills, but it just seems so easy to ask for instructions about how to make my work especially when these techniques are so intimately tied to my livelihood. I feel that I have a right to artistic privacy, but I feel like such a "bad guy" when asked for it."

     *******

"When will the Free Tutorial be available? As soon as I finish new work and post the images online, I have requests for the free tutorial. Things happen quickly on the internet, too quickly. Novel work does not necessarily get much time to mature or become established, making it seem even riskier to share special techniques so casually." 

        *******

"I love your work so I made one for myself" is a shocking statement when I am standing at my booth at a show. Not only have I invested years to develop my skills and technique, but I have invested $1,000's in photography, booth display, and show fees. All of those compliments mean nothing more than they want to copy my work, ... as if this were an acceptable thing to do. This rocks my very foundation."

       *******

"Artist Wanna Bee has just pinned my work to "Things I Wanna Try in the Future" Pinterest board. NO, I didn't make it up.  Guess what. Just try a search if you feel the necessity of nauseating evidence. The shocking spectacle in front of your eyes is a whole group of your work made by other artists."

       *******

"And there is a weird Robin-Hood-in-reverse quality  where less-professional online communities develop a mob-like mentality to "liberate" a unique technique from the established artist/maker who developed the original."

      *******

As one established artist says: "What I fear is that people when they directly ask, are implicitly asking for the permission to copy outright."

      *******

"I've found probably close to 50 paint party studios copying mine and other artists work, and it's growing exponentially because people really enjoy this kind of past time, but have no idea that the art they are "painting" is in violation of copyright laws."

     *******
FROM HARRIETE:

If "I love your work and want to make one for myself" has happened to you, it would be helpful if you left a comment or email me. I could anonymously add your quote to this post to demonstrate that these problems are resonating in the arts community.

SUMMARY

"I love your work and want to make one for myself" is not a compliment, it is a copy. 

Instead, BUY THE WORK YOU ADMIRE. The artist, maker, metalsmith, or artist has worked long and hard to not only come up with the idea but to perfect the techniques and make the item. Why not purchase the item and support a local artist who is doing her best to support her family, etc.?

Kate Brennan Hall has generously allowed me to use an image of her poster. Read her blog post titled Golden Rules of Crafting and see what she has to say about the topic. She sells her poster on Etsy. 


Guilds: Are You Looking Inward or Outward?

Collectors-Collections-and-You
Several presentations for the upcoming Professional Development Seminar focus on the "grass roots collection." By using the term "grass roots collection" I mean artists or craftspeople playing an active role in collecting work of other artists and makers.

Ohio-Designer-Craftsmen-logoOne stellar example that I discovered is the Ohio Designer Craftsmen. This craft guild has been in operation for 50 years. In 1993 they purchased their own building, and started the Ohio Craft Museum. The Ohio Designer Craftsmen also has a collection of 400-500 objects from members of the Ohio Designer Craftsmen or citizens of Ohio. Ohio-Craft-Museum-logo



For the recent interview on Metalsmith Bench Talk, I invited Betty Talbott to start the conversation about their guild collection.Betty Talbott is the Director of the Ohio Craft Museum and Artistic Director of the Ohio Designer Craftsmen.

The Ohio Designer Craftsmen sponsors four retail shows a year generating revenue for the participants and income for the museum operating expenses. They also have a gift shop, sponsor workshops and programming for their community. along with exhibitions at the Ohio Crafts Museum.

Listen to the archived interview on Jay Whaley Metalsmith Bench Talk where Betty talks about the guild and their collection. She says "guilds tend to look inward to help their members,"  but the success for the Ohio Designer Craftsmen is that they look outward to their community. If they educate their community, it serves the craft artists. 

Artists and makers consider her words of experience. Think about how your local guild can create more opportunities, starting a collection, or hosting retail shows.

Creative Commons License
Harriete Estel Berman by ASK Harriete is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at http://www.askharriete.typepad.com.


Why Is This Necklace Worth $602,000?

Are you signing or stamping your work?

Are you keeping Inventory Records for your work?

Do you own work by your friends or colleagues? 

Is an auction of your work in your future?

Calder-Estate-Aino-Alvar Aalto

As artists and makers it is important to understand that the value of our work can extend far beyond quality, materials, or tour de force craftsmanship. The identity of the maker can be of significant importance along with clear history or provenance.

 

 

Collectors want to know that the work is genuine, not a fake or a copy. This is where you records and documentation are proof.

CALDER-SPIRAL-nECKLACEThis Calder necklace was owned by Finnish designers and architects Aino and Alvar Aalto as a reflection of their friendship and close working relationship. 

This stamped Calder necklace with provenance (a great story) sold at auction for $602,000. Read  this article from Christie’s  has a phenomenal example.

Can these factors work for your work?

This is why the SNAG Professional Development Seminar will be addressing these issues in “Collections, Collectors, and You.

Listen to this Metalsmith Bench Talk interview for insight about maker's mark, and collecting with Harriete Estel Berman  and Betty Talbott.

This interview will be offering unique insight into guild "grassroots" collections from Betty Talbott, the Director of the Ohio Craft Museum and Artistic Director of the Ohio Designer Craftsmen. Don't miss this special program. 

AND while I am addressing this topic, the identity of the maker may be important on a personal level as well. Stamping your work with your maker’s mark, may be important to your children, grandchildren and future generations.  


Collector's, Collections and Your Art Work

The upcoming SNAG Professional Development Seminar is focusing on the idea that your work is important.  Your art or craft can be significant to the present and the future of your field. 

Collectors-Collections-and-You
 

I know that sounds like lofty words, but if you don't think your work is important who will? 

Then you might be asking... 

  • What are those steps you need to take as a maker to create a place in history?
  • How do you place your work in a collection?
  • How does a collector look at work? 
  • How does work get donated to a museum collection?
  • What criteria does a museum have in mind when they accept work for their collection?  
  • So many questions to ask.

This is the focus for...
"Collectors, Collections and You"
 

Friday, April 25, 2013.
1:30 to 5:00 p.m. 

The Professional Development Seminar has lots of ideas to open your eyes to seeing your work in a new way. 

But you don't have to wait! 
You can listen in to a preview of the PDS
 chock full of information in an interview on Jay Whaley Metalsmith Bench Talk with me, Harriete Estel Berman  and Betty Talbott. Betty Talbott is the Director of the Ohio Craft Museum and Artistic Director of the Ohio Designer Craftsmen. They have an extensive collection of member works and are a stellar example of "grassroots" collections.

Chock-FULL-OF-INFORMATION copy

Your work may have value to your family, the history of your guild, academic program, or a museum. Start with your Maker's Mark, & Inventory Records as a foundation.

Look at the line up of speakers here.

Register for the PDS at the SNAG conference here.

Grains-to-Gold

It is also possible to purchase a one day pass for the day of the Professional Development Seminar.

HILTON MINNEAPOLIS
1001 Marquette Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN

Berman-Harriete-Iron-Maker-Mark-no-BK

This is my maker's mark (above).
Are you wondering why it looks like a domestic iron?

 

 

 

Creative Commons License
Harriete Estel Berman by ASK Harriete is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at http://www.askharriete.typepad.com.


Handout for lecture given for the MBMAG

Lecture-Professional-Development-MBMAG-metalsmithsHere is the link to the  HANDOUT Download Handout-for-Monterey-Lecture with resources mentioned during the lecture for MBMAG.  

Listen to a recent
interview on Jay Whaley Blog Talk Radio about the upcoming SNAG Professional Development Seminar "Collector's Collections and You."  


Cultivating A Culture of Copycats

Recently another form of copycats was brought to my attention...just when I thought there could be no more versions of the copycat, here it is - the painting party.

Megan-Duncanson-Painting-Party-copies
Wine and Paint Party Studio out of  Bloomington, Indiana copying Megan Duncanson painting without  permission, recognition or compensation.

Megan-Duncanson-paintingMegan Duncanson* discusses "The Paint Party Studios and the Illegal Copying of Artwork"  in her post documenting her "own art being copied in a Wine and Paint Party Studio out of  Bloomington, Indiana without permission or recognition/compensation in any way."  It seems that copying paintings is a thriving business model as she has found "probably close to 50 of this type of companies."**


Copying an artist's painting (or any other art or craft) as a business without permission or a license is illegal.


This copycat example raises a couple of issues: 
1)The illegal copying of an artists artwork without their permission as in the Megan Duncanson and CafePress.com example.

2) The cultivation of a culture of copycats.

With all due respect to the entrepreneurial efforts of business like Paint Party or workshop teaching of step by step tutorials,  I think there is a BIG PROBLEM teaching people how to copy a painting or any other art/ craft project. 

We need to STOP COPYING, even licensed copying. If you want to paint, learn painting skills. If you want to work in a media, practice a skill.

We need to STOP TEACHING COPYING OF OUR OWN WORK OR STYLE.  While I understand that this is all done in the spirit of good will and encouragement, it does not encourage a student to forge their own path. Copycat teaching is a tacit message that it is O.K. to copy.   

"While most authors and  teachers intend these tutorials and workshops to be inspiring, all too often participants  blissfully continue to follow the instructions without further innovation." Consider that if you don't practice your creative muscle it will never be strong. Copying a painting, or copying a craft project does not exercise your creativity.

In the age of the internet we need to encourage people to move beyond the tutorials and invent their OWN techniques and develop their OWN artistic voice.


Mindset-DweckIn her book “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success” Carol Dweck’s describes the "growth mindset" and the "fixed mindset" and how it affects creativity .

Dweck describes the problem with tutorials saying,  “The tutorial gives you a fixed idea of a goal…..a fixed idea of perfection….and that accomplishment becomes an objective.” 

 

Creative-Confidence-Unleashing-the-Creative-Potential-Within-Us-AllI am currently reading the book "Creative Confidence - Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us Allby David Kelley of IDEO and his brother Tom Kelley. The premise of the entire book is that everyone can be creative.

In the book they say "only 25 percent" of people from an Adobe Systems poll of five thousand on three continents" "feel like they're living up to their creative potential in their own lives and careers."  

At the bottom of this post I embedded a short presentation from David Kelley's TED Talk David Kelley: How to build your creative confidence

With copycat style workshops, the arts and crafts community has cultivated, and nurtured a culture of copycats. By teaching copying and step-by-step tutorials we fail to communicate that copying is not O.K. and that participants are missing the one thing that art and craft can teach - creativity.

*The Megan Duncanson images of her painting and the painting party were included in this post with her permission. She said, "Thank you so much for helping bring attention to this problem, it's running rampant across the country and not enough artists and patrons to these places understand the damage it does to artists."

**The CEO of Uptown Art (a paint party business) wrote to me saying: "At Uptown Art, we license with professional artists or purchase the rights to paintings from our rising artists. We not only agree with you on copying artist\'s works, we support artists by paying them for their work! We have so many paint studios which copy our work while we have paid significant money for the artwork. The integrity of using licensed/paid for artwork is what sets our studios apart from the competition. Providing quality artwork while supporting the artists!"

Books in this post are affiliate links. Clicking on these links and buying a book may provide this blog with a few pennies to cover expenses.


Artsy Shark Action Takes Down A Copycat

The problems with copycats and international piracy in the arts and crafts community are not limited to images or ideas, but extend to information resources. Pirates copy workshop materials, tutorials, instructions, even entire e-books often posting the information without permission or links to the original source.

Artsyshark

Recently, I asked Carolyn Graham Edlund of Artsy Shark if she was ever copied. She has graciously allowed me to share her "experience with copyright infringement" of her written work along with the solution. 

From Carolyn Graham Edlund:

"I created an online directory of places that artists could sell their work online with links and full descriptions, which you can see here. At the top of the page, I give permission for others to share the first ten listings with a link and attribution." 

"I became aware from a reader comment that my directory had been ripped in full from my site, and they shared the offending link. The other website had no contact page, but I was able to post a couple of comments letting them know that I was the author, owned the copyright, and demanded that they remove the directory. They did not comply, and actually started grabbing screenshots of every listing in my directory to “enhance” their version of my property." 

"Then I decided to report the site and the infringement. A search of the URL on who.is revealed that GoDaddy was the provider, and I called them.  Turns out that GoDaddy only sold them the domain name, and although the offender was in Cyprus, the hosting company is located in Pennsylvania."

"I contacted the host, reported the infringement, gave them links to both pages, and asked for their help. Literally within fifteen minutes, I received a reply from them that the problem was solved. The website that had ripped off my material was literally shut down – poof! I have checked the URL since and it seems to be gone. I have no idea whether the person will attempt to make another site with this information."

"My experience with artists concerned about copyright theft is that awareness is on the increase, and so is the level of outrage. The problem is that many artists feel helpless. They believe they cannot afford to do anything about infringement, but that is because they are merely ignorant of the steps they can take to protect and enforce their copyrights. When people find out they have recourse, they are eager to find out more."

Thank you Carolyn for sharing your experience and solutions to this international pirarcy of your intellectual property.

Everything that Carolyn did to "take down" the copied materials is well within our ability. The steps are free and it only requires a little time. I'd  estimate about a half hour.

Whois


DMCA-take-down-paraodyLinks for finding a "Whois" and a sample DMCA notice are in the ASK Harriete post: "DMCA "Take Down" - Action & Advocacy Against Copycats"

 

Are you wondering...

HOW TO SHARE INFORMATION
ethically, and legally?

If you are particularly enthusiastic about a workshop, resource, tutorial or instructions an appropriate behavior would be to review, evaluate or endorse the information on your blog/web site /Facebook and post a link to the workshop’s homepage.  By citing and linking to the original resource, you have honored the value of  the original author and in addition you have created your own content. This was quoted from my lecture The GOOD, The BAD, and the UGLY in the Age of the Internet .   

 

IN SUMMARY:
If you have NOT written the materials yourself,
 it is illegal and unethical to copy and share this information beyond a quote (with citation and link to the original source) without permission from the original source. 

Even if the materials are free, DO NOT COPY and share the information with others without permission from the original source. 

Writing a review with a link to the resource is the best solution offering your readers information and the Internet original content.

Do-not-copy-no-bk


"The Monuments Men" - Historical Information & Curatorial Perspective

The Legion of Honor in San Francisco, California organized a "live" Google Hangout with a curators, writers and experts with historical information about "The Monuments Men." It is now available on YouTube as a recorded program titled:

Art Talk: Monuments Men

The YouTube video is embedded in this post below but you could watch it online full screen. I'd highly recommend watching this conversation before going to see this movie as the speakers offer insight and curatorial perspective. 

In addition, this post includes a number of books, documentary movie and links mentioned in the video as resources. Scroll down....

The discussion (1 hour, 11 minute) in this video includes  representatives from the Legion of Honor, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco; University of California, Berkeley; Archives of American Art; The Frick Reference Library; and the American institute for Conservation Oral History Project—all institutions whose directors, curators, and conservators are directly involved in research.  

I've originally learned about the Monuments Men several years ago from a documentary film titled, The Rape of Europa. This documentary is available from NetFlix or perhaps your local library. I highly recommend watching the documentary and visiting their website for more information. "The Rape of Europa begins and ends with the story of artist Gustav Klimt's famed Gold Portrait, stolen from Viennese Jews in 1938 and now the most expensive painting ever sold."

In addition, Charlie Rose hosted a show with author Robert Edsel. Don't miss it! Robert Edsel wrote two books about the Monuments Men: The Monuments Men (on which the film is based) and Saving Italy. He is articulate and passionate about this topic.  


Monuments-Men-1-Legion-of-honor

This post includes some screen captures from the Google Hangout. I posted them here to peak your interest in this fascinating topic. 

Monuments-Men-5-rescued-objects

Objects rescued by The Monuments Men above and below.

Monuments-Men-6-rescued-objects

 

Books about the Monument Men include:

The-Monuments-menThe Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History by Robert Edsel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saving-Italy

‘Saving Italy: The Race to Rescue a Nation’s Treasures from the Nazis’ by Robert M. Edsel 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shadowed- by-Grace

Shadowed by Grace: A Story of Monuments Men by Cara Putman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monuments-Men-11-BookRepatriation of Art

Repatriation of Art from the Collecting Point in Munich After World War II

 

 

 

 

 



RoseValland

Rose Valland: Resistance at the Museum by Corinne Bouchoux

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monuments-Men-2-Salt-Mine

Salt Mines and Castles: The Discovery and Restitution of Looted European Art by Thomas Carr Howe Jr

 

 

 

 

ARTICLES and RESOURCES about the Monument Men.

Not All Monuments Men Were Men from The New York Times 

‘Saving Italy: The Race to Rescue a Nation’s Treasures from the Nazis’ by Robert M. Edsel article in The Washington Post 

The Frick During World War II

The True Story of the Monuments Men from the Smithsonian.org

The Monuments Men Foundation

Most Wanted: Works of Art from the Monuments Men Foundation website. 

I did see the movie The Monument Men in the movie theater. While it has the usual Hollywood fluff and superficial character development, it was exciting to see the theater full late on Saturday afternoon. 

The Indiana University Art Museum has an interesting page titled Indiana University Art Museum Provenance Project. They describe the problems with "Nazi-era Provence" and their efforts to step up "efforts to research and document provenance for works that are known or suspected to have been in Europe during the Nazi era (1933–1945), and that may have changed hands during that time period." 

'Degenerate' Exhibit Recalls Nazi War On Modern Art
NPR has an interesting review of the show at New York's Neue Galerie that includes empty frames from paintings lost or destroyed by the Nazis. 'Degenerate' Exhibit Recalls Nazi War On Modern Art

 

This article from the New York Times, "Germans Propose Law to Ease Return of Art Looted by Nazis" is worth reading. 

"The legislation comes in response to the uproar surrounding the discovery, made last year of hundreds of possibly looted artworks in the Munich home of Cornelius Gurlitt, the son of an art dealer who worked for the Nazis during World War II. " Here is an article from the Huffington Post about the "1,400 Nazi-Looted Artworks Found in One German Apartment" 

 

Harriete Estel Berman

Books in this post are affiliate links.


Copycats Cost Artist $250,000 Loss

Some may think that copycats are isolated cases with minimal impact. Unfortunately, many artists and makers would prefer to ignore the mounting evidence that copycat thieves are taking their toll on our community at many levels.

In this particular example, after years of effort, artist Brad 'Tiki-shark' Parker * was thrilled to finally gain some recognition with a commission worth $250,000 for towels featuring one of Parker’s paintings, “Forbidden Island.”   Then the buyer discovered that images of this exact painting were "already being reproduced on over 218 items by Internet retailer CafePress.com." As a result the commission was withdrawn and Parker lost the order. 

This is a real example of copycat thieves in the AGE of the Internet. It is just too easy for copycats to take online images (which are intellectual property of the artist) and upload those images to sites such as Cafepress.com.  Watch the video.  

Brad Tiki-shark Parker says on his Facebook page, "BIG Things are happening this week... I'm headed to Oahu to see what's up with this on-going law suit against Cafe Press over the theft of my art work - in Federal Court."

Here is an update "Big Island artist goes head-to-head against CafePress.


How would this affect you or me?

If your work has a strong graphic quality, then images of YOUR WORK
 could be already printed on coffee mugs, t-shirts and telephone covers unknown to you. 

CafePress.com and RedBubble are just two of many online sites that allow anyone with a "profile" to upload images with the express purpose of printing the image on consumer merchandise. Cafepress.com allows the account to "pick the money making option that's best for you, never any upfront costs" to sell merchandise. RedBubble, with a tag line of "A GLOBAL MARKETPLACE FOR INDEPENDENT ARTISTS," seems to have a range of strong graphic images. 

Cafepress.com and RedBubble allow anyone to upload images, print the image on merchandise, and sell the merchandise for a share of the revenue.  Without your knowledge, copycats can profit from your artwork! 

I have heard of many similar examples to Brad Tiki-shark Parker where artists discover images of their art on unauthorized merchandise.

RedBubble and Cafepress.com are two of many internet sites with similar revenue models . Their entire revenue streams are based on anyone, and everyone uploading images for printing and selling consumer merchandise.

I tested both sites.
Cafepress.com requires the content provider to check a box which says: "I agree to use the CafePress.com service in accordance with the Terms of Service and Content Usage Policy"  but you are never required to look at either document before uploading images."

CafepressSignUP
The Terms of Service and Content Usage Policy are hyperlinks to pages and pages of text.  

The user is not required to read the policies. 
The user is 
not required to review the information before uploading images.
Anyone co
uld order items with the uploaded image printed on the items.

Just pay at the checkout and "earn" a share of the revenue.

Anyone could upload any image whether or not they own the image!  

Cafepress.com does have a policy regarding Intellectual Property on their site. It is very hard to find. The policy that prohibits the sell of merchandise that infringes on intellectual property rights should be a hurdle in clear, plain English that must be checked specifically before images can be uploaded.  It is not.

Do-You-Own-This-Image

RedBubble.com did not have anything better. RedBubble is full of images that are obviously stolen.   

Neither site gave me any warning about the illegality of uploading unauthorized images that were not my property.

ASK Harriete T shirtCafepress.com especially is very convenient for copycats to use because small images work quite well on the merchandise offered.   

CopycatTshirtRedBubble requires larger files to make good prints on their merchandise. At least the higher resolution makes it a bit less likely to copy an image large enough for printing on RedBubble....but not impossible.  

At all these sites, the barrier is practically non-existent for unethical copycats to copy images of art or craft from the internet and print the images on consumer items.

People are making money by selling items with images that are not their property. This makes me mad!

What do you think?

CafePress.com is located in the San Francisco Bay area. Write to them. Ask them why they abdicate all responsibility for content on their site. They don't even ask people when they upload images:
 Do-You-Own-This-Image
CafePress should be held responsible when vendors sell items printed with images they copied from artists without permission.
Cafepress.com
1850 Gateway Drive, Suite 300
San Mateo, CA 94404
Phone: (650) 655-3000
Toll Free: (877) 809-1659
Fax: (650) 655-3008
Email: info@cafepress.com

 

UPDATE:  

Artist Tiki Shark’s lawsuit vs CafePress goes to federal court   - a YouTube video from local Hawaiian television.

Kona artist sues CafePress for alleged copyright infringement 

CafePress, Self-Publishing and the DMCA

 Alibaba and the Copycat Thieves?

Hawaii-based Tiki Shark Art settles copyright infringement case

This is resonating in the craft community.

Thank you to Ruby Reusable for bringing the example of Brad 'Tiki-shark' Parker case to my attention.  

*Brad Tiki-Shark Parker artwork can be found at his gallery Abbas Hassan Tiki Shark Art, Kona Hawaii www.tikishark.com


Did you see "Alibaba and the Copycat Thieves"?

At every level of the craft community, thieves are copying ideas, images, and original content without permission or authorization. Yet we in the crafts community too often seem to turn a blind eye or whisper about the problem.  Victims of copycat may be afraid of criticism, embarrassed by the negative attention, or worried about social repercussions.

In the Age of the Internet digital technologies are compounding the problems. 

It is time WE RAISED AWARENESS about the impact of copycat thieves. 

To this end I wrote a post on the American Craft Council blog titled: Alibaba and the Copycat Thieves

Alibaba-Lantern-Copycat-Theives copy
Please read this ACC post and let me know what you think.

Please consider sharing this post with your own comment and link to the original source.

Until awareness of the many faces of copycat thieves enters the consciousness of the craft community, the copycat thieves will continue to pirate our work, our ideas, our content, and our livelihoods. 

By addressing these copycat issues openly, we can change the climate of fear, stigma, and worry.  Expect a brighter future for ourselves, colleagues, and community.

CopycolorAlibabaOrange     CopycolorAlibabaOrange CopycolorAlibabaOrange


 


Below are posts from artists about theft of their ideas, images and content.

"Stolen images at JC Penney + Call It Spring"

Copycats Cost Artist $250,000 Loss