With this hot button issue being in the forefront I thought I'd search out some websites with real information.
- Art Support Copyright Page– has a lot of links to other good sites.
- Copyright Myths– 11 copyright myths
- Art Law– Need a lawyer? Need a form? Get more info here. They even have an 800 #
- Art & Copyright- Great info
- Art & Your Rights– More good info
- Art Copyright Infringement– again more info and action 800#
- Art and Business makes some good points about reproduction
Here's my take on the whole thing. If I see someone using my work online I will email them or call them and ask them to stop, if I feel it's an infringement or disparaging of my work. If I think it's okay I'll ask them to give me credit. (Say someone does a super cool work but printed off one of my images and used it as a background- awesome.) Most of the time good deal. Until you get into the realm of hurting my bottom line. Fact of the matter is I make books. I sell books. It's part of my livelihood. I've been doing it for a long time and there will always be imitators. I used to do a particular style using eyelets. A fellow binder bought one of my books and started to reproduce it. She didn't give me any credit. I asked her to give me credit and she refused. She wrote to me "Great minds think alike." I thought it was lame. Then I found out she was taking the style of binding that I designed and developed and not only selling the work but teaching the technique. Double LAME. I asked her to stop. She didn't. I could have had legal recourse to take her to court, after all she was hurting my bottom line. I was pissed I was angry and I was fuming. Then I began to think of what to do.
I turned it in my favor. I began to promote my work as the original. I gave links to my original pieces in my photobucket account and DX account (both now defunct) and basically said my work was often reproduced but always the first. You know what? MY sales rocketed. That year I had my best sales year ever. It worked for me. The moral of this story is that though sometimes the actions of others will put the taste of BILE in your throat you occasionally need to swallow it down and think outside the box and work it to your advantage. Acting like a fool and being a bully never really helps.
Over the years I've developed a more reasoned approach to the copying of my work. Sure I sell books that I make. But over all I think that ART is about empowerment and creativity. IF you don't want to or can't buy my books I'll even help you find the right tutorials to make your own. Hell on the left side of this page you'll find a link for just that. Because here's the deal: I want everyone to art journal. I think that art journaling is awesome. I want everyone to feel the way I do about it and I want everyone to try it out. If you don't want to art journal then I want you to journal. I don't care what your style is. I don't care if you want to scrapbook with paint. I don't care if you want to watercolor and write in tiny little scrawling handwriting. I don't care if you want to slather acrylic on so thick your pages stick together and your journal becomes one big block of paint. I don't care if you glue in so much ephemera that your book won't close. Seriously I want you to be empowered to create. That is the message of Comfortable Shoes Studio.