Somethings were better left unsaid…
November 16, 2011 Leave a comment
Recently, when someone notified me on DeviantArt, I was made aware of the fact that a site called art4love.com had stolen one of my images from DeviantArt and was selling the image at $300.
First thing that went through my head: “Geeze someone was really going to pay $300 for one of my crappy images!?!?”
Second thing that went through my head: “Why is someone stealing my art, and certainly not one of my best pieces, to sell to strangers saying that this art is theirs!!!?”
That’s when anger set in, I’m not the best artist in the world, hell, at times I really do not feel like I am an artist at all! I just think of images in my head that go with a concept I like and a photo manipulate the images into something that is very similar to a collage and I create “art” out of it. At times I even feel like I’m plagiarizing stock artists for what I do even when I follow their crediting rules, I am very religious about crediting stock artists, without them, I couldn’t possibly do what I do and I am militant about their wishes for the stock! I also post on DeviantArt because I feel as if I receive great feedback on my images and I have made really great friends there and it’s only fair to post on the site where you get the bulk of your stock from.
In any case, I still feel as if I’m learning how to be an influential artist. While my writings skills and not up to par after teaching social studies for years and conversing with teenagers (I swear I’m empathic when it comes to my grammar!), I know I’ll never be a writer, and with the art I created, I felt that if I got good enough and made an impact with the images I create, I could possibly become at least somewhat of a starving artist.
So when I received the email asking if the image that was found on Art4Love.com was mine, I was very dismayed at what was taking place. I have yet to copyright my name, but I do water mark my images due to the fact that its just a safety measure for my art, but the image that was created was before people started noticing my work as a whole. Now I’m concerned at what my next step will be. I am contacting my uncle who is a lawyer (copyright one and family law at that) to see what I should do next, I know that a good group of artists on DeviantArt are creating a class action lawsuit against art4love.com, and I know that with out counsel from my uncle I do not know as of yet whether or not I’ll join the class action lawsuit or seek one myself.
I do know that I’ll be copyrighting my name once I talk to my uncle, that’s the first priority, even though I’m way too busy to be producing artwork at this moment, I do know that I want my images protected. Second, I’m going to go through my some 200 images (give or take) and post watermarks on every single one of them. Third, I’m going to go through and delete all the images that are not popular, and with those that are, I’m explicitly explaining my usage rules in case of art theft.
Live and learn is the message I made from this whole situation, I do know that I’m not the only one who’s been effected by this, but it is a bit distressing. I’ll update when I get more information. In the meanwhile, below is my original image from my archives, and the other image was screen shot from art4love.com.
Following is the class action site with the list of artists who have been effected by art4love.com.
The Oracle of Dreams