Home > Blog > Imitation isn’t So Flattering

Imitation isn’t So Flattering

Sunday July 31st, 2011, 3 years, 7 months and 5 days ago

Left: My original illustration, 2005. Right: My illustration stolen by the Shanghai Art Museum, 2007.

I really don’t want to take up blog space dwelling on negatives, but I think it’s worthwhile to open up a discussion about copyright infringement. Being on the receiving end can cause a lot of grief, exasperation & heartache. For instance, the image above… To the left we have an original illustration that I made way back in 2005. To the right, we have an extremely bizarre & badly put together poster design, featuring my illustration, advertising a 2007 exhibition at the Shanghai Art Museum. I was not asked for permission or offered a fee – in fact, I would not have licensed this particular image because it’s my logo, but I was denied the right to refuse. What makes it even more difficult to accept is that the person who stole my artwork is presumably an artist or designer themselves, & should know better; if not from a legal standpoint, from an ethical one. And this is just one example of the many, many times that my work has been used without my permission.

Grrr… Anyway, deep breaths

What confounds me is when I’ve talked to other independent creative-type people about copyright infringement, quite a lot of them seem to have either a blasé or fatalistic attitude about it. What are your thoughts on copyright & protecting your work? Have you had any of your work stolen before? I’m really interested to hear about other people’s experiences.

Not many of us have the means to resort to legal action, & copyright legislation is only intended for matters of financial loss/compensation. But what about when someone incorrectly credits your work so no one knows you made it? Or butchers your images with their dodgy Photoshop skills? It hurts. Although it may not cause a financial loss, if you’re featured somewhere but not credited & linked to, you miss out on an opportunity for people to find you, & when someone modifies your lovingly made images, they’re degrading the integrity of your artwork.

I’ve covered all of this & more in my copyright policy based on my experiences. My advice to anyone who wants to share their work online, is to choose a Creative Commons license & link people to it. It’s really nice to share, but as I say on my copyright policy page, my artwork is my livelihood, & my pride & joy – & that is worth protecting isn’t it?

Posted in Soapbox

33 Responses to Imitation isn’t So Flattering

Post a comment
  1. Alicia Policia says: aliciapolicia.blogspot.com

    I’m sad to hear you’re the latest victim of image and logo swiping and basic copyright infringement amongst my blog list. Sadly it seems to happen all to often.

    I know that I am very adamant about not using other folks’ work myself, but I have been appalled at some of the workplaces at which I’ve been employed (successful well-known and highly regarded businesses in fact!), that seem to have a policy floating around in the art department of “it’s not stealing unless you get caught… and they have the money to pursue it legally.”

    There’s a lot of lazy art directors, bosses, and businesses out there who think that Google image means free art, and they figure they should never have to pay for the ideas, talent and skill they’re looking for. Ugh! Absolutely disgusting.

    Reply to Alicia Policia Jul 31st 2011, 3 yrs and 7 mths ago
    • Karena (Magic Jelly) says: magicjelly.com.au

      That’s really disheartening to hear, but I guess the “it’s not stealing unless you get caught” practice is pretty apparent when you see some of the designers & illustrators who’ve been ripped off by major corporations. Terrible.

      Absolutely agree about Google Images! People look on it as a giant free resource. Mind-boggling! I do think Google could make their “Images may be subject to copyright” notice more prominent & thorough.

      Reply to Karena (Magic Jelly) Aug 1st 2011, 3 yrs and 7 mths ago
  2. Stevette says:

    I don’t blame you at all for being upset at this lazy, offensive swiping. How do these people sleep at night? What kind of fulfilment can they get out of their careers? How can they call themselves designers?And what’s with those sinister highkicking children? It’s wrong on every level.

    Reply to Stevette Jul 31st 2011, 3 yrs and 7 mths ago
    • Karena (Magic Jelly) says: magicjelly.com.au

      Ha! As much as I’m usually a supporter of the kick line, it is pretty weird isn’t it? And the less said about those strange peaches with nipples, the better.

      Reply to Karena (Magic Jelly) Aug 1st 2011, 3 yrs and 7 mths ago
  3. Mark says:

    This kind of thing is unacceptable and it casts a bad light on the Shanghai Art Museum, and all at your expense. Irritating.

    Reply to Mark Jul 31st 2011, 3 yrs and 7 mths ago
  4. Julian says:

    I agree, the issue is control over the context of your creations, perhaps even more than money.

    Reply to Julian Aug 1st 2011, 3 yrs and 7 mths ago
  5. Karena, so sorry to see this happened to you and your work. This seems to happen more and more these days, and it’s become really disconcerting as a creative to want to be able to share our work online, yet have to be so careful with our steps at the same time. Yes, your work is totally worth protecting. And an art museum should know better than to do this.

    Reply to Rania Aug 1st 2011, 3 yrs and 7 mths ago
    • Karena (Magic Jelly) says: magicjelly.com.au

      Thanks Rania! It’s in our interests to share our work online for the exposure it brings – & also it’s just a nice thing to do, isn’t it? I find with some of the social networking sites, such as Tumblr, that images get passed around to the point where the original credit is lost, & it would be so much better if the developers of these sites would address this problem. Pinterest is an improvement on Tumblr in that respect.

      It doesn’t stop people either not bothering to credit, or crediting incorrectly. I found one of my photomanipulations on a blog the other day, credited as being from the “early 1900s”. I’ve decided to watermark any new images I publish online so they can be traced back to me. I’m a little reluctant to do that, but will make sure to keep it subtle.

      Reply to Karena (Magic Jelly) Aug 1st 2011, 3 yrs and 7 mths ago
  6. Sorry girl. It sucks. I don’t have advice. It happened to me. I didn’t end up doing anything about it because it wasn’t as big a deal as what has happened to you.

    Reply to april Aug 1st 2011, 3 yrs and 7 mths ago
    • Karena (Magic Jelly) says: magicjelly.com.au

      Sometimes there’s nothing much you can do about it, although I’ve found a friendly, informal cease & desist email often does the trick!

      Reply to Karena (Magic Jelly) Aug 1st 2011, 3 yrs and 7 mths ago
  7. Sophie says:

    You need to sue them !

    Reply to Sophie Aug 1st 2011, 3 yrs and 7 mths ago
  8. Randi says:

    It’s China, right? The land of fake high-end products…I can’t say I’m surprised by this.

    Reply to Randi Aug 11th 2011, 3 yrs and 6 mths ago
  9. jerry says:

    when it comes to copyright infringement, international borders create distortions. it’s easy to assume a preexisting rule/ belief system from one location is the same in another. this is not the case. it IS disheartening for this to occur to any creative type but the world is changing and so should the dialogue. perhaps under a contained circumstance where the rules ARE the same there would be a neat simple solution…hmm.

    have you tried to reach the person/persons/company who appropriated your work?

    Reply to jerry Aug 15th 2011, 3 yrs and 6 mths ago
    • Karena (Magic Jelly) says: magicjelly.com.au

      Hi Jerry! I appreciate the points you’ve made & I am aware of the difficulties re. international copyright, which is why I touched on the difference between law & ethics. In this case I haven’t pursued it. Partly because I found out about it so long after the fact, but I guess mainly because of the language barrier & the different attitudes towards ownership in China – it seemed like an uphill battle with very little gain, sadly.

      I agree that in a changing world artists need to be informed & prepared, but it would be a sad day if that meant relinquishing the rights to your own work or developing a blasé attitude towards IP theft.

      Reply to Karena (Magic Jelly) Aug 15th 2011, 3 yrs and 6 mths ago
  10. Alisa says: inkcaravan.com

    Hi Karena,

    I’m sorry to hear that it’s happened to you. That’s really lousy!
    It’s definitely something to take seriously and I’m surprised to hear that some people are being so apathetic about it. I’ve started looking into watermarking and tracking options myself since I’m planning to get my folio online soon.
    You probably already know about this since I’m sure you use PS, but I thought Digimarc sounded pretty good and supportive. I know it doesn’t help too much when the perp has obviously redrawn the image from scratch but now they watermark printed material as well.


    All the best, Alisa

    Reply to Alisa Sep 7th 2011, 3 yrs and 5 mths ago
    • Karena (Magic Jelly) says: magicjelly.com.au

      Thanks for the link Alisa – I’ll make sure to look into that. By the way, I’m in love with your beautiful blog & artwork!

      Reply to Karena (Magic Jelly) Sep 7th 2011, 3 yrs and 5 mths ago
      • Alisa says: inkcaravan.com

        Oh you have me blushing, thanks for saying! : )
        Lovely to ‘meet’ you.

        Reply to Alisa Oct 27th 2011, 3 yrs and 4 mths ago
  11. Pingback: ‘We’re being screwed’: photographers and designers vent over ‘stolen’ images | Mass Communications

  12. Bruce says:


    What are you upset about? They have copied a part of your logo. They haven’t stolen anything. You still have your logo do you not? You have an opportunity to use this as marketing of your abilities but you (like so many these days) are just complaining about something that you yourself have done and are still doing. They have created a new work that in part has used your logo, but it is a new work.

    There is not a single idea that you have that is not based on something that you have previously seen, heard or experienced. No idea is created in isolation. We could well look at your own logo. It uses the image of a jelly form – how often have you seen this in real life or in photos or in film – the very same image. The font you use has been created by someone else and is based on other fonts created previously. The background pattern, the glass bowl and the scroll have all been used by others before you. You have copied these ideas from others and they have copied in turn from others before them. You have created an ensemble that may not have existed before in that particular rendering but the individual elements have been used elsewhere. Likewise the Chinese art museum has used elements from elsewhere to create a new ensemble that has not existed elsewhere even if the individual elements have been.

    If you really want to understand things look into the history of copyright and you will see that the system of today has come about because of bribery and corruption. Copyright was created to allow authors to have a commercial avenue for their work for a short period of time (7 years) after which the work went into the public domain for everyone to be able to use and build upon.

    These days the real theft is by copyright maximalists who steal from society as whole by stopping works going into the public domain, particularly when they arrange for copyright extensions to occur so that works that when they were originally created were expected to go into the public domain are then held out of the public domain.

    When you think about it, do you attribute all your ideas to the original sources or do you claim it is all your own work?

    Stealing requires the removal of what is stolen from the original person so that they no longer have it. You cannot steal an idea, you however can steal a reputation. If you wrote a book and someone publishes it elsewhere under your name without your permission, you still have the authorship as well as the book. If they were to publish it under someone else’s name then they have stolen the attribution to you of its authorship. That is the more serious thing. But the ideas in the book have come from others originally, you have simply made your own take and description on the story as written.

    I work in an industry that has gone mad with the concept of Intellectual Property. The vast majority of what I do is based on providing the appropriate solution for some business task. This requires that I use standard ideas in various combinations (some combinations having never been done before) to get to a solution. As far as I am concerned, anyone can use my ideas if it is of benefit to them. What matters is that I have the ability to provide solutions that work, to combine ideas in new ways as needed. I could not do this if I didn’t rely on what has gone on before me. I use ideas from all over the place as appropriate and most of these ideas are from a time when ideas were not trying to restricted as they are today. Prior art (public domain) is extremely important to get the job done. Most of what comes out today as being a new idea is a rehash of things that were done over the last 30 to 60 years, if not further back.

    My value is in what I do which is to create a new work. I don’t continually get paid for what I have done. Your value is your talent to create new works from elements that have existed before. As I sit here looking at the image at the bottom of the screen, I see the individual elements as coming from various places but the totality as a new work.

    So I say again, why are you not using this as an opportunity to market your skills? They are considered so good that the art museum has used part of your image to promote themselves. Why waste your time and effort complaining when you can use it to build your reputation worldwide? If important groups consider your work highly enough to copy it, then use that to enhance your reputation. Use it as free advertising, as free promotion – this is so valuable.

    There are many times when i see different groups come up with the same idea and they have not had any direct cross-fertilisation. The new idea is a logical follow on of what has been done before.

    There are only so may ways to describe an idea that is sensible and understandable.

    Reply to Bruce Jan 19th 2013, 2 yrs and 1 mth ago
    • Karena (Magic Jelly) says: magicjelly.com.au

      Hi Bruce,

      I think I’ve clearly stated what I’m upset about. Firstly, I have been robbed of my licensing fee. I make a living licensing my work. I’m astounded that anybody can’t see this basic fact, that I earn my livelihood this way – my artwork is a commodity, it belongs to me, and I have the legal right to be paid for its use. I’ve also been deprived of the right to negotiate the terms of the license. For example, there’s no way I would allow my work to be modified by another artist without overseeing the process myself. It is my legal right to oversee the quality and context of my work, if those are the agreed terms. If a client wishes to purchase copyright so they can make derivative works from my work, then the fee is considerably higher than a limited license. likewise, an exclusive license incurs additional fees. I also have the right of refusal, which I do exercise from time to time, for ethical or artistic reasons.In this case, I would never have agreed to the use of my own logo to market this exhibition. You’ve conceded that it’s possible to “steal a reputation” – well this illustration is an integral part of my own business identity, and its use as part of another organisation’s promotion dilutes and corrodes my own branding. Something I would not have agreed to.

      You seem to be confusing the fact that copyright does not protect ideas, it protects the tangible expressions of ideas. Anybody can draw a red jelly, but the way they individually render it is protected by copyright legislation. Just as anyone can draw an anthropomorphised mouse, but if it is deemed to be a derivative work of Mickey Mouse, you’re infringing Disney’s copyright and will likely be sued. I transparently draw influences from all over the place, but it is the unique expression and rendering of that conglomeration of styles, subject matter, etc. that makes it uniquely my work. The jelly was painstakingly drawn, from pencil on paper, through to the finished article – it was not lifted from another artist’s body of work – I do not “create new works from elements that have existed before” unless, in the case of say, creating a photomanipulation, I purchase a license to use various elements. Likewise, I used the typeface legally, within the terms of the license.

      As for “using this as an opportunity to market [my] skills” – I was denied the credit and exposure to promote my business. That’s the problem with image theft, you’re not credited – somebody else takes the credit. Ironically, by “…wast[ing] my time and effort complaining…” I have actually drawn attention to my work, although not in a way I find ideal. I do actively market my work – and I much prefer to do it in a positive context rather than as a result of copyright infringement, but this is an important topic to me, so I have spoken out. It looks like I’m also being interviewed on 2UE tomorrow as a result of the SMH article.

      Reply to Karena (Magic Jelly) Jan 19th 2013, 2 yrs and 1 mth ago
  13. Kerrie says:

    @bruce, I am a scientist and my industry is struggling with the issue of patenting and what can or should be patented. In another life I would have been an artist and I have a lot of sympathy with artists who need to be recompensed for the work that they do. But you make a great point that I have always struggled with regarding art. It is actually a firming opinion of mine the more art I see, and is also true for scientific discovery, that it is very rare, if not impossible, to come up with a truly original idea. As much sympathy I have for artists whose work is ‘used’ and taken from Internet sources, once your work is in the public domain it is in the public domain! I have always wondered how artists can put their work onto websites and still expect it NOT to be copied and used by others. I’m not condoning copyright breach, but really, it has to be collateral damage from getting your work widely recognised.

    Reply to Kerrie Jan 19th 2013, 2 yrs and 1 mth ago
    • Karena (Magic Jelly) says: magicjelly.com.au

      Hi Kerrie,

      You are mistaken in thinking that images uploaded to the internet are automatically “in the public domain” – they are not. I publish low resolution copies of my work to promote it – that’s how I earn my living, putting examples of my work out there and attracting clients. By doing so, it is not an invitation for anyone to take it without permission, in fact I have a very comprehensive copyright policy and explain the terms under which I share my images with a Creative Commons license. If a fashion designer gifts a dress to a celebrity to wear on the red carpet, is that an invitation for people to rip off their design? If a film is screened at the cinema, is it okay to record it and sell pirated copies? If intellectual property is not protected by law, a great deal of creative expression is under threat. It’s a cynical and illogical view to consider copyright infringement as “collateral damage” when marketing your work, since the very act of marketing it is to attract clients to license your work and earn a living, which you’re not able to do if people take it without permission. The Shanghai Art Museum is a massive organisation, and I’m one little artist eeking out a living. I think it’s clear to see who has been exploited in this situation. And please see my comment to Bruce above re. ideas vs. the expression of ideas.

      Reply to Karena (Magic Jelly) Jan 19th 2013, 2 yrs and 1 mth ago
      • Bruce says:


        Publishing onto the internet. means that you are publishing into multiple territories where there are different copyright regimes. Including some where the images are automatically put into the public domain in those territories.

        Well just so you know, fashion is not covered by copyright. So yes, it is an invitation to copy the design. Most of what they call “pirating” today has nothing to do with selling or even making a profit. While on this subject, have you ever given a copy of a song to a friend or received a song from a friend? Have you ever copied a video for a friend or had one given to you? Have you ever photocopied more than 1 chapter of a written work or more than 10% of a written work which ever is smaller? have you copied any electronic music or films from the source CDs/DVDs to some other media for your own personal use? If you have done any of these, then you have “pirated” the work because you have technically broken the copyright laws and/or copyright licenses applicable to those works.

        Films, now that is interesting, what you do not understand is that once anything is recorded digitally it becomes just a number, which can be a very large number and depending on a whole series of other factors, it can be a number of numbers. It only becomes recognisable when it is passed through another system to generate more numbers. The question then becomes whether or not you can copyright a number. The same number can be passed through two completely different system and then be presented as two completely different things. The only physical object is the film it may be recorded on and these days that is becoming less and less.

        “Intellectual property” does not technically exist much as it might be talked about. Ideas are ephemeral, they can be shared but never stolen, they are not property as they do not exist in the physical world. They can be copied but never destroyed. You can implement an idea if you are good enough, but the idea itself is of little value. The skill by which an idea is implemented is what makes the implementation valuable not the idea itself. If someone does something with it or creates something with it, the something can become valuable but the idea itself stays the same – it is just an idea.

        Creative expression is NOT under threat just because it is not protected by law. If you were intellectually honest and looked at the full subject, you would find that creativity has dramatically increased in huge numbers of areas due to the simple fact that people are copying one another and making new forms out of old. If anything, laws to protect what you call “intellectual property” have stalled the generation of new ideas. variations and forms. This stalling of new ideas is a fact that is becoming more prevalent in my own industry.

        Fashion, music, films, art, crafts all build on what has gone before. You really need to look at the Techdirt site to get insight into what can be done with people copying your works. It matters how good you are at your field (like anything else). You need to think outside the box and forget about worrying if people copy you, That is truly a waste of time, just like it is to worry about being hit by asteroid. (Silliness intended to make a point – if you are old enough to appreciate the imagery).

        Your ability to express of an idea is what is valuable not the expression itself. If you think that the value is in the expression then you are truly selling yourself short. The expression of an idea is only valuable because of who has done the expression. If you are not a good enough business person to capitalise on that then work with someone who can. Your ability to make money is not dependent on what you have produced but on the ability and skill by which you have produced them. The quality of the goods comes from the craftsman

        Reply to Bruce Jan 20th 2013, 2 yrs and 1 mth ago
        • Karena (Magic Jelly) says: magicjelly.com.au

          Just to let you know Bruce, you’re skating on thin ice here in regards to keeping the discussion respectful and free from personal insults. Please remember this is my blog, and your comment is here because I like to encourage discussion on this very important topic. However, I will edit or delete it if you become too personal or insulting. In particular, I don’t take kindly to your comment that I’m not “intellectually honest”. Keep it respectful, or please don’t comment.

          Reply to Karena (Magic Jelly) Jan 21st 2013, 2 yrs and 1 mth ago
          • Bruce says:


            I may be blunt, but if you construe what I am saying as insulting you personally or disrespectful then you are missing the point. My arguments apply to each of us. What I am saying is intended to get people to think outside of the box and take a look at the bigger picture – particular as it relates to history and the changes that are occurring today between infinite goods and finite goods.

            As quoted from below from Diane, I would have considered the following as bordering on ad hominem.

            “Seems to me that Bruce is trying to pass a very uninformed argument off as sounding intelligent by adding fancy words and red herrings. It brings nothing constructive to the table and is insulting to the very core of what we do as an artist.”

            Yet, instead of taking it as such, I have addressed her arguments, including the “straw man” argument that she raised and called her her on it. If you consider that impolite, then you, as the owner of this blog, are fully entitled to remove my entries, even to the extent of banning any further comments from myself. That’s your privilege. It will lessen the scope of the discussion.

            Reply to Bruce Jan 22nd 2013, 2 yrs and 1 mth ago
  14. Bruce says:

    @Kerrie and for Karena,

    One common theme today that is being discovered by more and more artists (of all types) is that anonymity is far more dangerous than having your work copied. Check out the TechDirt site for discussions on using free infinite goods to market and get paid for finite scarce goods.

    It is a matter of thinking outside the box. The point though is that having your work copied is not collateral damage, it is a part of your marketing strategy. The old business term for this is “loss leader”, giving away something for free or a small price when it brings in more customers for your main product base. In this case Karena, this is you and your talent to create.

    Reply to Bruce Jan 19th 2013, 2 yrs and 1 mth ago
  15. Diana says:

    @ Bruce, your argument has many flaws, and I will just point out one glaring problem: the art gallery in question has NO ties to Karena. No one knows in China that she is the original artist who made that logo. Other than the small amount of press, Etsy forums and this blog, no one would have any idea that Karena is the artist here.

    Whoever ripped off her artwork is getting the credit. They got paid and could be getting clients because of their ‘work’ – work which was STOLEN.

    How on earth is Karena supposed to market this to her advantage when the work in question is not tied to her at all? She can’t claim to have designed the art gallery’s advertisement (and I wouldn’t recommend it, truly awful) so what is she supposed to do here?

    And on that note, are you suggesting ALL artist need to take it up the [rear] when it comes to protecting their work? Are we not allowed ANY protections?

    Seems to me that Bruce is trying to pass a very uninformed argument off as sounding intelligent by adding fancy words and red herrings. It brings nothing constructive to the table and is insulting to the very core of what we do as an artist.

    It’s hard enough getting paid fairly for what we do. Apparently not only should we work for free, but we should do it with a smile on our face? Would you ask this of your local contractor? How about your dentist? Do you expect your local business person to survive on no income giving their services away to anyone? No, of course not.

    Because that is essentially what you are saying here. Why would anyone feel that way about artists’ work really boggles the mind. You wouldn’t expect your plumber to fix your sink for free yet you feel us artists should just shut up and take what we can get.

    I for one, am glad the law doesn’t feel this way. It’s too bad ignorant people outweigh the laws we have regarding protecting our work.

    Reply to Diana Jan 19th 2013, 2 yrs and 1 mth ago
    • Karena (Magic Jelly) says: magicjelly.com.au

      Thank you Diana – I totally agree!

      Reply to Karena (Magic Jelly) Jan 19th 2013, 2 yrs and 1 mth ago
    • Bruce says:


      Agreed that the art gallery has no ties to Karena. So what? Again, Australian copyright law is irrelevant to the Chinese. It is up to Karena to make use of this opportunity not the other way around.

      Again, part of her work has been copied, it is by no means “STOLEN” as you put. Karena still has her original. Unless the original is removed from her, nothing has been stolen here. Just because she doesn’t like her work being copied without attribution, in no way means that the copy has been stolen, it is simply a copy. That’s it, no more, no less. Under Australian law, Karena has a number of monopoly rights which she can exercise if she wants. It does not mean that she has those same monopoly rights anywhere else in the world, not even the right to attribution.

      Now I am not saying that she doesn’t deserve recognition for her design. That would be nice for her. But she now has the opportunity to use this copying to her benefit to get greater recognition for her work. She can use it as a form of advertising – just think how she could market herself here in Australia with this copying having occurred?

      What she can do is say “Hey look, the Shanghai Art Museum has scoured the world to find an image that they have incorporated into their logo and they thought mine was so good that they used it”. She can add whatever else in needed. To your eyes it may not be pretty, but to the Chinese it may be very beautiful.

      Copying is a fact of life and as I replied earlier, the vast majority of people will have infringed on somebodies copyright at some point. It happens and if you want to take the legal path to correct any infringements, you need to recognise that there is a cost to that. Under copyrights rules in Australia she has recourse in Australia. What happens elsewhere is based on the laws there and she may have no actual recourse.

      For starters, there are many artists who recognise that obscurity is far worse than someone copying them. There are also many who allow their works to be freely copied because they get other more valuable benefits. This includes writers, songwriters, singers, visual artists, fashion designers, games developers, programmers, etc. So, where is the ALL in what you say?

      There are some things worth protecting, but there are others where protecting is of less benefit that other avenues.

      Uninformed, hmm. I have spent much time studying this and though I may not be an expert in copyright law in any place on the planet. It doesn’t take being an expert in copyright law to see what people have achieved and what the history of copyright has been and the problems that have arisen and the solutions being developed.

      What you do as an artist is dependent on what people think of your work. There have been many artists who in their time were not recognised for their talent. It was only after their deaths that their talent was shown to be great.

      If what I have said is insulting to artists that they require a piece of legislation to give them monopoly rights to feel good about themselves doesn’t say much for that artist. The constructive discussion is about using the copying to your benefit.

      You appear not to recognise that just because you have a law that gives you some benefits that those benefits are legitimate (or moral). In this case, the original purpose of the legislation was to allow for artists/writers/etc to try and gain a financial benefit from their work for a short period of time (7 years). Thereafter, the work was available for anyone to improve upon, incorporate in, or develop subsidiary works and make a profit on.

      I have artists in my own family, they are good. But profit from their work, it is not their business. They create beautiful pieces that are then generally given away to those they care about. They continue to create because it is the act of creation that brings them joy not the financial gain for their work.

      Getting paid fairly for your work is based on a large number of factors, including how valuable you are considered. What you consider fair, others will consider a rip-off. That occurs in every field of business. An example, for you. I did some work for a specific company over a decade ago, If you were an Australian, you were considered to be worth $X/hr, but if you were from the USA, you could expect 3 times that amount. When you put us against them, we made them look like complete incompetents. B ut they had the image. Was I underpaid. No. It was in the expected range for the work we did.

      For starters, she will be paid for any commissions she undertakes (as would you). That doesn’t mean that she or you have any fundamental rights when the item is copied later – you most certainly have legislative rights under the monopoly conferred on you by copyright law and you will also have contractual rights as well. This is a matter of business not anything else.

      But don’t bring up the “straw man” of working for free. That argument doesn’t match up with reality. You should have been paid for the work you have done, this is completely unrelated to what happens later when copies are made. Two different things, two different arguments – don’t conflate. Better people than I have taken that argument of yours and shredded to the fine particulate dust it is.

      I am not against people making money from their work. If you are able to negotiate well, then better for you. But expecting a free lunch as a right, and then complaining when you don’t get it is just a sign of futility.

      Instead of whining and complaining, do something AWESOME instead. Get out there and show your metal, show that you are the best at what you do. Be the example that leads others to follow you and support you.

      The ignorance of people shows up in many ways including thinking that they have an “entitlement” to something. What you seem to have forgotten is that most of the laws we have are for the benefit of the few not the many. The law feels nothing, as they say, “The law is an ass”. It is those who have either written the laws or influenced those writing that laws that have stood to gain. The general populous quite often suffers under the law with meaningless restriction.

      I have continued this discussion only in the hope that Karena is able to see that this is not the problem she thinks it is and by example shows others how to benefit from it – becoming greatly successful as a result. Mayhaps that will happen, but I somehow don’t think it will.

      Reply to Bruce Jan 20th 2013, 2 yrs and 1 mth ago
  16. Esmeralda Jönsson says: designorita.com

    Omg this is so awful, you are so talented! Why couldn’t they buy the copyrights from you for a single exhibition if they so liked your art they should have approach you and work something out!!! I think this is awful and rude and has not justification

    Reply to Esmeralda Jönsson May 29th 2014, 9 mths and 1 wk ago

Post a comment

Please enter your details...Please fill in required fields

Please write a comment

join the mailing list subscribe to the blog by email