Well I started my Stranger Things cross stitch and
how cute is that so far?!
The pattern is from TheNightOwlStitchery on Etsy, so all credit goes to her, I’m just stitching it.(though I did take a few little liberties like I switched the order of the boys because I wanted Mike and El next to each other and will probably end up using some different colors based on what thread I have.) I can’t wait to pick it back up next weekend.
Those who post on social media, websites, or blogs should be wary of stealing, or, borrowing, the words or works of others and relating them as if they are the authors. Instead, they should properly cite these words and attribute them to their original sources. This was the way of the scholars of old. Al-Suyūṭī (رحمه الله) attributes this to the teachings of al-Ḥāfiẓ b. Ḥajr (رحمه الله):
“Ibn Ḥajr taught his students that if they quoted a ḥadīth or an athar that he related to them, they should say: “It was reported by so and so, or collected by so and so; [related] by way of our Shaykh Ibn Ḥajr.” All of this in order to fulfill [scholarly] trust and to avoid treachery.”
for the panel in your comic that has the text "others were so small and personal it felt like i was reading a diary", what book is that? i loved your comic btw!! i sent it to all of my friends who write
This is a bit embarrassing to admit, but it’s actually some of my own writing! It’s from a story that I haven’t figured out yet, so it’s on the backburner for now. The two pages are from completely different scenes too…
And that’s very sweet, thank you so much!! I hope I can play even a small part in encouraging people to pursue their creativity :’)
Hey guys, this is for you digital artists out there.
My friends have created this site for tracking your images, it’s called copypants.com.
It sucks finding people who repost your art without crediting you. On top of finding your images, Copypants acts as a middleman for interacting with the reposters. They make it really easy to send credit requests to people reposting your work.
I have been dealing with a lot of copyright infringement over the past few years and it has been no fun at all. I have seen unauthorized copies of my work all over the place including on Amazon, Etsy, clip art sites, T-shirt vendors like Sunfrog and Teespring… and so far I have been successful in getting these images taken down fairly quickly.
A few months ago, a friend noticed this kid’s shirt at kohls.com
The boston terrier images on the t-shirt are badly traced copies of my Boogie Doggie Language drawings. Small details like eyes and ears have been changed, bow ties and glasses have been added, and most of the images are flipped. (Examples below have been re-flipped to clarify the similarities)
According to my attorney, the legal team at Iconix (the parent company of Mudd) does not believe there is any copyright infringement. They are refusing to take any action or compensate me in any way without a lawsuit. If I want them to stop selling this t-shirt or to get any money back from their sales, I have to sue them.
Litigation may not be a big deal to a large company like Iconix/Mudd; but it would be ridiculously expensive for a solo artist like me. Costs could go up to $60K if the case goes all the way to trial.
I cannot claim statutory damages ($150K per infringing item) because my copyright registration was not completed within 3 months of when Doggie Language was first published.
If I win the case, I will recoup revenue from Mudd’s sales and my attorney fees, but this may not be enough to cover all the other thousands of dollars worth of court fees including expert witness fees. I basically have to pay out of pocket if I want to sue.
I already had in mind a crowdfunding campaign for my Dogs of The World book project later this year or next year, and if I were to request donations now to cover legal fees, I feel that I would be overimposing on people by asking for money twice and I don’t feel good about this. I would rather that people donate to my creative projects than fight this stupid expensive battle to prove that the copied images are mine.
Also - I worry about not raising enough money or not achieving the resolution that all my contributors are hoping for. Taking money from other people = extra pressure.
I have not yet decided what I am going to do; these are just some of the concerns I have right now.
*Edited: I previously received incorrect legal counsel. My copyright registration in 2013 DOES make me eligible for statutory damages.
For now, this is HOW YOU CAN HELP:
1. Please SHARE this information. Tell people about this bootleg t-shirt at Kohl’s and Mudd’s response, and spread awareness about the larger issue of fashion retailers stealing and profiting from indie artists and getting away with it. Use Facebook, Twitter, and other social media.
3. Buy directly from artists if you can. I am going to be making a similar Boston Terrier shirt available soon, for anyone who is interested.
4. If you are purchasing artwork online (like stock images, clip art etc), check the source carefully. I have seen copies of my artwork on sites like istockphoto and freepik and had to have them taken down. If you are a vendor/designer who buys stock imagery from these sites, be aware that ANYONE can upload images to these licensing agencies/libraries and lie that the work is theirs. (yes, it sucks)
IF YOU ARE AN ARTIST or DESIGNER:
1. Learn from my mistakes. When you create new artwork, register your copyright within 90 days of publication. You can do this online.
I did not know about the 90-day registration window and I don’t think many people do. If your *published work* is registered (a) before the infringement occurs or (b) after the infringement occurs but less than 90 days after publication, you can collect statutory damages in court (up to $150K per item for wilful infringement) regardless of whether the infringing party made any money from your work. If your copyright registration is too late (as mine was for Doggie Language), you can only recover their profits & your attorney’s fees - and this may or may not be enough to cover all other expensive court fees. If the infringing party can prove that they made no money from sales, then the artist gets nothing.
2. When you look to other artists’ works for inspiration (as we all do and this is normal), make sure that what you create is not a recognizable copy of what you are looking at. Tracing someone else’s work, changing colors or a few details here and there, or flipping the image 180 degrees is STILL plagiarism and copyright infringement. Another example is taking the “head” from someone’s drawing of a dog, and sticking it on a different body - this is STILL copyright infringement.
I want to say thank you again to everyone who is supporting me. There are times I find myself feeling depressed, insignificant, and powerless, and your passionate support really helps! Thank you for standing by me!
Also thank you to:
- Robynne Raye for her help and advice. Details about Robynne’s/Modern Dog’s copyright infringement case against Target and Disney HERE and HERE. They won!
THANK YOU TO EVERYONE for the signatures, reposts and retweets! There is power and justice with social media group effort: Kohl’s has removed the shirt from their website!!! We have yet to check if the shirt has been removed from physical stores. No response from Mudd/Iconix, but this is a big step!
Kohl’s now claims the shirt design is not infringement (their “design team” created it) and they are going to continue selling the shirt.
It appears that another item in the Kohl’s catalog has an unauthorized copy of my Boogie design on it. Sonoma is a Kohl’s in-house brand. These socks are selling in their stores and on their website.
This boston terrier is lifted from the SAME “Doggie Language” poster probably by their same in-house “designer”. And they are still denying copyright infringement and are refusing to stop selling these products!
I just discovered the RageOn app the other day. It’s still a pretty new community but it’s already TEEMING with stolen fanart. The app is currently only available for iPhone but they also have a web store that has all the same content
There’s a post that’s been floating around Tumblr and Twitter that has (understandably) upset a lot of artists:
The original post seems to have been deleted and it was posted anonymously, so I have no idea who this person is or what inspired them to write this vitriol, but it’s prompted some conversations on Twitter and Tumblr that I wanted to address.
Rude attitude towards artists aside, this is a serious misunderstanding of how commissioning and copyright works. Judging by some of the replies to this post, this seems to be a common misunderstanding: Commissioners do NOT automatically get all rights to the art that they’ve commissioned.
Artists automatically own the rights to any work they have created as soon as the work is created, without needing to file any kind of legal paperwork, unless part of the commission agreement states that the client/commissioner is granted rights. Many commissioners (and artists!) do not realize this. They assume whomever is paying for the creation of the work owns the copyright to the work. It is not the payment that transfers this ownership. The payment is simply for the creation of the work. Not for the rights to the work itself, unless explicitly stated and agreed upon. (It’s worth noting, I work in the US, I am not sure how copyright law differs in other countries so my statements here are framed in the context of US copyright law).
Those of you who do professional work-for-hire freelance work (or work full-time for a studio) probably noticed in most of the contracts you signed there are clauses stating the client/company owns the work you’ve created (either in part or in full). This is because without that clause, you, as the artist, would actually still own the rights to the work and the company would be unable to use the work they paid you to create.
This is one of the reasons it’s important to have a contract signed by both the artist and the client whenever you’re doing a job. I know that many people (and I have been guilty of this too) tend to be more casual about one-off commissions and don’t always have a contract involved in those sorts of transactions, but honestly, with attitudes like this out there, it’s probably a good idea. A contract should clearly lay out what the usage rights are once the work is completed and can avoid misunderstandings or legal grey area down the line. For something small like a commission, it also just gives you something easy to point to if you need to ask a former client to stop using a work they commissioned in a way that was not originally outlined in the contract.
Generally, because of the informal nature of personal (non-commercial) commissions such as one-off character commissions, pet portraits, etc, artists may be more casual about how the commissioned art is used, but it’s still important to check with the artist what specifically you are allowed to do with the art, as each artist may have different preferences. Some may be happy to grant full usage rights, others may allow redistribution rights (with or without credit) but not allow the work to be resold or edited.
What this person above is doing, by editing out the artist’s signature, is technically illegal unless they have agreed-upon rights that allow them to edit the artist’s work (removing a signature is editing) and re-post it without credit.
These laws exist not to make commissioners miserable or to try to snag free advertising or whatever else this commissioner seems to think. These laws exist to protect artists’ rights which are increasingly vulnerable due to the nature of image-sharing on the internet.
Commissioners and artists, know your rights and make sure you understand them before money exchanges hands.
The key points in this are that a written agreement is necessary for the work to be considered “work for hire” and for copyrights to be granted to the commissioner/employer.
*Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer and this post should not be considered professional legal advice, but merely useful information based on my personal experience working as an artist. If you have legal questions about a contract or the rights to your work or work you have commissioned, you should contact an attorney.
Corporate giant chain store in malls, Francesca’s, sold unauthorized copies of pins by me and 20+ other artists. I cannot tell you how exhausting it is to deal with this constant barrage of copying of my artwork, and how much it takes me away from things like sleep, family, and making new work. It’s made me fearful of sharing new work, and fearful of releasing new pins.
I called, they ignored. I lawyered up, they didn’t respond. Supporters of art and confused Francesca’s customers commented on their social media channels about this and were deleted and banned. Their handling of this situation is awful and unethical and doesn’t point toward resolution as they force artists to pursue expensive legal action.
I need your help.
Would you please share this image or story with your networks?
Would you please call out Francesca’s for their bad business practices and urge them to make it right with the artists?
Any of these things would be a huge help, and I welcome your suggestions as well. Thank you so much to those who are already doing so much to support me and the other artists. It’s been devastating, and while I’m not a stranger to being copied unethically, this is the first time I’ve ever experienced a company’s complete unwillingness to respond to a lawyer, not to mention their awful business practices in silencing consumers who felt misled. They know most artists can’t afford to or can’t take the time to fight legal battles in court, but I hope to find justice, and their customers deserve to know the truth.
So apparently some ‘artist’ on the Internet thought it would be very much okay to just STEAL this artwork of mine, put some terrible Photoshop effects on it and upload it as their own, taking all the credit for it. They’ve NEVER ASKED for my permission to use my work and they haven’t even mentioned my name in the description. Instead, they removed my signature and applied their own on top.
I would like to take this amazing opportunity to remind such great ‘artists’ that it is NOT OKAY TO STEAL other people’s artwork and take credit for it man, NOT OKAY.
If you want to take someone’s artwork and take a huge massive sh*t on it with your mad photoshop skillz then please, at least ASK for their permission first.
We work hard and put enormous amounts of time, effort and struggle into doing these artworks. It’s only fair that you respect that.