Saturday, 7 May 2011

Copyright and the Internet

Some people seem to think that the internet is a free source of images, which allows them to profit from.

I've recently found 1000's of images are being copied onto CDs, as printable materials for crafting use, all for sale on Ebay.

This is an illegal form of copying, and it's called copyright infringement.

Having contacted a couple of the Ebay seller who are doing this, they appear to believe that the images are in the "public domain" (in the words of one seller who I contacted, the images are on the internet and in books) so are free for usage.

COPYRIGHT means the "right to copy" or reproduce work. People pay the creators for that right to reproduce work, and that's called a Copyright Licensing Agreement.

If you see CDs of images on Ebay, please ask the seller if these are licensed images and who the manufacturer is. If in doubt, please contact the designer who will be thrilled to know we are all looking out for one another. And report the item!

Art does not need to have the copyright symbol on it, for it to be copyright protected.... if you did not create it, then you don't own the rights to it.

Just because an image is found on the internet does not mean it's copyright free and in the public domain. It's never ok to use artwork without the creators permission... period.

If you think my artwork is being reproduced illegally, please let me know.

Please also remember the following:

Ask permission from the artists / designers when putting their work onto your blog, and credit them!

Make sure the images are small jpgs so they can't be easily copied.

Make sure the images have a watermarks / copyright information on them.... it all helps to protect images from being used without YOUR or my permission!

Thank you, Helz x


June said...

Oh Helz, were these your images being illegally sold?
This kind of abuse is happening all too often.
Google makes it so easy for anyone to search for images, but doesn't inform people about copyrights and how these images may or may-not be used.

Helz Cuppleditch said...

Yes June, I have found a couple, but with several of the CDs offering "300" images, it's impossible to tell without purchasing it!! In some cases (not my images) the seller told me they "hand stamp" the design and then copy them onto a CD... as if it's something to proud of! The GOOD side of the internet is that we can spread the word pretty quickly, and hopefully get products / images removed when we report them.

Wrenaissance Art said...

Sorry to hear about your images being stolen.
Your post is such a polite way to educate people who aren't in the art field just what copyright means and remind them to respect the rights and hard work of artists. (I'm sure I'd be much more snarly! ;-) )

Helz Cuppleditch said...

Thank you! It's tempting to be more snarly believe me, but people think copyright is a very complex issue... we know it's not, and we can help educate them about it! A lot of people very innocently copy things, and don't realise the knock on effect this can have if other less scrupulous individuals also get hold of copied work, and then also recreate them for profit. H x

Jenny said...

It's yet another sign of the times. Some people think they have the God-given right to take whatever they like to do with whatever they want without any thought for anyone else's feelings - or rights in the matter - whether it be someone's work or even another's life. The Law seems to be no deterrent either, and won't be until the "do gooders" are kept well away from the Justice system.

FairyD said...

Hi Helz...would I be able to re-post your wonderful piece on the Stamp Out Stamp Theft Community Facebook page!/pages/Stamp-Out/134709549930309 We're a group of artists who are fighting this daily...we would LOVE your voice to join

Helz Cuppleditch said...

You are very welcome to re-post this. I will join you, just a bit hectic this week after being at a trade show!! Perhaps drop me an email? Best wishes, Helz x