Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Copyright Issue Update


Thank you to everyone who is kindly taking an interest and offering helpful advise regarding my art material being used without my authorisation. I have received many messages from artists thanking me for openly sharing this situation so I will continue to keep you updated. 

The site that was selling my art on merchandise without my authorisation can be found via this link.


  I have never given permission for my art to be used on any form of merchandise, although I have been contacted over the years many times to consider this as an option. I have always only sold my paintings as originals in established galleries. Imagine then my situation when yesterday I was contacted by the buyer of the above painting. They purchased the watercolour at an exhibition in London ,in good faith, knowing I do not produce prints or products with my art on. They are as outraged as I am.

When I first contacted the company selling the merchandise, they informed me that they were provided with my art/products via a supplier. This response seemed to mean that their selling my art was not really their fault but someone elses'.  I disagree. They may have been a victim too but that is between the company and their supplier.

 Points to consider. 
 
1) I have not given authorisation for my art, at any time, to be used on merchandise.

2) I have not received payment or royalties for my artwork on this merchandise.

3) My professional reputation has been damaged by the sale of my art on products without my authorisation.

4) Most importantly it is not my role to follow a trail of suppliers. The company selling my art on merchandise need to follow the issue up with their supplier. Not me.

We can blindly be detracted due to being upset or stressed which I must admit I have been over this matter.  I have deliberately made a decision never to sell my art on products such as this. Which is my decision.  Being fobbed off by a company with an " It wasn't our fault, someone else supplied it" response is  hardly a professional attitude when copyright issues are involved.

In this case it is simple. I am the original artist. I haven't given authorisation for my art to be sold on the products that the company has been selling. 

Current situation?

This morning another email has been sent to the company selling this merchandise explaining the above. I expect the products with my art on them to be removed from all web sites. I expect the company to inform me how they will rectify the situation. 

 And I will keep you updated!


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N.B. To gain peace of mind, that my work is not being sold on other sites the company have given me their suppliers name and I have contacted them.

9 comments:

Cathyann Burgess said...

I am sorry to hear this. I am eager to see how you resolve the infraction. I love your work. thank you for sharing with us! Best to you.

Jean Haines SWA, SFP said...

Thank you. I am hoping the situation can be resolved amicably. Fingers crossed!

Sharilyn Miller said...

You need to sue. I just read an article about an artist who makes nearly $1 million dollars every year from lawsuits alone! He has a full-time lawyer who searches the internet and galleries, etc. and regularly comes up with infringements against his client (the artist). Sometimes they work out a business deal that satisfies everyone, but once in a while they can't, and it goes to court. The lawyer handles everything and all the artist has to do is deposit big checks on a regular basis. Sounds like a nice side-income to me! And, suing will help other artists. The more of us who stand up for our original creations, the better. If we just lay down like doormats, we shouldn't be surprised when other people use us to wipe their feet.

Lynne Furrer said...

I too am so sorry this happened and appreciate you're being willing to tell us about it. I can't imaging how maddening this is to have happen to you. That site has certainly lost me as a customer!

Lynne Furrer said...

This may be related...the other day I got 2 requests from "buyers" who wanted to purchase my artwork off my website. They were both "in a hurry" and needed my artwork quickly for their new houses. I got suspicious and asked for more info from them - and they conveniently disappeared. I wonder if these "buyers" might not be "suppliers" in disguise.

José L. Zorrilla Campos said...

Desde España no puedo hacer gran cosa excepto manifestarte mi solidaridad.
Te deseo suerte en la solución de este problema.

Katherine Tyrrell said...

Jean - why haven't you sent them an invoice for the value of what you would have been licensing the work for - and daily rate for every day it remains on their website?

I think you will find that creates an instant response.

All you need then is for somebody to check on any retail set-up they might have in Australia.

Katherine Tyrrell said...

Jean - why haven't you sent them an invoice for the value of what you would have been licensing the work for - and daily rate for every day it remains on their website?

I think you will find that creates an instant response.

All you need then is for somebody to check on any retail set-up they might have in Australia.

veredit - isabella kramer said...

All my best wishes for a Happy End in this case for you Jean.

xo, isabella