Saturday, April 4, 2009

Lookout!!! Stock Companies are Accussing Artists About Copyright!!!!

As Visual Ambassador I have to screem ... 
Stock companies are having a field day in court!

14 years ago I was called by a royality stock company (which is still in business) about selling all rights to 20 illustrations by one of my artists for $150.00 each.  The stock company owner (this is not exacuationg) was PISSED at me when I said no way, try $5,000 each.  Four months later I got a fax from a designer in Seattle asking if we did an image for his local paper?  Well, I research the stock companies site to find some copied my artist's work!!  We took it to court only to find out they had the artist, who ripped off my artist, sign an agreement that he was the creator and waved the stock firm of any responsibility.  The artist was just out of school, had no idea this was against the law and had no money.  The stock firm refused to take the work off their site saying it was between our firm and the young artists.  They bought the images from the young artist no us.

We continued going after the stock firm but it was 3 years before the stock firm took the images off their site. Now stock companies are going after artists on "look a like" images!!!  What about these sites on designing logos for $325.00.  I have a great story there as well.  

You must read this blog!!!


  1. Good Lord. This is frightening.

  2. It's only going to get worse.

    Here's an example: We had a national company steal a trible image we did that was on our web site under portfolio. They used the art as part of a collection of transfer tattoos.

    Once found we bought and mailed the company a letter with an invoice for $3,000 from our attorney. Their attorney replied saying that any image on the web site was public domain and refuse to pay. Can you believe this coming from an attorney!!!

    We responded with a new invoice for $10,000, an article of copyright, action to take the product off the shelves and threatened action.

    They did not respond for 3 months then offered to pay our original $3,000.

    It's only the start...

  3. Believe it! It is going to get worse.

    If you think the baby boomers have no problem with this kind of thievery, just wait for the Gen X's and Y's really enter the fray. They are used to getting music, images, etc., for free on the internet. There is no value given to the arts. What these short sighted weasels fail to realize is that artists need to eat too. If they can't make a living creating their art they'll have to do something else to make a living.

    What a lot of these unscrupulous companies/lawyers are hoping is that you don't have the $$$ to fight back. I'm glad you got your $3,000 out of them, Scott.

  4. I keep my "sketch blog" filled with new images and my online portfolio is of course up and filled with art. Many of us do the same - we've got to reach potential clients!

    But it's terrible to have your work stolen. It's not unlike having your identity stolen, which happened to me, and I've been fighting that for years now.

    In the art realm, I see no choice except for swallowing my (justifiable) paranoia, making my work visible, and betting that the benefits will outweigh the violations.

    And Scott, that was a great legal response to the crime against you.

  5. Every couple of months, a site is found selling images as wallpaper for one's computer that steals art from famous fantasy artists' sites. When contacted, they usually disappear (they are usually in another country).

    Excellent post Scott!

  6. I conpair the art world to the music industry. We are going to give away something in order to recieve something. The problem is the businessman understanding the value of a visual. We must invent a new industry and re brand ourselves.

    Daryll is right about this download generation with the baby boomer business minds taking a bite out of our future in making a living with art.

    I have a new idea for a post/servey, are you a artist for arts sake, a commerical artist, or a business artist?