Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Authors Stealing Artwork?

Although I think this series of responses takes on a bit too angry of a mood, it makes for an interesting read. Another case of "I'll steal your image and post it on my site, and you'll be repaid with 'publicity."

Check it!

The article topic is irrelevant, but if you start reading the comments at comment 3, artist Chris Buzelli starts the fire!


  1. Great post, Oliver!

    Of course, I agree with about every comment posted by an angry illustrator responding to Dana Balnkenhorn's course reply to Chris Buzelli.

    They are absolutely right about copyright, watermarks, the internet, theft..the whole kit and caboodle.

    Sad thing is, if the Orphan Works Bill goes through, they will be 100% wrong! There will be barely an ounce of protection (certainly no deterrent from a lawsuit) for artists who want to maintain copyright control over their own creations.

    [It's strange, I just found your post after becoming a follower of the IPA's Orphan Works blog (I've been a bit out-of-touch lately, and I regret it)]

  2. He didn't just walk into a buzz saw, he duct taped himself to it with his obviously mis-informed replies. That said, I agree the tone of piling on got a little intense and frankly insulting even if I, like Chuck, agree with the CONTENT of everything being said. As of the last post at least no one had gone to all caps or called the other party a Nazi, the ultimate argument-killer.

    peace in our time

  3. I have heard about this all over the net on various illustration sites. He really should have known better being a professional writer.

    I think we all probably have nightmare usage stories to share (although that may be best discussed on a private forum).

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. I actually tried handling this through private emails but I was ignored. I did not start the fire, I was very straightforward with my initial comment. I doubt that this incident would have gained but a few comments if not for his arrogant and insulting replies. I was overwhelmed by the passionate discussion that this created. Yes. a few went a little overboard but a majority were well written and intelligent. Obviously many have dealt with similar situations. Hopefully, one good thing came out of this and many more are registering their copyrights. It's easy. Just go to http://www.copyright.gov/ and click on the big blue e. Thanks for the post!
    Chris Buzelli

  6. Chris, hopefully no offense was taken with my "starts the fire" comment. I simply meant your comment was where the action started : ) I thought your reply was respectful and straightforward and I agree that if the author had just taken responsibility to begin with, it likely wouldn't have snowballed as it did. Great to see such a turn-out in your defense though. Even Irene Gallo joined the fight!

  7. Hi Oliver,
    No offense at all. It really was heartening to see all the support. Unbelievable! Thanks to all!

  8. I didn't think the illustrators' backlash was disproportionate at all when you consider the arrogance of Blankenhorn's "mea culpa".

    Instead of an apology for stealing Chris' artwork, he offers a ridiculous list of things we artists can use to protect ourselves from predators like himself. He left out my favorite: a lawsuit. It was gratifying to see som many well-written responses form the SI, and I'm wondering why no-one from the IPA has sounded out on this. I wish this incident would reach the mainstream media, but somehow I don't think it will.
    Thanks for paying us visit, Chris, and thanks, Oliver again, for the post and link.

    I should have added a link to the IPA blog:

  9. Good post! Thanks for the link.

    I also don't think the overall response from illustrators was disproportionate to the author's post, which was extremely condescending and ill advised. Actually, I found many of them to be accurate and thoughtfully worded.

    As Christina mentioned, many of us have encountered similar situations, and they can usually be quickly diffused - but it's good to see overwhelming public response on occasion. It helps to alert artists to the potential problem and clients to the potential consequences. It can be easy to forget that an act is illegal or damaging when it's not sufficiently visible or commonly enforced.