I had another newsletter ready to send today but changed my mind. I never put politics intovmy newsletters because I respect your right to your opinion.
However, today became clear that politics had crossed into the “rights of the artists” category. I am stepping out on a limb writing about this but I feel it is extremely important that artists understand their rights and not accept those who disrespect the creativity of others.
You know the image I am referring to…the one with a bowl of Skittles…(for those who don’t just google “Skittle Controversy”)
I am not going into how it was used but that it was used without the artist’s permission.
The photographer took this image in 1980 (who just happened to be a refugee) and uploaded the image to www.flickr.com in 2010. This is a site to share your photography…not for others to use without permission…especially as a political tool.
So what are the rights of a creative person?
Here is an article I thought would be useful for you and it is taken from: http://www.artslaw.com.au/legal/raw-law/how-do-you- protect-your-work-on-the-internet/
How do you protect your work on the internet?
As a creator, the great thing about the internet is that you can upload your work and share it with people around the world for very little cost. However, people can illegally download and copy your work without your permission. This is why it is very important to protect the words, images, music and films you put on the internet.
This information will be helpful if you use the internet in the following ways:
- showing your artworks on websites
- sharing your videos or films
- using other people’s words, images and information in your own work
- blogging or writing your thoughts, comments or ideas on websites
- communicating with friends on social networking sites.
The main legal issues on the internet are copyright and piracy.
Copyright is about important rights that only you have in your work.
Other people need your permission or license to do those things.
Copyright is important because it:
- protects your work against use by others without your permission
- allows you get money for your work.
Copyright laws protect electronic versions of your work as much as your ‘real’ or material work such as painting or photograph.
With digital technology, it is very easy for people to copy or use other people’s work without permission. This happens a lot with music or film on the internet. Everyday, people use the internet to copy and share other people’s work for free, and without permission. This is called piracy.
Protecting your work
There are ways to protect material you upload on the internet from being used without your permission:
To protect your visual art, you can:
- add a visible watermark to your images before uploading them
- disable right-click
- add invisible information to your images online
- tell users that a high quality version is available to buy
- upload low-resolution images only — no more than 72dpi
- put the © notice with your name next to your work.
- give people the possibility to contact you — for example, by showing your email address. It will be easier for someone to ask for your permission to use your work.
- providing your contact details and how to buy your work – email is usually best
- adding a visible watermark to your images before uploading
- disabling right clicking to make it harder to copy an image
- Work out what uses of your work you will allow before putting any material online – for example:
- can people buy it online?
- can people download it?
- is it available for private use only, or can it be used in public?
- Make sure that people know you are the copyright owner of your work and what they can do with your work.
- Use a search engine to see if other people are using your material.
- If your copyright is infringed get legal advice and take action.
From the website of http://www.arsny.com/ came this information:
Can’t I just scan the image out of a book? No. Simply scanning images out of books or lifting them from other sources for your own purposes is violative of the rights and prerogatives of the artist, the publisher of the book, and the photographer who supplied the original photographic material. It also constitutes unlawful interference in the contractual relationship between the original supplier of the photograph and the publisher.
Q: If you take a photo of a work of art that you did not create, who owns the copyright?
As the creator of art, the copyright owner has the exclusive rights in the art such as for reproduction. Courts have disagreed as to whether taking photos of copyrighted works is a violation. Regardless, the law prevents you from having copyright ownership of anything that is an infringement.
We as artists should be outraged at the lack of respect, responsibility and common courtesy plus the blatant piracy of the Skittle image. Venting is exactly what I am doing…but with a purpose. Know your rights as an Artist. If you do not stand up for them no one will.
For more information about Artists Rights go to these websites and surround yourself with knowledge.
Also…know your work deserves respect.
Please leave a comment below and let me know what you think.