Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Asking Permission and Being Careful...

Phases of Life
Acrylic five 12 x 4
staple-less gallery wrapped canvas

You have seen this before, that is true, but it kind of fits with what I wanted to talk about today.

Do you remember when you were in school and the teacher would say to keep your eyes on your paper and do your own work? Then when you were in high school you were told you had to not copy because it was plagiarizing and that was illegal? In college, I had to write a pledge on every paper and exam I turned in. If there was any problem, then you had to appear before a court to resolve it. As an adult, writers get sued all the time for plagiarism of ideas and to have copyright laws upheld. So what is my point?

Recently I have been advised some of my blog work has been used by other people, and they have not asked permission to do so. Now I do have a copyright message on here for all artists who's work appears here. The thing is not only have I had an issue, but I have heard from some other blogging/artist friends who have a similar issue. I have a big problem with anyone who will blatantly copy/paste my blog posts. I have a much bigger problem when they take advantage of artists who share on this blog. If you are a person who has a propensity to go this route, I am checking each day for anything which comes up... If you would like permission to use something, ask, I am not that mean! Here is the question I have to the few of you who do this, do you want to be a victim of a thief, too? If you are blatant about taking whole posts or if you choose to copy an image of an painting without the writer/artist's permission, you are performing an illegal act! Now is the time to think twice, be respectful. Whatever you do give clear and thoughtful appreciation to the source when you post it, but try to obtain permission if you can.

For those of you who need to protect yourself, if it is important to you, I advise you to do some web searches to see what comes up. One thing which seems to be going around right now is another kind of scheme all together. I was alerted by a new site which is aiding artists in selling their art (so many seem to be doing that these days). This site is called Zibbet. They give some good advice for protecting yourself from those who will take advantage of artists. Visit them here to see what they had to say.

These are kind of crazy things and I never thought I would be writing a post like this, but here you have it. How do you feel about work being used without your permission? Do you think I am way off base?

Have a Good Day, despite my rant here.


Jess said...

It is scary to think the artwork we've agonised over is swiftly copied by someone else, but it's a risk that we take at putting our work out there for the world to see. At christmas I saw some christmas cards in a shop that looked uncannily similar to ones I submitted to several greetings cards companies last Spring. The thing is, they were 'similar' and not the same, so it's not actually against my copyright. Unless we watermark everything online we can't avoid it being copied, however I tend to keep my images of a small pixel size so they'd never be as good as the originals.x

Andrea and Kim said...

Hi Jess, it sure is the chance we take...and I will keep taking it to be sure. It still doesn't make it right. The same with the know what happened, but it doesn't make it right. I have this thing about ethics, I suppose.

I have seriously considered the watermark route...and I am still contemplating this one! The small pixel size is a good idea, but in my case, that hurts the honest people. It is a double edged sword, and I think this last one just rubbed me the wrong way.

I really appreciate your thoughts on this. I think you are especially vulnerable with your illustrations, too.



Cynthia Pittmann said...

Oh Gosh! It's true with writing ideas also...and sometimes the person you must trust, publishes your thoughts under her name. This has happened to me in the academic setting; I'm trying to adjust. It's like someone hits you below the belt and the referee doesn't see it. Sometimes people don't know or realize. A couple of years ago I presented a paper at a Caribbean conference and a few months later, someone who shared the panel with me presented five minutes of my paper as her own at another conference. I told her about it in an email and if my work was not set to be published, it would have gone under her name. Now, it's happening again to me. I can only say that some people have character and others need to learn to control their over-eager greedy selves. I'm sorry for your trouble. <3

~Babs said...

I think it's a sad case of "don't want it stolen, don't put it out there".
Unfortunately, there will always be people who have no sense of ethics, no regard for other's rights, and no pride of having created their OWN work.
And as for copyright laws to have any real effect,,,well, that takes laywers,,,which takes time and money, and there's a vague line in the sand of what is original.
Right now I have had what I think is a decent little idea concerning my clay pieces,,,,(not a huge big deal) WHICH MAY NOT EXCITE anyone but me, but for the time being,,,until I decide whether or not I want to try to market them, I won't be posting them. The concept wouldn't be hard to copy, and probably has already been done,but not that I've seen. What I am doing is my own original idea,,,as far as I know,,,so at least for now, I will keep it under my hat.
Interesting post Kim!

Andrea and Kim said...

Hello Cynthia, you know academia seems to also be ripe for this. I have had professor friends who have had similar experiences to yours. Call me naive, but it really gets my gall there are people out there who are so you say to do these things. My son took his SATs a few years ago and all around him the test takers were cheating...the proctor turned her head to this obvious issue. Apparently they are told to do this! It completely sends me over the top.

You are right, a message noting you are on to someone makes a difference in removing it usually, but how about what you don't catch?

I am so sorry you have been through this...I suppose the good news is at least we can live with ourselves because we care. They can live with themselves, because they don't.

Thanks Cynthia!

Andrea and Kim said...

Yes, I completely understand what you mean, Babs. It is sad, although it is the risk I am willing to take...because I am in a place where I would like to see some of these paintings sold. You are right it is the way of the world, but it still doesn't make it the right thing to do. I feel the more people speak up the louder the voice to be heard.

I am very, very glad to hear you are on to something with your clay work...the pieces you shared were amazing. I am sure you will do very well with them and I FOR ONE think it is VERY EXCITING.

You sure can't copy what you haven't seen...that isn't even the deal here. With these issues I am talking about it was crystal preparing a print of a painting and literally copy/pasting a post onto another web site! Clearly, those were seen!

Thanks Babs,



Andrea and Kim said...

Sorry Cynthia...I meant to say...



I was carried away in the heat of the discussion...


Dianne said...

Dear Kim, thank you for talking about this problem! As bloggers, we are open to having our work stolen by unscrupulous people out there. Babs, you are right to protect your clay objects. I see Andrea puts a copywrite sign and her name on her photo's of her paintings, this is at least some sort of protection - still doesn't stop people trying to copy your paintings though.
Thanks, Kim for starting this very important discussion!

Cynthia Pittmann said...

Cute "correction" Kim!

My daughter takes her SAT's next month. I wonder if it's a problem over here. I just read a page of warnings yesterday when I registered her for the test. One was : "Leave your cell phone home. If you are caught looking at it, or it rings during the exam, it will be confiscated." You are not allowed to use it even during the breaks.
I remembered another incident, I developed an activity for a communication program I was writing and my best friend and supervisor's husband completed it, and then he published it in his counseling book. I discovered it years later. When I realized that I could not be friends with the couple without saying something, I did. He did not remember my activity, he said, and he wrote the book before he knew me. sigh. Of course it was publish after he knew me. Anyway, I didn't care about the activity being published in his book, I only thought he should acknowledge the source of the idea. He said he wasn't offended but now because of his reaction, the 15 friendship with his wife cannot go forward. It's a shame. I don't even know why I felt compelled to address the issue. It just really bothered me.
Maybe there is a feeling of territory...or...identity? I run on...sorry.

Much affection to you and I hope the courage to share your work continues. Maybe you could put a copy block on the photo of your artwork? Or you could have your name imbedded in the background so that you always are connected to the work? (as in Sara Lawrence blog.) <3 xx

Andrea and Kim said...

Hi Dianne,

Thank you, I think it is important to have this discussion. If we do not, then it kind of allows people to go on with it. At least that is the way it seems to me. I am seriously considering the watermarking, but some of these things could not be watermarked...and like Cynthia, you can't do that to words.

Thanks, Dianne, for participating in this.



Andrea and Kim said...

Hi Cynthia, I hear you. My son went into the exam with the intention of just doing the very best he could do. It never crossed our minds he would have such an issue and he became so shocked by it he knew he wasn't concentrating as well as he should. So tell your daughter to be very careful not to allow herself to become distracted. It worked out just fine for him, but he felt he could have done better, too. He sure wasn't willing to take it again. In reflection he felt as though it was nothing but pressure on the test takers to do well...and with all of the standardized testing going on in the schools here, this is the way students learned to cope with it. This still doesn't make it right and I hold a lot of people accountable.

I am like you, I can't keep my mouth shut with something like this. I find it amazing the things in life people will hide behind. I think it is just setting an example of "doing the right thing" I do not wish to live in fear...that is a sad state.

I am still playing with the idea of the watermark. Of course, that also means a lot of other work. It still will not keep me from talking about this...I am glad you are also talking.

Come back any time...



soulbrush said...

i have seen all sorts of plagiarism working in classrooms...sigh....we can't stop others, we can only be true to ourselves and pine for our stuff that has been taken/copied without our deserve to rant.

Andrea and Kim said...

I bet you have seen far more than your fair share!

You are right, though...we can't stop others - we must be true to ourselves and let our voices be heard.

Thank you for not minding the rant here.



sukipoet said...

Kim, are you speaking of your words being used and/or pictures of yr artwork?? Of course, I do think folks should ask permission to quote from you and/or to post a picture of yours on their blogs.

I fear that the copy and paste method is very easy to use without thought of asking permission. I just discussed this a bit on Willows blog (a week or so ago) re: folks who quote entire poems and/or song lyrics on their blogs. These are things that one has to pay to quote from, yet on the internet no one seems to care or ask permission.

I read a post Elizabeth did about this in which she seemed to indicate someone or someones were taking her posts in complete and posting them on their blogs. I dont even get why someone would want to do this.

I havent noticed any problem with my stuff. i dont know how i would feel about my on line publications being taken without permission. HOwever I do like to be asked if someone wants to quote from my published writing.

Andrea and Kim said...

Suki, that is just what happened an entire very long post was republished in its total and complete form on another web site (part of a blog, I think). It is no longer there as I confronted the person and they chose to remove it rather than ask for permission (which I said I would give under a certain condition...not money).

Other artist friends have told me they have been told people printed off copies of their paintings and even framed them...told by those who did this after they did so!

You are right, these are things which people own rights to and even if you sell a painting often you retain the copyright, so the royalties for those images are yours. Just like a song, a poem, a novel...anything the artist is paid for their use.

I am very much like you, it is beyond my comprehension to think of someone being so insecure in themselves to just take what does not belong to them!

I agree with you...even if it is out of politeness, please by all means ask! Illegal aside, at least try to be polite! You want to say...didn't your mama teach you any manners or explain to you about pride? :)

Sad, very, very sad. If I ever see where anyone has used your work...or anyone elses I know about, I will be sure to let you know!

I may not be the best, however I do try to ask. If I can't, I usually state it and ask if they would contact me!

Thanks Suki! I appreciate your comment on this subject! It is worrying.



Cynthia Pittmann said...

Kim, dear, won't you come over to Oasis and accept a little appreciation? <3

Yvette said...

sweetie Kim, thank you so much for your support. I must say tuning on the energy of you all gives a strenght beyond knowing. I wish I could give it to everybody

Andrea and Kim said...

Awe, Cynthia! I really needed that today! You are too sweet. I am deeply honored by your kindness, your generosity and your words.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart!



Andrea and Kim said...

Hello Dear Yvette!

I am so pleased to see you back and hope you are feeling much better! I think you were held up here beautifully with so many beautiful blog friends.

I think you give us so much more than you believe you give!

A Large and Gentle Hug for You!



Paula In Pinetop said...

You are not off base with this.

I don't get what is so difficult in asking for permission? But I think it stems from a total lack of respect for other people in general.


A few months back I played around with my blog template then abandoned the design deciding I liked what I had. A few weeks later I went back to the themes page at blogger and low and behold someone had lifed my template, complete with titles and everything. I was so pissed. Excuse that ornate word, but dang, it just isn't right.

It is a sad thing.

Andrea and Kim said...

Thanks for weighing in here Paula! I am so sorry you have had this experience, but as you can see it seems to be running around. Here is the thing...I think we have to begin to talk about it. It is just like being "Ripped Off"...if you don't talk about it, then how will people know they are not alone. Clearly, we are not to hide in fear...just be smart and keep an eye on what is going on.

I have thought several times about making this blog private, then I thought ... what? There might be someone out there who reads something helpful here.

It is enough to get in your craw, no doubt about it. I have used much stronger language to be sure.

Lack of respect for others also means a lack of self-respect...and that is really sad!

Thanks Paula for your kind support!



Michelle said...

Hi Kim
Yes, I did come over from Cynthia and was meaning to come back and say so,:0)

I suppose, with regards to people using our work, I would have to agree, its just plain rude if nothing else.

When I get around to it I'm going to watermark my work but meanwhile, I suppose its fair game. I had one guy pop in and TELL me he was using an image off my blog, but he did link back, so I didn't mind too much.

Still, I would have preferred he had asked. Its only good manners.

Inspiration is fine, take all you want, but thievery is not.

Andrea and Kim said...

Hello Michelle,

It is lovely to meet you. I am glad you came back and left a comment. I have an idea you will have a lot to say here. Welcome!

You know it is very interesting because I don't mind if people link back to me when they speak of something going on here or ask me if they might use some parts of what happens is just the rudeness of not giving respect for someone's work. As I said before, that is also a lack of respect for themselves, too. I really believe that.

Like you, the watermarking is about to begin, as I have just purchased software to make this happen. Sad a few mess things up for so many, but the people who would never think of nabbing something for themselves will not care, anyway!

Thanks So Much, Michelle!

Have a Lovely Valentines Weekend!



Lynette said...

'Phases of Life' is really a stunner Kim and I love the progression of the shapes and the colors of the backgroud and how they meld into each other, truly gorgeous work!! And Kim, I feel the same exact way you do, I would be pretty darn upset to find that someone had copied/pasted anything I painted or posted in my blog to claim as their own. What nerve! :(

Andrea and Kim said...

Thank You, Sweet Lynette! I am honored you like this was fun to do, although quite time consuming.

It is a real shame, isn't it, Lynette? You know, I can kind of get myself past it when it is me. Sort of move forward with it and be done, then when I think of my friends having issues with the same thing...that really gets me going. My husband says I am everyone's Mama! LOL

Thanks Lynette! Have a Beautiful Valentines Weekend!



Anonymous said...

I read your post with intense interest. The instance of someone lifting your post is not the first I've heard of. I have been considering watermarking my photos and artwork... a shame I will have to post them marked with a ghost copyright across them.

Andrea and Kim said...

Chewy, you are so right, it is a shame...sad for you and shame on those who do this! It is so sad to say we must move in this direction, however with your fabulous art, I absolutely encourage you to watermark your incredible art. While your work can never, ever be imitated easily, just the thoughts of someone printing out that fabulous work on watercolor paper makes me cringe.

Sad, sad, sad, but you must protect yourself!

Thanks for your insights and your willingness to share this is not the first time you have heard of this you can see, it appears to be across the board.