On the 17th October, I posted about a strange coincidence or pattern I experienced. On that day I decided to look back and see what I’d posted about that day in 2018. It turned out that on that day I’d posted about my journal entry in 2017. It was like one of those photos inside a photo.
Or like this awesome example of artception featuring a kitty that looks like my Georgie.
Then I noticed something even crazier. That post is getting enormous attention due to a gorgeous graphic I included from the gorgeous website of Amber Rae. I am so glad I credit everything I feature on here or I’d feel really awkward right now. I posted the graphic on Pinterest and it’s generating a lot of traffic. I am so glad I link my posts back to their original sources, but it still feels a little weird.
A few years back I had a brush with the copyright police. I had taken a pic of the Eiffel Tower at night and put it on my Red Bubble page. This is a photo of the photo. I fear the original file has been lost on a hard drive crash a few years ago.
The boat we were on was just about to slide under the bridge and I lifted my camera and snapped. I didn’t think much about it, but when I posted it on Redbubble people went nuts for it. It wasn’t for sale as the file was too small but people were loving it. Then, when I had hundreds of comments and likes I received a letter, yes, they posted me a letter from France (which I thought might be a speeding fine…) asking me to take down my photo within 7 days or I would receive a fine. I can’t recall the amount of fine now but it was in the hundreds of Euros. I was gobsmacked. Naturally I posted about the letter and waited the full 7 days before taking it down. Many people were supportive but a few chimed in to support the copyright. I get it, copyright is important, but I wasn’t making a cent from the photo.
Now you may know, as I did, that the image of the Eiffel Tower is in the public domain, however a bit of research will tell you that the light show is under copyright, owned by the company that supplies and maintains the lights.
Funnily enough I had another challenge in the same week. I had painted ahouse at Currumbin and was using images of it in my advertising.
The painting itself was not for sale but it was my fave and I was really proud of it. One day I received an email from a prospective client, asking to buy the original. I told him is wasn’t for sale but I could price either a digital print or another version to be painted as a commission. He was interested and asked about the logistics of getting it to London. I was excited! It would be my first international commission at that point. Then the other shoe fell. The young guys mother phoned me. She owned the house on the beachfront. Her grandfather has built it in the 1920s and she inherited it on his death. I had no right to paint it, she said. Wow, actually yes I do, there are no laws against that. She wasn’t going to be put off. My daughter is in the painting, she cried. Oh, that 11 brush strokes?
She wanted the painting and was intending to sue me for it. Her three sons were lawyers. I was mortified but I had a stroke of genius. I said, ‘You have a house on the beachfront that was given to you, I have a painting of that house. Are you seriously going to take me to court?’ She backed down but my heart is still broken over it and the painting leans on the wall behind my sofa to this day.
Her son emailed me. His mother wouldn’t let him get a commissioned painting. Being a creative is not for the faint of heart.
A few years later I worked with an artist who used other artists’ work left, right, and centre and didn’t seem to care at all.
And people ask me why I am not painting any more!
Feature Photo by Martino Pietropoli on Unsplash
Copyright laws are basically drawn to protect editors, or other similar. In France a writer’s work falls in the public domain 70 years after the author’s death. 70 years! Saint-Exupéry’s nephews and editors lived happily ever after on the rights of the Petit Prince. Hemingway died in 64. Someone wanted to publish the old man and the sea in French. But no, the translation had been done by Jean Dutourd I think who died muuuch later. So, can’t publish Hemingway.
Your painting’s story is absurd. You painted a façade that is on a public thoroughfare. Period. Not inside a bedroom.
Love that painting though, hang it on the wall. 🙂
I think it’s 70 years here too.
The woman was being a crazy person about that painting. It broke my heart. I am so glad I didn’t give it to her as she was demanding. Imagine thinking you can just have everything you want…? Did you know that the light show was under copyright? Is that an item of common knowledge in France?
I’d heard about it. Others have gone through the same mishap as you did. For the exact same reason. The copyright laws are weird. I went to a Dora Maar expo this summer. Photos allowed, no sweat. Now I understand my photo is mine. My copyright. But the painting or photograph by Dora Maar retains her copyright. (Or her estate). So I make sure to mention the original artist. No problem so far. 🙂
And I am glad you didn’t give away your painting. 😉
I know artists who don’t even like their work posted on other people’s Instagram which seems a little counterproductive to me! We have a sculpture festival here and there are a few artists every year who troll insta and similar sites to ask for their work to be removed from the site. bit precious really.
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