The Social Network for Fine Artists, Decorative Artists and Ceramicists
I receive a lot of messages each day as there are times I think I belong to every group, association, and page that has ever been created. Well this morning I received the following message about a topic that should be very important to all artists. Therefore, Donna was nice enough to grant me permission to print here message here for all to think about. Thank you Donna for allowing me to share this with our members. Please see Donna's message below:
"Bravo to all the chapters who require permission and a review of designs before they
are taught. This shows support for our designers and a respect for their
Oddly enough, our Decorative Arts Business Alliance group had a networking meeting
yesterday and had a lawyer talk to us about copyright law. Most of the members in
our small group are publishing artists and at least one has had problems with
copyright infringement and used this lawyer's services. Mattew Saunders specializes
in Intellectual Property Law. When we infringe on someone's copyright, it effects
their income potential. We have already lost many designers who have quit decorative
painting because they simply can't afford to stay in the business. They have to get
a job doing something else.
This CDA should know that there is no percentage rule. There is no rule about how
many thngs can be changed in the design that make it 'yours'. When someone steals
their design, even parts of it, there is loss of revenue. Somebody doesn't have to
buy a packet or a book because somebody else gave it to them for free. By allowing
this CDA to continue to teach at your chapter, you are helping to create an
atmosphere that it's okay to do this. New members might not fully understand
copyright but they see something going on that looks okay to do. Why not, everyone
else is doing it. So the myths of 'change a few things and it's not longer someone
else's design' keep spreading. Obviously, the design is substantially recognizable
as belonging to someone else. That's enough to mean there is copyright infringement.
Can the CDA get away with it? Yes. It's not worth the cost of hiring a lawyer to go
after her. But shame on her. Her actions also affect the reputation of your chapter.
You need to stand up and take a position on this in support of all artists. The
least you can do is review all designs before anyone teaches. But I think your
chapter also needs to take a stand on this issue and have someone give a short talk
about copright at your next meeting. As a chapter member, I would stand up at a
meeting and publicly ask that the board start taking a stand."
Support our Artists!
Donna Frost Bow, NH
Quarry House Distributors