Sunday, September 17, 2006

An excellent article on copyright myths.

I used to belong to a group called the Equine Arts Protection League. You can find them, if interested through a google search.

All of this will tie together and make sense, I promise. I'm going to visit with you a little bit about copyright law.

When you see an artist posting their work on the internet, advertising in a publication, handing you a business card with their work on it, know this. The artist is not doing this to "give" you their image. The artist is going to the expense of advertising for the purpose of selling his work. It costs us time and money to put our work before the world. When we take time away from painting, to do advertising, it costs us money....

We do this with the purpose of "selling" our work so we can make a living. It keeps us off the streets. It keeps us off the welfare roles. It keeps us from begging for handouts on the corner. After all, who wants more artists turned loose on the world? Let them be in their studios working!

Artists work to create beauty in the world. We like presenting items that make your homes more beautiful. Have you ever walked into any house and seen bare walls? No. Not unless it's vacant and for sale or rent. Art is a useful necessity in our lives. No one lives without it. Artists have and have always had, a productive, purposeful, place in this world.

It isn't right to steal their work from the web, from magazine articles or advertisements. You wouldn't like it if I walked into your house and took something home with me.

The article above is about the Equine Arts Protection League and a case of copyright infringement where the infringer was caught. It's a good article and it shows what can happen when a group of people band together to protect their work. I hope the article gets syndicated in the newspapers because it would help to explain how artists make their living and how important it is we keep the right to do so.

My Robert writes poems. He prints them out and frames them and sells them. We once sold a poem to a little old lady. Immediately upon purchasing the framed print, she grabbed it and flipped it over. She was looking to see how easy it would be to take the poem out of the frame. She told us, "I can take this and make copies and give one to everyone in my family for Christmas!"

No. You can't do that. It's illegal.

Not many people read my blog. But if even one person walks away from here understanding more about copyright law, I'll be satisfied.

Most people respect an artists right to make a living. 99 percent of the people would not come to my blog and say, "I like this horse, I think I'll download it and put it on my computer."

I still believe people are good and decent and honest, that's why I publish my work on the internet and in magazine ads. Besides, I'm such a small potatoes artist I don't flatter myself to think anyone would bother me in this way. But I do want to help spread the word and educate anyone who's willing to listen.