Anarchists are a separate species. They have absolutely no respect for copyright, and they have no qualms about stealing an image if it suites their needs. I found that a couple anarchist sites had used my artwork for an event poster in the Seattle area. They also allowed people to download the poster for free. I made the mistake of trying to ask why they used my artwork and I said they had no right to use it without permission. They are really just a group of upper class white kids rebelling against daddy. I spent a few weeks tracking down every image that they had linked from their sites.
I learned a valuable lesson though; arguing with anarchists is like shouting at a brick wall. Here are just a few of the comments I got back from these “geniuses.”
- ‘It’s not even like people stole your prints or whatever, they just used a digital copy of them.’
- “it is my copyright”Lolololololol
- “….as far as permission and compensation; Fuck off.”
- ‘The good news is that we don’t expect you to ask for permission either…Unless you’re trying to fuck us.’
- ‘Sorry but you’re confused. See that image you linked is black and white. This one is yellow and has words on it. In fact I think you must have traced yours from the poster. I mean what kind of artist are you… a scam artist?
What I found amusing was their sense of invincibility. Ironically their rhetoric ended when I enforced my copyright and the server threatened to shut them down …
- “PSA’s host threatened to close our account if the image weren’t taken down so its been removed.”
I never heard another word from them again.
I learned a lot from this experience. About a month later another anarchist group from New York used my artwork for another poster. They also had a free download. I spent weeks chasing these links down. I never even bothered to debate the issue with them. I sent them an email which said that they stole my artwork and I plan to enforce my copyright. I never got a reply so I sent my DMCA notice to their server. Within a week the poster was gone AND the website had been shut down!. I keep looking for it to re surface but is seems to be dead. So the DMCA letters are very effective if you are tenacious. Don’t be bullied, don’t be intimidated. It is your artwork, don’t let anyone steal it!!
September 5th update: I check the New York anarchist site and discovered that it is up again. They have my images up again too. they added it to two downloadable PDF documents in the hopes that it would be overlooked in an image search. Unlike the last infringement which was a use of my image for their poster, this violation is for the use of that same image within a publication by the anarchists group. I think they thought I would not find it. I have made another claim against them. I hope I shut them down for good!! Round two DMCA coming up!!
September 15: update The New York group using my artwork was notified of the DMCA claim and the links were disabled. However I did find a “thank you” and link to the people who designed the image and the Zine publication. I went to this site a, sure enough, there was another downloadable link with an unauthorized use of my artwork. I have made a claim against them as well. They are either incredibly arrogant or incredibly ignorant. below are pages from the Zine with my image.
September 16th update: DMCA was filed and the images were removed. I will be watching these anarchists sites carefully.