Using Unusual “Search Words” to Find Image Thieves: aka…..AKA Concerts!

AKA Concerts

Now, most of the time I have problems with bands, clubs or promoters stealing my image I have to deal with international laws and treaties, however this time the offenders are Americans. I try to do my Google image searches every couple of weeks but I have had a few things get in the way. Because I took more than two weeks off I missed this one event by 8 days, the event was on February 8th, and I discovered the poster on February 16th. Dang it! Just once I want to find one BEFORE the event takes place!!!

I have started trying a new approach to my searches. Using Firefox Copyright Infringement Finder, I search my most frequently stolen images but rather than using words like “crow” “raven” or “bird” I search with words attached such as “t-shirt”, “concert”, “music”, or “music festival”. I have had two huge hits using this method.  Try using weird words like “free”, or “poster”, these have also been productive. One of these recent searches was highlighted in my post Don’t let your artwork become “Public Domain”

The stolen image is my etching “Inquisition” 

This one is another Club, Promoter Music event blame game. Sometimes the bands have a hand in things but this time the bands seem to be free of involvement although Spiral Arms has a link with my art on their website.  I looked though their websites and Facebook pages and didn’t see anything that suggests they knew anything. The Club is The Milk Bar in San Francisco, The Promoter is AKA Concerts. The image I found was a Facebook link to the event planner on the Milk Bar’s Facebook page.  I posted on the photo of the poster and I sent them a message. The replies were fast and frenzied “Contact AKA Concerts. They made the poster, not Milk Bar…… (  I believe Adam Alvarez is the guy to talk to………. Milk bar does not support what happened here. We pay graphic designers for all our own shows…….. We are supporters of the arts….”

They seemed genuine but I am so tired of this nonsense that sometimes I don’t know if I am a fool for believing them. The Milk Bar was curious about how I found the poster. I told them Google Image finder. (I thought Firefox Copyright Infringement Finder would be too hard to explain). So I have sent the promoter a strongly worded email. If I do not get a reply by tomorrow noon I am going to send out my DMCA. I also suggested that they might own me some money, fat chance of seeing a dime from these guys.

So this is another sad example of how the music industry has absolutely no respect the visual arts. I am sure if I had used a music clip from any of these bands that preformed at the Milk Bar in a Facebook video I would have been told “COPYRIGHT VIOLATION” and I would been prevented from using the video, but it is funny how that same vigilance is NOT used for visual artists. The US Congress is going to be revamping the DMCA so that Traditional and Digital Visual arts have greater protection. Let’s hope it works.


I have been in contact with AKA Concerts. They agreed to pay a fee for the use of the image. My artwork was found in a Google search of Crows by a member of the Band ZED. I impressed upon them that images on the internet are NOT public domain. With minimal searching they could have easily found me and that I often grant permission when asked. When I started this blog I set out to address image thief regardless if it was malicious or unintentional. So I am leaving this post up without editing. The Bands, Milk Bar, and AKA Concerts responded very quickly and were professional. Issue resolved but the post stays up intact.



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