Over the past few month I have not found any outright thief of my artwork. That changed today May 21, 2014.
- (May 26th New Update is at the bottom of page)
The Lithuanian band Juodvarnis STOLE my copyrighted artwork. They used four or more of my art images for their CD. They did not ask permission, they did not credit me, they did not compensate me. I am very angry. I do think that I have a right to be furious!!! What really irks me is ,aside from the CD art theft, they are also selling a 16 page pamphlet “ a 16 page booklet with atmospheric artwork” I discovered images from the CD used 4 of my images, I wonder how many others are in the booklet? This evening I began posting comments on their Facebook page and soon realized that they blocked me and removed all of my posts. I got this message-
“First of all, hello. Second thought by morning in my local time, you will be contact with band’s manager, and clear things out. Till then, i pleased you avoid unnecessary posts in our page. By now, I am sorry for the misunderstanding.”
Unnecessary posts??? Misunderstanding???? How about this, why don’t I sell their music on my Etsy page, not tell Juodvarnis , give them no credit, and I keep all the money. Would that be a misunderstanding? Hell no, because I know that someone created that music and deserved credit and monetary compensation. I heard from the band this morning and they claim that the CD designer is responsible. This is typical, these bands play the blame game, it is never “their fault”. In truth they are to blame since it is their names that appear on the CD. I have asked for aa copy of the 16 page art booklet which they are selling to see exactly how much of my artwork was used, I am sure that mine was not the only work stolen either.
Honestly I am absolutely disgusted with the music industry; there is no respect for the visual arts at all. Musicians seem to feel that visual images are free and exist solely for the adornment of the CDs, booklets and posters of the music industry. This arrogance has to stop. Shame of you “Juodvarnis”!!!
May 26 2014 UPDATE
I have been communicating with the designer of the CD as well as the band. The designer is a college student, she told me she worked on the CD cover with “guidance” from one of her teachers. Apparently her teacher gave her several of my raven images and told her that they were made by a mid-century unknown artist. Really! If this teacher had used Google Image Search or Fire Fox Infringement Finder she would have discovered that these were my artworks and that I am alive and well. They band is signing an image use agreement and I have been paid for the use of the artwork.
Even though the band unknowingly used my artwork they are still a party in this. My artwork was part of the CD, it was used to enhance the CD and, in a real sense, was also being sold though the band does not understand nor agree with me on this. I know that the designer and band members are apologetic and never intended to steal my artwork. Now that they have signed an agreement, paid for the use of the images, and are crediting me on the CD, they are are NOT stealing my images anymore. However I am leaving this post up so that other bands will know that I am very serious about protecting my artwork from image piracy. Here is an apology which the band and designer sent me:
“We would like to offer an apology for Larry Vienneau Jr. for unknowingly using some of his artwork in our Cd’s booklet. We are sorry and embarrassed. But most of all, we are deeply sorry. Words cannot express how truly sorry we are for the stress, frustration and inconvenience that we caused. It was not our intention. We again thank Mr. Vienneau for bringing these matters to our attention and being so understanding in solving this matter.
In retrospect, we believe the situation resulted from being young and eager and putting too much trust in third party involved. While this is by no means an excuse, knowing the cause will help us against future mistakes. “
- Thank you Juodvarnis for being honest and sincere.
links to my artwork: