This is the first time my etching “Black Madonna and Child” https://www.etsy.com/listing/79592246/black-madonna-and-child-raven-bird has been stolen. It isn’t one of my most popular prints but I like it and recently it has been re-pinned frequently on Pinterest. So I decide to do an image search. Normally I get Etsy, Pinterest, and a couple of blogs as the main sites with the image but today I found this one.
Yes…… it is another Rock Band using my artwork again. Actually it is a double whammy; it has been stolen to promote a rock concert (1) to benefit an anarchist group (2).
I usually start my conversation with the bands that have the image on their website or Facebook page. The bands and anarchists are Italian. I can usually tell from the first inquiry whether or not the band was involved with the use on my image. I believe the bands are not involved this time, I asked them to send me contact information for the promoter and the venue. My opinion about their involvement really rests with the cooperation I get from them. One band did send me a name, with no contact information. I found that person when I looked at the tags for the event flyer and sent him two messages to remove the image. The other band that sent several supportive messages, they did call the event site a “squat” or “occupied” place. (usually in an abandoned building, it has a nice anarchist feel doesn’t it?) Their last one message; “good luck, I’m sorry… this is YOUR art…”
The event flyer is in Italian but I can see that it an event sponsored by Laboratory Anarchist at a place called “The Zone” or Laboratorio Anarchico “La Zona”. It has no website, no email, and no Facebook page. All internet inquiries for this group lead to this site.. http://il-neroveleno.blogspot.com/2013/06/8-giugno-concerto-hc-laboratorio.html
It has been over 24 hours since I sent my emails and requests for information from the event sponsors and the bands. I receive emails from KAZAMATE, AFTER DEMISE and FEED ME MORE, nothing from RAUCHERS or the anarchists. FEED ME MORE has been the most helpful but no one had any information about the event sponsors because the event was a SQUAT. I also sent several requests through Facebook asking them to remove my images. So far I have only heard back from FEED ME MORE and they agreed to remove it from their blog and Facebook page. They seemed to be helpful, however after promising to removing the image from Facebook and WordPress, the image remained. I had to contact Facebook and WordPress to have it removed. They have also sent a stream of rude and childish messages demanding to be removed from this blog. They did not have anything to do with the design of the poster but the Band does appear on the poster, the images were not removed from their Facebook page or WordPress as promised (I had to send DMCA letters). I removed their Facebook link but now they want their names scrubbed from this blog post which isn’t going to happen. If they are embarrassed, then I am sorry.
Honestly I find it hard to believe that there is no one who can claim ownership of the event.
- Someone designed the flyer,
- Someone distributed the flyers
- Someone picked the SQUAT
- Someone knows more than they are willing to say
Usually I get a response from those involved when I post, hopefully I will get some answers. I have received angry comments demanding the remove the bands links. I also got some infantile and immature comments from the Anarchists which I promptly deleted. Absolute idiots, when they don’t get their way, they have a childish tantrum. I think the links belong here, after all, my artwork was used to promote their music event without my permission. and no one can give a clear answer to one simple question: “Who designed the poster?”
DMCA letters have been sent to Facebook and WordPress to have the images removed.
Update July 14th : I received this message from the person who designed the poster
my friend write me for the problem about your artwork. I’m italian, so sorry for my bad english.
I found your artwork on Google and i like it too much so i used it for a concert, it was my birthday and i love crow!
I’m sorry for the mistake, they tell me this story only a few days ago…otherwise I would have contacted you before. the next time we’ll be much more careful, right now I can only say I’m sorry. I hope you will accept our apologies and designs however are really beautiful, congratulations. however, they found it on google, I did not think there were any problems. I’ll wait your answer..
Thank you, this apology is accepted and appreciated!!
This is the problem, so many people believe Google searches are stock art or public domain images. They are not. Someone actually sat down and did the painting, drawing or took the photograph. It is a product of hard work. Please respect the copyrighted work of visual artists as much as you would a musicians, or film makers. Use Google image Search or Firefox Infringement Finder App. Find out who owns the artwork, contact them and ask for permission.