The purpose of this blog is to shame and embarrass those involved with image thief. I started this blog as a way to defend myself from those who either knowingly or unknowingly have stolen my artwork. I use this blog to document my interaction with those who were involve with using my artwork. If you were involved you will be added to the blog.
My artwork has been pirated frequently despite watermarks and copyright notifications. What really irks me is that most of the violator are musicians or writer, the very people who should know better!! I suppose I could feel a bit flattered that so many people like my artwork enough to use it. I could feel flattered but I don’t. I feel angry because the people who use my work could be crediting me and, better yet, paying me for the use of my images. Some of the piracy is unintentional “I thought it was public domain” or “I thought it was copyright free” are some of the defense people have used. If these people spent 20 minutes on an image search they would have a very good idea where the artwork came from. Some of it is unintentional while some is just plain laziness. Other people think “who will know?” hoping not to get caught. When they do get caught they offer a pathetic “sorry” not because they are apologizing but they are sorry they got caught. Then there are those who just don’t care. Their response is “what is the big deal?” or” I just borrowed a digital copy of it” or worse, a string of profanity. These people are clueless, they don’t respect the visual arts, they think if it is on the internet then it is free, they think that artists should feel flattered to have the artwork gracing their Music CD, poster, blog, or Book cover.
When I first started using the internet to sell my artwork, the websites guaranteed that” the images would remain the intellectual property of the creator”. They also promised that a credit tag would be attached to all images. I soon realized that this was not true. I added watermarks to all of my images but those older versions are still out there circulating. The truth is I shouldn’t need the watermark, my art is displayed on the sites I use with my name and copyright statement. But once that credit is deleted the image floats nameless. It is the responsibility of the user to do everything possible to find the owner of that image. If they can’t and they choose to use the image they should be completely willing to either credit the artist and/or offer to pay a gratuity. Because of the people who feel thieving is OK on the internet, I do an extensive search every two weeks. If I were to let people use my art whenever or however they wanted ,without crediting me, I could loose my copyright. It is my artwork and I want it back!