Blog on Art Marketing and Selling Art


Originality and Fairness

I feel more confident knowing I have records that backup my claims if ever a dispute were to arise. Still, it is the artistís responsibility to use their better judgment and think carefully about what they are putting out into the world, especially in this age of the internet. If you are ever, even a bit uncertain, do the research and/or stick to references you have created solely on your own by taking your own photos or painting from life. Eliminate the worry so you can get back to the painting. [...]

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The Art of the Signature

How do you sign your work? Do you have something special you've designed through trial and error? If so, I invite you to share it! There are as many ways to sign artwork as there are artists and each one is perfectly valid. [...]

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Art World Problems: Some more thoughts about Richard Prince, Patrick Cariou, and copyright - Part 2

There are millions of public domain and Creative Commons images (many of which are free to use) in existence today. You could easily spend a lifetime viewing them all. Yet Richard Prince targeted specific copyrighted images created by Patrick Cariou. Considering all of the free possibilities that exist today... it is clear that Patrick Cariou's copyrighted images are a vital part of the images created by Richard Prince. It is a shame that Prince could not admit that outright. He disrespected Cariou... chipping at his own integrity in the process. [...]

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Art World Problems: Some more thoughts about Richard Prince, Patrick Cariou, and copyright - Part 1

The business-minded artist is technically operating a small business. Thus, the conflict over how 'fair use' should be interpreted is a business issues as much as it is an issue surrounding copyright itself. I, for one, think that an artist should be able to protect his or her business (which clearly involves being able to protect his or her creations Ė at least while living). Copyright -- strengthened by copyright registration -- is one of the best ways to do that... unless we sit back and allow a wide interpretation of 'fair use' to become the standard. [...]

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Art World Problems: Artist Richard Prince wins appeal in landmark copyright case

This ruling won't serve the majority of artists. After all, most artists don't rely heavily on direct appropriation in the first place. In other words, I would argue that the majority of artists don't work from images they find online or elsewhere. This ruling serves a small percentage of artists... in some cases supporting their market while hampering YOUR market. I will go as far as to suggest that court rulings like this are a direct attack on self-representing artists. Pointblank, this decision is a major defeat for the majority of artists working today. [...]

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Some Thoughts Concerning International Copyright

'international copyright', as in a single copyright that protects your artwork throughout the world, technically does not exist. However, international copyright conventions and treaties DO exist. [...]

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Making a Mockery of Fair Use and Creative Freedom: Artist Shepard Fairey pleads guilty to criminal contempt over fake evidence

Shepard Fairey has damaged his legacy -- there is no denying that. That is something he will have to live with (and something other artists should learn from). [...]

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Artists upset with Pinterest over copyright issues and alleged copyright infringement?

It has come to my attention that some artists are annoyed by Pinterest regarding copyright. [...]

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The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) would 'kill' online art communities and art blogs

I have to agree that SOPA is dangerous based on what I've read so far. If passed it would 'kill' online art communities and art blogs -- the conversation about art that we love today would be gone... along with the wider conversation in general. [...]

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The United States Copyright Office is seeking remedies for copyright small claims -- they want YOUR feedback

The United States Copyright Office is currently seeking feedback from visual artists and other copyright owners concerning a remedy for problems involving small claims copyright disputes. [...]

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The One Thing Appropriation Artists Don't Want to Talk About: Is legal support for appropriation art about creativity or money? Part 2

We all know that this 'battle' is not over 'creative freedom' -- it is about money. [...]

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The One Thing Appropriation Artists Don't Want to Talk About: Is legal support for appropriation art about creativity or money? Part 1

Only one side of this argument benefits financially from a wide interpretation of the concept of 'fair use' -- this 'fight' is NOT about 'creative freedom'... it is about profit. This 'battle' is about money. [...]

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The Problem with Visible Digital Watermarking , Right-Click Disabled Websites and Art Marketing

In my opinion visible digital watermarks are a distraction -- they complicate the viewing experience. Point blank -- visible digital watermarking becomes an obstacle for art marketing online -- an obstacle spurred by insecurity and fear. [...]

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Copyright Registration: Some thoughts on registering a series of paintings

I'm finding that many artists are concerned with how the price of registering individual works of art can add up. Thus, registering a series of paintings as a collection is far more affordable than registering the images individually. [...]

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Art4Love Whistleblower Speaks out Against Chad Love Lieberman: Art4Love I and Art4Love II?

I recently received contact from one of the employees who, while working for the company, helped to establish Art4Love. He wanted to help blow the whistle on Chad Love Lieberman -- and further expose the Art4Love copyright infringement scandal -- while at the same time making it clear that Art4Love was originally a legitimate online art business compared to the allegations the website is facing now-- and that others directly or indirectly associated with the website are victims of Lieberman's arrogance and unethical business practices. In fact, the employee informed me that he was "duped into believing it (Art4Love) was a legit company until late 2005.". [...]

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What Artists should learn from the Art4Love Scandal: Busting the myths of copyright infringement Part 4 -- Fair Use

The fair use doctrine is important -- but it is NOT a guarantee nor is it a legal right, technically speaking. It is a defense -- a defense of serious allegations that could result in massive fines and jail time. Yes, you could end up in major debt and in prison for copyright infringement. I know some will say, "The penalties don't fit the crime." -- to that I ask, "Why did they commit the crime in the first place?". Perhaps reform is needed -- but I promise you that some of us will never allow copyright to be weakened to the point of being useless. Artists, and others -- including corporations -- should have the right to protect their market when needed. [...]

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Why has the media and influential art blogs dropped the ball on the Art4Love - Chad Love Lieberman scandal?

Having worked within the industry of commercial art sites for 7 years I realize how important it is for the community to expose sites like Art4Love. After all, it has been a long uphill battle for commercial art sites, in general, to find acceptance within the mainstream art world. The actions of individuals such as Chad Love Lieberman and Craig Pravda does not help art sites in general to gain ground. Their actions slap the face of legitimate online art businesses. That, in itself, is "news worthy" in my opinion. [...]

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The Art4Love Scandal Widens: Artists are not the only victims of Chad Love Lieberman

I have discovered that many of the business partnerships that Art4Love has claimed to have in the past are fraudulent claims. In other words, Art4Love released unauthorized press releases involving companies that in reality had no real connection to Art4Love Inc.,. Digging deeper I have discovered that some of the direct business associations that Chad Love Lieberman has claimed to have are in fact false. [...]

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Fallout from the Art4Love scandal: Does the scandal change the way you view art prints that are sold on commercial art sites?

I'm curious to know what kind of impact the scandal will have on how the average person views art prints online -- specifically art prints that are sold on commercial art sites, such as art websites like deviantart, that focus on a social networking platform. Will the fallout from the Art4Love scandal harm the business model of commercial art sites in general? Will it be a burden for commercial websites (Think Redbubble, Imagekind, and so on.) that focus on selling prints online? Will it make it harder for artists who sell art prints online? Only time will tell I suppose. That said, in the meantime I want to know what YOU think. [...]

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What Artists should learn from the Art4Love Scandal: Busting the myths of copyright infringement Part 3 -- Public Domain

What does "public domain" mean? In simple terms it means that no one individual or company controls the use of the image -- anyone can use it for whatever reason he or she desires... be it for profit or otherwise. However, there are specifics as to what constitutes a public domain image. Contrary to the myths surrounding public domain and its meaning -- not every image posted online is free to use. The owners of Art4Love may have made a commercially fatal mistake by not interpreting 'public domain' correctly. [...]

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Art4Love Scandal Update: The strange tale of Art4Love, Chad Love-Lieberman and Craig Pravda

Chad Love Lieberman since as early as 2005. I felt that it was important to inform these companies of the alleged copyright infringement involving artists from deviantART and to find out -- due to Mr. Love Lieberman's huge claims -- if in fact a partnership existed. What am I finding out? The alleged fraud committed by the owners of Art4Love goes much deeper than what many first expected. [...]

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What Artists should Learn from the Art4Love Scandal: Busting the myths of copyright infringement Part 2 -- Copyright Registration

As I mentioned in Part 1 of this series I have written extensively about copyright registration in the past, including an article on FineArtViews about the importance of copyright registration in regard to protecting yourself as well as your collectors. The topic is a staple among art marketing writers in general -- but for whatever reason, many artists are confused about copyright registration. [...]

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What Artists should Learn from the Art4Love Scandal: Busting the myths of copyright infringement Part 1 - Profit

The Art4Love scandal has sparked a lot of debate about copyright and the rights artists have to protect images of their artwork from copyright infringement. I'm finding, yet again, that artists -- in general -- know little about copyright overall. There is widespread confusion about copyright. The old myths of what is -- and is not -- copyright infringement have crawled out from behind the walls. [...]

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Art4Love Copyright Infringement Scandal: Chad Love-Lieberman - Art Scam King?

I recently learned of an alleged 'massive copyright infringement' situation involving artwork 'ripped' from deviantART.com. The copyright infringement allegations involve a website called Art4Love -- which is owned by Art4Love , Inc., a New York, NY-based organization which apparently had a physical gallery space in NYC -- A4L Gallery -- and has been around since 2005. Art Consultant Chad Love-Lieberman, the companies founder, serves as the CEO. [...]

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Artists Rights Online: Should Artists be Wary of a Social Networking Websites Terms of Service (TOS) Agreement? Part 3

Even if a social networking site had legal grounds to utilize user generated images on physical merchandise I assume they would be facing so many copyright infringement lawsuits that the loss of court expenses would eat up any profit made from selling the merchandise. It would be bad for business-- and bad for their corporate image. Point blank -- I think artists should be more wary of individual copyright infringers -- such as other artists. After all, those individuals could use the images 'under the radar' for profit, so to speak, compared to a website like Facebook. [...]

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Artists Rights Online: Should Artists be Wary of a Social Networking Websites Terms of Service (TOS) Agreement? Part 2

A website like Facebook or Google+ would not want to face the public ridicule that would likely occur if the company exploited artists by using their images on merchandise without permission and compensation. If something like that were to happen the story would be picked up by the blogosphere in a heartbeat-- and the media would be quick to report on it as well. There would be protests, boycotts, and so on. It would simply be bad for any social networking giants image. [...]

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Appropriation Art Meets De-Appropriation Art -- An Art Movement Born?

I'm starting to think that De-Appropriation may become the next trendy art movement-- at least online. I doubt that was Cat Weaver's intention when she revealed her "first ever De-Appropriation" of artist Richard Prince's work on a Hyperallergic article shortly after a court ruled in favor of photographer Patrick Cariou-- deeming Prince a copyright infringer. [...]

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Appropriation meets De-Appropriation in Response to Richard Prince risking the Stability of the Art Market

Many individuals within the mainstream contemporary art world have shown support for Richard Prince. Strong voices in the US art community-- including New York art critic Jerry Saltz and notable art blogger Joy Garnett-- view the court ruling against Richard Prince as an attack against creativity. They view the use of Patrick Cariou's images as 'transformative' under the concept of 'fair use'. Obviously the judge who ruled in favor of Patrick Cariou did not-- which has spurred individuals, such as Garnett, to suggest that the judge does not understand art. In my opinion, the judge clearly understands current copyright law-- which protects the business of art in my opinion. I for one support that business-- I support the market for art. [...]

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Is it OK for Other Websites to Use Your Copyrighted Images?

Do you mind if other websites take your images and use them on their site (as long as they attribute and link to you)? Is it OK if they make some revenue on their site by using your content to draw visitors (but not sell your content directly)? Does linking and possibly sending traffic back to you make it OK? [...]

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When Copyright Infringers Become Victims... Part 1 - The Corporate Angle

Fear mongering against the corporate aspects of our society has caused many to forget that individuals enjoy some of the same protections that corporations do as far as business is concerned. One of the most important protections-- especially for visual artists-- happens to involve copyright. That said, there appears to be many individuals within the art community who oppose copyright protection simply because corporations benefit from it. They fail to realize that the art community thrives because of strong copyright protection. [...]

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Copyright Rules the Throne: An Art World Prince Fails to Prove Fair Use

The result of Patrick Cariou v. Richard Prince, Gagosian Gallery, et al 08 CV 11327 (S.D.N.Y. March 18, 2011)(Batts, J.) has been at the heart of art news buzz in recent days. The sabers of free culture supporters are already rattling-- declaring that Prince's loss in court is a major blow to creativity. Many have stated that the result of the case is dire for appropriation artist or any artist who utilizes some aspect of collage within the context of their art. For others, including myself, Patrick Cariou's victory in court is a triumph for those within the art community who view copyright as an art market necessity. [...]

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Copyright Registration: Protecting Yourself as Well as Your Collectors

Not only does copyright registration protect you-- it also protects art collectors who have invested in your artwork. It is something that all selling artists should do-- but Iím fully aware that most artists donít. [...]

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Change the World by Helping Out John T. Unger, a Fellow Artist

In short, John has always been a friend to the art community...sharing his artwork, his ideas and his stories. We've all learned a lot from him. We've all benefited from the help he has generously provided...And now, John is asking for your help...In this post we have republished the situation, in John's own words. If you would like to help him, feel free to contact him directly. [...]

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How Artwork Image "Thieves" Improve Your Marketing

A sensible approach would be to have a statement on your website explaining that anyone may use your images on their website provided that they provide you with proper credit and that they link back to you. Even better: you provide an example of how you require that information to appear. Also, add a disclaimer saying you reserve the right to demand that they remove your image if their content is objectionable to you, and that by using your image they agree to your terms. You can easily monitor when your images are used by setting up a Google Alert. [...]

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Pirates in our Midst

Today's Post is by Lori Woodward Simons, Regular contributing writer for FineArtViews.  A special shout-out to our good friend, Mark Saenger, for making us aware of this situation. Dear Artists, There is illegal activity going on right under our noses -- in which we have sometimes unknowingly taken part. I write today's blog not only to make artists aware that there are pirates in the industry, but also to rally support for the artists' whose work I love. Lately, there's been a rash of artist instructional DVD sales on Ebay. The sad part is that these DVDs [...]

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If You're Afraid of the Orphaned Works Bill . . . .

Then you're going to love this. From TechCrunch: "Yesterday, President Bush signed into law the Pro-IP Act, which further criminalizes consumer behavior and appoints a new “Copyright Czar” to oversee enforcement of the new measures. The law triples damages in copyright infringement cases, allows the government to seize property used to usurp a company’s copyrights . . ." (Read Entire Article on Techcrunch) I've previously gone on record as thinking there's a lot of hype driving the fear of the Orphaned Works legislation.  I've spoken with two attorneys and read the bills for myself and, at least [...]

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Clint's Must-Read Articles for Artists June 8-14

Dear artists, Here are some great articles we've found on the internet over the past week that are directly applicable to helping you with art, marketing, inspiration and fine living: The Art Law Blog Explains Misconceptions Surrounding the Orphan Works Bill: "Let me be clear. The orphan works bills would not require owners to take any steps not already required by copyright law to be eligible for copyright protection . . ." (Read Original >>) The Art Law Blog also Explains that registration with the Orphan Works registries is NOT required: "Imagine a work whose author can easily be found with any reasonably diligent search. Now imagine, too, that [...]

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Fruit Market by C. Ballard, Houston Art Gals

Refining the Art of the Free Giveaway

We've been proponents of the "free giveaway" or "ethical bribe" method of marketing for some time.  But today we've come across a new idea that is so clever that we wish we had though of it.  The idea is to give away a "digital edition" and we give credit to ArtNewsBlog to mentioning this marketing technique as practiced by Hazel Dooney (warning - if you visit Hazel's site, her images are fairly sexually explicit.  We are focusing here on a marketing technique, not on the art itself.) Now the idea of a free download is nothing new, but it has fermented in [...]

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Right-Click Disablers are Annoying and Don't Work

This issue comes up fairly often because of artists' desire to protect their copyrighted images.  Sites that disable the right-click function can SEEM, on the surface, to prevent people from downloading images and saving them to their hard drive.  Of course, for anyone who really wants the images, it is a piece of cake to get around the right-click disablers.  Just go into your temporary internet files folder, find the image you want, copy it, paste it, rename it and voila!  you've got the image.  Or how about this method?  Hit the PrintScreen button (upper right on most keyboards), open an [...]

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Protecting Copyrighted Images Revisited

This article is by Clint Watson,  former art gallery owner/director/salesperson and founder of FineArtViews. You should follow Clint on Twitter here. After my last entry, several people emailed me to point out that it SEEMS that you can protect images online with a program that disables the right-click feature that most people use to save images.I want to address this issue because this question comes up often. Those right-click disable programs DO NOT protect your images. They don't work on all browsers and, more importantly, right clicking is not the only way to download an image. In fact, as I previously said, when you are viewing [...]

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