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

by Brian Sherwin on 8/22/2011 12:07:59 AM

This article is by Brian Sherwin, regular contributing writer for FineArtViews. Brian Sherwin is an art critic, blogger, curator, artist and writer based near Chicago, Illinois. He has been published in Hi Fructose Magazine, Illinois Times, and other publications, and linked to by publications such as The Huffington Post, The Boston Globe, Juxtapoz Magazine, Deutsche Bank ArtMag, ARTLURKER, Myartspace, Blabbermouth, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Modern Art Obsession, Citizen LA, Shark Forum, Two Coats of Paint, Vandalog and Art Fag City. Disclaimer: This author's views are entirely his/her own and may not reflect the views of BoldBrush, Inc. You should submit an article and share your views as a guest author by clicking here.


I recently learned of an alleged 'massive copyright infringement' situation involving artwork 'ripped' from deviantART.com. (Read some information about the situation from deviantART news, here.) 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. Art4Love, Inc. claims to have  over 20 employees with salaries ranging "around $81,398".

 

Those close to the situation allege that over 300 artists from the deviantART community have had their copyright infringed upon by Art4Love and Chad Love-Lieberman. Since being exposed the Art4Love website has been shut down. Even the CrunchBase profile has been pulled. On top of that, the website for A4L Gallery has been shutdown --and Love-Lieberman's personal website, chadlove.com, has been shutdown as well. It does not stop there -- an affiliate of Art4Love, MarkYourSpot.com (described as a "Platform for personal-PR and the exchange of Social Capital)-- owned by Craig Pravda, has also vanished. Apparently Pravda is a business partner with Love-Lieberman and handled the pr for Art4Love -- though some have reported that Pravda and Love-Lieberman are one in the same. In fact, from what I've read about Love-Lieberman and his claims... he comes off as some mad Internet-based performance artist.

 

Internet-based performance art or not -- the copyright infringement allegations are real... and the artists involved are rightfully angry. The copyright allegations against Art4Love have triggered a movement on Facebook to stop Chad Love-Lieberman from "stealing people's artwork". Further still, artists Chet Zar and Chuck Angeline have been utilizing Twitter and the #fridaynightartdorks group on Facebook to get the message out as well. I asked Zar if his work had been infringed upon, he said, "No, Brian he didn't get me. It looks like he may have gotten away with it by stealing from younger artists with not as much name recognition. I'm sure it was all thought out. He just underestimated the power of the internet.". Chet Zar's legion of fans will no doubt help to expose Art4Love.

 

Artists are banning together over this copyright infringement scandal. Deirdre Reynolds, an artist who has helped to expose Art4Love and Chad Love-Lieberman, stated on her blog, "This man has made thousands of dollars off the hard work of these artists all the while giving interviews about copyrights and why artists shouldn't be upset when other are selling their art.". She continued, "Not only has he ripped off all these artists, he also perpetrated fraud on all his clients who purchase art from him. He falsely claimed to be selling art hand painted by the artist and stated on his website that none of the works were computer generated.". And added, "This of course was completely false as many of the original works were in fact digital art and since none of the art was coming from the artist themselves, the sold art works would of course have to be prints.". In other words, the fallout over the Art4Love scandal will likely include a list of angry art collectors before everything is said and done.

 

So what exactly was Art4Love about? According to a pr release from the company it was, "an emerging growth art company with access to the works of 1,300 artists from 45 countries, representing the rights of almost 18,000 pieces of original artwork by both established and emerging artists worldwide." The company further described itself as, "offering a comprehensive range of leasing and sales options and an extensive selection of artwork.". According to the press release Art4Love served as a "one- stop/full-service environment" designed to "assist its corporate clients with all facets of their art needs.". Needless to say, I have a feeling the alleged infringement goes much further than the deviantART community.

 

One interesting thing about Chad Love-Lieberman is that he has left an extensive digital paper trail of false -- or at least questionable -- information on various pr websites since 2005. With just a few Google searches I have found his claims of being close friends with Paris Hilton, claims of having a partnership with artnet.com (A4L Gallery was listed on artnet, but the listing has been pulled), and claims of owning one of the most influential galleries in the Chelsea art district of NYC. Furthermore, Love-Lieberman claims to have sold over $350,000 worth of art, "during one four month period", as the director of Fulcrum Art Gallery in Greenwich Village, New York in 1998. Oddly enough, or perhaps not so oddly -- I'm finding it hard to verify any of Mr. Love-Lieberman's claims.

 

As for Art4Love -- I'm not sure that Chad Love-Lieberman should be the only individual focused on as far as criticism is concerned. According to a pr statement about the company -- Jeffrey Adduci served as the 'President' of Art4Love. The statement claims that Mr. Adduci has been a "frequent featured speaker and panelist at industry forums sponsored by the SEC, NASD, NASAA, NASDAQ and the SIA." Adduci also has Wall Street connections -- having served on NASDAQ's OTC Advisory and BBX committees according to the statement. In addition to that, the pr statement claims that Jeffrey Adduci has served as a "member of the Board of Directors of The Small Business Administration's (SBA) Regulatory Fairness Program". Interesting. 

 

Another Art4Love press release involved a quote from Chief Operating Officer Earl C. Bateman. Bateman stated, "Our objective is to grow Art4Love into a complete, globally accepted art company,". Nice try Mr. Bateman. Nice try indeed. I'm curious to know if you were aware of copyright infringement allegations Mr. Bateman. I'm curious indeed. I tried to reach some employees of Art4Love for comment, but did not receive a response.

 

According to the same press release Mr. Love-Lieberman had the following to say of his efforts with Art4Love, "Marketing in the art industry, especially today, is guerilla warfare.". He added, "It seemed only fitting that I adopt a guerilla marketing strategy to get the word out about Art4Love and its message.". I don't think that exploiting artists sends a very good message. It appears -- if all of these allegations are proven in court (apparently artists are banning together to file a 'class action' lawsuit against Art4Love) -- that Mr. Love Lieberman had launched 'guerilla warfare' against artist members of the deviantART community. I hope the artists had registered their copyright... and that they receive whatever is coming to them if in fact this case makes it to court.

 

In closing, I will likely explore the Art4Love situation further once I learn more. That said, I do have to say that there is a certain irony in the fact that it involves images of art being 'ripped' from deviantART. After all, the majority of the artwork on deviantART is fan art based on popular movies, video games, novels and comic book characters -- some are uploaded by site users simply for the viewing pleasure of other fans... while others are uploaded and sold through deviantART's e-commerce platform as prints and other merchandise. From what I've been told over the years DeviantART is notorious for failing -- or taking their sweet time-- to act on their own policy in regard to copyright infringement allegations involving uploaded images. Bitter irony indeed. In that sense, one could easily suggest that Art4Love and deviantART are the same beast -- just in different ways.

 

UPDATE 1: Some have had issue with me mentioning the obvious copyright infringement that commonly takes place on deviantART among their base of site users -- and for saying, "In that sense, one could easily suggest that Art4Love and deviantART are the same beast -- just in different ways.". I stand by my opinion.

That is one interesting side story of this story if you think about it. I'm in no way bashing the artists who use deviantART, I know Chet Zar has a profile on there -- or did, but the fact remains that some artists -- and by some I mean thousands if not millions -- infringe on the copyright of others everyday on deviantART. I'm all for seeing Art4Love getting nailed to the wall -- and for the artists who have been exploited to see justice... but deviantART, the company, is in no way innocent when it comes to  allegations of copyright infringement in my humble opinion. Same beast... just in a different way.

 

For example, in searching just the first few pages of art listed on deviantART I see an image of a plush toy of Link from The Legend of Zelda that is clearly not 'social commentary' -- or anything else that qualifies as 'fair use'.  I see a fan made poster/screensaver for the manga series Bleach, an image of Batman preparing to fight The Joker, manipulated posters of the Harry Potter movies that I somehow don't think would hold up as 'fair use', and an image of Sonic the Hedgehog that, in my opinion, fails both 'social commentary' and 'parody'. I do see many examples of 'parody'... but I also see example after example of 'artwork' that, in my opinion, does not fall under 'fair use' -- and I know that many of the art law experts I've spoken with over the years would agree with me.


Yes, I realize it can be hard for social art sites -- especially one as large as deviantART -- to keep track of possible copyright infringement -- but when you go to the site... and look at some of the featured art on just the first few pages... it is pretty clear that copyright infringement dominates the site in general. That has been my observation over the years -- and I'm not the only one concerned. It is great that deviantART is backing the artists who have been taken advantage of by Art4Love -- but what about the copyright owners who are taken advantage of on a daily basis on deviantART? The history -- and very nature of -- the deviantART community cultivates a breeding ground of copyright infringement. Think about that.

 

I'll offer some 'social commentary' of my own -- it is interesting how artists on deviantART are in an uproar over Art4Love when you consider that copyright infringement is clearly commonplace within the deviantART community itself. After all, I've viewed prints for sell -- which deviantART takes a commission on -- that look like possible copyright infringement to me... prints listed for around $130.  Just an observation.

 

UPDATE 2: I decided to dig deeper into Art4Love, Inc. and some of the business connections they have had over the years. After all, if Art4Love has infringed on the copyright of artists recently it goes without saying that they may have done the same in the past. If anything the companies that have partnered with Art4Love in the past should be aware of the allegations facing the site and its founder -- as should the individuals who invested in Art4Love.

Apparently Chad Love Lieberman also owned and maintained a website called Art4LoveImages.com. This website has also been shutdown. According to an article on StockPhotoTalk from 2006, Art4Love has existed in one form or the other since 2000.  The article also mentioned that stock in the company was available. Interestingly, the links to the stock info are dead. The StockPhotoTalk article also stated that Jerry Tavin, at the time of the writing, was a member of Art4Love's advisory council.

Who is Jerry Tavin? He is the co-founder of Nonstock.com -- which sold to PictureArts in 2004. What is PictureArts? It was a website of stock photography that was later acquired by Jupiterimages. And what of Jupiterimages? Apparently it was bought out by Getty Images. Oddly enough, the founder of Art4Love has had business relationships with a few individuals who have worked for these respected companies -- at least according to a press release. Chad Love Lieberman had professional relationships with Jerry Tavin and Mondy Beller -- who served as Vice President, Director of Marketing & Corporate Communications of PictureArts Corp and Vice President of Marketing for Jupiter images (Getty Images).

At one point PictureArts had a deal with Art4Love -- a business partnership -- according to a press release. What did Jerry Tavin say of Art4Love at that time? He stated, "Art4Love sales channels are among the most creative in the business, and we are thrilled to have their caliber of talent representing the PictureArts collections," -- at the time Tavin was serving as PictureArt's Senior Consultant for Artist and International Relations. What did Chad Love Lieberman have to say about the partnership? "This exceptional photographic collection, along with our already existing traditional art collection, establishes Art4Love as a complete, one-stop organization for the corporate purchaser of original art and photography. We are now able to fully service all of our customers' needs for the selection, acquisition, installation and financing of art.". Interesting indeed.

 

Even Jeffrey Burke, former acting President of the Picture Archive Council of America (PACA) praised Art4Love while serving as the President and CEO of PictureArts. Stating, "PictureArts is excited about working with Art4Love Inc. as it ties in with our corporate commitment to work with the best of breed companies,". I somehow don't think that Mr. Burke knew who exactly he was dealing with when he made business arrangements with Art4Love.

 

Take care, Stay true

 

Brian Sherwin



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Topics: artist websites | Brian Sherwin | copyright | FineArtViews | originality | selling art online | websites for artists 

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 47 Comments

samthor
via faso.com
This is one of the reasons (among many) that I refuse to sell "prints" of my work.
If any person or gallery is claiming to be selling "prints" on my behalf then it's a fraud.

Steve
via faso.com
Chad Love Lieberman is a New Untouchable. A part of the family career criminals that can commit murder get caught with the bloody knife in hand and walk away scot free without any implications.

Never has the obvious two sets of rules when it comes to law enforcement been so blatant as it is with this guy.

Darcy
via faso.com
While I do agree that Deviantart has a big problem with copyright infringement on a regular basis, I'm a little confused. You referred to fan-art on the site, but did you mean fan- related work in general or the fan-related work that is sold?

Because from what I understand fair use is usually viewed by a case-to-case basis, and the grand majority of companies don't have a huge issue with fan-related works.

Brian Sherwin
via faso.com
Darcy -- either or. That said, I did find examples of prints being sold on deviantART that 1.) looked to be nothing more than a photoshop job of movie and album covers. 2.) titles and works that included trademarked name -- that, based on my experience, look as though they would stand little chance of being considered 'fair use'.

True, most companies won't care about fan art. Others will. Especially when you consider that some of these prints are listed for more than $130 dollars. Point blank -- I know people hate companies and all... but if we can't respect their copyright why should we expect anyone to respect the copyright of individual artists?

My understanding is that deviantART takes a huge commission on prints. So in that sense, regardless of what their terms read, I can see how someone -- or a company for that matter -- that has been infringed upon could sue the artist selling the print as well as deviantART itself. My guess is that at some point it will happen.

Let us remember that deviantART is a corporation. The CEO is worth well over $80 million according to what I've read. This is a big business we are talking about... and one that makes huge money from taking commission on prints. They take a huge percent from what I read. At some point someone -- or a company -- will test those legal waters with deviantART over copyright.

After all, the Bob Marley estate recently won $300,000 in statutory damages over a company that used Bob Marley's likeness for shirts, posters, bobbleheads, and dolls. Apparently they may be able to go after more damages. Mind you this company was in no way as profitable as deviantART.

I mean... you have to remember that deviantART -- no matter how it tries to present itself -- is a multimillion dollar company. It is a commercial art site. One can assume that if an artist uploads work to the sight he or she may think of selling at some point. We all know that possible copyright infringement is rampant on the site. It is only a matter of time before someone tests it.

Brian Sherwin
via faso.com
Furthermore, what do you think deviantART would do if someone launched ARTdeviant or TheDeviantsofArt with a community and commercial focus close to their own? They would be right on top of that legally. How quickly they would rush to protect their image... yet they clearly don't do the same for others.

Brian Sherwin
via faso.com
Steve -- has anyone been able to verify that he is Joe Lieberman's nephew? The only source I could find came from a statement from Chad -- and keep in mind that Chad also claims to be friends with Paris Hilton.

Brian Sherwin
via faso.com
Will likely add this as an update to the article... but I'm discovering artists who claimed that they actually signed contracts with Art4Love in a NYC office -- never to hear from the company again.

They claim they signed over rights in exchange for percentages of sells... and never received a payment even though their work was listed. Obviously I have to verify this -- but if it is true it fuels the fire surrounding this guy even more.

Steve
via faso.com
In response to the question of Joe Liebermans Nephew Chad:

http://forums.colbertnation.com/?page=ThreadViewandthread_id=28276andpg=8#post-323401

In response to DeviantArt (D-A) allowing the reproduction of Copyrighted work. The artists themselves of D-A realise this is certainly a problem and have arranged reporting stations themselves to police and report any and all copyright shenanigans. See:
This list is certainly not dedicated to Chad alone:
http://major-thief-hunters.deviantart.com/

Steve
via faso.com
Please feel free to link the list to the forum page of the John Lennon image that you yourself found. That is rather an obvious blatant art theft of copyrighted material.

Brian Sherwin
via faso.com
Steve -- that is all fine and well...some members of deviantART banning together to fight copyright infringement is great. However, I would think that, as a corporation that profits from a percentage of prints sold, deviantART should have some responsibility in protecting the copyright of those within the community as well as outside of the community. A review process for images sold as prints... something.

It would be helpful if deviantART, and other large art communities of this nature in general, would make it easier for people to report alleged copyright infringement. Furthermore, it would be nice if individuals who are not members of the community could 'flag' work easy as well.... my understanding is that you have to join in order to report it easily. Perhaps I'm wrong?

As for examples of what I believe are examples of copyright infringement on deviantART don't worry -- I'm going to address it in an article soon. In fact, in just a few hours I've already gathered hundreds of examples -- most listed as prints for sell -- of what I believe to be copyright infringement. Some of musicians who I know -- or know their agent.

Some of these images have been on the site for years. Obviously members of deviantART should not be expected to police these entries -- and with the millions that deviantART has they should easily be able to 1.) hire people or have volunteers who 'hunt' potential copyright infringement. (They have volunteers for other things, correct?). 2.) use some form of recognition software for a database of images they have found that are common targets of infringement.... in other words, place 'caught' infringement in a system that alerts when the same image -- or something close to it -- is uploaded. There are several ways a site could go about doing that -- and deviantART has the resources.

I realize deviantART receives 50,000 new 'deviations' each day. With a handful of people doing it -- specifically for prints -- they would have a much better chance of catching potential copyright infringement. That, in my opinion, is a good way to serve the artists in their community as well.

Brian Sherwin
via faso.com
I guess what I'm saying is -- point blank, we should be critical of Art4Love... but what about the rampant copyright infringement that occurs on deviantART and other social art sites? They end up earning profit from, depending on the situation, copyright protected images and trademarks. Are they not the same beast -- just different fur?

I want Art4Love to get what is coming to them in court. However, I do think that some other sites need to be placed under the scope as far as alleged or obvious copyright infringement is concerned. They should be taking more responsibility for their communities. It is as simple as that.

And yes, I know deviantART and other social art sites have TOS agreements that place all responsibility on the artist if infringement is an issue -- but at the same time, some of these sites, including deviantART, are earning profit -- or the potential for profit-- from the violating images. Not to mention that a few, like deviantART, earn millions per year. I think that should be explored... debated -- and questioned.





Steve
via faso.com
Certainly none of these issues you describe need not and deserve not to pollute or dilute the dilemma facing the Lieberman liability.

Brian Sherwin
via faso.com
Steve -- I am a strong supporter of copyright. I'm not going to pat deviantART, the company, on the back when clearly they have infringement issues of their own to work out within their community. I will call out Art4Love... and I will call out deviantART or any other website where I see copyright slapped in the face.

This is the way I see it -- we have people saying, rightfully so, that Art4Love is horrible for taking advantage of artists and infringing on copyright. However, similar situations occur directly or indirectly on other commercial art websites... and for whatever reason some people don't want to talk about that.

True, there is a difference between the owner of a site infringing on images for sell and the owner(s) of a site looking away from obvious infringement -- while profiting from prints. Still, both situations boil down to responsibility.

Art4Love was not operating professionally or responsibly in regard to copyright -- the same could be said of MANY social art sites.

Ashley
via faso.com
Regarding deviantART's copyright policy and prints: just about anyone can submit an image to the prints section of deviantART. There a few categories that inherently prohibit that, like the fan art sections, and a couple of things will flag a piece before it gets added, but for the most part, yes, any image on dA can be added to the prints gallery.

However, deviantART does do another quality control prior to selling prints. So you may see a bunch of copyright-infringement photomanipulations of Angelina Jolie (or what have you), but those are likely only still visible in the prints gallery because no one has tried to purchase one so it hasn't gone through that quality check. As soon as someone tries to buy that, it's gets queued for quality control, and at that point, it would be flagged as not valid for sale.

I'm not saying that this is fail-proof, and it certainly does give off the wrong impression when those images are still floating around as potential selling pieces. But typically, dA isn't making a profit off those images.

Darcy
via faso.com
Brian - I have no doubt that Deviantart will be sued at some point. Though being a user of the website for about 2 years now it will probably be the kick in the rear Deviantart needs in order to have a stricter policies on such things.

True, there are companies that do consider fan work to be a copyright infringement, though considering the number of companies that don't - I don't think a zero tolerance policy is necessarily the right way to go. Copyright infringement policies should take the individual views companies have on fan-work into account.

Though I can't really think of anyone who'd be okay with the sale of fan-art of their work or manipulation of their work without their permission, so I can see a zero-tolerance policy for that.

That being said, fair use can be a bit of a slippery slope. I've come across quite a few works that were obviously parodies and stated to be parodies that still end up being accused of copyright infringement.

Brian Sherwin
via faso.com
Darcy, Ashley -- Thanks.

Ashley -- it is great if they do in fact do quality control before the print is sold. However, as you hinted at -- it still does damage to the copyright owners commercial appeal if the images are still listed as prints for sell.

It is misleading because some viewers may think, 1.) the artist has a partnership with the copyright owner. 2.) the copyright owner has a partnership with both the infringing artist and deviantART -- since deviantART does take a commission on print sells.

If they have quality control when a print is sold... I would think they could implement quality control of images listed as prints for sell in the first place. I mean, if I can find examples of potential copyright infringement I would think that they, as a company, should be able to do it as well.

Keep in mind that it does not matter if profit is made or not. It can still be infringement if the images are just listed for sell. In that case, I'd say that deviantART should have some responsibility.

Steve
via faso.com
Brian -
I can see from your experience in these matters and from your extensive past commenting on the more detailed legal points of art and art sale you are undoubtedly much more qualified to make statements on these important art issues rather than "angry artists" dealing in some cases with their first instance of a rich asshole blatantly stealing their art.

However you are dealing with artists here that normally have ZERO assistance or outlet for their mediums of expression. That get no legal help or assistance from anyone normally.

IN THIS REGARD, DeviantArt has been an invaluable platform for these starting artists to gain important and in some cases initial recognition.

Whilst I agree from viewing your writings that regulation of the finer terms and conditions is probably long overdue with the "copyright issue" as a larger topic on some of the bigger public art sites, I do feel it important to point out:
These affected people speaking up strongly represent thousands of artists and in some cases ones that have already passed away that have had their names, their works and their integrity photocopied and misrepresented by a reprehensible individual. Were it the actions of a major Corporation perhaps this conversation would be different.

As a designer and a researcher myself I know enough about fair use and limits of liability to have never done the things Chad Love Lieberman has done quite deliberately, for my honesty I have never quite lived the Chad Love Lieberman lifestyle.

The more one investigates the crimes and deeds of this Lieberman character the more it becomes obvious this particular issue needs no dilution from the larger pervasive perhaps endemic Copyright issues (within the online industry) and should be treated as a separate issue rightly so.

To justify Chad Love Liebermans thievery with a notion that "well.. Deviant Art does it too" is nothing more than being an accessory to Chads contingencies of plausible deniability.

DeviantArt has built its reputation in the online community over many years and its website is well known and respected. Chad Loves websites are numerous, dubious and questionable and appear even with fake names on a daily basis. Tom Fox indeed.

Two very separate legal issues here indeed that need to be identified separately for their distinct differences.

Regards.
Steve

Steve
via faso.com
** The most recent register update for the art4love website shows it registered to a Tom Fox of E records. Using the same info@chadlove contact email.

http://whois.domaintools.com/art4love.com

If this was isolated it wouldn't be worth mentioning, but its not. A company like DA is in the publics eye 24-7. Thus has dealt with this sort of thing before. When Chad Love hit the publics attention is when the issue become something much much more and he didn't last a week in "business" quite simply because of:
His Policies
His Practices
His Legitimacy

DA has been going in the public spotlight a lot longer than Chad in all fairness.

Like I said, these are 2 separate beasts with very separately identifiable areas of issue.

Dante
via faso.com
While I agree that deviantART does break copyright regularly most of what is on there is considered fan-art which most companies don't care about. In fact some companies have hired people BECAUSE of the fan-art. They usually have a problem when their copyrighted characters are being sold by others which is why I've always thought deviantART should remove anything copyrighted from the print sales as soon as it's noticed. Usually things that are a blantant copy of something (i.e a screenshot direct from an anime) will be pulled once it has been reported and looked into but you can't expect them to have someone sit there all day checking every image posted. Especially when there are thousands posted on a daily basis.

Maybe when you said Art4love and deviantART were the same beast you could have worded that a little better. I mean a lot of the victims of Chad Love-Lieberman have had their own original work stolen by this guy and the way you worded it has made them sound like they're just as guilty.

Brian Sherwin
via faso.com
Dante -- correction, I said, "In that sense, one could easily suggest that Art4Love and deviantART are the same beast -- just in different ways." I stand by my opinion. In fact, in your comment you mentioned some of the 'different ways' I was referring to.

Lets look at a larger quote from my article,

"From what I've been told over the years DeviantART is notorious for failing -- or taking their sweet time-- to act on their own policy in regard to copyright infringement allegations involving uploaded images. Bitter irony indeed. In that sense, one could easily suggest that Art4Love and deviantART are the same beast -- just in different ways."

And that was said after mentioning prints sold on deviantART as well.

Brian Sherwin
via faso.com
Steve -- I do what I can to inform artists about their rights. It does get frustrating at times.

You said, "However you are dealing with artists here that normally have ZERO assistance or outlet for their mediums of expression. That get no legal help or assistance from anyone normally. IN THIS REGARD, DeviantArt has been an invaluable platform for these starting artists to gain important and in some cases initial recognition."

Steve, there are countless websites that artists can, and do, put their work on. In fact, I find that most who have accounts on deviantART also have accounts on sites ranging from Artwanted to Rebubble -- which all have supportive communities of their own. I also know of other art sites of this nature, such as Artwanted, that have protected their artists when issues like this arise. That is nothing new.

From a business standpoint deviantART has done extremely well in securing and maintaining their dominance with a specific niche of the market -- that being artists who feel like they are underdogs. Whereas other communities, such as Saatchi Online, have found their focus in artists who long for mainstream gallery acceptance. That is the name of this game -- you find your corner... and you go with it.

I understand your point and your passion Steve -- but how many deceased artists and other creatives have been taken advantage of by deviantART print sells and featured art? Hard to say. That is my point -- what Art4Love did is wrong. We all agree on that. But why, why, why are some of the same artists upset over Art4Love not upset about the rampant infringement that appears to take place on deviantART -- of which a few of you have agreed takes place? Someone mentions that and its like, "Uh, uh... don't go there.". I'll go there because the protection of copyright for ALL is something that is in the core of my being.

You said, "To justify Chad Love Liebermans thievery with a notion that "well.. Deviant Art does it too" is nothing more than being an accessory to Chads contingencies of plausible deniability."

I'm not supporting Chad or Art4Love. I'm saying that there are contradictions -- and dare I say, hard-line hypocrisy coming from within the deviantART community-- that should be explored. I'm saying that deviantART is just as worthy to be a target of ridicule when it comes to alleged copyright infringement. It is not the only social art site that deserves to be placed under the scope in support of copyright overall.

You said, "DeviantArt has built its reputation in the online community over many years and its website is well known and respected."

Matter of opinion. Obviously deviantART has built a strong reputation among a certain crowd -- which is perfectly OK. Nothing wrong with that. That said, don't assume for a second that it is respected by others within the larger world of art. Have you noticed that none of the mainstream art sites or core art bloggers have written about this scandal? It frustrates me.

Steve
via faso.com
Indeed I hear you and feel the same frustration at the lack of attention. The issues do have its parallels perhaps on varying levels after reading your insightful response admittedly DA is the only site I know at an entry level and I cannot comment past my knowledge thus I dare not do so neither.

As to the lack of broader attention: perhaps the issue itself is perhaps a molotov calibre of volatility rather than just a can of worms with too many fingers to be burnt in the process of removing the jar lid off the topic.

A statement I will submit is my initial comment to begin with:

"Never has the obvious two sets of rules when it comes to law enforcement been so blatant as it is with this guy. "

Were this anyone else in the same dilemma the news results on Google for the same crimes would certainly ring at ZERO a week after 2000 artists and a dozen sites that interviewed CHAD suddenly realised they'd been conned, defrauded, scammed and plundered for years.

http://www.google.com/search?aq=fandhl=enandgl=auandtbm=nwsandbtnmeta_news_search=1andq=Chad Love Lieberman

(Ok my mistake. Now theres 2 The original source article and an interview with an affected artist)
Source:
http://www.niagarafallsreview.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=3269635


Brian Sherwin
via faso.com
Does anyone know where the owner is at this time? I'm assuming he has wealth... he could very well skip the country before the artists have time to follow up on this legally. Obviously the guy is capable of anything. He almost comes of as some mad-cap Internet based performance artist. lol

Brian Sherwin
via faso.com
Just contacted the former Director of Art4Love. He served from 2003 to 2006. Not sure if it will lead to anything... but it might be interesting to know why he left, if in fact he did.

Darcy
via faso.com
In regards to the copyright violations not getting as much attention as they should, it might be because a good portion of the members don't really know that it is. Deviantart may be an art community, but it's not necessarily a professional one.

If I recall, the average age of a Deviantart member is between 13 and 16, and if I the majority of schools were like mine you don't discuss copyrights or what is and isn't fair use until senior year of high school. Before then, the most copyrights are ever discussed is in English when they talk about plagiarism and using proper citation.

Because I've noticed that a majority of Deviantart members don't necessarily have a "don't talk about it" attitude, it's more of a "it's okay as long as you give credit" sort of mind set - which probably explains why the community is so wary of tracing and re-coloring but doesn't give much attention to other forms of infringement.

Of course, that doesn't justify it - Deviantart should have a better policy to make sure that things like selling fanart as prints don't happen or that photo-manipulated work falls under fair use properly (fan-work in general is best left up to the original owners - they are the ones who own the rights)

Carol Schmauder
via faso.com
I know these kind of things happen but this was shocking to me. You just don't know what all is going on. Thanks for the article, Brian.

Steve
via faso.com
http://www.trueknowledge.com/q/chad_love_lieberman

Found this snippet Submitted Aug. 2 before this broke out.

Carri04
via faso.com
Being a regular deviantart user whom LOVES that website (not in that kind of way obviously..), I unfortunately have to agree with you about the copyright infringements on dA, each day I would find many anime screenshots, art stolen off other websites, from other dA artists, and more,(These people are really giving dA users a bad rep, this is why people need to read the terms and conditions, some of these people don't even know they're not allowed to upload work that isn't theirs and treat it like photobucket) but nevertheless, there are a lot of 'vigilantes' that report these people, and try to get them to remove the stolen work, but not all of these reports get looked into, I believe that if deviantart starts getting 'volunteers' (or hire more to help them out, obviously they won't since they're --excuse my language-- greedy bastards) help out with this (i'm sure MANY MANY people would love to help), there would be less of a load for dA staff, and less of these art infringements but dA would never consider these suggestions.

I'd like to thank you for writing this really, this whole Chad Art4love fiasco has been eating me alive, I've honestly never been angrier, art theft strikes me on a personal chord since my friends and I have had our art stolen before

And yes, this is hypocrisy since deviantart is touching quite on the copyright infringement side and is making such a loud uproar about it but...a lot of us do actually care and are outraged by this abomination's actions.

and I apologize if this comment seems very jumbled and the grammar seems off, English isn't my first language.

Brian Sherwin
via faso.com
Steve, Carri04 -- I will have an update soon. I've been on and off the phone the last day... digging as deep as I can.

Alex Gan
via faso.com
DeviantArt and Art4Love are not the same beast. In fact, they are quite different.

You see, there are two types of copyright infrigement: a piece of work claimed to be theirs when actually not, and a work, containing features of something else, but the work itself original.

DeviantArt members don't post pictures from Nintendo and say its "theirs", no. They use Nintendo as a baseline and create their own stuff out of it. Its like you see a friend's artwork and draw a feature of the artwork. Of course, they must claim that feature to be a work of its actual creator.

So, stealing is bad, but using it as a baseline is okay. They probably claim it to be the other's work when they use the official name for it.

Brian Sherwin
via faso.com
Alex -- Thanks for commenting. First off, I see it as "same beast, different fur" when it comes to copyright -- meaning that both Art4Love and deviantART, as commercial art sites, have faced allegations of prints being sold that involve alleged copyright infringement. The criticism about deviantART is 'out there' -- not hard to find online -- thus, it is worth exploring.

Now... with Art4Love, if viewed as just a commercial art site, we have over 300 artists who have had their work 'ripped off'. Artists are rightfully angry about this. But what about the infringement that appears to happen often on deviantART -- and other commercial art sites for that matter? That is what I'm saying.

With deviantART, the company, the scope for potential copyright infringement involving prints is obviously much larger. But for whatever reason some individuals from the deviantART community get up in arms when this is addressed. Having researched deviantART I can find thousands of prints involving trademarked names, logos, and material that I know is protected by copyright. That is where I see the hypocrisy.

You said, "You see, there are two types of copyright infrigement: a piece of work claimed to be theirs when actually not, and a work, containing features of something else, but the work itself original."

You are confusing copyright infringement on the second part with the concept of 'fair use' -- which is a legal defense against a claim of copyright infringement. Contrary to online myth -- 'fair use' is not a right to use whatever you find. Keep in mind that if a work is deemed copyright infringement in court it is not considered original. In fact, the copyright owner often has the choice of destroying the infringing works if desired -- or claiming them as his or her own.

You said, "DeviantArt members don't post pictures from Nintendo and say its "theirs", no. They use Nintendo as a baseline and create their own stuff out of it. Its like you see a friend's artwork and draw a feature of the artwork. Of course, they must claim that feature to be a work of its actual creator."

Question -- what do you think deviantART, the company, would do if someone started a website called ArtDeviants using deviantART as a "baseline" for that website model? What do you think deviantART would do -- even if ArtDeviants made it clear that it had 'borrowed' site design, logo, and other features from deviantART?

You said, "So, stealing is bad, but using it as a baseline is okay."

Again, would deviantART, the company, be cool with the 'baseline' I mentioned above?



Brian Sherwin
via faso.com
Lets say that none of the 300 artists on deviantART had their work registered. Lets say that none of them, because of that, can afford legal help. If that is the case hopefully deviantART, the company, will step up to the plate and pay for their legal fees in order to set an example OR at least sue Art4Love -- one company vs. another company -- if it can be proven that the images were 'ripped' from deviantART. Thoughts?

Alex Gan
via faso.com
Sherwin, I completely agree with you in that aspect. However, I did not mean to focus on copyright laws, but rather from a sensible viewpoint. The fact is, Chad Love Lieberman literally ripped off every single work, and with no modification whatsoever, claimed it rightfully as his own, which is outrageous. Compared to deviantArt's copyright infringement, this does not include claiming works for themselves, but rather drawing inspiration from it.

Also, deviantArt members who may have infringed on companies' copyright by using their content may not have used it for commercial purposes, but rather for viewership to the public. So, its more of a promotion rather than a rip-off, in my opinion. And the deviantArt members who did indeed sell it for commercial purposes, well, that's another issue.

As to the artists having none of their work registered, I'll have to point out that Chad Love Lieberman ALSO did not register for his work. Moreover, he would be accused of fraud by luring several companies to appear on his website as partners in one way or another. With the amount of work ripped off, Chad will definitely get his payback.

Brian Sherwin
via faso.com
Alex -- If anything Art4Love could be hit with fraud... taht much we can agree on. The companies and individuals I've spoken with are not very happy that Chad claimed association when in reality there was no partnership to speak of.

Lee
via faso.com
For cripe sake, shut down is two words. It's only one word when it is regarding a computer "shutdown." You do not say, "the website was shutdown." You look like an amateur when you fuck this up and the rest of the article is dubious as a result.

Brian Sherwin
via faso.com
Lee -- and yet I take comfort knowing that the New York Times has made the same typo in the past involving other website stories. ;p

Update: The people behind http://art4loveisafraud.com/ have said the alleged copyright infringement facing Art4Love is now up to 700 artists.

Jolie
via faso.com
The difference between art4love and Deviant Art is that USERS, not the site owners, are loading the thievery on DA. DA is only responsible for pulling infringements when they are reported. They do this, but with the masses of daily submissions it can take time. The truer statement would be that certain (thieving) users on DA are of similar breed to Lieberman, just with much smaller (and uninsured) genitalia and no fewer brain cells. *smirk*

This is the internet. We artists (and our fans) are watching. You will be caught. You have been warned.

Brian Sherwin
via faso.com
Jolie -- I understand your position... however, don't you think that online art communities -- especially those that offer prints for sale -- should be doing more to protect copyright owners? If anything I think they should do more to protect the images that have been uploaded on the site. The tech for that exists...

When a commercial art site allows people to list prints for sale that listing can be damaging to the market of the artist who has been infringed on if copyright infringement occurs. One would think that sites that offer prints would also want to do more to boost the credibility of their service.

Jolie
via faso.com
Oh, believe me, Deviant Art is far faster to pull down something offered through prints when it's reported than something that isn't being sold. They'll usually ban repeat offenders, too. They don't want to tangle with copyright infringement suits, so they are quick on that trigger. The problem is, there are thousands of DA members and only so many admins to handle the processing of reports. They are at a severe disadvantage in that respect.

The sad truth is, with the cesspit humanity has become, we artists and our fans are the first line of defense when it comes to thieves. There are young artists out there who take it as a "compliment" when their work is stolen or just choose to do nothing. They are worse than the thieves themselves because they encourage the behavior to continue. And, controversial as it can be, not watermarking one's work is just asking for trouble. Though it didn't seem to stop Lieberman. He painted the marks off most of the stuff he stole. It does, however, stop your garden variety lazy thief who's just doing it to get attention they don't deserve.

Brian Sherwin
via faso.com
From what I've been told they have a review process when a print is sold. Aside from that, they don't do much about removing images unless the copyright owner contacts them following DMCA regulations. In my humble opinion they are in the position to do more than what is expected by the DMCA.

Correct me if I'm wrong -- but in the past I recall that deviantART utilized a lot of volunteer help for various features of the site -- specifically in regard to the community aspect of the site. I assume they still do. If so, I would think they would be able to organize volunteers who actively seek out infringement and review it when found in order to decide if the image should be pulled or not. I'm thinking mostly of prints.

I realize deviantART is HUGE -- but so is Facebook... and people criticize Facebook all the time. I know deviantART has a strong community -- and that many don't like when anyone has something negative to say about the site.Hell, there was a deviantART group suggesting that I'm an alias of Chad just because of my thoughts. LOL

That said, problems are problems... and many of these things could have been dealt with early on -- before the community was huge -- to cultivate an environment that does not tolerate infringement. That is just my opinion -- and smaller communities that have focused on that hardcore from the start don't appear to have the same problem that the deviantART community has.

Many sites with a print on demand feature are facing the same problem. The fact that these sites make it clear that they receive a percentage of profit from sold prints makes it appear as if there is a partnership between the company and the person selling the print -- and technically there is no matter what the fine print says.

In that sense, if someone selling a print has infringed on copyright it can be misleading to the public -- and harmful to the copyright owners market. I predict that at some point some pissed off artist will test this in court -- and the outcome could be a game changer for the industry.

Many of these sites acknowledge that infringement is a problem -- but they go on with business as usual. Somehow I don't think a judge will care how large the community is if a case like this ever ends up in court -- and since many of these companies take a percentage from sold prints it is not like they are Facebook or some other website that does not profit directly from members.



Jolie
via faso.com
I don't deny DA has problems. They've a bad habit of getting young artists to give up rights to their works for pathetic amounts of money and dinky prizes. However, they do what they can to stop thieves.

Just because they have someone doing QA on a print as it processes in, doesn't mean that person is versed enough in every type of art to spot a rip. For instance, I couldn't spot most anime thefts because I don't know much of the current anime and so many kids draw in that style that it all starts to look the same. But I'm more likely than most to spot a fantasy rip because that's work I'm fairly familiar with.

DA hasn't used volunteers for the reports process in a very, very long time, if ever. Those have been paid employees for as long as I've been there. The only volunteers are usually in admin for the various sections for community relations, monitoring the forums, etc.

As for other print on demand sites, trust me, they pull things, too. But, again, they can't know all. It takes the owner spotting it most of the time. I've even had things wrongfully pulled which were protected as parody, so there is such a thing as too much.

The fact that DA WILL pull things on a simple report with enough evidence to me says they're serious getting thefts down ASAP. A lot of sites (YouTube, Ebay, CafePress for instance)won't remove anything until you fill out that DMCA paperwork.

Brian Sherwin
via faso.com
You said, "I've even had things wrongfully pulled which were protected as parody, so there is such a thing as too much."

Remember that 'fair use' is a defense against a claim of copyright infringement. It is not a right. It is what you would use to defend your use of a copyright protected image if you ended up in court.

That said, I'll agree that people getting hounded, if you will, is a problem as well. Don't get me wrong -- I love the fact that artists can gain exposure easily today... I don't want to see artists hampered. That said, I also strongly support copyright and always will. There must be a balance.



Get this bastard
via faso.com
His old addess:
1556 Hewlett Heath Road
Hewlett, NY 11557

anonymous
via faso.com
He seems to have changed his Name to "Chad Lieb" on Facebook. Keep an eye out for this crook to avoid detection. Also, his old Long Island address is . 1556 Hewlett Heath Road, Hewlett, NY 11557. Hope this helps in some way


Kate
via faso.com
Chad Love Liberman is currently residing at 244 East 86th street suit 66 NY NY 10028



personalised items
via faso.com
Hello fineartviews! Lies are always present in this age of photoshop. The truth will set you free said the Lord Jesus Christ. Let us avoid lies because whether we like it or not, God will reveal the truth. If they really stole the art or the idea behind the art then they must pay for it.

Jessica
via faso.com
He now works for 6wseo and goes by the name Chad Ian Lieberman.










 

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