My fish art stolen and sold on VectorStock.com
Like millions of other people the first thing I do most days is check my email. I sit down with a cup of coffee and read through my inbox early in the morning, respond to anything waiting my attention and put out any necessary fires.
My least favorite email subjects to read in the morning are ones that say:
"Is this your artwork?"
I dread opening them (But I do appreciate people point them out too), because I often find an attachment showcasing another infringement or a link to a web page that has my art displayed on it, or worse selling it.
These emails are always a double-edged sword for me. One one hand I appreciate people watching out for me, but each time always ends up taking at least an hour of my time to respond and there is no way to recoup that loss. On the other hand I've spent about a hundred hours this year alone getting to know the copyright laws in and out.
Well I got one of these emails today and it informed me that a nebulous user going by the screen name of "TuNiSaNo003" had posted my art as his own on VectorStock.com (It's now been removed)
A Growing Problem
As I write this post I have had over "50" separate cases of copyright infringement so far in 2009. I just settled a matter that happened four months ago which I had to get my copyright lawyer involved in, but thankfully most I can handle using my DMCA formatted infringement letter.
Such was the case with this most recent example of stolen art.
I really wish Google would buyout a company like Tineye.com and make it really useful with their infinite database. They could offer it much like Google Analytics and I'd even be willing to pay an annual fee to track my art.
Come on Google Spiders sniff out this post and put it in front of you acquisition board.
My original doodle wall art.
I created this art as part of a creative experiment I did a few years ago. I'm not sure if the weasel pulled the image from this post or if he got it from my corresponding tutorial?
IllustrationClass.com tutorial "Doodle Book Worm."
I'm guessing the culprit pulled this image from my tutorial on IllustrationClass.com since it has a larger jpeg in it of the same artwork?.
Either way VectorStock.com responded to my infringement letter and removed my artwork and shut down the users account in a very reasonable time I may add.
Copyright Infringement Letter
As a creative our work will exist online for the duration of our career in one way or another. So at some point you'll have to deal with those who have no scruples taking your work without permission and using it. I hope this pre-formatted letter will help you deal with the situation a lot easier.
View/Download Copyright Infringement Letter.