Jul 19, 2009

Copycat Update

Good morning! This is a long but important post.

A little sleep and a whole lotta love from my blog buddies' comments, emails, and even a great phone chat with one of my idols last night, and I am feeling better this morning. I still have not heard from the copycat, but I've been told that copyright laws are different in Europe where this person is from. So I am still hoping this is a case of her just not knowing better. I have broken down my thoughts on all of this a bit . . .
  • I hate drama and conflict and confrontation. I avoid it at as much as possible so I hate this situation, not life, just this situation.
  • I want this person to understand what she did was wrong, not just for my purposes, but so that other artists aren't put in the same position. We need to police our community, at least our own art, a bit for the protection of our work as a whole. We need to work together, support each other, and not steal from one another. That doesn't help anyone.
  • I don't want anyone to know who my copycat is. I don't want anyone to gang up on her or send her bully comments. I just want her to understand - hopefully she will respond to my message and rectify the situation. She needs to understand because if she does it to someone a little bigger, meaner, and vindictive - she could be kicked off flickr and even sued.
  • I am happy to share my work if asked. I have collaborated on pieces many times. I have given work away and I have given permission for parts of it to be used. They are not holy hands off parts of me IF I am given the choice to share it. When it's taken from you without your knowledge it's another story. And when you discover it was taken by someone you cheered on and supported, the wound runs a little deeper I think.
  • The whole thing has had me thinking of copyright issues and my own faults. I started to identify the log in my own eye as I tried to remove the splinter from someone else's last night for awhile. I thought of the boots and hair I have scanned from mag pix and catalogs. My good friend Pam of Yoborobo sent me a great link that made me feel much better. This is worth taking the time to read http://askharriete.typepad.com/ask_harriete/2009/05/fair-use-guidelines.html After studying more details on Harriete's site I felt pretty good that I have obided by the 5 guidelines in my use of those boots and hair. The person that took from me used the pieces unaltered in the exact same way and context in a competitive market and in a way that would confuse the issue of who the pieces belong to and the end result is unmistakably similar. She clearly failed at meeting 4 of the 5 guidelines.
  • I realize I may be a bit over the top on this in the opinion of some. Copyright has been a concern of mine. I don't think that surprises anyone given my long work descriptions and credits below my work wherever I upload it. I pay for licensing fees, I pay for commercial use rights, I ask permission, I give credit. That's just what makes it all work for me. And, it is handy to have the record should anything ever be called into question or be published in a magazine or on a website. Other websites and publications require often require those credits. Part of the reason for this is so that pieces I am allowed to use, even pay for, pieces we may all purchase, or create, should not ever be assumed to be part of the public domain (unless they truly are) because they have been shared and downloaded so many times it's hard to figure out where they came from until someday there is no way to know if what your using is stolen or not.
Hopefully you are still awake and I have not caused you to doze off. Hopefully I am not such a whiner and drama queen that you will come back here again and enjoy my favored lighthearted disposition. I would like to say hopefully this is the end of this, but I will let you know when and if the situation has been rectified.

Now for some good news . . . I was contacted this morning by the editor-in-chief of a website for women's issues asking to have my work featured along side one of my earliest artist idols, the great photographer and digital artist, Rose Hardy. (The website she shares with her long distance love of her life, Aaron Nace, has been in my blog links since the beginning - ARFotography) What a surprise and honor! When it is up, I'll let you know where you can see it.

Okay now, don't bother with me and my drama anymore today. I'm actually off for the day. You have been wonderful to me. You have saved me. You have touched and overwhelmed me. Go make something beautiful and enjoy your life as an artist/creator!


Kim Mailhot said...

Ahhh the morning light can make everything more bright ! Glad you are feeling better, more balanced and "sunnier" this morning, Lovely Marsha ! May the day be drama free and full of loving, creative moments ! Happy Sunday !

Lumilyon said...

Morning Marsha! I'm glad to hear that you're feeling more clear-headed about your dilemma. I'm sorry if you thought that i was suggesting bullying tactics. I've been the victim of serious bullying, twice in my life and do not condone it. However, I don't believe that politely telling someone that you've rumbled them is bullying. I think that if a vendor gets the message that a potential buyer really likes their work but, having recognised elements of another artist;s work in their's, it has lost some of it's authenticity, then the message goes out loud and clear that plagerism doesn't pay. I've been ripped off before now,for instance, I've had another artist publishing one of my photographs as their own, in a book and then telling me it was a mistake (???!!!) OUCH! that hurts!!! xxx

Tumble Fish Studio said...

Hey Lumi! No, I thought no such thing of you. You are a sweetheart! A number of people have joked about and I have enjoyed it. But I'd rather no one contact her until she has a chance to fix it all. I want to see things unfold a bit and give this person a chance and then it may be time for some extra support.

Outstanding Stranger said...

Ok.....I am not really gonna thump her..and I loved the point that we all need to stand together on this and not allow it to happen. I know it is a fine line between inspiration and copying but we all walk the same line. The problem with a little copying can lead to major infringements where they just put their name on your work and it has been done. And I guess we always need to remember this is the WWW and make it as safe as possible for ourselves and others. Hugs, Diane

yoborobo said...

I'm glad you're feeling better, Miss Marsha! Enjoy your day off, frolic in that hot CA sunshine for me! much love - Pam

Marit said...

OH MY... I hardly know any of you ladies and here I went - reading the post you wrote and being hot headed about it talking about "punch" and "fight" trying to comfort you a bit... don't think bad about me, please - I'm the most peaceful woman in Europe (yes, Europe... sorry) but I just can't stand any injustice (I'm a libra, maybe that's why?) My way to handle this (as a friend and collegue) after the hot-mad-rush would have gone, is in the way Lumilyon presented... I'm glad you feel a bit better Marsha! Have a lovely Sunday, and keep us updated with your feelings and art please... we love you and support you!

justagirl said...

wow there seems to be a bit of this going on, I have been on holiday for two weeks and am shocked to read about all this copycating...!

I am glad you are feeling better about it and I hope it all gets sorted for you.

Tace said...

Ms TumbleFish, glad that you are feeling better. And I just wanna say that is SERIOUSLY awesome about being contacted about having your work featured! I can't wait to see!!!!! I will dance a happy dance for you, make that two. One now and one later, no worries so-cal, it's not a tremor but happy feature dances. :D And just to let you know I really mean it, at least one of those happy dances will be un-coffee-inated. :)

aliceinparis said...

I am late to this event but hey, art thievery sucks! Your response to this is generous and thoughtful.I hope the person in questions takes down the offending works or at least credits you. I had someone local copy my work and I only found out because someone saw them and thought they were my paintings. I spoke to her and threatened with a cease and desist letter and she stopped but still paints in a similar style which is fine, there are millions who paint like me but to copy a painting almost verbatim is not right.
So glad you are feeling better and congrats on the feature. I love Rosie H's work!

Linda Crispell said...

Congrats on the invite to have your lovely work featured. That's your good Karma coming back to you.

cindy said...

Congrats on the article "coupe"...(is that how it's spelled, LOL - looks weird). I hope that puts a positive spin on all that has been draggin ya down.

yapping cat

Val Zdero said...

Dear Marsha, my heart goes out to you because I am in exaclty the same boat as you - a mutual blogger friend has supplied me with your link so I can read upon your experiences and know that I am not the only one that this has happened to.

I must say your post is much more diplomatic than mine - this morning I woke up furious and just let rip - I typed up my blog post and posted it, even knowing that once I cooled down I may regreat my harsh words.

I hope your copy-cat wakes up to herself - unfotunatelly, I have such a bad feeling that many more copy-cats are in line to take her spot.

Wishing you all the best and I look forward to your further post to see how all this eventuates.

Cheers Val

sherry lee said...

I'm so happy for you for your good news!!!!