Not a card today but a post on the Stamp Out Stamp Theft Wall of Shame that I felt compelled to share with my followers. I know this is a controversial issue but education is often a sure way to gain understanding so I am sharing the SOST post below.
For those unaware, the Stamp Out Stamp Theft Facebook group
is a closed group. Anyone can request to join and you can do so HERE
. The group is over 600 strong and is “dedicated to crafters and artists that are serious about combating the intellectual property rights violations that are so rampant in our field.” The group makes sure any possible infringements discussed are backed up with screenshots, links, or side by side images!
This group confronts those who not only copy the work of other artists and claim it as their own, but also deals with “pinners” on Pinterest and Facebook sites that illegally “share” digital images that are not “free” to share.
The artists are very disgusted and sad.
It is a wonder to me that they continue to produce such beautiful images for us! I don’t know that I would want to continue if day after day I saw my hard work pinned and shared and copied all over the internet! I am sure that is not what they had in mind when they sat down at the drawing table!
Sadly a Wall of Shame
was created as an outgrowth of Stamp Out Stamp Theft
to expose those who after being shown side by side evidence of the copyrighted images against their images, and after being respectfully asked to remove the images in violation, continue to sell and/or misrepresent these images as their own original ideas and illustrations.
Please read the entire post and view the side by side images. I urge you to share this link with other crafters.
“Thou Shalt Not Steal”(posted on the Stamp Out Stamp Theft Wall of Shame)
We all know how easy it is to be an artist, right? You just find something you like, copy it as best you can (maybe change a couple of details) and there you go. Um no. WAIT!! Stop right there. Copying even parts of an image is copyright theft.
So . . . yet ANOTHER so called artist is ripping off Saturated Canary illustrator/owner Krista Smith, whose original work you can see in her shop. ANOTHER “wanna-be” who fancies herself an artist has tried to jump into the business of selling art without taking care of two very important prerequisites FIRST:
1. Understanding copyright law
2. Knowing how to draw her own ORIGINAL work
This time it’s a woman named Francesca Lopez. Stamp Out has been communicating with her and her husband for several days, wanting to get this taken care of quickly and civilly by explaining why it is illegal — a federal crime in fact — to copy another artist’s work. We have attempted to educate both Lopez’s on the facts, by showing them these side by side samples which should be instant proof for anyone one with eyes that Francesca is COPYING, and by directing them to some of the important info on copyright law and “substantial similarity” you can find by simply searching.
We also encouraged them to talk to some IP lawyers THEMSELVES so they could be informed by a neutral third party, since they refuse to listen to us. Instead the absurdly irrelevant clippings they have posted on Francesca’s blog about copyright indicate they don’t have even the simplest understanding of how original artwork is protected by the law. (Scroll down past the Bible quotes.)
Here’s another example of a highly questionable drawing that is very like a well known Precious Moments illustration. It this one, it appears the angel’s head has been put on the bed boy’s body — then the bed flipped and small details changed.
From “The illustrated Story of Copyright” by Edward Samuels, copyright 2000:
“The issue in these cases is whether the second work is “substantially similar” to the first. It doesn’t have to be an exact duplicate to be an infringement, but it does have to take enough of the copyrighted work that it can be said that the second work was not “independently created.” Drawing the line between noninfringement and infringement, between independent creation and substantial similarity, can be frustratingly difficult. The courts have pretty well refused to adopt a simple numerical test to resolve this issue, instead relying upon general statements of policy, and sensitivity to the facts of particular cases. What is clear, however, is that taking even a small portion of a copyrighted work can constitute copyright infringement.”
(Search “Striking Similarity” or Substantial Similarity” to find more information about this online)
And another taking legs, feet and theme and pose directly from a Magnolia image. While it is PERFECTLY FINE to draw using the same theme (ideas are not copyrightable), and poses may be really similar just by coincidence, this particular image is obviously NOT coincidence as the legs, pants and feet are nearly traced they are so exact.
Of course, besides this being illegal, it’s also immoral. Besides theft, it’s cheating and lies — things that good people try to avoid. Francesca and her husband, self-appointed “Senior Pastor” Art Lopez have their own Shekinah Fellowship Church in southern California. Seeing that, we tried to appeal to their morality by encouraging them to be honest, accept responsibility and suggested Art to counsel his wife to do what is right on this LEGAL matter.
Obviously, communication has failed with this pair. They have closed or disallowed all private talk with them — so here we go. Wall of Shame.
Please BEWARE of “Cute as a Button/Buttin” owners Francesca and Art Lopez in all their iffy endeavors. (They are particularly marketing toward Christians as you can see.)
Any questions about about this aspect of copyright, please ask in the comments and I can bring your concerns to the group or please join the facebook group discussion.