Saturday, November 28, 2009

Assumptions Leading to Online Copyright Breach [UPDATED: 4/12/09]

I have to say... I am constantly appalled at the presumptive attitude people have online that posted images on my online gallery are a free-for-all. Below is a recent example, and my response.
Hello Jozef,
my name is [NAME DELETED] and I am from [CITY/COUNTRY DELETED]. I am an astrologer, and since I have also DevianArt profile, I took your photo for ilustrating my post on my astrology site. I also put your link but what I need is written permission, so that's it... If it's not ok, just tell me.

I know that I should ask first, but sincerly, like a lot of other bloggers neither do I ask permission for a long time, not because I didn't want, but because I thought it is enough if i put a link. But now, l really want to respect copyrights, so I am sending emails to all authors which are linked with photos on my page...
hope to hearing from you,
Dear [NAME],

Thanks for contacting me.

Bloggers that post images without permissions, regardless if it is common practice or not are illegally breaking copyrights. Your usage without permissions is also unlawful, and the presumption that permission will be given is exactly that... presumptuous.

I make my artwork as part of my living and therefore usage of my artwork has a cost to it. I can and do post my own images online, but they are used thus only to showcase my work, their posting is not an open invitation for others to use illegally.

Also blog usage is usually to showcase an artists work, giving critical review (and often permission is openly granted for reviews), but you have decided to use my artwork to illustrate your astrology site as the header image. That is definitely not the usage I created this artwork for.

Beyond that inappropriate usage, this artwork of "The Queen of Sheba" is actually NOT my copyright but that of Aristocrat Technologies Australia (an international multimillion dollar poker machine company), and even has on the artwork.. "NOT FOR REPRODUCTION"... that means both online and in print, and that message is meant for persons like yourself. I have had a long legal history with this company to win the rights of usage of this artwork, which has been both financially and personally costly, and ONLY I have the usage rights, those usage rights are NOT transferable to you. So even if I wanted to give you the rights of usage for my artwork, I can NEVER give permissions for anyone else to use this artwork, as I do not have that right. (the rights I have mean only I can can use it).

So, thanks for contacting me. Please REMOVE my artwork immediately from your site header, and if in the future you wish to use my or anyone else's artwork... seek permission FIRST before you use the work illegally as you have done here. Please confirm in an email that you have done this.

If there is a problem for the removal, I will be happy to forward your permission request (after your already established illegal usage) to the lawyers at Aristocrat, whom I can say will be decidedly less polite then myself about the illegal usage of their copyright owned artwork.

Thank you.

Jozef Szekeres

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