This blog post has been edited to remove the original content – 15:05
That’s My Bear!
My bear got copied by Hrrrthrrr. When I challenged her about it she immediately removed it from Flickr and subsequently her blog. A week later the bear was back on her site still without a credit and so I went public with the story.
She’s now removed the bear and the post from her site.
I’ve told her I am happy for her to use the image providing she credit me and link to me but this doesn’t seem to be something she wants to do.
She has given me a heartfelt apology by email.
She’s asked me to remove her images from this blog post which I have done and I’ve also removed almost all of the orginal content especially the parts where I looked at her ABC project.
Hrrrthrrr didn’t intend any harm. Which doesn’t mean to say there wasn’t harm done. But at least she’s said she’s sorry, behaved politely and immediately removed the image which infringes on my work.
I’m working hard here to carve out a career as an artist. All my work is my own. And I do work at it. Spending time keeping things like this in check is not fun and I’ve wasted valuable time and energy that should have been used painting.
I’m not a vendictive person. I want to be treated with respect and so I’m showing that same courtesy to Hrrrthrrr by removing the original content of this post.
I think this has been an upsetting for her too and I’m hoping that what she takes away from this experience is that when you copy someone’s ideas and work to present as your own it is not harmless and it can have a real effect on a real person.
When someone attempts something similar in a paid job there are serious repercussions. But even when it’s a fun project taking the credit for other people’s ideas still has repercussions.
Look at other’s work, learn from it, be influenced by it and their style – but don’t just take it.
I want to thank everyone for their support and rallying around. The positives for me from all of this have been that :
a) I have a lot of support and some great people around me
b) I do have a style of my own which is obviously distinctive enough to get recognised even out of context
c) social media is a really fantastic tool
Publishing Online a Bear Pit?
Publishing your work on the internet inevitably exposes your work to the risk of being used, copied or ripped off without your permission, without credit or attribution and probably a lot of the time without your knowledge. That doesn’t make it right.
If I didn’t share my work online I wouldn’t have an audience, I wouldn’t connect with people through my art and I wouldn’t sell as much work.
If I put my web address across all my online art work it still wouldn’t have stop some people from thinking it’s fine to copy stuff and pass it off as theirs.
There are great rewards, great risks, lots of pitfalls and lots of gains from sharing your art online.
When I started blogging I decided if my work got stolen I would have to be philosophical about it and always remember that I can come up with new work – whereas the person who steals does so because they can’t come up with the ideas themselves.