Copyright Violations on the Internet

"Tree of Life ©2001 Marian Osher www.marianosher.com

“Tree of Life ©2001 Marian Osher http://www.marianosher.com

In early October, 2013 I was horrified to discover widespread copyright infringements on the internet, of my “Tree of Life” original artwork which I created in 2001. The scope of these infringements has been worldwide. Products were made and offered for sale using my “Tree of Life” artwork. This same artwork was taken and used as avatars and profile images. It was displayed on websites and blogs with sharing, all without my permission and without my knowledge or credit.

Since October, I have had to spend countless hours of time taking screenshots of infringements, writing and sending notifications to websites, locating hosts of websites as well as translating notifications into a variety of languages.  It has been a nightmare!  It has affected my sleep and my peace of mind, and has significantly cut into my studio time.

Artists BEWARE! This can happen to you.  It is NOT flattering when someone takes your artwork and posts it without credit and without your permission.  It is painful, and you will wake up in the middle of the night knowing that the integrity of your artwork, your creation has been compromised.  You will feel creatively violated!

Users, please think before you take an image from the internet.  Remember, SOMEONE created that artwork, and if you can’t find the source to ask permission, DON’T USE IT!

Although I am still in the throes of notifications and removal requests, I have learned a lot from this awful experience.  So I have decided to turn it into something positive for other creatives and for users of the internet. In future postings,  I will write about tools which have helped me to get removals, as well as how artists can protect their images on the web.  I also want to help educate users of the internet to understand and be aware of the damage they cause to the creative community when artwork is taken and used without permission and without credit to the artist. Remember the golden rule.  And remember that there are copyright laws that apply to the internet.

My “Tree of Life” artwork ©2001 Marian Osher is filed for registration with the US Copyright Office.

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10 Responses to “Copyright Violations on the Internet”

  1. Alan Henney Says:

    I share your frustration. While I have had some photos stolen from me in different incidents, it’s nothing compared with the loss you have experienced.

    It is shocking that even the corporate media has been taking photos from social media and websites often without permission. I found the Google image search a helpful tool in locating those who had stolen my photos. Curious what other tools you have for us?

    http://images.google.com/

    Hopefully a few high-profile lawsuits (by artists who can afford such) will make things change, like the photographer from Haiti?

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/11/22/us-media-copyright-twitter-idUSBRE9AL16F20131122

    Hang in there.

    Alan Henney

    • Marian Osher Says:

      Hi Alan, Thank you for your comment. It is so important for artists to speak up about this problem, or it will never go away. The google image search tool is how I have found the infringements. It is also important to click on all of the sizes of the jpegs. Another image search resource I learned about is tineye.com. More information to come in future posts. regards, Marian Osher

  2. Hollis Hildebrand-Mills Says:

    Marian : I am very aware of the violation you have felt with this infringement. I have had infringement on a much smaller scale. I am also aware of the laws that are now in place for the internet. It was a little like the Wild
    West for a while, in that there were no rules and people assumed they could do what they wanted to. But most big law firms have internet attorneys working for them now.
    Thank you for sharing such valuable information with us.

  3. Bloggers, Don’t Do What I Did. Pay Attention When Selecting Images and Make Sure You Have Permission to Use Them | Dating Dementia Says:

    […] Please See Marian’s Awesome Work at These Links and Learn More about Copyright Infringement: marianosher.com marianosher.wordpress marianosher.wordpress.copyright issues marianosher.wordpress.com.copyright violations […]

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