Would the Bard Have Survived the Web?

There's an important article in the New York Times everybody should read (you may have to register with a free account - please do!): "Would the Bard Have Survived the Web?" by Scott Turow, Paul Aiken and James Shapiro. The article talks about the importance of copyright protection and how its invention basically allowed the creative explosion of playwrites in Shakespeare's time. (It's a very interesting read.)
     However, with the advent of the internet and easy access, copyright protections have come under attack. To quote:
They [file-sharers] ... ignores centuries of scientific and technological progress based on the principle that a creative person should have some assurance of being rewarded for his innovative work.
     Sadly, this has become more and more of an issue for me as I've had to be diligent making sure my coloring pages are used fairly. While I offer them for free for personal or non-commercial use, I often find companies using my images for logos, business promotions, or including them in public correspondence, etc.
     It's often my awesome followers who alert me to the infringements (thank you!) and I do indeed go after the infringers (twice just this week).
     Most of the time people use my images out of ignorance over copyright laws and I use the infringement as an opportunity to educate. Others respond as if I'm a big meanie, and they haven't done anything wrong. Those are... disappointing.
     My art is how I make my living after all, and if somebody uses my art in a commercial way without compensating me, well, they're basically keeping food off my table. That ain't cool. Again to quote the article:
As with much else, literary talent often remains undeveloped unless markets reward it.
A rich culture demands contributions from authors and artists who devote thousands of hours to a work and a lifetime to their craft.
     Bottom line - artists deserve to be compensated for their work. Otherwise, we won't have time to create the works society craves. We'll be too busy working 'regular' jobs.
     Which, by the way, I work longer hours as a free-lancer than I ever did with my 9 to 5 jobs. The key to remember is artists don't get paid to show up to work every day (and boy do I miss that sometimes). We make our living when people pay to use our creations.
     What do you think? Will you help protect my ability to create? Spread the good word about copyright protection!

Note: Click my angel above to read more about my copyright guidelines
Thanks to Claudia Pearson for the article link.


Anonymous said...

I am playing catch up here, have been out of commission mostly for a couple weeks, but did not want this to go uncommented.

I am writing this anon, though hope you know who I am as we have had recent contact regarding an add.

I am trying to sell a product, one that has catalog available, was recently having difficult time converting a purchased png from the company to another format for the program I use.. put the question out to a mail group, and the answer I got back was it was easier (and cheaper) to use the free pdf download and work with that.
The very image of what is being sold is what people are freely using to help themselves to the product.. without credit or purchase or anything. The legal png cost? One buck!!

Elizabeth O. Dulemba said...

Hi Anon,
I'm intrigued, but I'm not sure I understand what you're saying. Are you saying that rather than linking to a large .jpg, it's better to link to a .pdf that must be downloaded? And what is a legal .png?
More information please! (Please feel free to email me directly - elizabeth at dulemba dot com.)

Anonymous said...

I am sorry, that was clear as mud.

Will e mail you, but what I was saying that instead of advice on using the "legal" copy, the one I paid for... I recd advice on how to help myself to the image that was used to sell the picture. Kind of like.. why are you buying it and working with the paid for copy, when you can help yourself to the catalog copy, (ignoring copyright, etc), and use that picture instead.

Why buy when you can take???
That was what my point was supposed to be!
It was made in reference to your comments about finding your artwork all over the web in all formats totally ignoring your work and copyrights.