note: see recent updates below
The number of ‘artists’ copying my work, without permission, without payment, without any reference to me as the photographer and owner of the image, is growing. The concept of intellectual property doesn’t seem to exist in the minds of these copy cats and I wonder what I can do about this flagrant malpractice. For instance, let’s look at Roos van Velsen. This lady copied the photo below and has the audacity to suggest it is based on a photograph she took herself, since she photographed ‘many interesting people’ with ‘mysterious eyes’ during her ‘many foreign trips’. Her paintings are put up for sale, published on the internet and shown during exhibitions.
Roos van Velsen indeed has a vivid and fascinating fantasy, to say the least… What about the image below? She claims the lady in her painting is a ‘female fighter in a country in conflict’, possibly with the intention to suggest she is Palestinian.…. whereas it’s the same Indian woman as the woman in the first image, and, needless to say, based on my photographic work, not hers.
Another ‘artist’, Margreet Sleeuwenhoek, copied my work. I wonder if the ‘Academy‘ in Vlaardingen, where she studied, taught her the noble art of plagiarism and the breach of copyright.
Mrs. X (see update below) opens her ‘Exto Art Page‘ with a painted version of my image, without any reference to the original source of the painting. Needsless to say she never approached me for permission to use my material.
I don’t know what it is with these copy cats, but X. also indirectly claims the image is based on one of her own photos: [...] ‘The eyes are the mirrors to the soul’. When photographing, you notice the personality, but when painting you are are very much busy building the whole image [...] the canvas becomes alive and the face becomes a person with character and a soul.
So much fuss about describing art might be interesting in itself, but X copied my work and not once does she bother to mention the origin of her inspiration. In her case, it’s the more surprising since she claims to be a photographer herself. She should know better! And to make it all the more ironic, on her introduction page it says “The copyright of all the work displayed rests with the artist and shall not be used without prior written consent.” (!)
Another one, from Natalie Buzaré. from France:
It’s really frustrating one needs the internet ‘to be seen’, to show ones work, but on the other hand there are so many people out there who steal my photos, who completely ignore my copyright. Even watermarking my images seems to have no effect. Above, I only showed a few plagiarized paintings, but I could add countless examples of publications where they stole from my website, from Flickr, even from agencies who represent me. I stumble upon my photos in international newspapers (!), in folders and on websites of travel agents …
For now, I will end this blog by quoting Steve McCurry: The concept of intellectual property should be a no-brainer, but I guess there will always be people who use the work of others to promote their own companies or careers. I appreciate the folks around the world who let me know when they see my work being pirated or plagiarized and let us know. [source: Steve McCurry's blog]
All artists mentioned above, with the exception of French painter Nathalie Buzaré., have over the last few days removed the controversial paintings from their various websites. I kept the screenshots.
Here we go again: another photo used without permission. This time the painting is by Dutch artist Wim Wessling:
Both K.S. and Margreet Sleeuwenhoek. removed their site from Exto. This doesn’t, however, change ‘the case’, for of course I have all the screenshots and witnesses to prove the above accusations.
Interesting and related readings:
March 17, 2011
Mrs. X (see painting above) is very worried for negative publicitity. I am not interested in the individual ‘artists’, but in the act of copying without permission. So I removed her name from my blog. The fact that she copied my work without permission, is a fact. For the sake of the discussion about ‘plagiarism’ and ‘copyright infringement’, I will show the examples here for as long as I believe it serves a purpose.
TO BE CONTINUED
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