We often get email asking about the incident last year when it was discovered that art from a number of our artists was being copied to a website in China where they were selling copies of art for very low prices. As many of you may know, a hue and cry went up across the land and the website was taken down. What you may not know is that another one sprang up to take its place.
So the question is inevitably what can you do to protect your art from being copied. The short answer is – never let any one see it. Not exactly palatable advice for an artist who wants people to see and enjoy their art. However the reality is, that if it can be seen on the internet, then there is a way to copy it.
Like the old adage that says the locks only keep honest people out but never stop the real thief so it can be said about people taking a copy of your art image. Despite the fact that MyArtClub.Com puts filters over the art or suppresses the right click option, there is little you can do if you know how to read the underlying HTML code that presents the page.
So it only keeps the non-technical people from being able to copy your image. If you can see it on your browser, then there is a link to the art image that exists in order to present it. And if you can see it on the screen, then you can take a picture of it on a digital camera, never mind the computer.
Which brings up other places that people can copy your art. If it is in a gallery or on exhibition, if it is printed in a magazine or your publish art cards to advertise your work, then it can be copied using a digital camera. So unless you are planning on hiding your candle under a bushel basket, then publish your work on the internet and if it gets copied onto a Chinese website, so be it. At least they had the good taste to copy your work.
In the next blog, we will explore ways to reduce the chance of your work being copied effectively.