Sunday, September 16, 2012

My Stolen Images on Chinese Websites

Golden Sax - Susanne Clark
Acrylic on canvas 24 x 24 inches
Yesterday I decided to search on Google to see if any of my paintings were illegally on the internet.  I know that there are whole towns in China, and other places, consisting of great numbers artists who work in factories that steal artist’s images and reproduce them for sale.  Copyright means nothing to them and someone told me, jokingly I hope, that the artists think copyright means that they actually have the right to copy the work!

Looking at my website stats I often see that visitors from China have been visiting it and also a couple of other sites that I use so I thought that there could be some sites that had my images on them. I indexed “Chinese Musical Paintings” into Google and within a few minutes found one web site with several of my images, painted in oil, available for sale.  I believe they copy the low grade digital file off the internet and then print it to size, you can order whatever size you want, and then they over paint it in oils and sell it as an original.  Watermarks don't help as they just paint them out.

The next thing I found was a bit of a shock.  I found nearly all the paintings from my “Musical Series”  and several life works listed complete with my bio, all stolen from my web site.  They had some listed as “Special new piece from Susanne Clark” which probably meant that it was the latest piece they had just lifted from my site!  There were a whole lot of others under a variation of my name, Suanne Clark.  Later I found a couple of paintings under my name that weren’t even my work.

The work was on a site where independent sellers from all around China and the world list their goods for sale.  I contacted the hosting company with a list of my works and the URLs and today I had an email saying they had removed my work from their site but to check back in 48 hours.  I’m sure the companies responsible re-list them a few days later or on another site so I will check back frequently.

This is a pretty common thing to happen but it still gives you a shock when you see all your work listed for sale there and know that people are illegally making money from it. 

I suppose I could choose to be flattered that they stole my work.   As a friend said to me  “They only choose the best” which was.nice of them.


Eva said...

Susanne, I am so sorry to hear about more people stealing your work. I've had that happen to me and it probably still does. Even publishers are guilty of selling prints and not reporting the sales to the artists. It is just the way of the world. Greed has always ruled it.The key is to do what you can to protect your images and then let go of the rest. You'll never win and can't do much about it. You'll lose a lot of peace of mind looking for the violators. Just keep creating wonderful art knowing you make a lot of people happy.

Susanne said...

I agree Eva. There are so many companies doing it it would take hours every day to keep up with it all. The funny thing is I sent an email to one company who had lots of my work up on their site and when I click on each of the URLs now, my work has been replaced with another artists paintings but my bio is still there under each one. The work is nice too so now I am getting credit their work!

Related Posts with Thumbnails