In this modern time we live in, everything is done over the computer, whether it is your banking, car shopping, or doing your taxes, it is all accessible from your home computer. Many artists out there including myself are selling artwork online. Many online auction sites like EBAY are making the selling part much easier. Online auctions are a great way for no name artist to get a worldwide market. With the simple clicks of a mouse, you can have numerous pictures of your work for the buyer to look at, and if they have further questions, they can just email or call you.Order now
Cutting the galleries out of the picture and promoting your own artwork is probably much easier, however there arises problems, an online “black market. ” With a quite a few lawsuits under their belt, EBAY over the course of the past four years has built up quite a reputation in the art community. As I was thinking of a topic to write this paper on, I stumbled across this story of a San Francisco artist’s horror story. Artist Anna L. Conti discovered that her images and pictures of her artwork had been stolen and sold on EBAY.
The con artist had downsized the artwork to around 50% of the actual size, printed it onto a canvas and did some sort of paint by number to give it texture. After some research, Conti discovered that this con artist (alias: Geraldine Klemmer) had sold some 480+ works for around 40-80 dollars each, who knows how many original works had been plagiarized by Klemmer. Conti still has no closure on this matter, however by her example there are a few ways to protect yourself against these types of problems.
The first step for protection is copyrighting your work. A copyright is a protection that covers published and unpublished literary, scientific and artistic works, whatever the form of expression, provided such works are fixed in a tangible or material form. This means that you have some sort of “proof” that it is yours. Copyright laws grant the creator the exclusive right to reproduce, prepare derivative works, distribute, perform and display the work publicly.
Exclusive means only the creator of such work, not anybody who has access to it and decides to steal it. According to the U. S. Copyright office, to copyright a work of visual art, what you need to do, is to complete application form VA, a $30 payment to “Register of Copyrights. “, and send the information to the copyright office. On your side what you need to do is signs your name at the bottom with the Copyright ? ‘© symbol to show that you are the author, and place it in an envelope and mail it to yourself without opening it.
Your copyright begins at the moment you puts your idea (photo of artwork) in a tangible form by printing it out on paper. You create a proof when you mail it to yourself (the postmark establishes the date of creation). You then register your copyright with the U. S. Copyright Office which is a requirement in order to sue for any amount of money should someone steal your work. Should things get a little out of hand, you can get a lawyer. Granted that most artists can’t afford a lawyer, there is great representation that is free.
A group called “Starving Artist Law” will provide free legal advice and help to those who need. Issues often handled include contract negotiations, mediation services, nonprofit incorporation, copyright information and infringement lawsuits, tax information, estate planning, and lease review. In conclusion, there are a few other things that might help you In the future either buying or selling online. These are some of the most infamous fraud seen in online auctions.