Thoughts on Copyright and Copyright Compliancy

Thoughts on Copyright and Copyright Compliancy

If your head starts to spin, you see stars, and sing lalalalala, in a state of confusion, when you hear the word copyright, it’s okay.  You’re not alone.  Many people don’t understand it.  I was asked by Artistic Dreams Imaging, the company that licenses my artwork for resale as tubes, to write an article for them, on what copyright compliancy means to me, the artist.

I’ll keep it simple.

Copyright compliancy means to respect and honor my wishes as to how my art is used.  Copyright means exactly what it says… it gives the creator of a creative work the exclusive right to decide and control who can and cannot distribute, make copies of, make derivative works of or perform or display their originals. So, in other words… if you make a pixel painting, you get to control who can make copies of it and how they do it.
Follow my Terms of Use and follow the terms of use of any company I am licensed with.  That is all I ask.  It is common courtesy and a very simple request.  It is respect.  You wouldn’t come into my house and repaint my chair or remove and take home the seat cushion from it, so you shouldn’t do the same thing to my art, unless, of course, I give you permission to.  I hold the rights by ownership to decide what is done to my chair.  I hold the rights by ownership to decide what is done with and to my art.  My Terms of Use are my contract with you and tell you what you can and cannot do with my art.  Respect.  Trust.  Honor.  Courtesy.  I am giving it to you by allowing you to use my art per my terms.  All I ask is that you return that courtesy, honor, trust and respect.

The Terms of Use is the artist’s contract with you.  All any artist wants is for you to follow their Terms of Use, which is why it is so important for every artist to have their Terms of Use clearly stated on their sites and blogs and social media sites.  If an artist licenses their work, the company may have different terms of use for the licensed art.  You must also follow that company’s Terms of Use.  An artist may have different terms of use for different pieces of art.  Some art they may license, some they may not.  Digital stamps, for example may have different terms of use than tubes.  A popular way of displaying the terms of use for digital stamps is by titling the terms “Angel Policy”.  Follow all of the terms, regardless of their title, to the letter.  Every artist will have different terms of use.  It is your responsibility to read the terms and follow them or you risk breaking the terms of the contract.  Be aware that these terms are a legal contract.  Terms may change without notice.  It is your responsibility to keep yourself up to date with an artist’s terms.

Copyright getting a little clearer?

Years and years ago, before the first tube store was born, I wrote lessons on understanding copyrights for the tagging community.  These lessons still apply today.  They were written to be easy to understand.

Read them.  Direct people to them.   Link to them.  Do NOT, however, post my printed lessons, or excerpts thereof, on your sites or groups.  The Zone Groups is the only group who has my permission to post my lessons. (<— notice the terms of use I threw in there)

A Little Note To The Artists: (all artists, of all kinds and mediums)
Please do not simply say “Do Not Steal My Art” on your site or gallery or blog, etc.  What you consider stealing and what the person browsing the internet considers stealing may be two totally different things.  If you are displaying your art online, you need a Terms of Use page.  Your Terms of Use must be stated clearly and completely.  If you do not want your whole unaltered art displayed with a link to your site on their blog, state that.  If you do not want your art tubed or to be used in sig tagging or facebook covers, etc. state that.  You must spell out exactly what you do and do not want done with your art.  It may take a paragraph, it may take a page, but state your terms clearly.  If your art is licensed, state that it is, and with who you are licensed and refer to that companies terms of use.  State clearly that they must follow “Such and Such Company’s” terms of use as well, if that company permits use of your art.

Badge made with AHIL’s (JessieLax) Anti Theft Card PSD Pack.  You can find it at  if you’d like to make your own.

I hope your head doesn’t spin quite so much when you see or hear the word copyright.  Be kind to others who do not understand copyright.  Remember we all had to start somewhere, sometime, and not all of us understood or knew about copyrights from the beginning.

Pass it on.  Education is key.
© 2012 by Tori Beveridge  All rights reserved.
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