In the last entry in the “Photographing Art” series, Don’t Bother With Image Protection, I covered some reasons why I think that allowing images of art work to be freely shared isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Some people want to photograph art, or download images of art, and for artists dealing with one-of-a-kind images, like painters, the benefits of this infringement can outweigh the risks.
The last entry was rather one-sided, however. Freely allowing copies isn’t going to be beneficial in all situations. If you are in the selling reproductions business, file sharing has the potential to eat away at sales. I can sympathize with this. I have made money licensing images for prints myself. As a struggling artist, I know that every source of income, no matter how small it might seem, is very significant.
How many image makers are in the business of selling reproductions? Photographers certainly are, but I believe that it is important for artists to decide on the main focus of their practice: are they about selling originals, or selling reproductions.
If you are in the business of selling reproductions, this series is probably not for you. If you are more interested in selling originals, please come with me as I take you through the weird world of infinite goods.
Continue reading Do You Sell Originals, or Reproductions?
The last two entries, Why Can’t I Photograph Art, and Why Can’t I Photograph Art: Part 2 were inspired by a conversation I had back in May during the OCAD grad show.
I was talking to one of the graduates. He was good. He had the pretentious B.S. down well enough to keep up with the art snobs, critics, and grant applications, but he also had legitimately interesting ideas to discuss with other artists. They were good ideas, and they inspired good paintings. It was going well, and I asked if I could see any more,
Do you have a card? I asked him
Perhaps a website, with a gallery section?
A facebook fan page with a few uploaded images?
This took me by surprise, because unlike so many artists, he seemed to have a concern for the business end of the art world as well as the studio end. But this huge critical piece of the puzzle was being left out completely.
It had to be an oversight. Here was a young artist who had something going, and no website? No online presence of any kind? Was he a Luddite?
Continue reading An OCAD Grad Show Conversation
My last post, Copyright From an Artistâ€™s Perspective was inspired by a fantastic blog entry I had read about a month ago. I came across an article by an artist on the subject of copyright, and while it does fall into some of the same old traps of mixing up moral, legal and economic realities, it also introduces some great new ideas. I knew it was a good entry because it made me sit, and think, and question many of my own preconceptions. Although my opinion hasn’t changed, anything that shakes me like that got to have some kind of power, and his message should be shared.
I threw together a quick post for my tumblr account, to help me clear my head and sort my thoughts. This article builds upon that one.
In the copyright debate, I have found the first article from â€˜the other sideâ€™ that I think actually gets some things right. Jason Robert Brown had an excellent blog entry titled â€œFIGHTING WITH TEENAGERS: A COPYRIGHT STORYâ€.
(the follow-up post might be even better, but I’m not going to get into any of those ideas right here.)
So, I’ll begin by telling the story of what happened. Mr. Brown found a bunch of his content on a file-sharing site. His work was being pirated. Rather than suing his fans (which is very stupid) he created an account on a file sharing site, identified the people who were distributing his content, and he very politely asked them to stop. He went though everyone offering up his content, and on an individual basis, he sent them a message asking them to stop. He was polite and professional about it (which is smart). I think it’s really cool of him to go and do this himself, and I think it was very good of him to explain that he is not ok with his content being shared like that, and many people stopped right away. He made a convincing moral argument, and most people listened. Most people. Not everyone.
Continue reading My Take on “A Copyright Story”