Using other artists’ images on your blog

When it’s okay to use someone else’s artwork on your site, how to do it, and when it’s probably best to ask ahead of time. Also, how to deal with someone who has swiped one of your images without crediting you AND how to credit images on your blog.

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Don’t leave your artwork without a piece of paper

Let’s say you take your work to a venue (gallery, home, business, etc.) because someone has asked to see it in person. After you arrive, you’re asked to leave your art at the venue so that other people can see it. It’s fine to do this as long as you have something in writing.

Always get your art business transactions in writing! In this scenario, while you didn’t exchange money, you did agree to leave a valuable asset in the care of someone else.

The piece of paper (which might be called a loan agreement) you draw up should state your name, the title, dimensions, and value of each piece you’re leaving. Your agreement should also be clear that you retain ownership and copyright and that the venue agrees to insure the work while they have it in their possession.

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Learn how to license your art–from the comfort of your own home

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Ethics and Using Other People’s Photographs

Monday’s Art Marketing Action newsletter about artist ethics created a stir in some circles. William Pilch took issue with this:

1. Don’t copy someone else’s art and try to pass it off as your own. Painting directly from photographs that were taken by someone else is not only unethical, it’s a copyright violation.

What I should have said is:

1. Don’t copy someone else’s art and try to pass it off as your own. Painting directly from photographs that were taken by someone else is not only unethical, it might be a copyright violation.

William was right that I should have double checked on my wording before issuing the newsletter. So I consulted with attorney Kevin Houchin to get the skinny. He says this.

If the photograph is not in the public domain, and the painting

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The Shawn Bentley Orphan Works Act of 2008

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If you’re interested in licensing some designs

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Taking care of art while it’s in someone else’s hands

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When certificates of authenticity are necessary

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Web site design is copyrighted, too

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Respecting copyright, regardless of the source

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