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Someone is teaching a class to paint my painting but didn't ask my permission

(David Kuhn) #60

Ok, one more time, and with feeling:

The woman said she would teach people to paint like Kandice. What she’s selling is instruction, and the instruction concerns style, which cannot be copyrighted.

Only thing wrong was using her image in the ad without permission.

(Connie McLennan) #61

The Opus Art Supplies link that used Kandice’s name is now gone. Why would that be? Mere coincidence?

However, this page [link removed] promoting the $55 workshops, twice shows a painting, presumably done by the instructor, that clearly is a substantially similar copy of Kandice’s original. This is not teaching, this is copying and using for advertisement. I believe this unauthorized copy, published to the public and offered for a class, constitutes copyright infringement–exactly as plaintiffs allege in the Duncanson v. Wine and Canvas case.
I apologize–if I had more thoroughly investigated earlier, we could have avoided all of the debate about whether or not “teaching” is fair use. Regardless of that argument, publishing an obvious copy of someone’s original on a web page advertising workshops and parties IS infringement.

Kandice’s original on the left.

[Update: Since this thread began, the infringing images have been removed, so I have deleted the link.]

For anyone interested and still reading here is a crash course on copyright for artists from an attorney with decades of experience in the field. "… in the vast majority of cases, it is the possibility of a lawsuit, rather than actual litigation, that gives you the bargaining power to stop an infringement, and often, to collect some money in settlement of your claim.

(David Kuhn) #62

Ok, if you’re going to ignore every salient legal point I made, then let’s get back to the other side of the argument, which is the legitimacy of copying to learn.

" Artists trained in these academies studied the work of previous artists and created copies of them" Source

James Gurney wrote a great blog post about it. Link

As David Hockney has said: “Copying is a first-rate way to learn to look because it is looking through somebody else’s eyes, at the way that person saw something and ordered it around the paper. In copying you are copying the way people made their marks, the way they felt, and it has been confirmed as a very good way to learn by the amount of copying that wonderful artists have done.”

Centuries of art tradition vs. you. I have to go with the centuries of art tradition.

(David Kuhn) #63

It is teaching… It’s teaching a style. Style is not copyright protected. The teaching is what’s being paid for. Copies are not being made to interfere with her potential market. Only problem was lack of permission for using original image in ad. Everything else is standard for fine art.

(Connie McLennan) #64

In using the copy on this web page and wherever else it may appear–possibly in print–she is not teaching anyone, she is promoting the workshops and parties. This is commercial exploitation. All of Gurney’s self-teaching examples where historical works. On this page, Kandice is not even credited, making it appear, for all intents and purposes, that the instructor is presenting the work as her own. The teacher is not a student, she ostensibly is a professional, copying and using the art without permission to sell her workshops. This is worse, not better.

(David Kuhn) #65

Waaaaay back in the beginning of this godforsaken debate I wrote that it was wrong not to credit her.

The workshops she runs. And what goes on at workshops? Teaching. Good grief…

For a long time now you’ve been arguing just for the sake of arguing. You’ve ignored the norms of the fine art world, and you’ve encouraged people on this thread to take a combative attitude toward beginners trying to learn something by way of a standard artistic practice.

I don’t get you…

(Alix Baker) #66

Oh Kandice. That is a definite No No. At least you were credited but they should have sought your permission or views first.
I’ve had the copyright of so many of my paintings used without my permission, particularly on websites of those who could find me so very easily to ask permission - including the UK Ministry of Defence which would leap on me at the speed of light if they thought I might use a cap badge in a painting (even one 200 years old!) without their permission.
I would advise you to speak to the offender strongly (but friendly if possible!) and to advise those who contact you through Facebook that no permission was sought and they should also point it out to the paint night permission. Perhaps that would prevent it being done by the same person to another artist.
You can do a reverse check through Google (can’t remember the link): put in the title of your work and it will produce a list of where it has appeared. Useful way to check up on possible offenders!
Good luck and kind regards, Alix Baker

(Anne Wood) #67

A long ‘debate’. No-one ever wins it seems. I have read all with interest and also learned things. Happy painting. :blush:

(Connie McLennan) #68

Because he was quoted, I contacted James Gurney. Here is his response:

“I’m not a lawyer, but I gather that the possible fair-use protection that might have come from the fact that this was used in a teaching context might be offset by the fact that money was being made by the teaching. I would guess that not a lot of money is being made or lost here, and I’d hope that the parties could discuss an equitable solution without using lawyers. Maybe the person using the art could give credit, and explanation, and a percentage of the income from teaching.”

I also contacted Daniel Abraham, a former illustrator and long-time NY copyright attorney who has written and spoken extensively, nationwide on copyright issues for artists. He replied: "With regards to the thread, while using images for teaching is granted wide copyright latitude, actually copying images in a class is a textbook case of infringement—not “transformative” in any way."

I have closed this topic and removed unnecessary or repetitive comments and those discussing other artists not involved in this matter. I hope the discussion has been informative. If you are concerned about protecting your images shown online, legal experts strongly recommend registering them with the US copyright office, which you can do economically in bulk.

(Connie McLennan) #71