So it’s done. The site has been entirely removed. There are literally hundreds of links to this site scattered throughout the internet in the form of “aricles”, craigslist ads, wikipedia commons, forum posts, and many more permutations. I imagine that they are removing the offending images and will re-launch the site once that has been accomplished.
This has been a good lesson for me. It points out how easy it is to have your “identity” stolen and “borrowed”. Whether it is in the form of CC & SS #’s, personal info or in the form of your artwork, images, and branding. AND, I never would have caught it so soon if they hadn’t actually placed a link ON MY OWN BLOG advertising their business. I don’t imagine the next time will be so simple. It’s more likely to come from someone anonymous behind the shelter of various screens half a world away. And it will take more time & creative energy away from my work. This is the New World Order. But at the same time, I am thankful for the opportunity to do business, share, and communicate with all the great
people around the world that the internet provides to me. I want to thank all of you who bravely left comments and sent me emails of support and encouragement-it really did help. And for those of you who worked behind the scene on your own time, I thank you. I am a small fish, but it is a big ocean- and there is room enough for all of us- so to the best of our ability let’s not pollute it and move ahead.
Here are some things I learned that might help others:
-I might want to watermark more of my images- pain in the *^*S and more time spent away from the studio.
-I was already a fan of Google alerts but I just became a bigger one. Again, it does involve more work but in my opinion, well worth it. I literally have scores of them set (and I now have many new ones!) and I learn a lot from them.
-have all the appropriate forms (Notice of Infringement, etc.) on hand and saved as a draft to use over and over again.
– be ready to spend a little $ on copyright if necessary (wasn’t this time) and be thankful for the legal help of friends and family (get some)
-be ethical, it will come home to roost if you are not. the internet is a big place, just like the ocean, and the effects of pollution last a long, long time.
– i found an interesting pool in Flickr regarding copyright infringement. in the discussion area there is a strong argument about the dangers of the Orphan Rights Bill now making its way into becoming law. To voice your concerns and learn more you can visit the Illustrators Partnership of America.