Museum Ethics 101

You know I don’t want to have to go here again. You do. But Here We Are. Once again.

Let’s restate this, o n e  m o r e  t i m e.

If you are teaching a class, use your own work to sell or market the class. Your work. Not someone else’s. Doing so is unethical and fraudulent. If you are a museum, make sure the images you are using to sell these classes are the works of the instructor you have hired.

In this day and age you cannot simply say you “didn’t know”, you “thought it was OK”, or that “it wasn’t my responsibility”.  Your desire to “pretty up” your website does not supersede copyright infringement laws.

I thought a museum was the caretaker of art, artists, and artworks. If not museums, then what is your contribution to the art world? What happened to being a good citizen of the art community?

Here is a good set of rules to go by:

You stole an image, used it fraudulently for commercial purposes, and made money from it. You used it on your website to sell workshops. You posted about it all over the web and your various social media sites.

The United States statutory damages for copyright infringement are set out in 17 U.S.C. 504 of the U.S. Code. The basic level of damages is between $750 and $30,000 per work at the discretion of the court.  Isn’t it easier and more cost effective to use your own work?

What?  You don’t have any credible work to show? No work worthy of museum presentation?   Ethics people!!  Do they teach you nothing these days??  Is this how you wish to be known, as someone who steals the work of others?

A letter has been sent.  Screenshots taken. Requests made. Their response?

We’re “looking into it”.

What should happen?
I’m just wondering…

21 thoughts on “Museum Ethics 101

  1. dyedabbler

    One problem is that good images are posted and copied from place to place on the internet and it is easy to lose track of things. I thought it was safe to use pictures I found by googling ‘free to use’ and ‘copyright free’ but even then discovered that, somewhere along the way, the creator’s name and his/her request to be cited or paid was sometimes omitted.

    I think your idea of using watermarks is good; however, that is something I am not sure how to check for. Perhaps a discrete small signature in one corner of each photo would work?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. steelparade

      Why would an artist use a free image for a workshop she is teaching? Wouldn’t the artist’s own work be ideal? Seems shifty to me to teach a class by advertising a “free image” as an example. Deceptive. Why wouldn’t the “teacher” use her own work as an example?

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Dar

          This. If someone doesn’t have their own work to show, they should most probably not be teaching. What drives people to assume the responsibilities of being teachers before they have a significant body of quality work? I don’t know. Not there yet.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Nancy Lively White

    I really wish you would confront those specific entities whom you feel have wronged you rather than whining about it in general terms to your readers. Talk to the offenders, write to them, open lines of communication directly with the them. Tell them what you believe they have done and how those actions have affected you and your business. Ask for what you want.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. shiborigirl Post author

      What makes you think all this has not already been attended to before these posts were made?
      did you read the post?

      “A letter has been sent. Screenshots taken. Requests made. Their response?

      We’re “looking into it”. For days now.

      -and still the image remains on their site and in their social media feeds.

      I think it is interesting how you liken this to “whining”. This is not whining. This is teaching. Let’s be clear on that. I feel an obligation to do this out in the open. So all can see how this happens. It is insidious. Do you really think that I would not rather be spending my time in the studio? This does not just affect me. It affects many, many artisans. If people and institutions do not respect the art communities that they serve then what purpose are they really serving? Just another 501C3 with a lofty mission statement perhaps.

      Personally, I don’t like having to explain this over and over again. I make a living at this- my entire income is based on my own work. So yes, I do take this seriously and if it sounds like whining…oh well.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. asiadyer

        whining? that’s insulting……completely insulting language. I have personally seen Glennis go through this time and time again! people ripping off her shit. Who wouldn’t whine?? (And by the way, it’s a roar. She does not whine, trust me…) It’s not like she is stingy and cheap if you are respectful and nice and ASK. So what the heck’s your problem?? You have every right to not agree with her opinion, but kindly watch the words you use. Respect is due.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Nancy Lively White

    Call it whatever. Direct your complaints to the ones who give reason to complain, not to those of us who purchase your products.
    If this is teaching, please clarify your objectives.
    And, yes, I did read the posts.
    And, yes, I am educated in ethics.
    Moreover, I don’t regard Glennis work as s**t. Calling it that is truly disrespect. So please, asiadyer, watch YOUR words.


  4. shiborigirl Post author

    ha! you have to know that calling something shit in this context is not derogatory- it’s a colloquialism. Asiadyer’s shit is pretty awesome too. I’m sure he will take no offense to that statement.
    I question your assumption that this post is “directed” at my customers. The intention of this blog ( I have been blogging now for over 10 years) is multi-faceted. It is not only here to show pretty pictures of my work, be a tool for marketing, or to give thanks and appreciation to customers, readers, fellow artists and makers. It is a journal of fact and truth of what it is like to live this life of a maker for hire. MY life. It can provide a glimpse into this life-the ups and downs, the challenges. Perhaps it can teach others how to do this. Do you know how rare it is these days to do this? I have seen it now for over 40 years. I have seen the drop-off of artisans who are able to make a living at this due to so many factors. I see what is happening in the millennium generation, the generation of my own children. I see the unrealistic expectations of young folk who want to be artists and musicians as a career these days. It is not pretty. It is hard work. It is full of pitfalls,hard knocks and sacrifices. I want to cheer them on- but not in an artificial way.
    This blog is so many more things to me than just something to show users of my ribbon (of which you are one) ways to use it or pretty colors you can order.
    Perhaps the subtle teaching here is too much for some. Perhaps it feels too personally directed when it arrives in your email inbox.
    It’s not for everyone. But I do appreciate your willingness to discuss. it!
    Please feel free to answer the poll and use the “other” option to suggest what I should be doing that I have not already done.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. steelparade

    Nancy is allowed to have her opinion on matters, no matter how clueless she may be.

    Thanks for not being clueless Shiborigirl.
    Thanks for letting others know about these sort of underhanded practices. Thanks for educating others, and not being clueless like Nancy.

    Ah, the power of the Internet.
    Allows those who have been wronged to share their experiences so others may learn, while allowing clueless idiots to disagree.

    I see the perfection in all of it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. asiadyer

      Glennis is a true Sensei and I respect her and her work deeply in all ways. I am extremely obliged to her and grateful for all her shit. : ) I’m glad she exposed this for us all to see and that you have expressed your opinion to illustrate that, yes, some folks just don’t get it… matter how hard you hammer….it just don’t make it in. hmmmm….

      Perhaps that’s why she has to do it over and over again, and perhaps that’s why she’s altruistic enough to point it out so that !.SOMe of the hapless idiots who would be next to do it might think twice and 2. some of us other artists who are going thru similar things could get a chance to see how a real pro handles things, with class and strength. : ) I like the post. Can’t say the same for your attitude.
      I always watch my words. You’ll know when i’ve let go. ; )

      Have a wonderful day, Nancy.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Nsncy White

    I really do not care when you let go-just hope you have lots of paper handy. Get it?
    Have the kind of day that makes you feel good.


  7. Dar

    I love this blog. It’s real; it’s the life of a maker in all its beautiful, and sometimes not so beautiful colours. There’s some good sh!t here. Carry on, head held up high…

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Carol

    Sorry you are dealing with this again. Especially from a museum! Also don’t let this “negative Nancy”silence you. Wonder why she thinks she is the editor of your blog?

    Liked by 1 person

  9. janicezindel

    Payment and a VERY public apology, and never, ever do it again, from both “artist” and museum, if both were responsible for this. I don’t understand people anymore. Keep educating people, Glennis, apprently they need it, over and over again.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Karen

    Good on you Glennis, it is truly despicable that people would rip off others in such a way, where is people’s common decency. It also make no sense that as a teacher you would not have images of your own work or the work you are demonstrating.

    Liked by 1 person


be in touch and wonder~

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.