Starting Out
Hints & Tips
Art Forum
Contact Me

Not all infringements are bad

You might expect that ALL copies of your work are bad, but it depends on your point of view and what you’re hoping to achieve online. On this page I want to explore copyright infringements that actually aren’t that bad and may even be a positive.

It goes without saying that websites actually SELLING copies of your work are totally out of order and you need to take action if you can. I say “if you can” because most of these sites know they are trading illicitly and surround themselves with ‘nasties’ that we may not want to get involved with. Some of them simply do not provide any contact information (or false information that doesn’t work). This is something I may come back too if I have any success with my own pursuits.

But take the case of someone who copies one of your images and posts it on their own page with an acknowledgment that it is your work and often with a link back to your own website. Is this a bad thing? They’ve probably copied your picture because they like it and because they want to share it with others, simply because it’s a nice picture. As far as Search Engines are concerned, there is some ‘positive value’ in having links back to your site. If you’re wanting the search engines to bring as many visitors as they can to your site, then this can be very helpful. But as I said on a previous page, the more copies of an image that are out there, the more it reduces your chance of being the version the search engine uses. This is something that we must each weigh based on our own goals and preferences.

Other ‘neutral’ cases I’ve found are a person using one of my drawings to help her make a Leopard Cake, and someone using one of my drawings to demonstrate a type of shading. So given that copies of our work can be good, bad or in between, all we can do is make ourselves aware of how many copies are out there, and decide one-by-one whether we are content to leave them or not.

I am not an expert either technically or legally. I am offering guidance based on my own experience in the hope that others may find it helpful. The information is being provided in good faith and without recourse.