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What would you feel if you discovered that your art has been reproduced without your permission? Such is the situation with many artists today who have used images that were originally painted by other artists. So is it okay for you to use these images?
First things first, using material that belonged to others would not only be applicable in the art sector and this could include the likes of print, television, speeches and obviously the internet, dubbed the largest library of resources in the world. Therefore, when copyright infringement takes place, there are always avenues and the right channel to bring your case to instead of throwing a tantrum.
Under most circumstances, the common reaction when an artwork or any work is used without permission is to bring a legal suit against the person responsible. This is because there are situations when such incidents are better left alone. One such case took place when a piece of artwork was used in a television show. The artist saw the painting and was baffled and went on to file a legal suit against the producer of the show. The artist eventually won the suit but the repercussions were bad for others in the industry. This was because the painting was put on the show not to gain popularity but was a way of showing support for the artist through the show. After the legal suit, it became a precedent that in order to place any type of art on television show, prior permission must first be obtained.
The point here is that the artist should show appreciation that her work was used in the television show and it would be seen by thousands of viewers. But the issue really is that the television producer should have asked permission before using the artwork for the show. So being an artist, you have to decide and take a stand if your work can be reproduced with or without your permission and this is something that you need to stick on by.
One thing for sure, you can do with any ‘free publicity’ if anyone uses your work but the line would need to be drawn when you are not credited for the work you have done.
Fundamentally, the more people use your work, the better it is for your career because that means more people would see it. The more important factor here is that they do not take away the authorship from you. It would be much better if your name is mentioned which will then give you the exposure you will need. If you are at the early stages of your art career, then you should allow them to use your work by all means and where this is concerned, you should check and see if you can gain further leverage to have your name mentioned through the end credits and such. If you are a seasoned artist, you might want more leverage but seriously, there is no harm done for anyone to use your artwork.