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Winterberry in Flowers — 10 Comments

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  3. What a fantastic idea!!! I don’t know if this is the right question but I have been researching (and getting swamped by) the copyright laws, “fair use stuff,etc. lately. So here are my 2 questions: Since it is very hard to regulate the internet, how can one protect their artwork? What are the laws concerning copyright and fair use as applied specifically to collage which – in its very essence — relies on “borrowing” from already existing media?


  4. Hi Neda,

    I have let Chris know that you wrote this comment. What a great question! I am sure he will be delighted that you asked it.

    I look forward to seeing what Chris has to say.

    ~ Diane Clancy

  5. Hi Neda,

    As a bit of a preview answer – Your collages do rely on borrowing, but you create something unique – different from the original. There have been a lot of legal cases that have drawn a line to determine what is basically appropriation (a derivative) of someone else’s work and what is a new creation. If one copies something and makes a few unimportant changes, that is not acceptable.

    But you tend to take pieces of several different sources and then create something new. I have seen a friend’s collage, not yours, that took a very identifiable figure, cut it out and then put a few changes in a background. I always thought that was not acceptable. It focused so exclusively on the central figure, anything else was secondary, and there was no changing that central figure. That, I am pretty sure, is inappropriate.

    But you may take a background from someplace, create a figure out of several other figures – or take a few figures and integrate them into an incredible lush environment. That does not feel like the original when I see them. I am no expert, but I have studied this issue a lot. I think I will do a post sometime … but I want to find a book I have to make sure my vocabulary is accurate.

    ~ Diane Clancy

  6. Hi Neda,

    I had a lot of trouble with my server so I am breaking this into pieces …

    The other piece about protecting your own images … again I look forward to hearing what Chris says in his book … I think, to some extent, each artist has to make their own decisions about how they are going to position themselves.

    When I first started thinking about putting images online (in 2000), I talked with a lot of different artists about what they did and how they dealt with this concern. Some people put marks (watermarks, copyright marks) in their work to “spoil” it for someone if they took their work.

    One of the best protections is the size image, the amount of “data,” that you put out onto the web. I would suggest never putting more than 72 dpi for resolution. This way they have less ability to have a great copy of your collages. I spoke with many artists (online and off) about what they did. Eventually, I choose to make my thumbnails 155 pixels wide on the shorter side. I have made the larger, blow-up images 300 pixels on the shorter side. For these posts I use 250 pixels for the shorter size. Of course, with some of the newer enhancement of images software (Genuine Fractals is one), people can recreate more with less these days.

    My sizes are a lot bigger than many artists. But I also feel one of the best ways I can market my images is allow people to see them to let them know they are really worth having as a print or card. That is a choice I made.

    Also, you can protect your work by registering it with the US Copyright Office. You don’t have to register each work separately – you can bundle them to keep the cost down. I recommend doing this – it makes you more professional and also it gives you some protection.

    It will give you rights if someone uses your work. Of course, there are several problems with this. 1) You have to know that someone is using your work – ever more difficult in this age on one world. 2) To really get much in the way of financial damages, they have to been making money from use of your image (or be rich – I forget about that part). 3) Usually, the first step would be to tell them to stop – and most people will. 4) If you are awarded damages, they DO have to pay for your lawyer.

    So, each artist has to weigh the pluses and minuses, the risks and benefits of having your work out there. If someone downloads an image of mine and uses it on their desktop as wallpaper, well, I do not feel I am harmed. If someone is out there making t-shirts with my images and selling them, if I find out, I will go after them for sure!

    I hope this is a helpful preview.

    ~ Diane Clancy

  7. Diane, you could write a book! Or maybe 2 or 3!!! Thank you for the torrent of information. I am really grateful that you take my questions to heart. I have read a lot abt derivative work,etc. but it is such a complicated issue. When I get back from my trip, I will have time to absorb all this. In the meantime, I wish you the best things in life. You are an amazing person, Diane!!

  8. I couldn’t understand some parts of this article Winterberry in Flowers, but I guess I just need to check some more resources regarding this, because it sounds interesting.

  9. Hi Daniel,

    thank you for commenting on my blog. I tried to email you but it came back … here is what I said. ….

    Here is a demo on using Studio Artist http://www.dianeclancy.com/blog/2007/07/22/studio-artist-demo/

    I have been thinking of making one about making the animals in the flowers with as much detail – showing every step. I am about to start a new one for a client – so how about I document this one that way and write it up so you can see?

    Would that be helpful? I have been meaning to do it.

    Thank you again,
    Diane Clancy

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