In a perfect world, you wouldn’t need any advice, counseling or guidance about what to do if you find someone using your art for profit without your permission… Sadly, we don’t live in a perfect world.
We live in a world where you can be happily scrolling through Instagram one minute and the next minute you see your art on a product that you didn’t license… or someone sends you a photo from a store or a link to a website and says, “Wow! I didn’t know you did this deal! Congrats!” But you didn’t do the deal and it’s your art and your heart is now in your stomach…
So what do you do? What recourse do you have legally and how do you decide when and how to set the legal system in motion?
Attorney Kiffanie Stahle of TheArtistsJD.com* has written a great guide for creatives – Eep! Someone’s Stolen My Content!* (I believe she uses the term “content” instead of “art” because this all applies to writers as well as artists.)
The book is divided into 4 sections:
- Finding your Content
- Copyright Law Crash Course
- Create an Action Plan
There is a lot of practical, how-to information in these pages. Links to sites if you want to search for your designs that may be being used without your knowledge (sometimes you won’t stumble across it on Instagram or Facebook!) She also includes a great and understandable introduction to why copyright laws exist and what they do and don’t protect, some basics about registration, publication, fair use and all the other things that have us often scratching our heads.
The third part is my personal favorite – how to decide what to do when you “have arrived” and your art is used without your permission. When calm heads don’t prevail (or is that just me?) this is the guide to turn to for advice. (And then you might want to call her or another attorney – I’m by no means saying this guide will turn you into a lawyer who doesn’t need help resolving this stuff!)
Finally, there are templates.
I had the chance to be a Beta reader of this content and offer feedback before it was finished. I like that it is practical and easy to understand – something that often evades things that relate to the law. Kiffanie breaks it down so you can easily go back and review specific topics quickly.
To me, this is a must-have for any artist or writer who is serious about understanding the legal side of their business and what they can do when they find others trying to use their content without permission.
Here’s to your creative success!
– Tara Reed
P.S. Check out Kiffanie’s Office Hours* – for a minimal fee you can be one of 9 people who meet for an hour to get your questions answered about the legal issues affecting your business. Click here to learn how it works and sign up if it sounds interesting…*
* I am an affiliate and will earn a commission if you click these links and make a purchase. I don’t promote things I don’t believe in and wouldn’t use myself.