Think BEFORE you INK. CopyRight Infringement.

This web blogger fessed up to doing something that I too construe as CopyRight infringement. The artist he stole from is well known which adds to the issues because there really is no excuse to have not found him... Because his work is out there constantly and there is alot of it. His business thrives on internet exposure.

What happened is this, a tattoo afficionado searches on the net for a design. Takes said design to the tattoo shop and has it PERMANENTLY affixed to his bod. Vonster (the artist), on the other hand, poses another really good question, what if? what if he chose to sue?  To take them to court those who without getting approval first or paid for the work, and what if he won? what if? HE required them to remove it.

Would the courts force this? Could they? Could one person force another to essentially mutilate themselves by removing a tattoo? I find this soo odd, so today, and soooo interesting.

Check out this blog post from Von Glitschka

and then checkout the explanation from the guy who took art without asking.

I'm curious how this would pan out in a court of law.

Right now there is a battle going on about "orphaned works" in the copyright world. It affects all of us. and it will likely seriously affect all illustrators and artists around the world.  Without going into too much detail as its highly complicated regarding issues like books in the library, and how we use them. As well as original art we create and our rights based on the "Bern Convention". Which allows us the right to create work, and claim it with only putting a  © copyright in front of our names. Before that it was more complicated to acquire a copyright.

Here's the thing, if we allow an Orphaned Works act to pass? Then any question above posed would be moot. The guy in the article could just hey i looked, i couldn't find, bummer. Von on the other hand would not have the ability to make that call of removal, because the " i tried" factor comes to play. And I don't find this fair. Or in the best interests of any artist, illustrator, photographer, creative writer, and so on.

There are good arguements (as all are) on both sides of this. Of course, we want the ability to go to the library and copy passages from books and use them in research for writing articles and for learning. But we also want to preserve our right to creativity. And to claim ownership to its indiviuality.

I for one think that Von should take it the next step. Force them to remove any and all artwork that was not properly commissioned and paid for. But alas, he's a far nicer person than i am. :)


  1. During my previous career in the art world, we had several people contact us for the purpose of securing permission from an artist for use of their work as a tattoo.

    One was Baskin's Hydrogen Man

    another Moser's mushroom from Alice in Wonderland.

    Both were more than happy to give permission... but the fact that they were originally in a different medium... wood engraving... it wasn't really taking anything away from them.

    Because this was another tattoo artist's design, it does bring up an interesting argument. What do you do for copyright infringement? If the tattoo artist knowingly copied the artwork, I think there is cause for pursuing legal recourse. But if the client just brings them a design and asks them to do it... who knows? Perhaps we'll come to a point where tattoo artists will require clients to sign a waiver of liability for any designs that they bring in.

  2. Good points joey. And that artist is really cool. Going to check them out now. I need to point out in case my posting wasn't clear, Vonster is a graphic artist, illustrator, not a tattoo artist.

  3. girl.....you have been tagged! details on my blog! come out and play!

  4. On a related note, someone who does consulting work for the government stole artwork off of my web site http://NoNAIS.org and used it without my permission, in fact, against my specific forbiddance since he is Pro-NAIS and used it in Pro-NAIS documents he published. I'm pursuing this and looking for a good copyright lawyer. This just came up. I don't take it as flattery in the slightest.

  5. wow. walter that sucks. I wonder if you have a case to sue. I hope you saved all emails or correspondence.


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