Copyright Infringement and how you may unknowingly fall victim to it this Holiday shopping season.

Last week I found a site called pinsdaddy that steals thousands of artists images from the internet and lists them on their websites (multiple websites) as free downloadable creative commons images. 99.9% of the images on their sites are not however free downloadable content. They steal from artists, give away our work and make their money from advertising. So - they are GIVING away small, poor quality screen grabs of artist's work and make money from advertising. This particular site is set up to look like they are affiliated with Pinterest - but they are not. This is only one of many times I have found my work illegally listed on someone elses site, there are many - but the sheer volume of theft on these particular sites is reprehensible.


Many artists and creatives spend more time filing legal paperwork against these thieves than we do creating our art form. But every artist I know will absolutely take legal action when warrented - as we lose money and the thieves wind up with your money and you do not wind up with my (or others) art. The only ones who win are the scammers and scrapers who take your money and disappear like the thieves they are. Some incorrectly believe if they are located in a different country or find images on the internet they are free for the taking - but all that gets taken is your money and my time as I persue legal action.


As a consumer I would recommend that you check the sources of these images and products to be sure you are not illegally downloading, reselling or altering copyrighted or trademarked artist's work. Most artists have a copyright visible or invisiby embedded in their art images - if you can see that - do not download it unless you are buying from the original artist or their licensed agent. Because by doing so you open yourself up to legal action from the artist, even though you believed when you downloaded your image you were doing so legally - whether to use on your blog or to copy for resale - you have been misled by unscrupulous websites that do not care if I come after you for Copyright Infringement - and I (and all other artists) will to protect our copyrights and our original artworks. 

Think you're buying from a legal affiliate of an online venue? You may not be! Again there are many who illegally scrape content from online venues and independent websites, take your money and you'll receive a poor quality, often watermarked cheap print. That's if you are lucky - many just take your money and run. When they start to receive complaints they close up shop, leave with your money and you never receive anything. They then pop up again with another website name and the cycle starts again.

So as the Christmas Season approaches and you are shopping for original, personalized art, gifts, jewelry please be aware these scammer sites are everywhere - and if you are paying a couple of bucks for original art or artisan jewelry or sculptures - you could well be victim of one of these sites or scrapers. If you're not sure check Google to find where the original pictures come from or contact the maker It is eye opening!

So have a safe Holiday shopping season and thanks for supporting the Artist community!