We have noticed that a number of our Trekell Pro Team Artists have been having their artwork stolen and that their images are being used by other individuals and companies for profit! Seriously, this is so messed up!
Of course we are partial to our Pro Team Artists because they’re amazing, but we KNOW that they are not the only artists that are getting ripped off and it HAS to stop!!
Let’s start by stating the obvious. The internet is a necessary evil. As much as we all fantasize about “going off the grid” from time to time, in order to market yourself as an artist these days, you pretty much HAVE to post images online via the interwebs and social media.
Unfortunately, there is not a 100% foolproof way to protect your artwork. Technology is awesome, but not that awesome...yet! The people who are stealing artwork and using images that are not their own, are thieves (a.k.a. bad guys) and if they want to steal your work, they will probably find a way.
AN OUNCE OF PREVENTION IS WORTH A POUND OF CURE
In case you didn’t know, that quote is from Benjamin Franklin and it’s worth stating that because quotes are considered intellectual property and are protected under the US copyright law!
But what does that mean?
It means that it is easier to take necessary precautions to stop a problem from happening than it is to find a solution if it ever does happen in the future. Of course, it will take a little time and legwork, but proactively protecting yourself and your artwork now, will save your tail later.
Here are a few simple ways:
REGISTER FOR COPYRIGHT PROTECTION
Register your artwork with your country’s copyright office. Next, place a friendly reminder on your website and all social media channels stating that your images are copyright protected. Label every single image with the copyright symbol ©, your name and date.
A watermark is a transparent layer that typically covers your entire image allowing it to be viewed, but making it more difficult to steal. Most photo editing software has a watermark tool. Your watermark can be a combination of your name, logo or copyright symbol.
LOWER YOUR RESOLUTION
As artists we want everything to be in the highest resolution possible and absolutely pristine. Sadly, by doing so, you are basically handing these thieves your precious works of art! So stop doing it! Lower your resolutions online and store your high-res images safely.
Now that we’ve given you a few tips & tricks to help protect YOUR artwork, we feel obligated to remind you of the importance of helping to protect other artists' work as well. First, shop wisely! Of course, these cheap sites are enticing. Afterall, the term “starving artist” wasn’t pulled from the sky. But, know and be proud of what you buy. If you suspect a copyright issue, do a Google image search, find the rightful owner and notify them immediately.