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Sheila Smart

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Posts posted by Sheila Smart

  1. He seems to have forgotten about one of his sites which is still showing the derivatives ( I don't want to identify it here yet).   He quickly removed all of my work from his main website when I contacted him last July.  He removed my FB comments and the Gallery has still to answer my queries regarding if he exhibited the derivatives.  I did dob him in last July to the local newspaper who had carried an article and photograph of him holding one of my derivatives where he had won a prize for best work.  Grrrrrrrr.   He told the reporter that he had "forgotten" my condition that he could use my work for personal use only and to contact me if it ever became commercial.  He is still flogging off prints and originals (at 900 quid a pop) and he actually owns another gallery in Lancs.  


    I am used to my work being infringed on a daily basis but this completely wilful use really gets up my nose!  The reporter alerted him to the fact that I was on his case but he still went ahead with the exhibition four months later.  



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  2. Has anyone any experience with the Patents Court, Small Claims re copyright infringement http://www.justice.gov.uk/downloads/courts/patents-court/patents-court-small-claims.pdf if one resides OUTSIDE of the United Kingdom and therefore cannot attend in person.  If so, how difficult and time consuming was the procedure and was it worthwhile?


    I am seriously thinking of pursuing the "painter" who has used many of my photographs of aborigines as derivatives without my permission.  He is well aware that he cannot do this as I have warned him months ago but he still continued with the exhibition and is still selling prints and "originals" of his "work" on a website.  This I consider wilful use and in the past, I have been in contact with a UK IP lawyer but UK legal fees are really, really expensive and UK lawyers rarely, if ever, work on a contingency basis!  The gallery in Oldham, Lancs has not been too forthcoming about which "paintings" were exhibited and now the exhibition is over.  


    For the life of me, I cannot understand galleries who exhibit work when it is patently obvious that the "painting" was taken from a photograph.  One of this "painter's" works is one of Clint Eastwood and although Mr Eastwood might be willing to sit for a painting, I don't think he would sit for a guy in Lancashire.  


    Under UK law, one must have the written permission of the photographer if painters wish to use work as a derivative http://www.copyrightservice.co.uk/copyright/p22_derivative_works.en.htm and I am constantly amazed that "painters" the world over seem to think that photographs are in the public domain and there is no copyright issue.  Just take a look as sites such as Fine Art America and RedBubble and you will see that theft of IP is endemic.  





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  3. Thanks John but the exhibition ended on 3 January 2015.  If I had been aware of its existence earlier, I would have posted a lot earlier.  Two Alamy photographers responded via PM but did not have an opportunity to get there in time.  I now plan to check out the Small Claims procedure in the UK and will post a separate thread.


    Cheers and thanks again.


  4. I am trying to ascertain if a "painter" who is exhibiting his "work" in a gallery in Oldham is using several of my images of aborigines as derivatives without my permission.  This is a long standing saga and he has absolutely refused to contact me in relation to selling "paintings" of my work as derivatives without a license to do so.  He has actually won prizes for these derivatives and is flogging off the paintings for 800 pounds and more.   He had conveniently forgotten my condition that he could only use my work for private use and not commercial use.  


    So if anyone lives in or near Oldham, I would much appreciate them contacting me, please.  I just need evidence, either photographic or a brochure with a list of work being exhibited.  



  5. It should be noted that as soon as someone deliberately removes or clones out a watermark, they can be sued for damages under DMCA legislation and the image does not have to be registered with the US Copyright Office to obtain such damages.  The difficulty may be to get a US attorney to act!


    I am not sure if Facebook would risk the wrath of its photographers or media if they were found to use an image which was uploaded by the owner of the image without the benefit of a license.  Hundreds of my images are on FB illegally and to give them credit, FB is quick to act on DMCA takedowns.  



  6. Sheila I see you are saying your work is on FAA.


    I wonder if you have thought of, or already do, put up your straight (unadulterated - wrong word but I think you know what I mean) photos alongside the digitally altered one from Topaz.


    It would be interesting to see which sold first, most, or if there was a preference by the buyers for one or the other of the types.


    Another thing while I think. I don't suppose these digitally altered images would be acceptable on P4M as they require some sharp area in the image, just like Alamy.



    I am not sure how the search engine works on FAA but probably both images will appear in the search results.  As far as P4M, I have uploaded digitally altered ones (not from the recent Topaz filter) and they have been accepted OK.  I have only had one sale on P4M (two weeks after I joined) and have yet to upload any using the Topaz filter.  I caused a bit of a stir awhile back when I suggested that their voting system was clearly silly in that someone marked "Exceptional" on an image that should never have left the computer and had no redeeming feature at all.  The photographer on whom this was bestowed did not know his camera from his elbow but he was offering tuitions on how to take photographs and was also thinking of doing weddings!  Sigh.   I don't know if the forum exists anymore since their site upgrade and I am hesitant to find out!  FAA is far more lucrative than P4M in any event in that I received a double figure on P4M and I usually sell for triple figures on FAA.   Also, the problem with P4M is that they require model releases for human subjects which is odd for a POD site so many of mine would not be accepted.  

  7. My work is on FAA and is classified as a "photograph" and not a painting.  I also advise that its digital art, impression


    The frank Sotonian genes in me would say "well, does it matter?" As long as people like it.


    However it is not a question of what a frank Sotonian says, but how the customer would perceive it. Frank Sotonian has told all his friends not to send him cards but put a sum in a charity box as he thinks they are a waste of money, but still sends cards to some as he knows others do like them. So yes, art, it is.


    I know from a discussion of feedback on a forum of a POD that some got a complaints that the product wasn;t what the customer expected. I think it was they expected an actual texture on the product whereas it was a photo of a texture or a trompe d'oeuil. Sheila, what sort of words do you put in the discription to indicate that it is not actually oil on canvas, or do you not bother?




    My work is on FAA and is classified as a "photograph" and not a painting.  I also advise that its digital art, impressionism etc etc. so the buyer is aware that they are not getting a painting.





    ism etc etc.  

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  8. It may or may not be art, but...


    I got Topaz Impression yesterday after seeing Sheila's video. I put this one up on Facebook and within an hour I had an unsolicited order for Christmas cards.






    Well done, Alan.  For those thinking of or have purchased the filter, I recommend this YouTube video of how it works and what brush to pick etc etc.




    I had to update my Nvidia graphics driver for the filter to actually work and as its never simple to do anything as far as computers are concerned, the Nvidia driver would not update and I went online and eventually found a step by step procedure to force the update and after much angst (and crossing of fingers), it actually worked.  But it was all worthwhile and I am having hours of fun playing with this filter.  There is a trial for those who do not wish to commit to the $99.00 fee but I have used Topaz a lot in the past and thought it was worth the punt.


    Here is one of my efforts.  "Before but with another filter"




    and after





  9. Even Turner?


    Nice work Sheila. Picked out a couple I really like, The street artist and little girl sat on the beach.


    Would you be able to give some idea how long on average it takes you to process an image to finished product?


    If you want painterly effects straight out of camera, not so good as yours, use Fuji and set high sharpness and high noise reduction settings. :)


    Wish you the best in your newish venture.




    After using the filter for a week or so, I can normally pick which actual filter to use just by looking at the "original" photograph.  If the image has a modern look about it, I use a filter to portray that (and vice versa).  It's difficult to explain in writing but if you use the filter (there is a free trial of it), you will get to understand. While using the filter, I am always thinking of who and why, folk would want to buy it.  Mind you, I am always thinking of that when snapping for stock which, at the moment, I am not! 


    Of course, it's not new using a photograph as a derivative of a painting - "painters" have been doing that surreptitiously for years!  I found one US "painter" using photographs as derivatives without the knowledge or permission of the various photographers (about 300 of them).  After contacting the POD sites and suggesting they might lose their safe harbour protection under DMCA if they did not do something, all four of the PODs took him down.  One for the good guys! That Google Search by Image found the original photograph might indicate that he was actually manipulating the photographs with filters rather than painting them on a canvas but as this guy always said that the original was not for sale, it would indicate that software was used, rather than brushes. I also found a UK "painter" using my work and even won competitions with the derivative and was hanging the work in local galleries.  I was soon on his case and he told the journalist (to whom I dobbed him in) that he had "forgotten" my condition in an email that he would have to contact me if he was selling the works.  I digress!


    Thanks for the comments.  It does tend to be addictive and I am now finding that I can use images from my "old" Canon D60 which wasn't the sharpest in the box as one does not need sharp (or even correctly exposed) originals.  



  10. My concern is (as a 68 year old) is who wrote the blurb on the photographer in this para? "Although Stuart is now in his fifties, he has no plans to slow down..."   Aaaaaagggghhh.  I assume a "twenty something" wrote this and it now appears that 50 year olds are heading for the scrapheap.  One of the briefs on ImageBried wanted "elderly female, in her 50s" .   I remonstrated with Meg of IB and they changed it to "mature age female, in her 50s".



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     IMHO a large percentage of "editorial" type images do not necessarily make good prints for the wall. Conversely, FAA are now offering contributors images for stock licensing where you can choose the pricing - now there's an idea!


    Large percentage of people don't care the quality. I know some of them personally. They do prints from my 900px files! :blink:   Let's not talk about quality here ;)


    Own pricing is great idea for author. And as I can see on FAA, people sell with really high prices. If it's possible, why not doing this that way?


    Actually, I was  not referring to quality - just the content of editorial style images.    

  12. I have had a couple of very recent infringements where the State (here in Australia) did eventually pay up.  I am advised by my Sydney IP attorney that "the Crown cannot infringe copyright but, if it does, it has to pay fair compensation or a claim can be made in the Copyright Tribunal (not a Court).  A tad ambiguous (but he is a lawyer :P )!


    Whilst US universities and governments do have sovereign immunity,  their staff do not.  When a university in Florida tried to pull this sovereign immunity stunt, I then demanded to be advised of the name of the staff member who uploaded my image to their site without the benefit of a license to do so.  They quickly decided to pay up!


    It is difficult to come up with a fee for such use as you will find that the image will be uploaded to their database and suddenly you will lose control of the image in perpetuity.  Bear this in mind when coming up with a fee.  At least the organisation did not nick the image which happened to me a couple of years back  when I kept finding a particular image appearing on travel company websites, I tracked it back to the State database and was constantly getting the brush off by the public servant...until I got my Sydney attorney involved.  Voila, suddenly they settled for about ten times which they would have paid had they sought a license in the first place.



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