One of the problems many artists come across is ensuring they do not violate any copyrights or other similar work. Unless you are the type of artist that has an incredible mind the chances are you will have gleaned some of your ideas from others over the years. Combining many ideas into one is a viable option but recently I had someone willfully and purposefully copy some of my original work. Now comes the problem, what to do about it?
To get some advice I contacted my local Hillcrest Attorney to see what my options were. In the end I decided to try and make contact with the person in question and see where that would take me. One of the issues that irritated me the most if that I had met the individual before and I am quite sure that is where he saw my work and he was using it commercially. Now, if someone copies my ideas for their own personal use then I wouldn’t get too upset but when it is used to make money then I have a serious issue.
In this particular case the artist was very embarrassed and apologized profusely. We agreed he would immediately withdraw the offending item and I would get some compensation. In a way he was a nice and guy and I sort of felt sorry for him but the point is he copied my work and I just cannot sit and do nothing. I did ask why but he really couldn’t give me a decent answer so I didn’t push it anymore.
This is a situation many creative people can expect to face at some point during their careers and it could have turned out a lot worse for me. I have seen other artists presented with similar problems in the past and they have ended up with lengthy legal battles – at the end of the day in most cases the only winner is the attorney!
So, if you are an aspiring artist make sure you create your own independent work and although it is ok to borrow elements from other artists you want to make sure you are creating something which is materially different or you just find yourself landing up in an expensive settlement.