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copyright theft of my paintings - help!!

(12 Posts)
PersephoneSnape Fri 19-Sep-08 09:37:35

Does anyone know anything about copyright law/theft? I?m an artist (as well as single- mum-of-three & day-jobbing civil-servant) and two of my paintings here

- and here have been stolen by this scumbag person to make money as second life skins (virtual tattoos on virtual people) here
I?ve commented on their site that they have no right to do so and will be taking legal advice, but I probably can't afford that. What should be my next step? thanks in advance ladies for your sage advice...

Dropdeadfred Fri 19-Sep-08 09:38:42

have you copyrighted them?

MrsTweedy Fri 19-Sep-08 09:49:54

The Intellectual Property Office sit here might help

NotQuiteCockney Fri 19-Sep-08 09:50:38

These aren't being sold directly by onrez.com, they're being sold by a user on there, iyswim. So I would get in touch with onrez.com. Worrisomely, though, they only have an email address, not a phone number or other real contact details. (It's support@onrez.com.) I'd say that's a good place to start, but you really want a boilerplate 'cease and desist' sort of letter. Which should scare them into deslisting the stuff. (And possibly blocking the user? I wonder if her other tattoos are nicked, too?)

Googling found me this one: http://www.utsystem.edu/OGC/INTELLECTUALPROPERTY/contract/cease.htm. I'd alter it slightly to make clear it's one of their users, but I'm sure onrez take a cut. (The money in question is imaginary money, it does have real-life value though.)

(NB: I'm not a lawyer.)

NotQuiteCockney Fri 19-Sep-08 09:52:00

I think onrez.com is in the US. Legal action is unlikely to be worth it. Better to annoy/embarrass onrez.com or the user to taking it down.

pinkandpurple Fri 19-Sep-08 10:13:39

I'm an intellectual property lawyer, although copyright isn't my speciality.

You don't need to register copyright. It arises automatically as soon as you create an artistic work.

Do you have proof though that it's your own work?

How do you know it was "stolen"? How could a person copy your work? Did you sell it to someone? In what form?

You need to find out who exactly is behind the website.

The link given by NotQuite is fine, except it's based on US law, so depending on where the website originates from (ie where the server is), you might need to alter the references to the law. Most countries in the world have similar copyright law though and tend to honour eachothers' rights so the substance should be the same.

hanaflower Fri 19-Sep-08 10:15:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PersephoneSnape Fri 19-Sep-08 12:04:36

I have originals and time stamp on the website that they were first published on - (deviantart which has it's own copyright) They haven't been sold and no permission for use has been sought.

shame it's virtual money - my cut of a real $150 looked more promising than Linden dollars.

thanks for replies so far - I need to step out for a headache clearing walk - I'll be back

Flufffy Sat 20-Sep-08 20:11:06

You need to register a copyright infringement with Linden Labs.

There is a FAQ here:

http://secondlife.com/corporate/dmca.php

If you want payment however you will have to make a separate claim against the user and I would advise you to get separate advice about how to do that.

Flufffy Sat 20-Sep-08 20:17:45

I don't want to put my email address on here but can give you more advice if you want. Can you send me a message?

suwoo Sat 20-Sep-08 20:29:57

Don't know anything about this subject, but just wanted to comment on how fabulous your paintings are. Were they designed as tattoos? They look amazing!!

PersephoneSnape Sat 20-Sep-08 23:23:30

flufffy, i don't have cat - you can get me at violet(underline)grimm at hotmail dot com if you're so inclined. thank you (and thank you suwoo, thats very kind of you to say so! I do a lot of tattoo related art )

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