Online art theft destroys creative rights

We all get the plagiarism talk. Every school year, in every class, every teacher gives us a list of consequences if anyone dares to copy someone else’s work. We’ve all heard it a thousand times: “Your work must be your own!” Come on, we’re in college.  Does anyone really need to be warned about this anymore?

But the truth is, this is actually an important message. I don’t think people realize how devastating it is to discover that someone else has stolen your work and has claimed it as their own, whether it’s an essay, a novel, a song or a painting.

Last July and August, more than 300 members of deviantArt.com discovered that one or more of their artworks had been stolen and put up for sale on a website called Art4Love.com and its backup site, MarkYourSpot.com.

The stolen works of art were overpriced and listed as original oil paintings, and the website did not include any of the artists’ names or acknowledge that the art was created by anyone other than the site’s founder, Chad “Love” Lieberman.

He didn’t stop at art theft, either. Lieberman “wrote” a book called “Creative Warriors Walk Alone,” which is astoundingly similar to a book titled “The Business Side of Creativity” by Cameron S. Foote. I even found an article about copyright for artists online written by Lieberman. The irony that someone like this would write a Q-and-A article about copyright only gets better when you realize that he didn’t actually write it at all. The article was actually written by Sarah Feingold and was copyrighted by Alan Bamberger. All Lieberman had to do was copy, paste and type his own name over Feingold’s.

As an amateur artist and writer myself, I know how much work goes into an original creation. Making art is a lot more than just splashing some paint on a canvas. Just like writing is more than putting words down on a page and making music is more than plucking a string or making noise with your mouth. When you create something, you alter and edit it until it’s perfect. You spend hours, or even days, working on it until you’re satisfied. Then, to discover that someone has copied it, not even bothering to change it to make it look like it’s theirs and to realize that they are getting all the credit…

Well, what would you do?

Art4Love.com and MarkYourSpot.com have been taken down, presumably by Lieberman. According to posts online the members of deviantArt assume that Lieberman is trying to hide any evidence, and they are urging other ‘deviants’ to spread the word. There is a movement among the victimized artists to sue Lieberman and/or Art4Love.com, and frankly, I hope they do it. No one should profit from stealing someone else’s work.

We all get the plagiarism talk. Every school year, in every class, every teacher gives us a list of consequences if anyone dares to copy someone else’s work. We’ve all heard it a thousand times: “Your work must be your own!” Come on, we’re in college.  Does anyone really need to be warned about this anymore?

But the truth is, this is actually an important message. I don’t think people realize how devastating it is to discover that someone else has stolen your work and has claimed it as their own, whether it’s an essay, a novel, a song or a painting.

Last July and August, more than 300 members of deviantArt.com discovered that one or more of their artworks had been stolen and put up for sale on a website called Art4Love.com and its backup site, MarkYourSpot.com.

The stolen works of art were overpriced and listed as original oil paintings, and the website did not include any of the artists’ names or acknowledge that the art was created by anyone other than the site’s founder, Chad “Love” Lieberman.

He didn’t stop at art theft, either. Lieberman “wrote” a book called “Creative Warriors Walk Alone,” which is astoundingly similar to a book titled “The Business Side of Creativity” by Cameron S. Foote. I even found an article about copyright for artists online written by Lieberman. The irony that someone like this would write a Q-and-A article about copyright only gets better when you realize that he didn’t actually write it at all. The article was actually written by Sarah Feingold and was copyrighted by Alan Bamberger. All Lieberman had to do was copy, paste and type his own name over Feingold’s.

As an amateur artist and writer myself, I know how much work goes into an original creation. Making art is a lot more than just splashing some paint on a canvas. Just like writing is more than putting words down on a page and making music is more than plucking a string or making noise with your mouth. When you create something, you alter and edit it until it’s perfect. You spend hours, or even days, working on it until you’re satisfied. Then, to discover that someone has copied it, not even bothering to change it to make it look like it’s theirs and to realize that they are getting all the credit…

Well, what would you do?

We all get the plagiarism talk. Every school year, in every class, every teacher gives us a list of consequences if anyone dares to copy someone else’s work. We’ve all heard it a thousand times: “Your work must be your own!” Come on, we’re in college.  Does anyone really need to be warned about this anymore?

But the truth is, this is actually an important message. I don’t think people realize how devastating it is to discover that someone else has stolen your work and has claimed it as their own, whether it’s an essay, a novel, a song or a painting.

Last July and August, more than 300 members of deviantArt.com discovered that one or more of their artworks had been stolen and put up for sale on a website called Art4Love.com and its backup site, MarkYourSpot.com.

The stolen works of art were overpriced and listed as original oil paintings, and the website did not include any of the artists’ names or acknowledge that the art was created by anyone other than the site’s founder, Chad “Love” Lieberman.

He didn’t stop at art theft, either. Lieberman “wrote” a book called “Creative Warriors Walk Alone,” which is astoundingly similar to a book titled “The Business Side of Creativity” by Cameron S. Foote. I even found an article about copyright for artists online written by Lieberman. The irony that someone like this would write a Q-and-A article about copyright only gets better when you realize that he didn’t actually write it at all. The article was actually written by Sarah Feingold and was copyrighted by Alan Bamberger. All Lieberman had to do was copy, paste and type his own name over Feingold’s.

As an amateur artist and writer myself, I know how much work goes into an original creation. Making art is a lot more than just splashing some paint on a canvas. Just like writing is more than putting words down on a page and making music is more than plucking a string or making noise with your mouth. When you create something, you alter and edit it until it’s perfect. You spend hours, or even days, working on it until you’re satisfied. Then, to discover that someone has copied it, not even bothering to change it to make it look like it’s theirs and to realize that they are getting all the credit…

Well, what would you do?

Art4Love.com and MarkYourSpot.com have been taken down, presumably by Lieberman. According to posts online the members of deviantArt assume that Lieberman is trying to hide any evidence, and they are urging other ‘deviants’ to spread the word. There is a movement among the victimized artists to sue Lieberman and/or Art4Love.com, and frankly, I hope they do it. No one should profit from stealing someone else’s work.

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Sharon Gollery/Culture editor
Sharon Gollery can be reached at linfieldreviewculture@gmail.com.

1 Comment on Online art theft destroys creative rights

  1. thats terrable i hope everyone involved gets justise!!!!

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