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Copyright & Patents/I THINK they are stealing my images...


Hi Gerald,
I am an artist who sells her work on Etsy ( and about 6 months ago, I had a guy ask if I'd like to have my work licensed by his company. i looked them up, they put images on boards for a vintage look. I signed a contract, looked good to me, I never got one from him(like an idiot) and they put my work on their site. They pay me 10% royalties and it doesnt amount to much, $15 maybe.

I've found 3 of my images on saying they were designed by a different artist from the licensing company, who just happens to have the same last name as the owner. (My signature is plain to see)
I found another piece of art by someone else wrongly being attributed to this same artist. OK my questions are, should I get a lawyer and what would they do, and around how much would that cost? Or should I just get them to take everything of mine down and dissolve the relationship?

Thanks so much!

Dear Sara,

It sounds like you are dealing with unscrupulous people.

You say that you are an artist by profession.  It seems that your professional status is being compromised by these people.

With or without an attorney, you need to ask them for a copy of the agreement, and once it it received read it quite carefully.  Hopefully, there are provisions in the Agreement that enable you to terminate it.

Hopefully, the agreement is fair and balanced and you did not assign your copyrights to them.

If you did not, you need to register your works with the copyright office.  You should be able to register all of them in a single registration.

Then, assuming you own the copyrights and once the copyrights have been registered, you will need to notify them that they are infringing your copyrights.

While attorneys can be expensive and some may even be unscrupulous it seems that you may need one now.  And, you need a competent one and an honest one.

Sara, you got yourself in a pickle with some sharks.  

Good,luck, Sara!

My best regards,
  --Gerald R. Black
    Attorney and Counselor  

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Gerald R. Black


Intellectual Property Patents Global Patent Rights PCT Technology Transfer Copyrights Trademarks


Registered to practice before the U.S. Patent Office Admitted to Practice Law in Michigan, California, and Ohio

Capital University Law School - JD University of Cincinnati - BSME

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