Gourd Art Enthusiasts

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I am new to gourding, and usually put anything I want on a gourd. But my husband said that I should check about putting certain things on my gourds. I recently have 5 gourds in progress with looney tunes on them, with different cutouts. Does anyone know if using such items like looney tunes or Hanna Barbah, or any other cartoon or sport logo, illegal to sell at my upcoming lst craft fair? I have been reading all the forums, but have either have missed the answer or have not found the question addressed. I get a lot of my designs from pattern transfers that I have had for years, back from when my grandmother was really into Artex paints. All help is appreciated. I don't want to be arrested for doing anything wrong!

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This is a big no-no if your piece is going to be shown in public at all.  If you are making for yourself and keep it at home, nobody will know - but if you display copyrighted art in public or offer it for sale then you are leaving yourself open for trouble.  Disney and sports logos and other similar things (just pulled a photo today that had "Mr. Peanut" - we don't allow photos of copyrighted art on GAE) are all licensed and without the license you can't use them at all.

DO NOT sell art with copyrighted designs.  This isn't just for licensed things either - you can't copy other artists designs without their permission, either.  It's unethical and unfair to the person you copied from.

Thanks for responding so fast. I guess these pieces will be staying home!
I do find it interesting though. How is it possible to but a transfer, put it on a t-shirt and wear it, thats okay, because I purchased the book of transfers, but I can't use it anywhere else.

Check the front of the book.  There is usually a copyright notice.  Often it will say "for personal use only" or give other specifics.  This is even true of rubber stamps designs and similar things.  You can use it for personal use, but not for things you sell.  The manufacturer of those items all have their own policies of what is allowed or not allowed.


Coying cartoons is illegal - don't do it.  If you make them for gifts, you may get away with it - but it's still not legal technically.  You have to pay a licensing fee to use them.

All photos of copyrighted works will be pulled from this site.

Thank you.

I was just on Pinterest website and found photos taken from my website and from two galleries that represent me on this website. Now, I read on their Facebook page where they will offer prints of the photos that people have pinned to their boards.  Isn't this a violation of copyright laws?  How are they getting away with this.

Ah, Judy - artists have very little recourse in retaining our "intellectual property".  Pinterest is a social network site - like Facebook which I find highly invasive.  Pinterest specifically allows members to "collect" and post photos they like; so as long as folks attend art shows, go to galleries, browse websites, etc. and have those little camera phones - we are all going to be hijacked.  I for one, have never figured out how to "copyright" my designs.  I have done some reading and it appears that it would be extremely costly, complicated; and each new piece of gourd art would need to be individually registered for a copyright.   I know I'm on a rant here - but I have issues with folks taking  ideas from my own website and copying them.  Blantantly they come into my booth at a show and want to take close up photos. {Hmmm?} The same issues exist with classes I teach, and the tutorials that I publish.  Once out of our hands, or placed in the public domain of the Internet we have no control over what is being done with the information.  I've had students contact me and say "now that I know how to do XYZ, I want to teach the class to my patch, etc."  Now, I'm more than willing to share information.  GAE is a great example of the very open way we share our love of this medium and certainly at art shows I talk and share all kinds of things re: mediums, methods, techniques. 

If you ever figure out how to protect your property - please let me know.  It's enough to make me consider taking down my own website, and discontinuing teaching classes.  Ok, I'm through kvetching - LOL.

Sandy, I have quit putting new work on my website.  Not much I can do about the two shows I'm in.  If you tell folks not to take photos, they stand on the other side of the isle and take them when you caren looking.  Also, they get up close to the gourd and take their phone out and take one.  We've watched them do it.  I put on Pinterest Facebook page that I want royalties from any photo they sell a copy of, of any of my gourds.  Like that will do much good, but at least everyone on there may see it.  I can't pay an attorney to do anything.  It would cost a fortune.  I wonder if AGS would take a stand for all of us.

I do have the no right click on my photos and a notice that they may not be used without permission.  Not sure what the galleries do.  Guess I do need to watermark them.  But, like I said I don't put anything new one there.  But, the galleries do.  I really resent Pinterest selling prints of the photos.

No right click isn’t going to work for anyone who is pretty computer savvy for instance I can take a screen shot of anything, even if the photo is small, I can blow it up on my computer and take a SS, then take it into Photoshop and work it over, even with certain watermarks they could be Photoshopped and there would be no watermark, I could do this with certain watermarks, so they are not a total fail safe. I really don’t know what the answer is but it’s pretty hard to protect images on the Internet. Or should I say impossible.  I have taken pictures of gourds at classes and some of Bonnie's at the Red Door Gallery, but I took them because I like the gourd and or want to learn a technics that she used, such as a painting style, or just show my family,  so not everyone taking pictures wants to steal the design.

How right you are, Chris.  I've been in several galleries and I can name the classes they took.  It was so refreshing to see the entries in this year's KACC SW gourd show.  They were all original designs and they were all so different.  It was great.


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