ABOUT ART THEFT

  1. International trash retail shop Zara is under fire right now for stealing art from a *ton* of independent artists and small businesses.
    the Zara infringed artists created an online shop for financial support, shoparttheft.com
  2. There are a few things about this that are remarkable to me:
  3. it's awesome seeing all the artists identified together and unifying. it's usually very taboo and frowned upon to speak about a case during litigation,
    lest it affect the possibility of resolution with someone who already stole from you???? ok whatever, legal system.
  4. but from my own experience being stolen from (and I have A LOT of experience with this) proactive artists who fight infringement lose a lot of money
    it's much more common for artists to be complacent or smoldering but not actually proactive. worth mentioning that all of these people's works were infringed but it appears only Tuesday Bassen confronted the problem w/ a lawyer. I've done it, it's expensive and it takes guts.
  5. they lose money not just on legal fees
  6. not just on counterfeit product sales
  7. but on the time they lose researching, drafting and going to hearings
    or in this case, tweeting about it
  8. (instead of making new work)
  9. and they also lose out on earning money from new work they have made, but may now be too anxious to share
    I suffer from this every time I'm stolen from. it is a major source of my anxiety and depression, often crippling me from doing basic things. do you Instagram freely? I can't. it seems like one of the many ways my work is accessed and stolen from.
  10. and they lose out on opportunities to license their work and earn from it
    because counterfeits may have already proliferated their market.
  11. So your direct support of artists *is* their legal defense fund.
    and may also be their only source of income, as in my case.
  12. if you know of a company with bad business practices, stop feeding them. find the alternatives. just STOP giving them the money they use to not only manufacture illegally but to mow down artists by outspending them on legal issues.
    write them and tell them how you feel, too. humanize this. Internet sales are great for artists and big businesses alike but they've made it feel like price comparison is more important to consumers than source of origin.
  13. I have a lot more to say about this but here are some of the recent infringements of my artwork I've personally experienced.
  14. awful & very widespread
  15. ever had to hire an Italian lawyer? I have!
  16. I listed about this experience
    ("not ok")
  17. just to show, it happens a lot more than you think.
    I talk about this problem all the time and I promise you it happens to *me* more than you think. I've battled more than 20 infringements in 2016 alone. think about that. i live in hell.
  18. and it's probably 1/1000 artists who fight back
    a combination of being personally motivated, having the means to pay for the privilege of fighting, sacrificing your mental wellbeing to research and dispute, and the thick skin required to open yourself to the unforgiving scrutiny of a counter argument from opposition and/or callous peers and/or consumers who are happy with counterfeits.
  19. artists: fight back. for all of us.
    and share the message if you can. in 2010, I experienced a major infringement that went similarly viral on Twitter, and one vicious peer of mine used her following to denounce its significance saying "not so sympathetic" — WTF !!! I'll never forget what a *lack* of support felt like.
  20. everybody else: keep being outraged. spend wisely & show your support by funding artists who innovate. don't stop.
  21. seriously, it's just so damn exhausting and horrible and soul numbing.
  22. the psychological damage is lasting. but the vocal public/community support really does help.
  23. I think it's awesome the artists infringed by Zara are getting some social justice.