Two or three months ago, I discovered that an Australian enterprise was using an image of one of my distinctive improvisational quilts as the background for its promotional materials in a wide range of online and print media. I will not go into specific details but I am pleased to say that direct telephone contact, supported by a formal letter of demand (sometimes called a “cease and desist letter”), resulted in resolution of this matter.
If you ever find yourself in a similar position, you may find the following resources helpful:
- Copyright Infringement & Letter of Demand Information Sheet prepared by the Arts Law Information Centre of Australia;
- Generic Sample Copyright Cease & Desist Letter;
- Stocks letters by Plagiarism Today: Cease & Letter to Website Owner and DCMA Notice to Web Host. Note that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DCMA) is only law in the United States but your country may have similar procedures;
- Two easy steps for using a DMCA takedown notice to battle copyright infringement by Carolyn E. Wright, a US attorney “dedicated to the legal needs for photographers”.
PS: As a result of this experience, and in response to photo sharing without attribution that regularly occurs on Facebook and Pinterest, I have decided to add discreet watermarking to images of my art used on my websites and blog. This measure will not stop unscrupulous copyright infringements but will assist more people to: identify that I am the copyright holder; find my websites; and see more of my work. I’ve been playing around with different watermarking options. What tools, if any, do you use for your watermarks?