Copyright Infringement – It’s not just about the text.

writerbeware (1)

Photographer Jon Paul Ferrara posted today on Facebook about finding some of his artwork illegally used as covers on e-books available on Amazon.

It has been brought to my attention Amazon is republishing my artwork on e-books being sold throughout the world on their web-sites without my consent in at least 12-14 countries that I know of and probably many more. I use Facebook to share my work with the world as many other artist do, not to be stolen. I’m sure these authors that are taking my work at free will would not like someone using and selling their work without their consent. Artists, writers, musician, and photographers seem to have no rights anymore these days in the digital age due to corporations like Amazon who don’t care about copyright. If we as artist can’t respect one another’s copyright, how can we expect corporations like Amazon to.

For the authors who are using my work illegally to sell their e-books, I will be notifying my publishers this week and supplying them with links to the Amazon sites they are being sold on.
Authors illegally using my work:

Rita Ryan: The Duke’s Brutal Touch
Kim Kraft: Delay of the Duchess, Duchess in Disrepair
Emily Brant: The Duke’s Dark Secret
Ainsley Cameron: Heart of a Nobleman
Lily Publishing: The Duke’s Passion

Listen up, kiddies! Auntie Tymber is about to school you on COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT.

Just because you find an image you like somewhere online, it does NOT mean you can simply use it for a cover, OR even for something “free,” like a meme or on your website. While yes, some things like SOME images you find on meme generator sites can be used (sometimes with restrictions on commercial use, make SURE to read the site’s TOS before using commercially), it doesn’t mean you can use ANY image you find on the Internet, especially if it’s advertising something for sale. (I can’t count how many times I’ve seen authors use famous celebrities’ photos on promo cards for their books. Um, that’s a lawsuit waiting to happen, folks.)

JUST BECAUSE IT’S ON THE INTERNET DOES NOT MEAN IT’S PUBLIC DOMAIN!!!!!

Yes, I was shouting, unless you couldn’t tell.

The authors who’ve used this photographer’s images without permission or without paying for him are likely to find themselves on the wrong end of a lawsuit.

If you don’t get your clip art or your images from a REPUTABLE clip art provider, you’re opening yourself up to a SHIT-TON of legal trouble. Frankly, you deserve to get your ass sued for it, too. Just because you find something on a “free” clip art site does NOT mean it’s there LEGALLY. (Look how many pirated books are illegally uploaded onto file sites. Same thing.)

There are plenty of legal clip art providers out there. Is it sometimes pricey? Yes, duh. One thing I did was go out and buy a CD-Rom clip art collection from an office supply store. (I’ve had it for years, because I used to do a lot of embroidery digitizing.) I had the right to use that clip art in that way. And it’s more than paid for itself over the years. I think it cost me like $40 or something, and I’ve made a bunch of covers with it in addition to embroidery designs and other uses. I’ve purchased clip art from istockphoto.com and there are plenty of others out there.

Don’t just Google “free clip art” and think that puts you in the clear. It does NOT. Do NOT pull photos from Instagram or something like that and think you can use them. You CANNOT. Ditto DeviantArt or any of those other sites out there.

It takes money to make money. If you’re whining that you can’t afford legal clip art to make the cover you want for your book? Guess what? MAKE SOMETHING ELSE. Go with the latest trend of using one common element as the focal point of the cover. I’m sorry you can’t afford to buy cover art and feel you have the right to STEAL it, but them’s the breaks, buttercup. Suck it up and DEAL with it. I hope the authors were simply clueless and that it won’t come to light that the content of their books was also copyright infringement, but I guess that remains to be seen.

Just knock it off.