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Stolen work.

Now i cannot mention names, company's or point a finger...however, if you sell any kind of art online, then check the internet. very well known auction sites have members selling art that is possibly stolen, I can only speak from a personal point of view as my work was used on one of these sites selling art wall canvases and prints. This is nothing new, and you probably already know this, But the more people check, and find their work, get it removed by the seller, then the better we are going to be. One site I look at had one member using images off deviant art, as far as I can look in to it , those images were not to be used for personal gain or profit.

But one question is bugging me, Why is it so difficult to get in touch with the auction site to complain about their members possibly doing things wrong or illegally ?, I found none of the works displayed for sale i suspected of being improperly used, did not have any kind of statement or note saying they have the owners permission to use them, I don't mean on each image, but a statement in their description. or on the shop front.

Has anyone had this happen to them ? and if so how did you deal with the individual or the auction site.


Staff member
No one has noticed..........unless you have read my bio................but I don't post work online or maintain any kind of online portfolio or website. I do not post any of my professional works here or in any other online venue. I do not allow any other professional site to post my works online and I negotiate terms with clients that strictly forbid them to post any online images that contain artworks that they have purchased from me.

All of this stemmed from an expensive, long and drawn out court battle that I had with a auction type site who was selling my work that they had stolen and in some cases, poorly reproduced work from my original ideas and concepts.

Here's all I will say.....................you can hire a lawyer/law firm to pursue and represent your copyright interests............as long as your capeable of paying because there will be little to no recourse even if you win a settlement. Or, you can do as I have done and NEVER again place work on the internet.


Staff member
So far I never had any problems like that.
That you know of. And that's the problem.

I did not know of my problem until I was contacted by a friend who congratulated me on the sale of my works to a hospitality business that he observed while he was on vacation in Europe. Had it not been for this freak accident, I may have never known or at least not for a long time. It was still a nightmare from that day forward and it took me the better part of a year to track down the culprits.

Long story short, nothing I did personally did much good in stopping the theft. If I'm to share the benefit of my experience, nothing I did legally had much affect either. My choice then became to just live with the consequences that my work would be stolen and sold without my permission or to just remove it from the internet altogether and never place it in harms way again. I opted for the latter.
I have been looking around the auction sites , They only have a process of reporting a member, Then you have to jump through hoops to get anywhere, It seems it all boils down to money at the end of the day, they make vast amounts each day , and in some cases i have found former members who have reported issues, and they themselves have been ban from the site because the site dos not like negative feedback. It's a shame relay, it seems that unless your a big player corporate company like the movie industry, there's nothing you can do except cost you a lot of money trying to stop it, then what happens when some one else dos it ?

I will now have to take the steps of removing all relevant content that could be stolen, and think about how i can sell it and manage it in a better way.

Thanks for all the input guys.
As a local artist I present my work regularly on Art Exhibitions in Zurich (Switzerland).
The current exhibition from April 25th to May 16th shows 18 pieces of my artwork, printed on canvas and framed in different sizes ranging from 90x60 cm up to 150x100 cm.
Each one is an original that I only sell once, which I guarantee with a certificate.
As per yesterday I sold already 3 of my works.