Where does copying begin?
December 6, 2013 2:29 PM Subscribe
Images of a work incredibly similar to one made by my partner have been published and we do not know if there is a copyright infringement or what to do.
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
My partner is what is generally described as a mid-career artist. Their work has met with some success. Some work is quite well known, but their main focus has been in working between people, so naturally this isn't a sales point :-)
For example, one work requires people to manipulate it. It is made of fabric and it's construction is not complicated. The thinking behind it is, though.
At some point over the last year my partner corresponded via email with a woman running a kind of happiness project (not "the" happiness project). Today my partner received, as part of a mass mailing, a series of images that included a "thing" (not performance, not art, but a "thing") that was based around a near-identical piece of fabric as my partner has made. I know fabric is mutable, and there is question about who "owns" ideas (is there?) but it is disturbing that this person took the idea (if they did -- it is incredibly close, not just in size but in the photographic documentation which makes me think that it is not a random, wow look Jung was right moment).
So what could we hope to gain by confronting this person? What could we possibly say? And mostly, is there anything that can be done? And if there is, can we stop this person profiteering from my partner's idea (this is really the thing I'm most disturbed by -- that they will take this idea and "market" it -- yes, because we would miss out, but without acknowledging my partner at all, it seems just really unfair (and it sucks that people will pay for a "happiness" experience but not for "art").
Should I try and find who looked at this part of the website when? Should we just write a "good luck but you know if you make money you owe us" type email? And if the latter should we first send just a "good luck" email in the hope of baiting into an admission?
Quite swirly, but if you need clarification or have insights you'd rather not put into a googleable position, throwaway email: firstname.lastname@example.org