I Will Not Remain Silent. Artists STAND UP.

Stay with me now..this is going to be a long one. Chris Cozen and I have a very popular online workshop called Texture Town. In this workshop, we teach ways to create and enhance texture using acrylic mediums, collage and acrylic paint. The workshop opened in October 2010 and currently has 165 paying students.

I know of one student who has taken some of the lessons and she did not pay for them.

See recently this person blogged that her friend shared her techniques for grunging up a painting. Since I wrote and filmed the class with Chris Cozen, I recognize the lessons in her paintings perfectly. These were not her "friends" techniques, they were ours. These techniques were given to our paying students.

So essentially, one person signed up for my class, and then felt it was acceptable to distribute our class content to at least one non-paying person. Why? I don't know why...I can only guess the following:

-Maybe this person feels that she now owns the class material because she paid for it?

-Perhaps the words, "copyright" are foreign to her?

-She feels that she can stick it to Chris Cozen and Julie Prichard because we will never find out?

-She is a low-life shoplifter? She regularly steals everywhere she goes?

-She thinks because the class has so many students that it's ok just to hand it out to a few more?

I don't.

The fact of the matter is that teaching online is my livelihood. It is my job. I have already mentioned to everyone that I take it very seriously. (Frankly, I am also well mannered and would never even consider sharing information with someone that didn't pay for it.) I know that the minute I put something up online it is subject to being stolen. That's a cost of doing business. So what do I hope for? I hope that most people have the common decency to do what is right. I hope that people are honest.

Let me recap this..

I am not concerned that someone made paintings that look just like my class samples.

I am concerned that a (edit) Blogger had access to my course lessons and did not pay for them.

I am concerned that quite possibly someone is walking around with my videos and PDFs and saying that she developed them.

My facebook friends suggested I get an attorney. Some in-person friends suggest I get someone to hunt this thief down... I can't do either. I truly wonder why this blogger feels comfortable with stolen "merchandise" for lack of a better description.

Bad things happen now and then. My friend Tom told me that that perhaps the world has become too "PC"... bad mojo is frequently swept under the carpet so that feathers don't get ruffled. This "sweeping" makes people less aware of what is happening. How can we demand change if no one is talking about anything?
I want you to be aware of Artist Copyright. I am organizing a Bloglandia movement against Copyright Infringement. Details will be announced shortly. If you would like to be notified of how and when you would like to participate in this Artist Community Movement, please leave a comment here. When you leave a comment, you will be prompted with fields to enter your email address. Leave your address there..not typed into the text dialogue area.

It is not ok to repackage, redistribute or re-teach class information you find online.

It is not ok to use copyrighted music in your artist videos without written consent from the recording artist.

It is not ok to take images off blogs and use them as your own.

It is not ok to take an online class, and share your network password.

Teaching online is very expensive. Did you know that approx. 50% of the income generated from online teaching goes to the federal government in the form of taxes? Did you know that hosting videos, websites, and networks is a pricey annual expense? I'm not rolling in money over here. I feel like someone reached into my pocket and took $59 from me. I feel violated.

Texture Town Class Lesson

I urge you to tell your friends sharing this information is not cool. Give them the stink eye if they steal info. Cross them off your holiday card list. Give them what they deserve. They are doing the wrong thing.
Thank you.

PS- Oh. I emailed the (edit) Blogger who was given access to our class material without paying for class. I informed her that her friend lied to her. I told her that the techniques the friend gave to her were my lessons...stroke for stroke..sample for sample. It has been one week and I have no response from the blogger. Admission of guilt?

5/30 11:23am Pacific Edit: Thank you to everyone who is reading the post. This post is getting a huge number of hits today. Today is the day you should take a second to leave a comment. Please join us in the fight to stop this unethical behavior.

Another edit: Check out what my partner has to say about this...she's much better spoken than I.