Copyright, Chagall Card, Riffs, WTH?

 I am breaking with my normal posts to say this timely bit regarding copyright, and
the lawsuit against Led Zep over the riff.  I don’t give a toss about any of it, but the topic is under my skin.  I understand the GOOD AND TRUE reasons for copyright,
so am not going to list the obvious reasons for having a copyright.
Yes, IF a company stole my image and was making money with it I’d sue.  People making money off an actual copy of a thang is serious business.

But how do you copyright an idea?  A style?  How do you copyright a few chords, or brushstrokes, or still life  arrangements of a certain type (many look the same to me)?
W14 12 19 BOOBY GURL MIRROR OLD 5 BANNERW14 7 13 One Day Full Moon Circle 300dpi RBVan Gogh has an iconic moon with swirls
around in a night sky.  Should every person
who ever swirls their sky around the moon have to
pay Van Gogh’s estate for the IDEA?  I think not,
but if so, BTW, I am sure I came up with the yin-yang moon (even named it), right, so I hereby copyright that from 20 years ago (I have the sketches) so it is mine. Shouldn’t a copy be recognizable
by everyone for the entire thing it is?

This and this and this are the same idea, right?
But have you ever drawn a naked whirling dervish gurl?
Did you steal the idea from me?  Does she have red hair?
Is there a crescent moon up above?

i hereby copyright the spelling of gurl.)

Do you see where I’m going with this?  I can’t always describe porn,
but I know it when I see it.  And I know a copy when I see it or hear it.
So where do we draw the line and why is this important?

 Creatives have dialogues in different ways than word people.  Artists “copy” (mimic, borrow, try out) the tricks of those that influence them and that is a dialogue between artists, a nod to the influence.  If they are honest or aware (sometimes they are not aware) they should mention the name of the artist they are “nodding” to as influencing.
Artists KNOW that from time to time they steal ideas.  Recently I am running with some images influenced by Pat Southern-Pearce, a friend and amazing artist.  I love how she uses colored paper and layout to achieve her wonderful journal entries.  I don’t want to copy her, and as I find my way into my version of her lovely style, playing with
elements I like, I also might be mistaken for her to the untrained eye (above).
I can name two other artists who are “copying” elements of her style.
They, too, will take it in their own direction.

The dialogue between creatives is important, and it can be a bit of this or that, and from my ability to hear music (not a musician myself) I hear melodies that remind me of others, some very old, some classical, and yet it isn’t the same song.  Take away the dialogue and the sharing between creatives, and you begin to stifle creativity.  Too many lawyers…

I wrote a bit about how I bought art cards long before I met Mitchell and apparently they were all for him as never gave them to anyone else (some are 30 years old) because
I saved them for the love of my life.  I am talking about Chagall here and yup, that quick little rooster and sun and sky is an homage as I am “painting” that card that I gave his yesterday as I remember where I bought it, and how I saved it for someone very special.
Is that stealing?  I see the red rooster, the watery sun, the bright blue sky…

W16 4 9 PENATALIC 1 CHAGALL 2Pentalic Aqua Journal, Lamy Al-Star, De Atramentis Document ink,
and Sennelier pan watercolors.


I agree to Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 4.0 International License, which you can learn more about by visiting the site, or,
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My images/blog posts may be reposted; please link back to dkatiepowellart.
No, on second thought,

 ©D. Katie Powell.  So there….

About dkatiepowellart

hollywood baby turned beach gurl turned steel&glass city gurl turned cowgurl turned herb gurl turned green city gurl. . . artist writer photographer. . . cat lover but misses our big dogs, gone to heaven. . . buddhist and interested in the study of spiritual traditions. . . foodie, organic, lover of all things mik, partner in conservation business mpfconservation, consummate blogger, making a dream happen, insomniac who is either reading buddhist teachings or not-so-bloody mysteries or autobio journal thangs early in the morning when i can't sleep
This entry was posted in art, art journal, copyleft, creativity, meditation, process, sketchbook, watercolor and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Copyright, Chagall Card, Riffs, WTH?

  1. Dan Antion says:

    Too many lawyers, for sure. I can get in trouble for using an image I purchased, in a way that the license agreement didn’t intend it to be used. On the other hand, someone in a foreign country can outright lift my photos off my website and use them and I have no recourse unless I want to spend tons of money and gain a judgement that will never be enforced “over there” – What’s a gurl to do (apologies, but I claim fair use since I’m not even a gurl)

    Liked by 1 person

    • The best news is that you haven’t got the deepest pockets (I assume — maybe you are one of the GotRocks) and your infractions are minor — not making $$$ of the images. I occasionally take risks myself because I use images that are iconic (EVERYONE has done one) to paint from. How do they know? I keep to the spirit of the idea. However, two things stand out:
      I have had two friends who are good sketchers have their images lifted and used in public places — on walls of restaurants, for instance, in a mural. It is a big deal, and there is not much you can do it. In one person’s case she was lucky and the restaurant owners didn’t know and painted over it.
      Did you know that you cannot take a picture of the Eiffel tower at night and post it ANYWHERE because the stupid lawyers were able to copyright the lighting design? So by my calcs, the many many architects world over should be copyrighting the hell out of their buildings. Then how does one take a picture at all?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Dan Antion says:

        I didn’t know that about the Eiffel Tower. I think I would take a picture and put it on Flickr and wait for the call. Stuff like that bugs me.

        There’s a building in Pittsburgh, THe PPG Tower that has a sign on the sidewalk that say “No Photos of Building”- The sidewalk is public. My understanding of the law in the US is, if I can see it from a public space, I can photograph it.

        I know about the tree growing out of the rock in CA that someone Trademarked the Image so you can’t publish a picture, but I’d be tempted to make them work to hunt me down on that one too 🙂 – I don’t think we should be able to restrict big things that are available in public from being photographed.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Hey, I caught the gurl thing after. Calling my attorney now….

      Liked by 1 person

  2. thank you; I learned a-lot today 🙂 BTW I live next to Paris ill go take a photo of it tomorrow at night an post it lol we can all post it over and over gain see what they say… 😉


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