DISCLAIMER: All images which are not my own are cited with the source and are used here for educational purposes only. If you would like your images removed please contact me directly and I will remove them immediately. Thank you.
Find me more frequently for the time being at Folk-Art-Life.


Open 4 Discussion: A Disclaimer

Hello everyone. 

A recent experience with Blogger has let me know that I need to make something about this blog clear. 

I began this blog initially as a way to educate myself about contemporary ceramics. I decided to share my experience widely with readers because I thought there might be other ceramic artists and ceramic art students with the same thirst for knowledge as my own. You see, from my experience, students who wish to study ceramics usually have very little, if any, access to information about or exposure to the contemporary ceramic art scene. I've actually been quite shocked by how little we know about each other at times, and I see this blog as a small piece of the solution to that sort of isolation. I think we can become better ceramic artists by knowing more about our fellow potters and sculptors. And we can become stronger artists in general by having a stronger understanding of our place within the larger art scene. 

But recently this blog was reported to Google for infringement of an artist's copyright. Now, I greatly respect every artist's work as their own, but I suppose I find myself in the school of thought that if you make art that you want the public to view and ultimately purchase, well then, images of your work that are within the public realm are then for public viewing, most especially within an educational context. Now, I know that my school of thought is not shared by everyone, and probably not even the majority, but I'd like to think that all of you readers appreciate the exposure to other artists that has been facilitated here on (Mud)Bucket. This is why I have had a disclaimer posted on this site to let folks know that if they wish their work not to be shared on this platform, that I would be glad to remove it. 

With that said, an artist recently chose to report me instead of emailing me directly. I'm not sure why I wasn't contacted first, especially with the disclaimer considered, and truth be told, my ego was a little bruised at first. I have no ill-feelings towards the artist who reported me, they were acting to protect their work and I understand that, though from what I'm unsure. If you have ideas on that, please speak up in the comments section. 

When I began this blog I was sharing artists at such a rate that I didn't feel I had time to contact each artist before sharing their work. The blog has slowed since then but my life outside the blogosphere has intensified greatly and I still feel that my time for this blog is rather limited. I have always, however, had a desire to go back through the archives to try and contact all the artists whose work I've shared on this blog, as I do feel it is important for them to know and have a choice of where their work is viewed. I thought the disclaimer would be enough until I was able to begin that task. I see now that it was not. 

Since receiving the notice from Google, I have edited and moved the disclaimer to the top of the page to make sure it is seen by everyone who visits (Mud)Bucket. And I have decided to begin the task of contacting the artists (or their estates) shared here within this blog. Now, this could mean that some content will be permanently removed from the site, but I have faith that most artists won't be so inclined. This task will be lengthy as there are over 300 individual artists that need to be contacted. If you are interested in helping, the biggest thing you can do is let me know if there are images of yours on this blog and whether or not you would like me to remove them (use the search bar if you aren't sure). If you have time, or perhaps students with time, and would like to help me with this process, send me an email. I would greatly appreciate the help. 

In the mean time, things should continue as normal here on the blog, by which I mean slowly but steadily. Please chime in with any ideas or opinions that you have on the issues of copyright and education and on exposure to contemporary artists. This is an open forum.

Thanks for your understanding.


FetishGhost said...

Sly... now you have a solid excuse to correspond with so many interesting people. Very, very sly!

Jesse Lu said...

Sssshhhh, Zygote, I wasn't going to advertise that aspect of this decision. ;)

Jenn Brazelton said...

Hey Jesse I love having my images on your blog. I understand people wanting to know where their images are posted. I think asking to use the images makes sense. I plan to do this with my blog, even if it slows down the posting process. Thanks for opening up the conversation.

Mel said...

I'm fine with you having my images on your blog. Although I don't think it is proper to directly go to google and report you, I too can understand that people don't want their images used without permission. A nice way would've been to contact you and ask you to remove them. But, don't take it personal - maybe that artist only had a bad day and couldn't help him/herself. Don't let this incident get to you - I think this is a great blog! Greetings, Melanie.

The Aesthetic Elevator said...

A lot of the old guard doesn't seem to grasp the concept of web publishing, or of free marketing. I'm actually very surprised someone would complain in such a way on a blog that solely features three-dimensional work. No one is going to be making money on images of 3-d work. Taking a painting and creating a print is another thing entirely . . .

A couple years ago I actually ran into a similar situation. I attended an opening and posted photos of some of the work I really liked on my blog. A while later the artist emailed with her opinion. Thankfully she was very diplomatic in comparison to a lot of people, and we discussed the difference in approaches at some length.

And we've actually continued to keep in touch from time to time since then. Unfortunately, this is out of the norm.

Come to think of it, I had a photography complain about the same thing quite a few years ago as well. Photographers seem to be the most touchy on this topic. I had another artist, a painter, ask for me to remove a part of a post after he became part of a lawsuit -- although he COMPLETELY misread my post . . .

pinkkiss said...

Hi Jessie,
You featured me a while back and I was thrilled! I love your blog and hope that this doesn't effect your posting. I'm always really excited to find new ceramic artists through you (something to look forward to on my google reader!) and when I was featured, was happy to have the exposure. I can understand some artists feeling uncomfortable with it, I guess. Don't let this get you down your doing a great thing!
-Shawna (Pinkkiss Pottery)

Honeyspy said...

I understand I guess, but I really think that's such a shame. Your website is and has been a great hub for me to find artists I couldn't and wouldn't find on my own. To a certain extent it strikes me as an artist spitting in the face of the added publicity. Disappointing. But whatever.

Jesse Lu said...

Thanks for everyone's input and the overarching sentiment that this blog is a valuable resource for readers.

A note on Honeyspy's comment... This artist is relatively famous, so publicity is not an issue here. Which actually complicate's it even more. If your work is a standard in ceramic art textbooks, lectures, and education, what was the issue with having images on this blog? That's what kind of confuses me. And furthermore, because the artist chose to go directly to Google and not to me personally, I had no way of understanding what the issue was.

Oh well, bummer.

Tom said...

Thanks for all you do & please continue!!!

Tracey Broome said...

How does that artist think they got famous? People had to see the work somewhere, honestly, some folks need to pull their heads out of the a#$es! I have discovered many artists I didn't know about on your site, all I can say is shame on that artist!

Charlene Doiron Reinhart said...

I think this is a great blog. It is too bad this person didn't email you to let you know how he/she felt. I understand that some artists like to know where images of their work are shown. Would it be different if you had taken the photo of the work at an exhibit? Is this only something concerning professional photographs of the work? Anyway, I do love your blog and find it a great resource. Thanks!

Anne W said...

Well I'm glad you persevered with your blog. People can be funny and can be quite touchy about their images, and insist on not only permission to use their images, but photo credits as well. Haven't heard this so much from potters, but evidently they're out there. Keep up the good work. All the best.

Ron said...

Keep the great posts coming Jesse!

Connie said...

Hi Jesse
I'm sorry that someone reported you. What a shame! I for one have been thrilled to be featured by you! And I thank you for getting my images out there in the world.

Your blog is always a must read for me. I love discovering new artists! Keep it up!

Anonymous said...

Hi Jesse,
I have been following your blog for a couple of years now. It is pretty clear that you are a sweet girl with good intentions. I am sure most artists would be thrilled to bits to be featured in your blog.


There is a proper protocol. I assumed you asked permission before ever posting someone else's property. It is about respect more that intention. I am sure you get this. You are annoyed that THEY DID NOT CONTACT YOU FIRST when reporting you but you are guilty of the very same thing as you did not contact them first either. Again, I am sure you "get it".

Best wishes,

Jesse Lu Bain said...

Thanks for your comment, Margie. And while I understand that some artist's view images of their work as private property that they do not wish to share, I have a difficult time with the concept that your work, which you make for public appreciation, should not be appreciated publicly on a platform such as a blog. If I were to write a paper about a certain artist's works, I should credit the source and that would be enough. But for some visual artists this seems to not be enough. I would not contact you before writing a paper about your work, so why should I contact you before sharing an image of your work? If you don't care to participate in the public dialogue of the art world online, it is my feeling that you should not put images online for public consumption...

Anyway, I could go on for days on this subject and it is very tricky with widely differing opinions. But I should stop here.

As an update on this subject, the post in question has been approved by Google's legal team and has been republished, so apparently Google or the artist has changed their mind about my culpability. I also noticed that the overwhelming response from readers and artists is that I am free to use any images I like, especially in the context of education... So I am starting to feel like opinions such as Margie's are in the minority. But what does that mean...? You can't ignore an opinion just because it is not widely held. Ohhh... this discussion will never end.

Must. Get. To. Work.

Elaine Bradley said...

um, can I copy your disclaimer?

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