Artists Vs. Artists

December 2nd, 2008 | Posted in News

One last post on the Orphan Works / Illustrator’s Partnership front, then no more for a while, I promise.

It’s hard to believe, but the Graphic Artist’s Guild, that venerable organization that is supposed to be looking out for the needs and rights of artists everywhere, is actually suing the Illustrator’s Partnership of America and five specific defendants for damages of a million dollars for what they call “defamatory public comments about GAG’s activities and use of industry reprographic royalties”.

I have tried to read up on the issue, which involved funds the GAG has apparently been collecting for years for “reprographic royalties”, which are royalties derived from the “photocopying of the material of published authors.” Apparently in many countries illustrators receive royalty payments from collecting societies for the photocopying of their work. In the US they do not… no idea why.

Nothing I have read, either from the GAG or the IPA or other parties explains to me why the GAG is getting any money at all from these royalties, or why they have any rights to any money from such. Nor can I find any explanation or details as to what the defendants in the lawsuit said to defame the GAG, or what their beef over these royalties is. Therefore I cannot formulate an opinion one way or another as to the actual lawsuit is warranted or not.

I am however of the opinion that any organization that professes to fight for and uphold the rights of visual artists should not be suing any other organizations with the same goals. Therefore I have signed a petition to respectfully request the GAG drop it’s lawsuit and pursue more amicable means of settling the dispute.

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