How to Catch an Art Thief- $uper $aiyan Anger

The laws of copyright have been put into place to protect the rights and work of original creators, while still enabling people to utilize previous works in an ethical manner. This was the initial intention at least; however, Kevin L. Ferguson had a different experience. After thinking his art was being praised and established in an art exhibit, he quickly learns that the art was in fact identical to his, but it was published under someone else’s name. Even after reaching out to the gallery, they denied his requests to be credited for the work.

I agree with his argument in that the gallery was being unreasonable in their refusal to acknowledge Ferguson’s ownership of the original work. He claimed that they “prioritized copyright details over common sense, placing [his] work in a frame of legal niceties that diminished [his] contributions.” Ferguson still emphasizes the importance of creative collaboration, and he most likely would not have minded as much if he had been credited as the work’s source or inspiration. He even closes the article with a step-by-step process on how readers can create their own summed images, in efforts to educate and prevent this act of plagiarism from occurring again. Ferguson is basically saying Here’s how I did it! Now you can just make your own instead of copying mine! I believe that Ferguson’s story demonstrates the gray area that exists within Copyright Laws. Even with the obvious similarities between his and the new work, the gallery used the copyright laws against him. As Ferguson explains, the gallery only cared about exhibition and exploitation. There needs to be more conversation, collaboration, and consideration in the community of content creation.

5 Replies to “Stealing in the Name of Art”

  1. I think you’re right about the gray areas—this seems like a case where even if they were technically within the law, it would have just been polite to acknowledge his work.

  2. I like your post! I think it does well at explaining and elaborating on the article. I think he also gives the process of how he created his work in order to show that he is not trying to keep his work all for himself. He wants others to benefit from it. But he wants credit for it as well. He wants to be acknowledged for his work. But unlike some others he isn’t trying to monopolize it and get all the money from it. But just like any other person, he wants credit where credit is due.

  3. I think the value and goal of copyright laws has been lost over the years. Copyright is used as an excuse for, like you said, “stealing in the name of art”. I think it’s so important for everyone to be familiar with what copyright laws really entail, so that they can’t just use it as an excuse for everything.

  4. I also agree that the gallery was unreasonable in acknowledging his work. Just shows that they were in it more for the money/exploitation as you shared. I liked that he shared his process in making his art because it shows that he’s willing to help others create their own art instead of stealing his ideas. Great post!

  5. His line about the gallery caring more about copyright than common sense really stood out to me in that article. In our conversations about copyright, I feel like I have framed it as a more of a protection than not in my head, but Ferguson’s comment shows that copyright laws can also be something used to exploit one’s work if not used in turn with common sense and common courtesy. It is an interesting to consider that copyright is not a foolproof way to protect your work.

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