The constant need to police my art can be so very draining at times, but I have come to accept that it's an unfortunate part of the business of the internet these days. Having said that however, it is still wrong and should NOT happen! I follow up on each and every instance of these infringements, which can be very time consuming and frustrating, especially when many of these infringer's are less than cooperative and come up with all kinds of excuses; when there really is no excuse to use someone's art without their permission, especially when it's so very easy to contact artists through the internet.
One of the most common excuses I receive is the infringer saying they were only "Inspired" by my art, and it's not an actual copy because it isn't a direct print out of my art. This however is still NOT okay, only the original creator of a piece of artwork is allowed to create derivative copies, and the 10% rule, or any other percentage rule is not a legal defense. By the 10% rule I mean when someone claims they changed up 10% of an original artwork in some way gets them off the hook...uh, no it doesn't!
It's always so much better, not to mention more artistically rewarding, to create your own unique artwork than to copy someone's else's. I want to show some examples of infringing copies versus art that is inspired by someone else. There is a HUGE difference and it needs to be pointed out to so many artists, some who know what they are doing is wrong and some who innocently don't understand, but need to.
I found this infringement some time ago when searching for paint party studios (many of which have a disturbing frequency of copying artists work without permission), and I saw the inset image as shown below labelled "Fall Moonlight" listed on a calendar for a painting class. The image is literally a direct copy of my "Fall Inspiration" painting from 2007 (to the left); I did some more searching and found their Facebook page where the larger image was shown as one of the copies from the class, as it had already occurred. This is a clear cut case of copyright infringement and shows a complete lack of disrespect for artists and the law. There is no inspiration here at all, it's just copying my art and profiting from it, no one asked my permission to use it nor did they offer to compensate me for it. I sent them a cease and desist and they discontinued using it.