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Artist alleges copyright law violation over fish illustrations

When an artist creates something, it often takes many hours of work and dedication. Besides the time and effort spent to create the work itself, artists often undergo extensive training and usually conduct research beforehand. All of this means that artists here in New York and everywhere deserve fair compensation for usage of their work. When someone else uses that work without permission, it is generally considered theft and a violation of copyright law. One artist says that a state environmental department illegally used his art, and he has filed a civil lawsuit to obtain what he says is rightfully his, which is payment for his work.

The artist named the state Department of the Environment and an unidentified person in his lawsuit. He alleges that the defendants used seven, and possibly more, of his illustrations of fish without receiving his permission. He says the illustrations were modified and that derivative images were used on the state agency’s website. His representatives say that the lost licensing revenue and other damages amount to a $1 million.

The artist says that he has worked for 30 years to create hand-drawn illustrations of North American fish. He has made over 1,000 drawings and spent a great deal of time studying his subjects before creating the images. He currently has a website where he sells licensing for his works. He wants the Maryland Department of the Environment to stop using his artwork and compensate him for what it has already utilized.

This case highlights just how important it is for an artist of any medium to ensure that his or her work is legally protected. A company or person that improperly uses an artist’s work violates copyright law and should be held accountable. Artists here in New York who feel their work has been use without their permission can discuss their legal options with an attorney with comprehensive knowledge of copyright law.