For immediate release: October 28, 2013
The Art Copyright Coalition is reporting positive results after their third consecutive trip to the Canton Fair and Jinhan Fair in Guangzhou, China.
Three publishers made the recent trip – Rosensteil’s, World Art Group and Wild Apple Graphics. They saw approximately 15 Chinese exhibitors with infringing product, down from well over 40 a year ago. More importantly, the number of products with infringing work diminished substantially.
“It is a relief to see that our efforts are having a positive effect,” said John Chester of Wild Apple. “When we started these trips we had no idea whether they would work, but we felt like we had to do something.”
The Art Copyright Coalition uses a combination of dialogue, confrontation, public embarrassment, educational brochures, and most recently, their developing relationship with trade show management in its war on infringement. “At first we came in with guns blazing,” said Lonnie Lemco of World Art Group. “We made a lot of noise and it got attention. We’re able to have more constructive interactions now that most of the exhibitors are faster to cooperate.”
On their second trip in April 2013, a group member filed the extensive paperwork to “prove” copyright ownership to show management, who forced a belligerent infringer to physically remove product from the show. The combination of official use of power, the consistent presence of the art publishers, and the cultural anxiety caused by losing “face” in public may be contributing to a growing acceptance of the copyright concept at these shows.
“We’re not so naïve to think that just because they aren’t using our artwork at the show, they won’t offer it at the factory or on their websites,” said Nick Roe of Rosensteil’s. “It takes constant vigilance, both on our part and through a worldwide network of customers, artists, competitors, and retailers. That’s where we get a lot of counterfeit leads, and they know we’re serious about following up. After all, our customers are paying us for the artwork – they don’t want somebody else getting the artwork for free.”
So far, the Art Copyright Coalition has been a grass roots operation with the publishers traveling themselves to the Chinese shows, making the rounds, and doing all of the communication with counterfeiters. The ACC is now exploring hiring legal services within China.
About the ACC: The Art Copyright Coaltion strives to be the voice of the visual arts community, partnering with industry leaders in worldwide efforts to combat counterfeiting. We are a united group of the world’s largest and most well-known art publishers, working together to combat the illegal copying of our artists works by manufacturers around the world. Working together we take action against infringers, raise awareness of the issues at tradeshows, educate retailers who may be unknowingly supporting copyright infringers as well as lobby on behalf of our members and the Visual Arts community at large on the Hill and with the U.S. Copyright Office. The ACC is committed to taking every action possible to protect art and creativity and to respond to its members’ concerns.
For more information on the ACC please visit their newly launched website atwww.artcopyright.net