This is my story and I’m still trying to think whats the way out of this. Maybe you Guys can help me a bit.
I’m an artist like everyone else here.I make all my limited edition art for Large Format printing on extremely high resolutions (about 40 X 65 Inches and above) to be sold on Internet and Art Galleries In India… Some are to be printed on Canvas some on Paper … others on Polyester Vinyl. For printing these in these Huge Sizes I require Wide Format printers which I cannot afford to buy at this juncture of my career. So I have to use the services of the various Printing Studios here in India.
There are Studios with Big infrastructure who own entire Buildings to small time print shops with these wide format printers.
When I have to get a BIg printout in The above mentioned sizes, I write the TIFF File on a CD and take it for print to a “trusted” printing Studio. The Technician there Copies that file onto his Hard Disk and Gives the command for print.Under Normal circumstances, After that printout is done, I make sure that he has deleted that file from his Hard Disk and then from the Recycle Bin.
And I am all set with my Big printout which I can now get laminated, Framed, Sign it, Number it, Laquer Seal it, and Fingerprint with my hand on the back. I take all these extra steps after I get the Print At my studio to avoid any duplication.and to make this art More authentic and valuable.
I never leave my CDs with anyone and never Email Hi res files.
Now what this Printing studio did with me is very Interesting.
He knows I am so particular with the deletion of my files, So he Printed directly From the file on my CD, without copying it onto the Disk and showed me that.I thought He doesn’t have the file since he never copied it. I took my CD and left.
Now when I went back to pick up my print after two hours of drying and laminating , I accidentally came across another roll Of print of my Artwork which I did not Order. The guy was embarrassed and to save his face he “Gifted” me that extra print.
NOw That I come to think of it, I think that guy copied my file through LAN on another comp Or His Printing RIP software spooled the file somewhere in Printer memory and he could take out any number of prints after I have left and he has deleted the file from Disk in front of me.
.And his intention was to sell it To any of the smalltime Galleries. or Picture shops and make some quick Buck.The fact is that He also on and earlier occassion copied four other of my artworks onto his Drive when I took small sample prints. And I know he must be making prints and selling them elsewhere… Maybe with His own signature. There is no way of making sure that he deletes those files. He has them and he will make use of them.
Those stolen prints from my perspective are Incomplete and useless without my Signature, seal, Numbering and Fingerprinting But the buyer of a smalltime gallery doesn’t care or Know this.Only I know this. For others… Looks Good , will Buy.
I happened to chance upon this fact in the beginning of my association with this printer and not six Months later But thats no consolation.
Lets assume I let it happen and do not care (which is Unlikely) . And what If I have my exhibit tomorrow and sell my work at say $500 / print and someone buys it. and he later finds the same print selling at another gallery Or a cheap picture shop for $50 ?
He will FRy my a@$ ! and I will have no face to show him.
All my credibility Goes down the drain and my Digital art career is over before it’s begun.
Some may say find another Printing studio, But whats the Guarantee?? Some say get it done at zazzle or DA prints, But That doesn’t work for me sitting here in India.
My questions are following,
Is there anyway I can stop this from happenning again?
What is the Legal action (if any) I can take against these Digital File Thieves ?
Should I drop all my experience, learning , Skills and Knowledge and start doing Oil Paintings??
Lets see what The CGTAlk Brains think.
And to top it all My work is not that good By world standards and I’m just learning.