Selling Art You Don't Own and Didn't Create

I emailed this to Zazzle just now.

Various people sell ASCII art designs on Zazzle. They are not the original artists. Yet they are selling this work as if they have the right to do so. I’ve been making my own ASCII art for many years and I would be very angry if I noticed some of my work being sold without permission. Although the ASCII art is free to use that does not mean it is free to sell.

Also, some of these people are not even bright enough to notice when the ASCII art is broken and needs spaces added to it. http://www.zazzle.ca/happy_easter_card-137519352859164332 – Case in point. This person is selling this ASCII art – there is no way they created this art as anyone working with ASCII text art can see this needs to be fixed.

I don’t have lawyers or any of that bullshit. I’m just notifying Zazzle about a problem. I don’t expect much to happen but at the very least the person posting the ASCII art above can fix it so they look like less of a moron/ jerk.

Also, when people create ASCII art the artist adds their initials to the work. NONE of the ASCII art being sold on Zazzle has the artist credit left on the artwork. I guess it gets in the way. Like honesty and permission… those things just get in the way too.

What do you think? Is it okay to sell the ASCII art someone else has created? Is it okay to take art you didn’t create and use it to make money for yourself, not even trying to give some credit or thanks to the original artist?

What about someone posting ASCII art to their site and making money through ads on that site? I post ASCII art by others and myself on HubPages. My idea was to have ASCII art sorted by the occasion so people could find something new to send to friends and family. But, in the end, I do make a bit from having the posts up on HubPages. You could say the same about anyone who posts a collection of ASCII art.

I do keep artist initials on the art. How much difference does that make? Does it depend on the age of the art and how active or inactive the artist is within the ASCII art community – are they still creating and displaying art or has their site long gone 404?

I don’t know. I’d be glad to hear some feedback and ideas about this.

I do think selling it on sites like Zazzle, without any credit to the artist or permission from the artist, is taking it too far.

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