Top 10 Reasons Fine Art Artists Should Monitor Their Art for Copyright Infringement

By Carrie Christine Eldridge Carrie Christine Eldridge has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team
Published on July 7, 2023

Fine art artists always have something on their to-do lists, and with the internet consistently being a blessing and a curse, the list just got longer. That includes monitoring their art for copyright infringement. Not convinced? Check out these key reasons monitoring your art online is crucial to your career and legacy.

Reasons Fine Art Artists Should Monitor Their Art

  1. Protecting Intellectual Property: Monitoring the internet allows artists to safeguard their original artwork and assert ownership rights. It helps ensure that their creative expressions are not exploited without authorization.
  2. Preserving Artistic Integrity: By monitoring for copyright infringement, artists can prevent unauthorized alterations or manipulations of their work, preserving the integrity of their artistic vision and legacy.
  3. Securing Economic Interests: Unauthorized use of artwork can divert potential sales, licensing opportunities, and other sources of income. Monitoring helps artists identify instances of infringement and take appropriate action to protect their financial interests.
  4. Maintaining Creative Control: Monitoring allows artists to control how their fine art is presented and shared online. It helps ensure their work is properly attributed, enhancing their reputation and market value.
  5. Detecting Unauthorized Use: Monitoring enables artists to identify instances where their artwork is being used without permission or proper attribution. This allows them to address the issue promptly and take necessary steps to enforce their copyright.
  6. Preventing Reputation Damage: Misattributed or poorly presented artwork can harm an artist’s reputation and credibility. By monitoring, artists can identify and address such instances, protecting their professional standing in the art community.
  7. Maximizing Licensing Opportunities: Through monitoring, artists can discover unauthorized use of their artwork, which can present opportunities for licensing agreements or collaborations. Monitoring ensures that artists know potential partnerships and can negotiate appropriate compensation.
  8. International Protection: The internet facilitates global access to artwork, making it crucial for artists to monitor international platforms for copyright infringement. It allows artists to enforce their rights regardless of geographic boundaries.
  9. Promoting Fair Use and Respecting Copyright: Monitoring helps foster a culture of respect for copyright and encourages proper attribution and usage of artwork. By addressing infringements, artists contribute to the promotion of fair use practices.
  10. Staying Ahead of Emerging Trends: Monitoring the internet for copyright infringement helps artists stay informed about emerging trends and popular demand for their work. It provides valuable insights into the reception and impact of their fine art in the digital realm.

By actively monitoring their artwork online for copyright infringement, fine art artists can protect their intellectual property, maintain control over their creative work, and ensure a fair and thriving online and offline art ecosystem.

By now, if you are an artist, you are probably wondering how. AI is not a new concept by any means. Still, adapting to real-world instances such as artwork monitoring can help preserve revenue for fine art artists and prevent hundreds of billions in fraud. According to the North American Nature Photography Association (NANPA) 2019 report, about 2.5 billion images are stolen daily, resulting in more than €532.5 billion (about $600 billion) in damages such as lost licensing fees. The United States accounted for almost 23% of image theft. At the same time, the Fine Art Expert Institute states that up to 50% of fine art in the market for sale are counterfeits.

As an art critic, collector, and software founder focused on improving the lives of fine art artists, I can honestly say I have been deep in the trenches of art tech since 2016. I founded a company and left my banking career to dedicate myself to creating solutions. I initially launched the ATO Platform in 2017 to monitor secondary market art sales/flipping and help artists command royalties to be paid in those instances. It has evolved into much more since then.

I know I am completely biased when I say the ATO Platform is a sophisticated software solution designed for artists to track and monitor their art across the searchable internet. ATO Platform is autonomous and notifies artists only after a human has reviewed a suspected counterfeit or copyright infringement notice generated by the machine learning tools that scour the internet daily. This saves the artists time, money, and energy. It is not a full-fledged AI yet. Rather, it is in training. Regardless of my plug here, I want to encourage all artists to be active and cognizant of their work no matter how they do it.

Other options include creating Google keyword monitoring of their artwork titles, your name, and short phrases associated with their work, shows, and gallery affiliations. At the very least, you will see news and ads related to your work. Assume that not all will be relevant, but it is certainly better than nothing or waiting to hear about your work “through the grapevine” being flipped, counterfeited, and infringed upon when you see a massive corporate printing your artwork on their duffle bags (which is happening right now to an artist friend of mine).

By Carrie Christine Eldridge Carrie Christine Eldridge has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team

Carrie Christine Eldridge is an entrepreneur, writer, art gallerist, collector, and critic. She is the founder of ATO Gallery and the ATO Platform, a tracking protocol for fine art values and provenance in real-time. ATO Gallery represents the work of dozens of international artists, and holds the distinction of selling the highest priced physical work of art purchased with cryptocurrency - an encaustic by Ben Katz sold in 2018 for 150 Bitcoin. Eldridge is a graduate of Southern Methodist University with economics and history degrees. She is a frequent speaker on topics of art and technology, human rights and equality, participating in panels at venues such as the World Economic Forum, the United Nations, the Milken Institute, SXSW Austin, and Art Decentralized during Miami Art week. She has been interviewed by ArtNet News, CNN Money, Forbes, Harper Bazaar Art, Yahoo Finance, CNBC among others.

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