Art Cards United – Untied?


Sketch cards have become quite a thing. Small pieces of original art often with pop culture connections, sold for small amounts of money, it's been a way for creators to develop their art, for some to make a living, and trading card companies has seized upon some. As more and more creators turn digital, sketch cards are a way for people to still buy pieces of original art, cheaply. But there are other ways in which that art can be exploited,

On the Facebook page for ArtsCardsUnited, owner Angela Taylor writes,

*Reminder* ArtCardsUnited is a place where artists from around the globe have the freedom to trade, sell and set their own prices on their 2.5" X 3.5" cards. ArtCardsUnited works with AngelasArtArea to create awareness of many issues and gives the option for its members to do the same. All original cards sold in ArtCardsUnited's name are sold for no less and no more then $25 each. Giving the option for more to have the ability to collect original hand-made art.
IMPORTANT! Please note: In posting works in ArtCardsUnited, you legally give ArtCardsUnited permission to use your work for advertising and promotional products.
Angela Taylor

But what does that mean? Jim Kyle writes,

ARTISTS BEWARE!! Shared from a fellow sketch card artist:
Do not post to Angela Taylor's ArtCardsUnited Facebook Group. The owner of the group (Angela Taylor) is of the mind if that you post to her group, she can SELL your art as 'exposure', and you get nothing.
If you have posted there, remove your art and check if she's merchandised it without your ok. If she has, get the printer to remove said work from her shops/sites/accounts. To find these, look for the shop name ArtCardsUnited on Zazzle and other online merchandising shops.
UPDATE: This *might* also apply to her ArtCardsUnited group on DeviantArt as well. Not sure yet — but she mentions "legal contracts" on the DA group, while putting up a flimsy "legal statement" on the FB group that includes the sentence "In posting works in ArtCardsUnited, you legally give ArtCardsUnited permission to use your work".

Many images seem to have suddenly be removed from Zazzle from the ArtCardsUnited shop but can still be seen on Google's cache.


Plenty of folk want to have their say on this…

Danielle Marie Schnell This is abhorrent and violates the rights of artists. I am sorry for your illness, but to sell other artist's work, perhaps even without them knowing in many cases, because you have medical bills is horrible. What is posted and created by others is not yours and it is almost certainly against the ToS on not only this site, but sites like DA, that without express permission directly from the artist, their work is not yours to use simply because you say,"you post here, I can do what I want with it."

That would never stand up in a court of law. If you need help with your medical bills, perhaps use a site like gofundme, or look into free clinics and hospitals. Do not steal work from other people to pay for your bills.

Kylie Johnston Even if you didnt post work directly to her page, just posted a link to an ebay auction, she counts those too, just so everyone's aware.

Justin Williams She is a total scammer and more than a little "bat-shit-crazy". I think she needs the Granito treatment and be forced out of the comic art scene completely.

Justin Williams Armchair lawyer here but…..I'm almost 100% sure her "legal disclaimer" wouldn't hold up in court. The reason is that it isn't signed by any the involved parties meaning that its would be VERY hard to prove to a judge that the effected parties had foreknowledge of her intent as far as their work is concerned. That is why we SIGN and DATE legally binding documents. If even ONE person sues her for damages it will open up litigation for EVERYONE else who ever posted in one of her groups to follow suit. Hope she goes down in flames.

Jim Kyle Funny thing is every time someone calls her out on her bullshit disclaimer she hurries and alters it to include what they called her out about LOL

Justin Williams This parasite is a perfect example of why artists have such a hard time making a living with their art. The mentality that if it is posted on the web it is available for commercial use is truely, TRUELY, the domain of the greedy, the ignorant and the criminal minded. I am quite certain this woman could have licensed any of these images for a very reasonable fee but she CHOSE to use a deceptive practice to steal them with the intent of commercial use. She is outside the law no matter what she claims and should be held accountable.

And someone certainly seems to have issues… as prevuously Taylor wrote,

I am truly sorry about this but every artist who works for Perna Studios please let me know as we will not be able to use your works in mugs or any slideshows we make. I will need to know if you have sent me works so that I can either take them down or no longer use them. Thank you for your corporation.
I'm sorry again.
Angela Taylor

Maybe more folk should be sending similarly worded letters might have an affect, as not everyone sees selling mugs of your work as "promotion"…

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About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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