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Re: GSP statement on use of my dinosaur restorations (follow up)

I would like to add my two cents to this debate (that is getting increasingly muddled). It is also a reflection of the rather frustrating times we are living...

Not long ago I saw in Prehistoric Times that Safari had made a miniature exact replica of one of my Oviraptor paintings (to the last detail including color patterns, posture, etc). I was amused of course, but thought pertinent to send them a note saying that the least they could have done is to give me some credit... they wrote me back apologizing profusely and sending me two boxes of toys... I was amused so I had to let go of any further quarreling. Anything that makes me smile these days is a plus.

However, what I don't find amusing is when scoundrel companies like Ticktock Media a) Hijack quite a few pieces of my artwork, make several books with them and I receive no payment (despite me repeatedly sending invoices and threatening letters). b) Modify my artwork without permission. Usborne Publishing had done so and again in Ticktock Media, a Photoshop idiot idiot dared to destroy the legs of my Megatherium I'd done in order to "sit it down".

These agencies know that legal actions require an amount of funds I do not have. This is the kind of misuse of my artwork that I find intolerable, and here in England I think we are more at the mercy of these exploiters.

I could continue with the list of atrocities. However, I would never consider asking for payment for "influencing" the work of many young or not too young artists, students and the lot... and academics know that I'm grateful if I get any payment if there is money available, but will gladly work for free for any of them. It is a privilege to get recognized that way. It is also important to keep the human perspective to things.

I also find the field of scientific illustration tricky... is there any financial code for "fair" scientific usage of research? Where does the fair scientific reference usage finishes and pure personal "art and creativity" rights begins? I am not a PhD nor a professional scientist, but a good part of Greg Paul's work IS technical and IS science that might need to be used as reference. Are scientists going to start charging the artists for their efforts and services? Is "Giganotosaurus" going to become a brand? Should we be paying Mike Taylor for usage of one of "his" sauropods (after all he had done all the preparation and description of the animal)? I think everybody should at least be decent enough to credit the original authors and researchers (and normally it is done) if only out of respect. But can the public, students and artists >pay< them? Are we not in danger of general creative paralysis?

I also think scientific work would be better remunerated in order not to have this discussion... but it never is isn't it?

But regarding publishers and all those that >can< pay...I'm very much for syndicalism...any takers? Paleo Artists Of The World Unite?!

On 8 Mar 2011, at 08:50, Jaime Headden wrote:

I'd like to second Mike's comments. As a skeletal artist who has also been published, although not to the extent of artists like Paul, Abraczinkas, Hartman, or Hallett on this matter, I have endowed my work with the freedom to be used in scientific discourse, without restriction aside from lack of modification and with required attribution. I hold a Creative Commons license on them, and this is declared therein. I also vary my skeletal postures a fair amount, and prefer a flexible posture (especially as some popular Paul-like postures tend to obscure features (maniraptorans restored with hyperflexed limbs covering regions of the spine and ribs, or hips when the limbs are long enough, etc.)).


Above is an example of a posture I like that is both artistic and gives much room for adaptive figuring (Sereno-Abraczinkas style) as well as reposturing (just clip out the limbs and move them as needed -- most of my skeletals are preserved in large file formats and multiple layers).


On another note, I would like to know why *Kryzanowskisaurus* (*Kryzanowskisaurus hunti* {Heckert, 2002}) is in scare quotes; as the ref below describes, it was validly named. Being a synonym should not dismiss validity: *Brontosaurus* certainly rarely gets scare quotes.

Heckert, A. B., 2005. *Krzyzanowskisaurus*, a new name for a probable ornithischian dinosaur from the Upper Triassic Chinle Group, Arizona and New Mexico, USA. _New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science Bulletin_ 29:77-83.


Jaime A. Headden
The Bite Stuff (site v2)

"Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969)

"Ever since man first left his cave and met a stranger with a
different language and a new way of looking at things, the human race
has had a dream: to kill him, so we don't have to learn his language or his new way of looking at things." --- Zapp Brannigan (Beast With a Billion Backs)

Date: Tue, 8 Mar 2011 08:07:14 +0000
From: mike@indexdata.com
To: GSP1954@aol.com
CC: vrtpaleo@usc.edu; dinosaur@usc.edu
Subject: Re: GSP statement on use of my dinosaur restorations (follow up)

On 7 March 2011 16:18,  wrote:
The basic rule needs to be that that an artist produce their own skeletal restoration based on original research. This would include using photos of the skeleton, or an illustrated technical paper on the particular taxon. This then goes into your files as documentation of originality, and you can
publish it.

Some interesting stuff here, Greg, and I certainly understand your
frustration at the way your style, which 20 years ago was unique, has
increased its influence to the point where it's one of the standard
styles of palaeoart. I am sure Charles Knight felt much the same.

Still, I'm not sure I see why it should be unreasonable for other
artists to use your reconstructions as a basis for their restorations.
(Note: basis. I am certainly not advocating the kind of wholesale
ripping off that gave rise to the "Krzyzanowskisaurus"
reconstruction.) Would you, in the same way, advocate that
palaeoartists making skeletal reconstructions should go and take their
own photographs of the bones, rather than re-using those taken by
other scientists and prepared as figures?

To pick a topical example, if for some reason you wanted to
reconstruct Brontomerus, would you feel obliged to take your own
photographs of the ilium, scapula, etc. rather than using those at
? Of, if you feel the manipulated photographs should be exempt, then
what about using prepared artwork of individual elements such as those
of the Argentinosaurus vertebrae in Bonaparte and Coria (1993), as
shown at
http://svpow.wordpress.com/2008/01/08/the-revenge-of-the- controversial-hypantra-of-argentinosaurus/
Should these also be unavailable for palaeoartists to use without
explicit permission or payment? If not, could you explain what the
difference is?

Do not pose it in my classic left foot pushing off in a high velocity posture. Not because I am inherently outraged -- it would be rather nice if not for some practical issues. For one thing I have succeeded in getting some big payments for unauthorized use of this pose by major prjects that should have known better. Aside from the financial issue, there are other concerns if you think about it. It is widely assumed that any skeleton in this pose is mine, but what if it does not meet my level of accuracy? The trust in and value of my work is degraded. There are gigillions of poses a skeleton can be
placed in. Be original.

I have to say this seems pretty outrageous -- the idea that a
particular pose can be someone's intellectual property would seem
laughable if it wasn't so serious. Or did I misunderstand and is this
part a joke? If not, then I have to say it's enormously useful to be
able to directly compare, for example, Scott Hartman's reconstructions
directly with yours, seeing the differences in interpretation clearly
because of the adoption of Greg Paul Normal Pose. I'd hate to lose
that ability against the possibility that someone might wrongly think
one of Scott's pieces was yours. After all, the goal of skeletal
reconstructions (as opposed to life restorations) is primary to be
scientifically useful, right?

-- Mike.

Luis Rey

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