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

I disagree.  Doug Henderson ran a great eBay store for some years.  He
would send out really nice prints, and often included a 'bonus' print
for free.  Plus, he signed everything!  I happen to know a few people
who, despite being busy, are always on eBay looking for new paleo art
or other said goodies and quirky items.  I think the real solution
here is for paleo artists to have well-designed personal websites with
stores attached.  I can't tell you how many times I've searched for
some artists to find they had either A) no website or B) no store for
purchasing prints.  It's really  not that complex- just make a single
page listing the sizes and types of prints you are offering, and
include a paypal link.  Done.

Lee Hall
Paleontology Undergraduate
Museum of the Rockies
Montana State University
Bozeman, MT

On Thu, Mar 10, 2011 at 12:59 PM, Bob Tess <bobtess@dinoart.com> wrote:
> There is no good way to alert potential buyers to their availability.
> One cannot advertise on this list and most people in paleontology are to busy 
> to be on Ebay all the time.
> On Mar 10, 2011, at 2:55 PM, Mike Taylor wrote:
>> On 10 March 2011 19:24, Bob Tess <bobtess@dinoart.com> wrote:
>>> More on the useful discussion while we are talking about the support of
>>> paleoartists:
>>> What about buying originals?
>>> There are those who would like to have them.
>>> There are those who would like to sell them.
>>> Can anyone think of a way to make a market place?
>>> There doesn't seem to be any good way to get an original Greg Paul or Mark
>>> Hallett to a good home.
>>> This makes no sense to me.
>>> Ebay is definitely not the way.
>> Why not?
>> I'm not saying that it is, just asking what the problems are.
>> -- Mike.
>>> And collecting makes good sense. John Lanzendorf made quite a bit when he
>>> sold his collection, I know, I did the appraisal.
>>> Some of the work being done today is of historical importance, i.e. the
>>> first life restorations of newly discovered species, etc.
>>> (This factors in to its appraised value)
>>> If there was a way for folks to find and buy originals, this could seriously
>>> improve the life of a paleoartist.
>>> Tess Kissinger
>>> On Mar 9, 2011, at 10:43 AM, GSP1954@aol.com wrote:
>>>> More on the useful discussion on this subject.
>>>> One line of thought badly needs nipping in the bud. The one that goes
>>>> that,
>>>> well, lots of dinoart used to be “influenced” by Knight, Burian and
>>>> Zallinger so what is wrong with being derivative? It cannot be
>>>> overemphasized that
>>>> the Knight et al derivative stuff was largely an enormous rip off of these
>>>> artists, and set a bad trend in paleoart. It’s a dysfunctional precedent
>>>> that actually illustrates the problems with derivative art.
>>>> I copied a lot of other paleoartists when I was a kid. But this was merely
>>>> learning the art at the private level, which is standard practice (in art
>>>> classes copying the masters is a basic learning technique). By my late
>>>> teens I
>>>> became very original in my work (even before the dinorevolution, you have
>>>> not seen much of this stuff because it is not usable). In other words,
>>>> even
>>>> if dinosaurs were still being portrayed as they were up to the 60s my work
>>>> would be original, not derivative.
>>>> And I am expecting the same of today’s paleoartists.
>>>> There is also a basic problem with being derivative that may not be
>>>> obvious
>>>> up front. The problem of perpetuating errors. Perhaps if folks had not
>>>> been
>>>> ripping off Knight et al then all the mistakes they made would not have
>>>> become part of the paleoart gestalt that held back the genre for so long.
>>>> More
>>>> on this below.
>>>> On line of questioning has it that if it is not OK to use my scientific
>>>> skeletal restorations, then does that not lead to a slippery slope in
>>>> which any
>>>> published images including the bones published in technical paper are out
>>>> of bounds, forcing anyone who wishes to illustrate dinosaurs to go to
>>>> exhibits and take their own photos of the bones?
>>>> Of course this is obviously true. So you all beef up your travel budgets!
>>>> Ha, had you going there for a second, didn’t I. Now, it is true that some
>>>> dinosaur exhibits prohibit photography for proprietary reasons (which is
>>>> why
>>>> photographs of a few major mounted skeletons have never appeared). In a
>>>> few
>>>> cases I have had to make special arrangements to use a mounted skeleton as
>>>> the basis of a skeletal restoration. Therefore, because most institutions
>>>> do
>>>> not restrict the use of their displays as sources paleoart does not mean
>>>> that artists’ skeletal restorations are in turn open source material for
>>>> anyone
>>>> to exploit without the right’s owner’s protection. In other words, when
>>>> museums do not place restrictions on the image use of their mounts they
>>>> are
>>>> waiving their copyrights at least in part.
>>>> As far as I know no scientist objects to the images of skeletal elements
>>>> and mounts that appear in their academic publications being used by
>>>> illustrators. If any do, they can mention it in the their papers. So this
>>>> worry is
>>>> moot, because no one objects.
>>>> Where things get dicey is if an original skeletal restoration is in an
>>>> academic paper. Strictly speaking, it is an original copyrighted image and
>>>> folks
>>>> should not use it as a major source without first contacting the owner of
>>>> the rights and getting permission and paying a fee if required. Now, most
>>>> such skeletal restorations are done by persons who for one reason do not
>>>> care
>>>> if others use them for their own purposes, and might even be bothered with
>>>> having to respond to pesky queries. But doing so without permission
>>>> entails
>>>> risk. What if one way or another your image derived without permission
>>>> gets
>>>> used in a commercial product down the line (which they copied from your
>>>> image
>>>> without your permission but it gets traced back to you) and there are
>>>> suits
>>>> filed by the original artist and so on. Uh-oh. Always best to first get
>>>> permission. Or do your own original image from the get go.
>>>> (Concerning my restorations being “scientific” in the manner of fossil
>>>> illustrations in the technical literature, the fact is that many if not
>>>> most
>>>> have first been published in popular works including PDW and The Field
>>>> Guide
>>>> rather than technical publications.)
>>>> I happily avoid the above difficulty by doing my own skeletons, which I
>>>> began to do in my current style back in 80 or so. Keep me out of trouble.
>>>> And
>>>> this brings us back to the problem of perpetuating errors. The other
>>>> reason I
>>>> do my own stuff is because I early on realized that other’s skeletons are
>>>> almost always errant, often in proportions, bone details (why so many are
>>>> so
>>>> often not able to get the basic bone shapes right is beyond me, there are
>>>> copiers and computers you know) and posture. And I have been complaining a
>>>> lot
>>>> about how almost all muscle profiles are not in line with bioreality (I
>>>> reemphasize that the basic muscle profile technique is not even original
>>>> to me
>>>> and I have no say in anyone else using it).
>>>> So if you are using others skeletal restorations it’s a good bet you are
>>>> perpetuating their errors. So do your own scientific skeletomuscle
>>>> restorations and avoid those pesky mistakes. If you do not have the
>>>> knowledge base to
>>>> know when you are perpetuating or making errors then perhaps this is not
>>>> the
>>>> best business to be in, leave it up to the experts like us.
>>>> Here is another example of perpetuating errors by being derivative. There
>>>> was a fellow who did some skeletal restorations back in the 80s. He did
>>>> some
>>>> things not longer considered correct, including orientation of the hands
>>>> in
>>>> bipedal dinosaurs, and forefeet too close to one another. Even today some
>>>> who derive their art from these skeletons are making the same errors. It
>>>> is a
>>>> sad thing to behold. The skeletal restoration were by that Greg Paul
>>>> fellow,
>>>> who has altered all his images since then. Ergo, I don’t perpetuate the
>>>> mistakes made by GP back then since I correct them.
>>>> You know, you just can’t trust anybody. Really, you can’t.
>>>> One lister cited field guides as an example of acceptable derivation.
>>>> Nein.
>>>> Back in the last century I saw a documentary on the creation of bird field
>>>> guides. It emphasized how each one requires extensive original research by
>>>> the artist. Not only to avoid being too like previous guides (to avoid
>>>> copyright issues, and to make the new product novel enough for birders to
>>>> want to
>>>> chuck the old guide), but to avoid perpetuating errors (the ground
>>>> breaking
>>>> original Peterson guides are literally outdated in this regard).
>>>> Most on the list have supported my position to a greater or lesser degree.
>>>> And it appears that this is becoming a topic at the Guild of Biological
>>>> Science Illustrators, to the point they are bringing up the issue with
>>>> institutions that have been utilizing derivative art.
>>>> But some have disagreed, and are basically saying that those who go to
>>>> tremendous effort to build up a body of technical artistic work have to
>>>> allow
>>>> all others to derive much of their art from that work. This is based on
>>>> the
>>>> idea that accurate restorations are the “truth” like photographs of lions
>>>> and
>>>> elephants. This is errant for legal and practical reasons. Starting with
>>>> no
>>>> one has to do work restoring living animals.
>>>> Also, in legal terms how does one establish what is scientifically
>>>> accurate? Say two skilled professional paleoartists restore the skeleton
>>>> of the same
>>>> species and they come out quite different. Say someone derives their image
>>>> of the species from one of the images, and the original creator of that
>>>> image objects. The derivative artist then claims that since the original
>>>> skeleton represents “scientific truth” anyone can utilize it? How is going
>>>> to be
>>>> legally determined that that specific image really is scientifically
>>>> “true”,
>>>> and more so than the other image? There are scientists who have criticized
>>>> the accuracy of my work. Again, best to stick to doing your own
>>>> restorations.
>>>> Then there are the practical financial problems, and issues with fairness.
>>>> Some who do the occasional skeletal restoration and don’t care if other
>>>> use
>>>> it don’t care because they derive little or none of their income from
>>>> their
>>>> art, being employed at a university or the like.
>>>> I have often been asked why I do not have a degreed position at a
>>>> university or museum. And I am also often praised for having done around
>>>> 250 skeletal
>>>> restorations, a fair portion in multiple view (no other large group of
>>>> extinct vertebrates has been so thoroughly covered, although Anton may be
>>>> getting there with mammals). This is actually odd in that the two concepts
>>>> are not
>>>> compatible. If I were dealing with administrative tasks, money raising and
>>>> dealing with students I could not have built up such a body or art. To
>>>> look
>>>> at another way, has anyone with a salaried job done a body of paleoart
>>>> comparable to mine including so many skeletons? Ergo, doing so much art
>>>> precludes
>>>> me from having a position. It is one or the other, and that means I have
>>>> to
>>>> derive my income from the art.
>>>> Consider my restoration of my favorite dinosaur, Giraffatitan. It is very
>>>> distinctive, being much more gracile and defined than most restorations
>>>> which
>>>> are lumpy and inaccurate (am still ticked off by the JP example). Every
>>>> time I see one of the errant restorations in a documentary or exhibit I
>>>> grit my
>>>> teeth, but hey at least they are not copying me. If on the other hand
>>>> someone using my restoration without my being compensated uses my elegant
>>>> and
>>>> superior version I am being taken advantage of.
>>>> Since we live in the most economically Darwinistic and libertarian 1st
>>>> world nation this is not workable. Unfortunately derivative such use of my
>>>> restorations has gotten so out of hand that it is becoming difficult to
>>>> get jobs
>>>> and other forms of income because of competition from those deriving much
>>>> of
>>>> their paleoart from mine. It has become ridiculous. That is why I have had
>>>> to put out the please cease and desist notice.
>>>> To put it in less personal terms, let us assume someone produces an
>>>> exceptionally large body of paleoart that is widely seen as the best
>>>> produced. Does
>>>> anyone really think that it should be possible for so many others to
>>>> derive
>>>> a large portion of their paleoart from the original artist that she is no
>>>> longer able to earn the compensation needed to sustain her efforts? Only
>>>> if
>>>> you think that is OK can you object to my actions. If you do not think it
>>>> is
>>>> OK then it is not logical to object to my actions.
>>>> The now iconic left foot pushing off pose has become a widely recognized
>>>> GP
>>>> brand. This does not mean that others’ dinosaurs can never be posed this
>>>> way, if it is merely occasional that’s OK.
>>>> Some other artists on the list have to a degree basically waived some of
>>>> their copyrights by stating that others can use their illustrations as
>>>> source
>>>> guides. Nothing wrong with that, but that is their personal decision and
>>>> does not mean that others need to do the same.
>>>> This discussion and issue have become a major topic among some societies
>>>> and guilds, and addresses important issues that involve major institutions
>>>> and
>>>> ethics. This looks like a subject that should be covered by the scientific
>>>> press – plenty of folks can be interviewed, the practices of institutions
>>>> queried.
>>>> And I appreciate Scott Hartman’s actions.
>>>> G Paul</HTML>