Sunday, 11 September 2016

How to avoid colouring copyright conflict online

With the online colouring craze comes a lot of confusion over artist copyright. I see both points of view as an artist and at one point an inexperienced colourist who just thought they were colouring and not breaking the law.

I believe people are inherently good law abiding citizens and 69 year old Elsie, doesn't sit of an evening with a spot of colouring with the sole intent to break the law. In her mind she is simply colouring.

I believe a better way to highlight copyright is through education and not by pointing a finger of blame at an individual.

I have complied a few tips along with an explanation to help the inexperienced colourist to avoid online conflict
  • Sharing an image is considered to be stealing. 
At work, one of my customers is a retired inland revenue employee, so I asked him for some tax advice. He politely declined as it would be taking money from someone else. I was pleased to learn this consideration occurred in other occupations.
File sharing is the same, you're taking away a potential sale from the artist.
  • Be courteous and download an image from the source and not from google or pinterest. 
Remember this is someone's labour of love, just like your colouring is your labour of love.  By all means use google and pinterest but keep on clicking until you trace back to the original post. Even if you hit a cached image. Right click on the image, select "search google for image "and continue with the search.
  •  Add who the original artist is of the line art and if allowed add a link back to the source. 
It's unacceptable to post something along the line of, *Found on pinterest. Artist unknown.* People are offended by this because you may as well write, I can't be bothered to do the homework. Very rare for an artist to be unknown,
Artist have many admirers of their work who will be offended on their behalf if you do not credit correctly and will report back to the artist. You may find yourself served with a cease and desist notification, I don't wish to instil fear here, but I've seen this happen online. Always cover yourself.
  • Add a watermark to a coloured image before posting.
If you're unsure how to add a watermark, then add a pen, pencil or a similar obstacle in the corner of the image. 
Even if your cat flicks it's tail in the image, great you have created a problem for someone who may have in mind devious intent to use your image.

And to finish off I have found some nice colouring pages

You may think you're just colouring but in this computer age you're entering a colouring copyright minefield! Stay safe colouring cadet!

Check out my digital stamps and come join in the fun at my group.

Barbara :)


  1. Thanks for this info Barb - I will be following up an image I coloured and simply noted as having found it on Pinterest.

    1. Thank you so much. I'm so pleased to have helped Maxine :)