04 May, 2005

An ethical question about selling prints...

Let me explain my situation. I have a show coming up on May 13th. (if anyone is in Erie PA and wants to come, shoot me an email. Id love to meet some of you guys) I'm in the process of getting some prints made up. The pieces I'm getting printed are also going to up in the show. The prints won't be done till after the show. What do you do if you sell an original and then get prints? Is it considered unethical to sell prints after the original is sold? Should you tell the new owner there are prints and I plan on selling them? If anyone has any insight on this issue, please help!

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14 Comments

Tammy Brown 04 May 2005

I wouldn't think there would be a problem with selling the prints after the original is sold. You own the copywrite on that piece. You should be able to reproduce it as you want.

Juan Gomez 04 May 2005

DEPENDS..you can sell the orginal and own the rights to reproduce..too many giude-lines.. The best people to ask is John Enright or Denny Karchner...

Sarah-Lynn Brown 04 May 2005

Probably two ways for a buyer to look at it. They buy an original and prints could cheapen the value or the prints could bring more interest to the original and raise the value?? No matter what an original is worth conciderably more than any print so I doubt that would be an issue.... I would just have it disclosed that prints will also be made available. You could probably pre-sell some prints to people who enjoyed but would not be able to afford the original.

Dawn Schmidt 04 May 2005

If I painted it - I own the rights to that work until such time that I physically sign those reproduction rights over to someone else. I have had buyers of paintings purchase prints to give to friends who have admired the original work in their home. Whether you have sold the original or not...you have the right as the artist to reproduce that work in whatever form you choose unless you have a written agreement with the owner of the piece.

When I paint a commissioned piece, part of my contract with the purchaser states that I will be producing prints from the work (unless it is a highly personal piece such as a child or home), and that their purchase of the original in no shape or form gives them any rights to reproduction.

Good luck at the show, and with your prints! :)

WESTERN ARTWORK By Denny Karchner 04 May 2005

Hi Jay. I totally agree with Dawn. I would not consider selling any piece unless the buyer of the original agrees for me selling prints from the piece. Most buyers of originals are just pleased to death that you have prints made. I feel it makes the originals worth more further on down the road.

I have a show this weekend and I am giving away the 5/250 signed print you see below the last day of the show. I still own the original "Horse Capture", and it will be displayed there along with the print. This is a fantastic way to get a mailing list of people dropping their name, email address and so on in a box. That "free print" might pay for itself many times over. Think about it.

To answer the original question, I see nothing unethical at all.

Good luck my friend.--Denny ;{

Linda Eades Blackburn 04 May 2005

If you sell the original, you could have the gallery include on the reciept that you retain all reproduction rights and make sure that you receive a copy.

04 May 2005

Jay Amatangelo 05 May 2005

Thanks everyone for your comments. You all helped me out, and it sounds like it's up to me to make that decision. I'm going to run with it and see what happens. Let's hope I sell some originals!!

Richard K 06 May 2005

Keep in mind the opposite, if you sold a person your original painting, can he reproduce prints from it and sell them?

(we only see this after the painter expires?)

terence ulrich 06 May 2005

I sold a painting to a collector, I then got a licensing deal from a poster company in which 250 limited edition giclee prints were made. Signed and numbered by me.

The only stipulation made by the guy who bought my original was that he didn't want it damaged. Otherwise, contracts and prints were signed and everyone walked away happy.

When you sell a piece make sure your contracts are all in place.

This book: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/bookSearch/isbnInquiry.asp?sourceid=00000309336218218694&ISBN=0932102115&bfdate=05-06-2005+21:40:57

will tell you pretty much everything you need to know.

This is the piece that was made into prints.

07 May 2005

terence ulrich 07 May 2005

surf will be picking up today into Wednesday...swell is coming from Tahiti.

The deal I got from that publisher was pretty sweet. Not only did I get an advance, but a % of giclees sold and 15 artist proofs to sell also.

Charlotte Anne Thomson 16 May 2005

I wouldnt worry if I were you, you own the rights to that image and you can do whatever you like with it. If you are concerned then inform your buyers that reproductions will be made, you shouldnt let them stop you making a bit more cash out of your image though (sounds mercenary but it wont put people off, it has never put my buyers off) Just be upfront with them. I sell primarily prints of my art as this is how I can make the most money from one image....and hey, a girls got to eat!

The only thing I would never make prints of is commissioned artwork, thats the only work I believe that a buyer has a hold over as its something they have requested and contributed towards, i think its definately unethical to make prints of that and I also ask people before I display their commissioned artwork on here or my own website/other galleries etc.

But no go ahead, make prints! I know so many artists who do and dont even consider the buyers feelings in it, its good that you take them into account but i really dont think it will upset people or put them off. If they like it they like it, they'll pay, and once its gone people might still like it and want to pay and hey! you can make them happy too with some lovely shiny prints!mmmm!

good luck with everything! :) xcharlotte

Rex Woodmore 26 days ago

I am extremely late in replying. However others may be interested. COPYRIGHT & ROYALTIES (In Australia) ?1. Even after the initial painting is sold, the original artist retains the right to copy & to sell copies of their artwork. 2. As of the 9th of June 2010 visual artists, their nominees or their heirs, are entitled to 5% of the price of their works resold for more than $1000.

I have a heap of info regarding copyright on my website page: https://art-sale.weebly.com/rex-woodmore-copyright.html

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