Sunday, July 26, 2009

Drawing up battle lines – art gallery takes on Wikipedia

From The Independant, Andrew Johnson

The appearance of some of the world's most famous portraits on a website could create a legal landmark

In her coronation robes, Elizabeth I looks formidable and stately – the Virgin Queen in her pomp, an image to propel rivals into battle. Some 400 years after her portrait was painted, that is precisely what she has done.

Hers is one of more than 3,000 images from the National Portrait Gallery uploaded onto the free internet encyclopedia Wikipedia in April by Seattle-based Derrick Coetzee. The gallery, founded in 1856, responded last week by threatening legal proceedings against the PhD student.

That action unleashed outrage in cyberspace and quickly led to a stand-off between the proponents of free information and cultural institutions wanting to protect one of their few revenue streams – licence fees for reproducing images of their artworks. The row also goes to the heart of an internet revolution which does not recognise borders or national laws.

The gallery has instructed the law firm Farrer and Co, which represents the Queen, to sue Mr Coetzee unless the pictures are removed. They claim that letters to Wikipedia were unanswered. While the portraits are long out of copyright, the photographs are not and, the gallery argues, the digitisation process to create high resolution images has cost it around £1m. They are, they say, therefore entitled to a licence fee.

For many MYARTSPACE artists, their concern of their work showing up on commercial products and other sites without their permission (and without them getting compensated) is a valid concern.

You can read this article by clicking over to the New York Times HERE.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The art of a recession: Gallery owners struggling

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Art gallery owners across the country are finding they have a tough sell these days.

With houses going up for auction, unemployment continuing to rise and the threat of layoffs seemingly ever-present, many gallery owners in art communities such as Scottsdale, Ariz., Santa Fe, N.M., Portland, Ore., and New York City are closing shop, going broke to stay open or drastically changing the way they do business.

For the full article by AMANDA LEE MYERS, Associated Press Writer, click HERE

Monday, July 13, 2009

New UPLOAD Manager rolling in soon

MYARTSPACE is introducing a new UPLOAD MANAGER to help make it easier for artists to upload and organize their work on the site. The goal is to deliver a better and more satisfying user experience AND to address the power needs of our premium service members.

A few points that are important to highlight on the new UPLOAD Manager:

- It provides three ways to upload images -- a "bulk loader" for the premium services members, a rapid multi-file upload for standard users, and of course the Gallery Wizard that many are historically used to using.

- Once images are selected to be uploaded, artists can apply "batch" tags to all the images at once making this much easier.

- One can upload images to an existing gallery, a new gallery, or their image library for later use.

- A new "Video Gallery" is being introduced where users can create a gallery containing just a video for playback.

- MYARTSPACE will introduce some space limitations for standard users for the first time. The aggregate amount of storage space -- including images, videos, music and voice annotation -- will be monitored and have some reasonable limitation assigned to it. Premium Subscribers will have 20GB of storage space available.

We think the introduction of the new UPLOAD manager is the first step in helping make the overall upload and management of the site better. Once we integrate this well, the "ORGANIZER" will be introduced, which allows you to manage your galleries, images, videos and work in one easy spot.