In 2012, we assumed management of The Winter Fantasy Art Show a popular, well-establish mixed-media art & fine craft show in Petoskey, MI. The following year we created a 2nd event, the Annual Autumn Art Festival held at a venue in Kewadin, MI. Our events focused on the artists & artisans. Our goal was to provide local artists the opportunity to showcase their original, handmade work without direct competition from similar artists/mediums and without items of lesser quality that devalued the work of other artists. We worked very hard to build these shows and a network of talented local artists and artisans. Our events received a considerable amount of press, were well received and growing each year.
After producing 2 successful Annual Autumn Art Festivals at the venue in Kewadin we decided to use the same venue for the 6th Annual Winter Fantasy Art Show. The following year this venue began using, without our permission, direct and derivative copies of our application forms, press releases, advertising and even one of our original photos to produce, advertise and promote two events publically advertised by names such as the 3rd Annual Autumn Art and the 7th Annual Winter Fantasy Show.
Pillywiggins Garden, LLC owns federally registered copyrights to the Annual Autumn Art Festival and Winter Fantasy Art Show Kits. Both kits are registered with the U.S. Copyright Office and contain original content, photos, advertising, press releases, application forms, information letters and other information created solely by Pillywiggins Garden to organize and promote our shows.
When we discovered our work was being used without our permission we tried to resolve the issue amicably with the venue. I (Julie) met with a representative from the venue to attempt to resolve the issue without involving attorneys. When the venue continued to use our work to promote their events, we sought the advice of our copyright attorney.
We are into our 2nd year now, we have spent countless hours and several thousand dollars trying to resolve this matter to no avail. Our attorney has sent 2 letters to the venue in attempts to resolve this matter without litigation. The venue has continued to use direct and/or derivative copies of our copyrighted work to continue their events.
So now we are left with a choice. We can accept what has happened to our business, our work and our shows and allow it to continue or we can stand up and fight for what is rightfully ours. ALL OF OURS. Copyright laws exist to protect artists, creators and their work from unlawful copying and distribution. It is up to us, the artisans and creators, to protect our work, enforce our copyrights and speak out against those who try to profit unfairly off our work without our consent.
We started a Go Fund Me Campaign to raise funds to offset the cost of legal fees we will incur pursuing a resolution to this matter. We are a small business, just the two of us, and our income is solely generated by the work produced by our own hands. But it’s not just about protecting our work. We hope taking action we will encourage other artists to protect their work and enforce their copyrights. We also hope that by speaking out we can prevent this situation from happening again to other local artists.
Thank you for considering our Go Fund Me Campaign. If you would like to donate to our cause, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Here is the link to our campaign www.gofundme.com/PillywigginsGardenLLC.
We appreciate all the support we can get so please help us share our story by sharing links to our blog and Go Fund Me campaign online. We will be posting updates here, on our Go Fund Me page and on our Facebook Page.
Thank you for supporting local artists & artisans!
Greetings! My name is Julie. I'm a bookkeeper by trade, an artisan by choice & the author of this blog by default. :)