Happy New Year Readers! I love creating and maintaining AWhiteHorse's free online coloring book. It's fun to create new pages and come up with new ideas and new sketches to share online. But posting my drawings online comes with a frustrating dark side, too.
My frequent readers and long-time supporters call me occasionally, to report they've found one of my drawings on someone else's website. Stolen without even my name remaining - much less a link to their original home or author. I'm glad my supporters called me, but then comes the gut-wrenching feeling when I find out the thieves have made unknown amounts of profit from my stolen drawings.
When I use a search engine to look at any new copyright infringement instance, I'll find so many stolen images after being notified of the first theft. I'm looking for one, but find dozens!
It's frustrating to find sites using my art as stolen revenue builders. It's tough knowing our family has shared this site for twenty-six years only to discover several other sites are profiting from our efforts. Is there something I can do about it? Well, maybe.
The largest thieving sites are normally based overseas, where US Copyright cannot reach them. If by chance they're in a friendly copyright country, we would still need to hire an attorney located in that country to represent us and endure years of hoping for a favorable outcome. Smaller companies, farms, and individuals are normally easy to deal with through a letter from me, or my attorney. I have a great copyright attorney I've used over the last several years, and his wisdom on this issue has been comforting, even when I don't like to hear the truth.
"In addition to giving artists a new potential revenue stream by selling unique copies of their work, it can also keep track of copyright ownership." - Plagiarism Today
I have years of unseen drawings and ideas that I haven't shared. I look at them and wonder what will ever happen to them. I know the minute they're posted online, the thieves will come. So, I keep them on my computer, hoping to find a way to let them be seen again. My attorney tells me to go ahead and post them, and we'll eventually catch one we can successfully prosecute. Well, that doesn't earn any revenue while waiting for some deep-pocketed United States company to steal my work.
But this causes me to wonder, who will keep my coloring books online for new generations of children to enjoy? It would sure be helpful if we could earn revenue from my talent, instead of just watching others make money by stealing them.
This is why I considered turning Stacey's horses and coloring books into NFTs. In addition to earning revenue, they earn a small artist's commission every time they are traded, each time it's traded into the future, regardless of whether the NFT buyer is from South Africa, Japan, England - it won't matter. Because it's a broad community serving copyright dependant artists, they're quickly moving to police themselves and develop more trust in the market.
"The NFT marketplace Opensea has removed the NFT projects from the market for breaking the rules against copyright infringement." - Bitcoin.com
I went through all of my computer folders to refamiliarize myself with my hundreds of sketches - my old friends. Oh my. All these creations, seen publicly for a few days, and then they flow past on the social media timeline as the days advance, and they effectively disappear from view. To be fair to my drawings, and to all who love them, they should be shared without fear. It would be a relief to be able to publicly affirm my authorship and ownership through the technology of NFTs.
That's why I have decided to let my artwork emerge from hard-drive slumber as a unique NFT collection.
Come and see what I've discovered in my files. When you see a Stacey Mayer horse you remember or discover new favorite horses and their friends to enjoy, please give it a "like". I'd like to learn which ones are your favorites before their sale dates approach.
I plan to share whatever I choose to create, far into a fearless NFT future.