Saturday, January 30, 2010

Biblical Art on the Web - Help?

I received an email message from Rolf Staerk who has done an incredible amount of work locating and organizing Biblical Art on the Web. It's one of the first places I recommend people check when looking for such art. He writes:

I regret to tell you that I have decided to pause my work on the Biblical Art site since, after about 10 years on the Net, I've received an email that puts into question my use of thumbnails.

I have always thought that since displaying thumbnails is ruled fair use of images in court, I am not breaking any law. Now I'm told by a copyright holder that I do. I'm not sure.

I'm seeking advice as to whether or not I may expect legal prosecution from my work, or not. IF YOU KNOW ABOUT A LEGAL EXPERT who may help me as a service in God's Kingdom (I'm not able to pay anyone), please let me know.

I've put approx. 6-8000 hours into this freely, so I feel very sad about the situation. About 1500 people use the service every day.

If I receive help on the above mentioned matter, I may be able to continue as before.

Anyway, the site will probably be up going for months yet, but there will be few updates, if any. I'm sorry.
If anyone knows more about such matters or can provide advice, it would be appreciated. Click on the Contact button on the Biblical Art on the Web home page to let Rolf know.

1 comment:

  1. That's such a shame to hear about Rolf. He has done an incredible job with his site and has been such a blessing. I hope this one person doesn't discourge him.

    The long and the short of it is yes, the copyright holder can insist that he remove their art even if it's just a thumbnail. But that would be very short-sighted of the copyright holder, because they way Rolf's site is set up, the thumbnail would link to the copyright holders site, in most cases. Links are good. :-)

    It may be that the link goes somewhere else instead of the artist's website, and the artist or copyright holder just didn't convey the real problem to Rolf. I can't imagine an artist that wouldn't want their work to been seen or wouldn't want backlinks to their site.

    Rolf is wondering about being taken to court when you could ask a thousand artist if a thumbnail and a link back is ok, and they would all say "Yes! Thank you!"
    Don't let one bad apple spoil your joy.