Sunday, December 8, 2013

The Business of Fraud



By
Armand Cabrera

Fraud is big business. Companies in other countries steal American intellectual property, counterfeit goods and violate copyrights all the time and this costs Americans and American companies 500 to 700 billion dollars a year in lost revenue. Counterfeiting and piracy are a growing problem that translates to almost a million American jobs lost each year. People think that stealing content doesn't affect them directly but it does.

It’s not just Asian countries like China that are stealing from the USA there are US companies and businesses that are complicit in the theft of copyrighted material.  They profit either by reselling pirated or forged materials or they are hosting internet sites for the sale of these violators. Galleries and art brokers buy this stuff wholesale and then resell it. If you are an artist in a gallery and you have seen or know about this going on in the gallery then you are as much a part of the problem as the people doing it directly. As Edmond Burk said “the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

Watch this video about an aspen gallery allegedly using Chinese made copies of known artists works to sell to unsuspecting buyers whose only concern is a cheaper price than the original.


Places like the city of Dafen in China copy thousands of works of art a year selling them at a penny on the dollar to unscrupulous galleries in the USA.

 Look at this company selling large paintings by known artists that would normally sell in the tens of thousands of dollars for less than 100 dollars.


Artists need to contact their representatives in government and tell them that these kinds of business dealing must be stopped. We must hold the American companies that are complicit in these thefts liable and shut them down and expose them for the criminals they are.

3 comments:

Kelly Hicks said...

It's not just art galleries, it's online markets like Etsy, too.
It didn't take me long to figure it out, because no single human being could kick out as much art as quickly as these fraud factories do.

Kate said...

that link you enclosed clearly says "The price is for reproduction of the images." along with an astonishing amount of incredibly poor writing - they suggest they're selling originals, but careful reading tells the buyer it's a reproduction of the alleged-original shown. No matter, it's still all trash, absolutely. But unhappily most purchasing is about getting the cheapest price - for anything: cars, drugs, jewelry, groceries - anything! Art is undervalued by most buyers - until you get up the ladder to the $multi-million gang who brag about paying the most . . . It's all a game. And as for legal remedies, find me an elected person who cares about protecting artists (beyond lip service) and I'll be glad to spend my time speaking with him/her. As long as corporations can financially abuse employees while rewarding the SOBs at the top, there's not even the tiniest chance there'd be any regulation of the art-selling industry! Nice idea, though . . .

ARMAND CABRERA said...

Kate,

Whats worse are the galleries in America using services like the one in China and then selling the work here under false pretenses.