I hadn't planned to write more on this topic, but will at the request
of Dan Kessler's representative. I got a very nice letter when I wrote
to him. I won't post the letter I wrote here (I will send my letter
to you off list if you care to see it).
This is the letter that the art teacher received when she wrote him:
> Thanks for your interest in Kessler Art! Dan is flattered that you
feel his work has instructional value, enjoyed seeing the children's work,
and is sure you have only the best intentions. However after seeing the
website, and noting the selling of T-shirts etc. He realized there
is an intellectual property line that has been crossed, not to mention the
claiming of copyrights on derivatives of his work.
We contacted Artsonia and saw the terms and conditions that state:
"Teachers May NOT submit Artwork that depicts or contains COPYRIGHTED
materials... or other material that could infringe on the intellectual
property rights of third parties"
Dan is surprised you weren't aware of this since we were told that
teachers ARE informed of this policy.
He would like to see Colleges and schools in general teach and
encourage students NOT to copy or steal others ideas to sell or profit
from others works, since this is so RAMPANT in the world today. We
would like to see children taught to find the joy and satisfaction of
creating their own style and works. This can only benefit everyone
from the struggling artists today to the future artists of tomorrow,
whether visual, musical, etc.
I am sure this is not the response you expected and we are sorry for
this. The truth needs to be told, and children need to be taught right from
wrong in this "anything goes" climate of today's culture.
Dan wishes you the best with your classes and sends his warmest
regards to your students.
This is the reply I got to my letter. I hope it clears things up. No
lawyer was contacted.
> Dear Judy, thanks for your support and understanding in this matter.
Please post our letter to the list if you can and let people know
where we are coming from. We are not threatened by the sales that
would have been made, but by schools and teachers that might teach
right is wrong and wrong is right. Dan loved their cute imitations, he
loves kids and animals.
We were shocked and saddened by the reaction, especially by people who should
know better and support artists more than anyone. Not to mention the
misinterpretation of the facts. Thank God someone has their head
screwed on right.
No Lawyer was EVER contacted. Thanks for passing this on.