Café Crem

Art, Music and Words around The Coffee Table

A reason to moan or not?


Sometimes, especially when I am bored and this happens normally when I haven’t the energy to do something creative, I have a look at my WordPress statistics. And when I am even more bored, I look at where my visitors come from. And when I am really really bored, I click on the links!

I had noticed that a Dutch site regularly comes and visits my blog, but it was only the other day I felt so bored that I clicked on the link. I was quite surprised to land on a big commercial website, using one of my Portugal travel sketches to advertise Portugese holidays. I have never been asked if I would allow that… but at least they had the decency to put a link to my blog there!

I have often found paintings from me on the net, displayed in some places without my authorisation, but I don’t care really. I exactly know also that people will download them and have them printed, stealing me some business in this way. But well, somehow, when one forgets the theft aspect, it is a great compliment, and I choose to focus on this aspect.

But here, a  company… I am really amazed. I have wondered if I should contact them and moan a little bit, but I don’t think I will do it. To tell the truth, it is an honour to be featured in this way. But I would like to know how you, who read this post, would react to it. I am really interested to know.

By Miki


March 11, 2009 - Posted by | Art, Cafe L'Arte, culture, Miki's Paintings, painting, personal, random, travel


  1. I’m not sure how I would feel to be honest. But if they give your link, then it might be worth contacting them and saying something. I have very mixed feelings about this sort of thing.

    Comment by viv66 | March 11, 2009

  2. I know what you mean about focusing on the flattering aspect of it and not the business side. However, looking at the bigger picture, I think it is very inappropriate (and, of course, illegal) for a company to do this. They are obviously doing it for profit (they are a company after all!). This hurts all artists who need to make a living from their work – if businesses act as if the work of an artist is free for the taking for their own capitalistic use, all artists suffer.

    It’s perhaps a little different if someone is using it for personal purposes, not commercial. I’d be more open-minded about that. But not for commerical use…

    Just my opinion…

    Comment by bobcornelis | March 11, 2009

  3. On the one hand, “c’est chouette!”

    On the other hand, “Things that make you go ‘hmmmm’.”

    Comment by sittingpugs | March 11, 2009

  4. Miki, I share Bob’s opinion. It’s unfair for a company to do that. I think you can say to them, even they gave a link.

    Comment by Joël | March 11, 2009

  5. To borrow from Pugs “hmmmm….” – I think it’s a very thorny issue. My work, like Miki’s is out there in the public domain, and it seems to me that, for all the opportunities the internet affords those hell-bent on borrowing/stealing/plagiarising – the very reason they are able to do so is the fact that the internet makes us more visible, more likely to be discovered, more accessible to people than we could have dreamed of just a few short years ago. I feel, on balance, that the good outweighs the bad. People have downloaded some of my music for nothing. With my new CD, I set about providing, very publicly, a free download track, acting as an ‘advert” for the CD. It attracted over 10,000 hits in a few days. Now, the same 10,000 won’t pay for the album, but that action has presented me with a viable market that simply wouldn’t have been reachable for me without the download culture, and I will sell a significant number. It’s a question of playing the odds. Think of it as a salesman furnishing clients with free samples.

    Comment by kevmoore | March 12, 2009

  6. Miki, je crois que je leur demanderais d’avoir la décence de me contacter.
    Si eux mêmes étaient copiés, comment réagiraient-ils ?

    Il est facile il me semble, d’utiliser le talent des autres pour le mettre à son profit ! je trouve ça lamentable (même s’ils ont pensé, cette fois, mettre un lien !).

    Comment by Pomme | March 12, 2009

  7. Thanks everybody for your comments and opinions.
    I must add that if these people had asked me to put my picture there for free, I would have accepted. There is certainly not a better advertising, and to make a living from art is so difficult, above all today where everybody paints. We all know how difficult it is to be found in the internet, and the more we get found the more chances we have to sell.
    I consider this case as a free advertising for me. It is not so much that I feel flattered (although I do of course), but more important is really the advertising effect FOR ME. I do believe that if we don’t get generous with our art we won’t get anything back and we will starve.

    I have followed this strategy of generosity since I am exhibiting on the net, and it paid for me, every time. One day somebody will come from this Dutch site and want a painting from me, I know that..

    Of course they should have asked, but well… I really have no time and energy to waste on this kind of formalities. if I did, my entire life would be stress, because I meet everyday , in the net and in reality, people who behave “badly”.

    Tu vois, moi je vois çà d’un autre œil: ils mettent mon talent à MON profit…
    Mais bon, c’est un sujet assez délicat et chacun doit décider pour soi. Toi même tu as eu affaire à des gens pas trop sympas à cause d’images utilisées… ce n’est jamais plaisant ni pour les uns ni pour les autres. Alors moi je préféré éviter les accrochages, vu que j’y gagne aussi à l’affaire.
    Je pense qu’aujourd’hui, pour réussir dans l’art, musique, littérature, etc, il faut aller au delà de son EGO. L’ art, avant, c’était le culte de l’EGO, je crois que c’est fini maintenant…

    Comment by Miki | March 12, 2009

  8. Je pense que tu as raison et que ta réaction est très sage 😉

    Comment by Pomme | March 12, 2009

  9. Miki, ton dernier commentaire montre à quel point il faut éviter les réactions à chaud : en te lisant, je me dis que j’aurais eu tort d’intervenir car en fait, c’est une bien jolie publicité qu’ils te font !
    Il n’empêche que le journal du Costa Rica ou l’université US avaient été bien plus élégants en demandant ton accord.

    Comment by Joël | March 12, 2009

  10. Çà. c’est sur, Joël!
    J’ai d’autres fois retrouvé mes peintures sur des sites ou je ne comprends pas un mot de ce qu’ils racontaient, dans des langues qui me sont tout à fait étrangères, et où je ne comprends même pas de quel genre de site il s’agit!
    Tout ca, avec un peu de recul, c’est assez fascinant à suivre!

    5 minutes plus trad…
    Par un de ces terribles hasards, après avoir écrit ce commentaire je suis allée sur mon blog pour voir si les vacanciers hollandais étaient revenus, et j’ai vu un link qui m’a semblé drôle, alors j’ai appuyé dessus… et de nouveau un site qui utilise une peinture de moi dont je n’ai aucune idée quel genre de site c’ est!!!

    Comment by Miki | March 13, 2009

  11. Here’s the URL of your painting: (if you right-click on the image and go to Properties).

    Whoever and whatever kind of site that is linked back to your personal blog.

    Comment by sittingpugs | March 13, 2009

  12. Thanks for the links, Pugs!
    Yes, I had noticed that they have linked back to my blog, and this is why I am ok with it.
    I mentioned it yesterday because I had just come back from commenting here about this theme, and had found at once that other site exhibiting a picture of me!

    Comment by Miki | March 13, 2009

  13. I was trying to follow the french but have sadly forgotten a few verbs/conjugations.

    Have you ever googled the phrase “art by Miki” (with and without the quotation marks) to see what turns up?

    Comment by sittingpugs | March 13, 2009

  14. I have always found your attitude on this subject refreshing. When I started posting my art online, and saw how easy it is to copy someone else’s art, I decided it was worth the risk to me. The internet is an incredible and inexpensive way to get my art seen by people. My greatest joy as an artist is just in having people look at my art. And as you pointed out, something good always comes out of sharing our art with others.

    It is a frustrating topic, though.

    Comment by shelleymhouse | March 13, 2009

  15. Pugs: Having googled my name and found I not only share it with a brain surgeon and a drag racer, but worryingly, at least three other reasonably well-known musicians, I’m retiring to a quiet corner of the room to sulk about my lack of uniqueness…..

    Comment by kevmoore | March 14, 2009

  16. Kev! You will always be unique!

    I share my name with a couple architectural landmarks. Although they don’t really compete with my art, they compete with my name. The more active I am online, the higher my name comes up in a search. Kev, you must be the most active musician online! There is much more on you in a search than any other Kev.

    Another neat trick I learned recently is to enter your name in Google Alerts ( It will then email you with any posts online involving your name. If anyone posts something with your name, you will find out right away.

    Comment by shelleymhouse | March 14, 2009

  17. Thanks for the tip, Shelleymhouse!

    When I google “sitting pugs,” half of the results involve dog-sitting the pug breed. There are also figurines of pugs and entries about or of my blog. When I google “sittingpugs,” most of the results are about my blog.

    Comment by sittingpugs | March 14, 2009

  18. Like Paulo Coelho said somewhat to paraphrase him.
    Let go of your work and let it have a life of its own.
    Your the math wiz. So I’m thinking that although I may give away something for free the percentage of free given with or without my permission is so small relative to the return in serendipitous encounters with people or information serendipity (as you discovered here in your post.) These serendipitous connections made are more valuable than the piracy of your work. So you give up 5-10% revenues etc. to get back 1000%. That is the nature of free. Free is viral so who cares if someone pirates and translates one of Paulho Coelho’s books. You can’t stop them so just create a page called Pirate Miki and list all the pirate links out there. Help them pirate and the return back to you will yield amazing results as Paulo discovered. Heck I even have my novel being translated in Singapore and Philippines and although they asked I sent them the novel. What will that do for me? My name is branded all over in different languages. I asked them to send me the finished translations and I am considering publishing them too and giving the two people involved a cut of the sales and giving them the right to let their people download it for free.
    If everything blows up. I just write another novel and adjust what I do.
    In simple terms: who cares? Move on and keep doing what you love.

    Comment by Michael Pokocky | March 18, 2009

  19. ps. miki my new link to my profile should be or

    Comment by Michael Pokocky | March 18, 2009

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: