Montreal artist tired of online companies stealing her work – Montreal Gazette - Freelance Rack

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Monday, July 6, 2020

Montreal artist tired of online companies stealing her work – Montreal Gazette

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Ishita Banerjee just wants it to stop.

Since the beginning of the year, the Montreal artist has been finding copies of her abstract prints for sale on foreign websites, at drastically reduced prices, without her permission.

“I think it was late January, I started to see these images of my art popping up in different places, but I didn’t sell it to them,” said the Côte-des-Neiges resident, who moved to Montreal with her family 10 years ago from New Delhi.

Banerjee began contacting the companies on whose sites she found her work, and discovered that all roads led to a Chinese company called AliExpress, a subsidiary of Alibaba Group.

“Since then, I’ve been fighting a battle,” Banerjee said. “I tried contacting lawyers, but they said international copyright is difficult to prove. It’s a crazy game. And it’s so prolific now — so many companies are (selling things for) AliExpress.”

Banerjee has found 29 companies selling prints of her work so far. She has contacted eight of them by email, including AliExpress. Sometimes they agree to stop using her images; sometimes they try to convince her to come to a financial agreement so they can keep using them, which she refuses; and sometimes they say they will stop and the next day the works pop up again in some minimally changed form.



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