Saturday, January 30, 2010

Biblical Art on the WWW

I received an email this morning from Rolf Stærk in Norway. Rolf runs the website 'Biblical Art on the WWW'.
After 10 years and around 8,000 hours work on the website, which displays small thumbnail images of biblical art, he has been informed by one of the copyright holders that his website infringes copyright law.

Rolf was not aware of this and is unsure of where he legally stands on the matter. He could use some advice from a copyright lawyer but he's not in a position to pay for one, so if there are any christian copyright lawyers out there who might be willing to give Rolf some advice I'm sure that he would greatly appreciate it.
This is a well used site with 1,500 visitors a day, so it would be a great shame if Rolf was unable to continue. You can contact Rolf here.

Image above from


Paul Green said...

There is a "fair use" law where you are allowed to include samples of photographs, artwork and text from sites as long as you acknowledge the copyright holder on your site.
There is a limit on the number of images you would be allowed from a particular museum or personal collection.
If a person approaches you to take down the image and they own the copyright then you should remove the image or risk legal action. You don't own the artwork. They do and they are within their rights to ask you to remove it.
Approaching copyright holders for permission in the first place would ensure protection from legal action.

Bible artist said...

Thanks for that Paul I'll pass it on to Rolf.

Nathan P. Daniel said...

I don't know if this would help at all, but here in the States there is the Christian Law Association, which may be able to give him some legal advice.

Personally, after checking out his site, I think it's a great resource, and his sources are very visible. Especially since you have to click on the link to the original website to really see the artwork, I'd imagine that the source websites get more traffic because of him--which means more ad revenue.

Bible artist said...

You're absolutely right Jumbo, The legal advisors for this artist are shooting themselves in the foot as Rolf's website is sending them customers!!

Rolf has had an overwhelming response today from many people, so many thanks for everyones advice. I've had a number of emails too all saying the same thing "Drop the Artist Rolf!"

Bible artist said...

Now I know a little bit more about this situation I think that the problem is that Rolf links, not to the copyright holders website, but to a competitor, who also sells the same artist's prints! If Rolf changes his links, he probably won't have a problem.

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