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Choosing A Safe Venue to Sell Your Art or Craft Online and Entering Competitions That Respect Your Copyright

By now most artists are preparing for the fair weather art show and festival season, yet many will also be grooming their websites for the occasion and perhaps looking for more places to sell their work online, including art sales websites and competitions. This can be an overwhelming experience due to the sheer number of such venues in existence today, and those with any understanding of the importance of the metadata in their images might question which sites will be faithful to them and which will not.

We have found LinkedIn.com to be a wealth of art resources, and recently we found that LinkedIn member ArtsyShark had published a list of 125 places to sell  your art or craft online. With links, and without any endorsements. This fabulous compilation has now been increased to 150 online art marketing websites, and the post’s author has given permission for bloggers and artist websites to share the article without any edits, limited to the first 10 online resources. We will share and give you a link to the post so you can investigate the rest, but first,  information about competitions and metadata…

Some may recall a recent post about metadata in which we discussed the importance of embedding your metadata into your images before uploading them to your own website or social media networks. In our experience, most artists do NOT do this, and this situation is one we feel must change (hence the workshop with information about metadata recently announced by our founder, Hannah West). We discovered the Artists Bill of Rights website in the process and were very glad to be accepted as a supporter, with a blurb about and link to the Southern Oregon Artists Resource  on their website. More importantly, we find that in addition to a “Rights On List,” which provides information about online competitions which will respect and protect your copyright and metadata and a “Rights Off List” of those online competitions with which you will take a chance of giving your rights away merely by entering, they also have an extensive list of approved competitions in one handy page artists can refer to.

The competitions on the Artists Bill of Rights Rights-On List have met all the standards set out in the Bill of Rights For Artists and are recommended by artists-bill-of-rights.org as they respect  intellectual property rights. Click any competition title for further details. You can enter these competitions with confidence that your rights will not be infringed upon or stolen by the competition itself.

Conversely, the Rights-Off list details some of the organizations running failed competitions with a report which can be accessed by clicking any organization name in the list. Each Rights Off report gives some information about the organization concerned and how the terms and conditions of their various competitions affect your intellectual property rights. Just click on any organization to see their Rights Off report.

The full list of competitions and appeals that fail to comply with the Bill of Rights are listed on the Competition Notice List, also known as Memoriam to Lost Rights: A Roll Call of Dishonour. “This memoriam is dedicated to all the victims who unwittingly participated in rights grabs promoted by the organizations listed below. Sadly, the victims of these rights grabs lost their intellectual property rights.” Please guard your intellectual property rights by checking this comprehensive list for the competitions you’re thinking of entering and spare yourself potential loss by not entering the competitions noted there. The list can be very surprising as respected names such as the BBC and National Geographic appear there; if you click through to read their terms of service, you will find cause for concern. Artists Bill of Rights is working to persuade every website and competition on this list to clean up their act, and in cases such as Pinterest.com they have made significant progress. But until they all appear on the Rights On list, you’ll need to be careful to which sites you submit images of your art, and whom you trust with your rights.

To see how many times the rights of content creators were violated between 2008 and 2011, look at the bottom two sections of the Rights Grabbing Statistics page to see the total number of  works the rights to which were claimed by competitions. It’s very sobering, as is the daily number of works whose creators had their rights grabbed during this period (6130 per day) and the average weekly number of the same (42908 per week). Don’t let your rights be grabbed!

Not all doom and gloom, artists-bill-of-rights.org also publishes a news blog with notices of approved competitions’ calls to artists as well as contest results. This is another fantastic resource for artists and photographers looking for online competitions they can trust not to lift their rights. It also announces significant developments in their confrontations with social networking sites and online competitions that do not honor the rights of the content creators represented there as well as other news of interest to creatives working online.

So, all that said and artists and photographers being duly warned, we now present the first 10 of 150 online venues where you can sell your art. We do not endorse any competition or website, but publish the shortlist and link to the complete list for your convenience. We of course suggest that you clear any site with the Artists Bill  of Rights website before establishing an account or uploading your work. Many thanks to Carolyn Edlund, founder and author of Artsy Shark and member of the ArtBiz group on LinkedIn, for sharing this valuable resource.

1.   20×200.com – Jen Bekman’s site focuses on art, prints and photos, priced affordably. Juried (not currently accepting submissions, but sign up for their newsletter to get updated when submissions reopen.)

2.   500px.com – Photography site – store your photos, share them and sell them. Features work of beginners to experts. Sell your work by opening a “store” account, which is available to free as well as paid memberships.

3.   AbsoluteArts – Claiming to be “the most trafficked contemporary arts site” it offers levels from free to premier. Artist bio/statement and portfolio displayed with shopping cart.

4.   AffordableBritishArt (UK Site) – Artists sell their work with no middleman, commission free, but there is a charge to have an account (4 tiered levels). You must have a PayPal account to receive payment for your work.

5.   Amazon – Upload your images to sell on one of the biggest marketplaces on the web. Jewelry is a huge category here, but you are competing with manufactured items.

6.   Art.com – This highly ranked e-commerce site has a division called Artist Rising, where emerging artists can upload images. They provide a print-on-demand service to sell your work. Two levels of membership – free and paid.

7.   ArtBreak – Describing themselves as “a global community of artists sharing and selling their work on the web,” this site is a commission-free way to upload images and sell with a shopping cart. Curiously, their blog and social media sites are inactive.

8.   Art-Exchange – B2B site where artists can get connected to interior designers, architects and others in the trade. Work is sold wholesale here; they take 10% commission.

9.   ArtFire – Huge marketplace of crafts, art, supplies, vintage and more. Customize your own shop on this site. $12.95 monthly fee.

10.  ArtFortune – Create your own online art gallery here. Site visitors can see the images that you have uploaded, and click through to your website, where you make the sale. They charge a monthly fee, and have several different plans. There is also a forum and community on this site.

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