Ripping off native artists: it’s the new black!

I am quite upset to learn that a fellow going by the name Grey Owl (and I kid thee not, the irony of course being quite rich)  is stealing the work of the phenomenal Métis artist, Christi Belcourt. His real name is actually Jack Walter Lamb, a gun-loving Tea Party supporter who also also loves floral beadwork.  He’s had her stuff up for sale since March of this year.

On his “Ojibwae Crafts” website (which has finally been taken down by Mr. Lamb) this fraud had the nerve to claim:

We are Native American Craftsmen of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe. We provide Certificates of Authenticity with tribal ID numbers, spiritual guidance and meanings with each of our pieces.

Hmm.  What Certificates of Authenticity, spiritual guidance and meanings can you provide for these pieces you have stolen from Christi Belcourt’s webpage?

He was offering a print of a picture he called Tree of Life.  Huh.  It’s actually called “Resilience of the Flower Beadwork People”.

Oh but that isn’t all he’s trying to peddle (apparently zazzle has finally taken these down!!).  Here he’s got one of Christi’s works printed on a ‘Chippewa iPhone skin‘.  Here you’ve got essentially the same thing, but now it’s an ‘Ojibway Blackberry case‘.  Here are some beautiful copyright violations in the form of shoes.

I wonder how much money this…entrepreneur has made off the brilliance and hard work of a native artist?  I wonder what the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe thinks about this fellow not only violating copyright, but also claiming affiliation to give his theft legitimacy and possibly violating the Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990?

Even if this fellow is a member of the Minnesota Chippewa tribe, the law nonetheless states, “It is illegal to market an art or craft item using the name of a tribe if a member, or certified Indian artisan, of that tribe did not actually create the art or craft item…products advertised as “Hopi Jewelry” would be in violation of the Act if they were produced by someone who is not a member, or certified Indian artisan, of the Hopi tribe.”

This law does not just apply to non-natives passing their work off as native art, but also attempts to prevent native artists from claiming their work (or work they have stolen as in this case) is from an aboriginal culture other than their own.

Except this really isn’t about Mr. Grey Owl.  This is about a native artist, coming across her work on an online store and seeing it being passed off as someone else’s.  It’s about a native artist spending an entire day trying to get that online store (zazzle.ca) to take the products down, and getting nowhere because they refuse to accept responsibility for what their users do s (if you’re not suspicious yet about the other ‘Native American artwork’ up there, you should be).  It’s about the time and effort she is going to have to expend to protect her work, and the worry she is going to have about this happening again in the future.

Christi is pursuing legal action through CARFAC (Canadian Artists Representation/ Le Front des Artistes Canadiens), but other native artists have been sharing their horror stories of copyright infringement as well, and it’s clear this is not an isolated incident.  I realise this happens to artists of all backgrounds, but the way in which these pieces are passed off as belonging to different aboriginal groups (all at the same time), along with made-up ‘spiritual guidance’ under the guise of being “Real Authentic Indian Stuff!” is particularly offensive to me. It is misleading, and it is exploitative. Not only of the artist herself, but also of consumers who understandably would be delighted with the images she has created, but who would be led to believe that they belonged to someone else, meant something else, came from somewhere else.

I feature a piece of one of her works on this page because she is a person of singular and important talent.  She has done so much to revitalise our traditions, to learn our medicines and to pass along her knowledge.  This kind of theft undoes the education she is engaged in.

I urge people to be very, very careful about ‘real authentic Indian stuff’.  Please, find out where it is made, and who the artist is.  Dig deeper than a printed ‘Certificate of Authenticity’ or a web-page assurance.

A few months ago, I bought a Cree tamarack decoy when I was staying at a hotel in Val d’Or.  They are beautiful, they smell great, and I liked that they represent a different tradition from the Cree back home.  To me, they are a symbol of our diversity.  I made a point of tracking down the craftsman, finding out his name and the community he is from, before I purchased it.

Please do the same before you buy something that is supposedly a native craft.  It would help greatly in stopping people like this whose only talent appears to be theft and lies.

For the native artists out there…this may be a good lesson for you.  (I realised after that this seems like I’m wagging my finger at you like you did something wrong…not my intent!) It would be great to have a discussion about what you can do to protect yourself from this sort of theft.

Sending a Take-Down notice

I’ve had a friend who is a graphic designer explain that if the offending website is based in the US, you can send a DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act) take-down notice.  This website explains how you can do this yourself.  The site is required to take the content down until the person implicated can prove it is theirs.

You shouldn’t have to incur attorney fees just to protect your intellectual property.  This step can at least give you some direct power over protecting your work.  As more information becomes available, I’ll update:)

ay-ay mistahi.

Update (Dec.10) email from Jack Lamb:

“Ok, I think I have all the images deleted, contacted zazzle to have any products deleted. I will make CERTAIN that any reference or any use of those beadwork pictures are deleted from any site, file, etc that I have. I cannot access the ojibwaecrafts site right now. When I can the same will be deleted as soon as possible. As I think I stated previously I found those on a search of a .edu site looking for HISTORIC ojibway art. I will make sure that anything is researched more completely from here on out. My sincere apologies to the artist!! If you find any such image out there let me know and I will do anything I can to help out. I understand completely. I had not obscured the image or changed the sig. I worked on the colors and then sharpened and merged it to make more of a pattern. Obviously, not the right thing to do with anothers work. I think I have it all down. Will do better research! Again, if you find anything, just contact me for help.” – Jack Lamb
 

Follow up (Dec. 11)

Jack Lamb has, as you can see above and in the comments below, indicated that the entire issue was based on believing the pieces in question were ‘historic’ pieces of art, thus likely ‘in the public domain’.  Without any opinion on whether his statements are true or not, it brings up an interesting issue of the anonimity of aboriginal artists, and the status of ‘historic’ art.

I mentioned earlier how important it is for consumers to be more diligent in finding out where their art is coming from, but that caution clearly needs to be applied to others who wish to make derivative pieces as well.

I can go to a museum and see gorgeous pieces of Mi’gmaq beading for example.  Sometimes the artist is identified, and at other times the museum does not know who produced the piece.  Because of the age of the piece, the art represented is basically ‘in the public domain’ (free to use) according to Canadian law.

This approach completely ignores cultural or communal ownership. Certainly we need to have discussions on what we would like to see change about that.

To me, there are a few things that are extremely important even absent that ‘big’ discussion about rights and laws and protections.  One would be proper attribution.  “Mi’gmaq” is still too broad.  Was it truly impossible to find out where a particular piece was produced, or did the curators simply lack the resources to delve deeper?  I would ask the same of those people finding ‘historic’ art and using them for derivative works.

The second is also about attribution, but in a broader sense.  Identifying something as “Ojibway” simply because that is how someone previously identified it, may have you showcasing a piece that was actually representative of another people’s beadwork.  Clearly more research is needed than just taking someone else’s word for it.

The third would be determining whether it is appropriate at all, regardless of intellectual property laws, to take a ‘historic’ piece and profit from it in the first place.  I think that ties back into that ‘big’ discussion, and is one that really needs to be fleshed out.

The decision to pursue this further or not is entirely Christi Belcourt’s.  The discussion this event has sparked is both interesting, and incredibly important.

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68 Responses to Ripping off native artists: it’s the new black!


  1. Tony Belcourt says:

    Thank you for this very reasoned post. I’m fighting mad about this. I’ve seen the illegal and misused appropriation of our art, music, images, and stories for far too long. Perhaps this is the catlysit for us to do something about this once and for all. Our art, our customs. our history, our stories, our images our songs our traditions, our values – they belong to us and nobody else has the right to copy them or use them or exploit them for their purposes without our consent. I feel violated whenever this happens to any of us. It must stop. We must make that happen. Meegwetch, Marci, E’ksoi for doing what you are doing. Tony

    • This incident brings up a problem I have had for a long time with Canadian intellectual property law.

      I think what also bothers me so much about this is that I feel that Christi’s work has become a part of our cultural heritage now, and is very much representative of Métis peoples (and I generalise here because the evolution of this style of beadwork is not limited to one specific geographic region, just as we were not).

      There is a very personal component involved, an individual component, because Christi is the artist who has applied her talent and dedication to producing these amazing works. Canadian intellectual property law protects this individual component.

      What about the wider cultural component, the collective component? Works like these also embody important teachings. Having them passed of as “Chippewa” or “Ojibwae” or however he spelled that, or perhaps passed off elsewhere are Coast Salish or perhaps even Maori (who knows?) denies the specific cultural context drawn upon. The Indian Arts and Craft Act in the US does deal with that issue somewhat, but I haven’t found a good equivalent here in Canada. I can’t say definitively that it does not exist, but I haven’t found it yet.

      Anyway, just some Friday morning thoughts:)

  2. This has been happening for ages where white people go to a sweat lodge and suddenly decide to share the teachings with other white people at high priced weekend workshops. In the 80’s there was that horrible book, “Mutant Message from Downunder” by Marlo Morgan in which she apparently went Walkabout with the “Real People” that turned out to be completely false. Mary Summer Rain, who is a white woman in Idaho with her ancient indigenous woman spirit guide who talks like Tonto, and worst of all, Lynn Andrews who wrote several books about the Hopi, the Cree, the Aborigine women and perpetrated “a multi million dollar hoax,” all by ripping off indigenous spiritual practices.

    http://natube.magnify.net/messages/view/FRNSBMJY7K8V9BMG

    This is spiritual and cultural colonialism at its worst.

    Zazzle does have a policy about plagiarized art work

    Item C of Zazzle’s User Conduct under their Terms of Use says:

    In using this Site, you agree to not:
    c. upload, download, post, email or otherwise transmit any Content that may infringe any patent, trademark, trade secret, copyright or other intellectual or proprietary right of any party. As a guideline, you may contribute only original work that you have created yourself from original elements. This means you can’t use images of celebrities or corporate products, nor images, text, or designs that you’ve copied from a website without written permission from the owner. You cannot create a “new” image using elements from images other people have created. You cannot contribute a quote or a slogan that is substantially the same as something already written by someone else. By uploading any Content, you represent and warrant that you have the lawful right to reproduce and distribute such Content and that the Content complies with all applicable federal, state and local laws, regulations and ordinances;

    She should be able to make them take his account down based on that.

    • You would certainly hope they’d live up to their Terms of Service, but the pieces are still up despite the mass of emails and complaints that they’ve received (some from yours truly!) over the past day or so. Sloppy work on their part. Apparently they require a court order as well before they will release information on how much this fellow has sold using her images.

      I hear you on the issue of plastic shamans and other fraudsters. It absolutely drives me nuts. One thing I really love about dealing with ‘real natives’ (trademarked, line up for your stamps people! lol, kidding…) is that it is much more common for people to say, “This is how we do it where I’m from, and since I’m from that place, I’m going to do it this way.” You don’t have Cree folks passing off as super knowledgeable about Mohawk traditions etc…and if they DO know something about another people’s traditions you know what they do? They name the people they learned these things from. They name the people and say where they met them, and what community specifically those people are from etc. Someone in the room is probably going to recognise the names, and boom….that’s how you know the person isn’t blowing smoke.

      Where do the fraudsters get their information from? “Spirit guides” and “Elders” with no names, or made up names, and they are hazy on the communities, and they change their stories. Uck.

      It would be more sad than anger-inducing if these fakes weren’t making so much money off selling ceremonies (sometimes literally putting people’s lives in danger), and books and speaking engagements and workshops and the like.

      Grrr. Anyway there is a webstie called New Age Frauds and Plastic Shamans: http://newagefraud.org/

      Some good information there on that first page, also some good articles on the subject, and even a forum where suspected and known fraudsters are discussed. Identifying who is a fraud is not always easy and some cases are really borderline. It’s worth nosing around and reading up on.

      Of course this group has some people who really hate them, or who feel they are too negative etc, but I’ve found it to be a good resource when coming across some new group or person claiming legitimacy etc…if friends and family haven’t heard of these people at all, I go to NAFPS.to read what others have found out.

      • I have some girlfriends in London, England who were paying to go to one of these guys. I hit the roof. I asked them where he learned his “spirituality” and if in gratitude if he was at least tithing to something like helping inner city native kids to go to summer camp- ANYTHING. They did not even know the questions to ask. We must remain vigilant and “out” these people wherever we find them.

      • J Walsh says:

        Dubious to trust anything on the NAFPS website. They are notorius for printing information ab out poeple they have never met, altering and deleting people’s posts, posting under other people’s identites, changing web servers to avoid lawsuits. There maybe actual frauds on there, but the site in general is full of lies. If I were you I would look into a little more.

        • Notorious to whom? And yes, there are plenty of actual frauds listed there, with good information about those people so it remains a decent resource. Luckily, word of mouth in Indian country also does this.

          • J Walsh says:

            Notorious to people in Indian Country. Having frauds listed there does not change the fact that many outright lies and smears appeared on that site. It was taken down a few weeks ago and Google has removed all references to it.

  3. Yannick says:

    That’s terrible! At least the guy got found out!

  4. DJ NDN says:

    You’re KILLING IT with this blog. Please keep up the great work!!!!

  5. Daryl says:

    I hope “Grey Owl” …* ends up having to pay not only penalties but also any money that he robbed from Christi, as well as penalties for defamation and dilution of her brandname.

    *Edited out unacceptable language

  6. Collin says:

    This is just disgusting. I have enough trouble with people ripping off my photos, and I have a day job! To be an artist who depends on their art to make a living, and to have an anonymous Internet nobody making profit off your back… Ugh. Glad to see this guy’s website is offline, think I’ll send a nice letter to his host to suggest it stays that way.

  7. daniemarie says:

    That is so unfortunate. Her work is so amazing!

  8. Audrey Mayes says:

    I think it’s time that we push for similar law here in Canada, this is more than disgusting. We know this has been happening in many aspects to our indigenous cultures, ceremonies and traditions for decades. We’ve been having these types of conversations in various indigenous circles about what we can do to address our stolen Art and Crafts. We may not be able to stop it entirely, but at least look at compensation and a legal mechanism that can deter the thieves. Next time you travel, all you need to do is look at any tourist shops in airports, where you will see stolen BC art on smoked salmon boxes, photos in calendars, greeting cards, Indian dolls made in China, dream-catchers, arrowheads etc. I could imagine that no words can even begin to describe the violation incredible artists like Christi Belcourt feel at this point, we know how hard they work on their pieces, and what it means to all those that support them in their journey as artists. I think that this is one united battle worth taking on for all indigenous people in Canada!

    USA legislation is a good place to start, but think that we could take it further. Legal minds may want to bring together some ideas for a private members bill or develop our own indigenous laws, or perhaps maybe both. We need something.

    USA -Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990
    http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-111hr725enr/pdf/BILLS-111hr725enr.pdf

    Particularly SEC. 103. MISREPRESENTATION OF INDIAN PRODUCED GOODS AND
    PRODUCTS.

    • Tony Belcourt says:

      I fully agree that it is time to have Canadian legislation to deal with the misappropriation of Aboriginal intellectual property and traditional knowledge. But rather than a “Private Members Bill”, this should be brought forward by the Government itself. Let’s push for it. Do you think we could get AFN on this? MNC re-tweeted my message this morning. I could speak to the powers there since they’ll all be in town for a big meeting this weekend. Can we get ITK into the discussion?

      • Audrey Mayes says:

        I heard that the USA legislation is flawed, but it has been put to use in circumstances where non-natives have been duplicating native crafts and selling them as “authentic”. Even if USA legislation is not the best example, I think it is something to learn from. In order to do this properly, we need to take stalk of what is out there, learn from those examples, and build something collectively for indigenous people in Canada. It could be presented in many forms, government legislation, aboriginal customary laws, Indigenous Arts Council, who knows, but that is something we as indigenous people need to start talking about. I think we need something that protects our sovereign rights as indigenous peoples, a mechanism with binding powers that addressed the protection of our intellectual property rights, indigenous traditional knowledge, ceremonies and traditions, that looks at all our options before we use the courts. We need to be able to still showcases the value and beauty of our indigenous cultures, but clearly states who owns it, and that indigenous permissions are required that includes avenues for restitution if needed. There is language on intellectual property rights in the United Nations Declaration on Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) we may want to consider. I hope that the legal minds and leadership will be tackling this one as a united indigenous initiative that will consider everything before developing anything that could hurt future generations. I think we need something, besides the courts. What that is, would be up to the bigger dialogue circle with First Nations, Metis and Inuit peoples. We need to encourage that conversation with our indigenous people and leadership before we tackle any legislation, to ensure it is done right. We may want to hear what the National Congress of American Indians in USA, or other indigenous nations have done, share their thoughts. Just some ideas to get the ball rolling…

  9. dave cressman, Waterloo Ont. says:

    Thanks for keeping we your readers posted on more examples of continuing societal, (us) atrocities toward native people

  10. Kayla J says:

    Great job fighting back. I don’t know how much consumers can do, though. If we asked for the artist’s name, they could just make something up and I wouldn’t know the difference. It is extremely difficult to tell real from fake on the Internet, so I think it is what YOU are doing that can best shed light on the counterfeits and thieves.

  11. Ruth Cuthand says:

    Sun Bear, who is now dead, was a member of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe. He was a new age Indian who started the Sun Bear Tribe in the 90’s. He predicted that a black serpent would rise out of the Middle Est as well as other prophesies. Those poor Chippewa people seem to attract all kinds of “members”!

  12. Tony Belcourt says:

    Regrettably, “Ojibway Artist” website is fully in operation. There does not appear to be any bandwidth problem.

    • jack says:

      Tony, I needed a day or two to figure out what was going on. As soon as I got your message I took the site down in deference to this issue. I tried to explain what happened. I certainly never meant to steal an artists work. I know most of you are not going to believe that. All I can do is apologize and remove it. I have done both of those things. Not sure what else I can do. I NEVER SOLD anything from that site but some tobacco I grew. Again, I apologize. The site is down. If I had been home to receive the message you would have seen the site down in minutes. But it is down now. And it will stay down.

      • Tony Belcourt says:

        To Jack and everyone else. When looking at this string of comments, please consider their date and time. All of my negative comments about Jack and his sties came BEFORE his response and apology. In fact, I think most, if not all of them came before this transpired. I regret that some of the comments of late have been becoming nasty. I suggest we all cool it and take things as they are. When someone responds positively to a request to make a change to what they are doing and also sends an apology, I take that at face value. As Aboriginal people/Native Americans/Indigenous Peoples, we owe it to the our traditions and our ancestors to value honesty and truth. Let’s be honest with each other. The issue that prompted this string of comments set off a prairie fire of anger. In Metis culture, stealing has always been abhorred. Anyone caught stealing was placed in the circle and was three times called a thief. That was done symbolically by those who were offended. But now that the person involved has come forward to repudiate his actions and to apologize, I believe it is time to put those bad feelings aside and to move on. We need to address the bigger picture of the misappropriation of the intellectual property and traditional knowledge of our Peoples. I hope Jack will join us in this effort and that current comments are in relation to those that are now relevant given what has just transpired.

        • Thank you for also bringing up timing.

        • jack says:

          Mr. Belcourt, your an amazing man and have my deepest respect. Thanks to you and yours! How can I help?

        • jack says:

          I have also email Mr. Belacourt again. I want to be sure he understands that I caused this whole mess and no one HERE is to blame for it. There will be NO rants from me. I find him honorable and pretty straightforward and entirely reasonable. I appreciate him taking a look at the timing. Same to others on here. Take care and let me know what can be done to help. I can keep looking for the site and will forward it to Tony if/when I find it.

        • Jack says:

          Sorry for the misspelling of Tony’s surname. Belcourt! And great xmas to all!

  13. Jymn says:

    As an appreciator of Christi Belcourt’s artistry, it is an abomination what “Grey Owl” is doing with the artist’s work. The one thing I can say for the ‘owl’ is that he has taste. Too bad he doesn’t have the requisite morality to accompany that taste.

    I believe Belcourt to be one of Canada’s great artists whose work has yet to be fully appreciated. But that appreciation should come legally and ethically. One day I will own a work of Belcourt’s but when that day comes it will be through direct interaction with the artist. Best of luck Christi and may your path be free of scoundrels like Mr. Lamb.

  14. The city of Duncan in British Columbia has a collection of 80 Totem Poles which are located throughout the city. Each pole has a story, usually a family story that belongs to that carver’s family. For that reason the city has prohibited people from taking pictures without permission to use for making money. Tourists, of course can take all the pictures they want. They had huge push back from professional photographers, who said, “Try and stop me,” and this has never been resolved properly because they just don’t get it.

  15. bruno says:

    I tried going to buddy’s site for a second look and got this message:
    “Your hacking, DDoS actions have been recorded.”

  16. Cnoch says:

    I am sure it is frustrating to see such a thing happen to your people’s culture, but I am not sure what any of this has to do with the fact that the man carries a gun. Many of your people use guns to hunt, or am I mistaken? I also don’t see what his political background has to do with this. You are not fromt the United States, so I understand why you wouldn’t understand our western culture, just like we don’t understand your native culture. You see, it works both ways. If we can’t understand you what makes you think you can understand us? The Tea-party is a grass-roots group who are trying to preserve our freedoms and our heritage. It seems like you would at least understand that. Your blog would have been totally legitimate if not for these two things, in my opinion.

    • It’s clear from his Facebook page (no I won’t post a link to it) that this man is pretty much diametrically opposed to everything Christi Belcourt believes in (I’m actually paraphrasing her here by the way). The Second Amendment gun-toting US sub-culture is about as far away from the aboriginal use of hunting rifles as you can get, philosophically. “The Tea-Party is grassroots”…the Tea-Party is populist. There is a difference.

      In my opinion, you don’t really get to decide whether my view of the Tea-party and intellectual property theft make my blog legitimate or not.

      As for ‘not understanding [your] western culture’…huh…funny that, I’ve spent my whole life surrounded by it, and educated within it. Nope, I think I understand it pretty well actually, thanks!

  17. korahomes says:

    I am Ojibwe and from Minnesota, I can get you info for a Native listserv that addresses many of the Natives in Minnesota who have connections to many of the Native elders and leaders. On this listserv you could probably find this person who is selling her artwork. Believe me, many of the local Natives here would be outraged at this. This listserv could probably get you the name and number of those on tribal council as well.

  18. korahomes says:

    MINN-IND@lists.umn.edu <—– this is the listserv where you can ask questions and get answers hopefully. And Miguel Vargas: varg0043@umn.edu <—- he is a Professor of Native American studies at the University of Minnesota and also the moderator who lets you become part of the listserv. I think I had to email him to get me on there. I don't know how far this serv reaches in the US but I have seen some crazy connections made from East to West coast and North to South. Many of the Native communities are very connected.

  19. Cnoch says:

    Edit: on second thought, it was unwise to allow this rant to be aired at all.

  20. I have seen Zazzle members who have flags from every Native American tribe for sale on items and on shirts. When I told them they couldn’t possibly be a member of all those tribes, or even be a blood descendant they just laughed at me and the Indian Arts and Craft Act.

  21. Did you reporte the website to the Indian Arts and Crafts Board in D.C.? 1-800-ART-FAKE ?

  22. I went to his Ojibwe Crafts link from the top post and got this message: Your hacking, DDoS actions have been recorded.

  23. Tony Belcourt says:

    I just received this message from Jack Lamb (jacklamb@cableone.net) in response to mine which I list below:
    Ok, I think I have all the images deleted, contacted zazzle to have any products deleted. I will make CERTAIN that any reference or any use of those beadwork pictures are deleted from any site, file, etc that I have. I cannot access the ojibwaecrafts site right now. When I can the same will be deleted as soon as possible. As I think I stated previously I found those on a search of a .edu site looking for HISTORIC ojibway art. I will make sure that anything is researched more completely from here on out. My sincere apologies to the artist!! If you find any such image out there let me know and I will do anything I can to help out. I understand completely. I had not obscured the image or changed the sig. I worked on the colors and then sharpened and merged it to make more of a pattern. Obviously, not the right thing to do with anothers work. I think I have it all down. Will do better research! Again, if you find anything, just contact me for help.
    —– Original Message —–
    From: Tony Belcourt
    To: jackba@evilbunnyfoofoo.com
    Cc: christi belcourt
    Sent: Thursday, December 08, 2011 3:54 PM
    Subject: Thief

    You have stolen my daughter Christi Belcourt’s artwork. Even worse that just unauthorized duplication of her work, you’ve changed the title, the colors and obscured her signature. But it is nevertheless a replica of her work. I see you have done that with an iPhone case. This is despicable. Take these fake items out of your repository now or face much more public condemnation than your are just starting to receive!

    • jack says:

      Anything I can do to help stop any infringement, I will do. Nothing was ever sold on this site any. But the site will be taken down. Zazzle has been contacted and all images or any reference removed! That should take care of that. The website provider has been instructed to take down the site. Check through all the zazzle products and you are welcome to question me on any one of them. I can provide the original artwork for you for anything on there. Anything else I can do??

  24. Just now Ojibwe Crafts Bandwidth Exceeded and his site is down. hahaha! Saturday 10:36 PST

    • jack says:

      In deference to the artist, that website will be removed and go back to it’s original posters and prints site. But your welcome to hammer it if you want to lol

  25. jack says:

    I will assist your efforts to guard artists rights in anyway I can. Let me know what I can do to help. Mr. Belacourt thank you for your efforts to bring this to my attention, thank you for your reasoned and very reasonable requests. If I had been home earlier I would have found your email earlier. Again, I would like to help, let me know what I can do.

  26. Domain Name: OJIBWAECRAFTS.COM
    Registrar: DIRECTI INTERNET SOLUTIONS PVT. LTD. D/B/A PUBLICDOMAINREGISTRY.COM
    Whois Server: whois.PublicDomainRegistry.com
    Referral URL: http://www.PublicDomainRegistry.com
    Name Server: NS1.MCCULLYWEB.COM
    Name Server: NS2.MCCULLYWEB.COM
    Name Server: NS3.SERVERHP.COM
    Name Server: NS4.SERVERHP.COM
    Status: ok
    Updated Date: 15-nov-2011
    Creation Date: 27-nov-2009
    Expiration Date: 27-nov-2012

    Here is the email for mccullyweb.com
    donm@mccullyweb.com

    If we all email him and tell him that it has come to our attention that http://ojibwaecrafts.com/ is breaking the US Indian Arts and Crafts Act and that he could be partially liable and request him to take down the site, it might have some impact. Of course Wonderboy will only put his site up someplace else, but it would put a rock in his shoe for a bit, anyway

    • jack says:

      Site has been deleted. All references, files etc are removed. Not to worry about this again. I had no idea that beadwork was an artists. I had found a pic of it on a .edu search for historic ojibway art. I didnt find any references to an artist so I cleaned it up and used the pattern. Now that I know that is a current artist those images have been removed and deleted from all sources that I have. Will not happen again. As I said, the site is removed.

      • Could you provide the search term or site page that you found these pieces on listed as historic ojibway art? Having them removed in their unattributed and inaccurate forms might also be a worthwhile pursuit to avoid future problems. I’m not asking you to make sure this is done, but would pass the information on to Christi Belcourt.

        • jack says:

          Wow, I have been looking. That was quite some time ago. I think the search terms were something like “ojibway history art” I am pretty sure it was a canadian site. But that was a year or more ago. I will try and see if I cant find it tho. It was a small pixel picture and when you hovered over it it gave you the .edu addy. I was looking for historic examples of ojibway beadwork to use in designs. That’s why I was looking on college, universities and sites such as that. I have the “oOibway Crafts” book from long ago and was looking for examples of beadwork from the past. I will keep looking as I have time. When i got the message from Christi’s dad I just typed her name in the search engine and went “yep he is right there they are hers”. I immediately emailed him, contacted my web host and asked that the site be removed. I haven’t used that site for some time. I would sure like to help out though.

  27. jack says:

    I am following this blog and will see if there is any way in which I can be of help. the only way that I can apologize is to be of assistance if possible in efforts like this.

  28. Scott Harjo says:

    Since I know you will delete this……

    So much for comments, I see you deleted mine. So much for letting people speak their minds. Such hypocrisy, éóvahe

    • I have been very clear that my blog is not your platform. I am not going to allow the comments to get drawn into some side-tracked rant about 2nd amendment gun rights, supposed ‘terrorist attacks’ or wishes for prison rape (another comment that didn’t make it through my filter either).

      Nor will apologise for this.

  29. yeahright says:

    hmmmmmm…if this continues, after my apology, after my deletions and explanation i will have my ISP and my domain host turn over your dos attacks to the the fecs.
    This type of attack, may you not understand this, is considered in the US as a terrorist issue. I have tried to resolve this, but we have recorded every ISP that participated in the dos attacks. I dont want to pursue this, Because I caused it. I have tried to explain to mr belancourt what the circumstances were and that no moneys have been exchanged over this event. However Ms. Jackson seems to want to push this. If this continues I will have my domain host forward the attacks to the federal authorities. If you would like to continue this, bon appetit. I am a native american, i understand what you are trying to prevent. I have solved this particular problem and support what you are trying to do. But understand this. Karma goes two ways. Hate is a negative and will result in only more hate. Do what you have to do, each of you. I will only respond to those that have attacked my domain host. I thought I was trying to work with you, even tho i was not available for a few days to get right on this. But if things are going to continue in a negative venue then so be it.

    • I really do not think it is appropriate to be claiming that having your site listed on this blog is somehow a ‘terrorist’ issue. I am going to assume you are unhappy with the amount of attention you have received as a result of not looking into the source of the artwork sufficiently, and rather than ban you completely from this blog for your threats, I am going to ask that you not engage in such again.

      I would also like to point out that you are using ‘time’ as one of your main defenses for not immediately removing the artwork in question. It would seem then that you should be applying ‘time’ more mercifully to those who had not yet caught up with the edit that includes your apology.

      • jack says:

        Ah! Good point, what I was referring to were the dos attacks received by the website host and supported through the blog posts. That is an illegal activity. Like I said the site is down, it was never had any “attention” til the attacks. I think I sold some tobacco to a fellow in Italy last year but that was the only sale. LOL. But I certainly understand that you are also busy and deserve the time to respond. But the real point that I am trying to make is that I would much rather help in this effort. This is your blog, ban decsions are of course yours to make. I would rather not be banned as I find the blog quite well done and interesting. With that said please accept my apology for what you took to be a threat. I was merely stating the fact that the attacks were illegal.

  30. Collin says:

    I must point out that a “DDoS attack” is all about intent. Let’s imagine your website is actually a bricks-and-mortar store: if word gets out that you’re selling stolen works and the store gets packed to capacity with curious visitors, you can kick them out but you can’t go around calling it an “attack” or expecting the police to come in and arrest everybody. If it was an organized action intended to shut down your store then you’d have a better footing for legal action, but no where in this post was there a suggestion of such an action (and of course the comment section doesn’t count, those posts are the responsibility of their posters, not the blog owner).

  31. jack says:

    Edit:

    I asked you to cease and desist. You will not be allowed to threaten people.

    You are the focus of a possible lawsuit here, and you’ve had your say. Please refrain from commenting further.

  32. Jay Red Eagle says:

    Check out these Cherokee parable shirts on Zazzle. TheYankeeDingo certainly doesn’t know the difference between plains Indians and Cherokees (see photos on shirts) lol http://apihtawikosisan.wordpress.com/2011/12/08/ripping-off-our-native-artists/

  33. Cat Thunder says:

    That is why I make stencils that’s my mark and copy right.It doesn’t matter who uses it I still have it and I have proof.I recall doing a design I didn’t want to sell so I traced it out and made another copy stencil-wise.That’s how I protect my work.I have bundle of pictures of my work people have being using as my proof.It’s in storage.Data Base.It’s all protected for sure.The legends behind it for sure it’s protected.

  34. Shawn says:

    If I see a piece of native art. It inspires me to carve a similar piece. I never intend to sell it. If others see it and want it I inform them it’s not created by a native decendent. With reading these comments I feel like I have done something terribly wrong without even meaning to.

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