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Graphic Artists Guild Sues Artists for Forming ASIP
12.01.08
The Illustrators Partnership of America (IPA) and 5 individuals have been served with a lawsuit by the Graphic Artists Guild (GAG), claiming damages of a million dollars and demanding that a court order IPA to cease and desist from supposedly defamatory public comments about GAG's activities and use of industry reprographic royalties, even when IPA is merely quoting GAG's own statements.

The Complaint alleges that IPA, by bringing together 13 diverse illustrators organizations* (including the AMI) with the goal of creating an illustrators rights collecting society, is wrongfully interfering with GAG's current claim on foreign royalties. The Complaint calls it an effort to "siphon off" money from GAG. The Complaint specifically alleges that IPA and IPA members defamed GAG by a verbatim reading of minutes from a GAG steering committee meeting at which GAG's President reported on their organization's use of foreign funds. IPA's statements relied on public assertions by GAG's officers that GAG does not have to account for its use of artists' reprographic royalties.

Reprographic royalties are funds derived from the photocopying of material by published authors. In many other countries, illustrators receive royalties from collecting societies for the photocopying of their work. In the US, they do not, because currently, no such collecting society exists. IPA denies that its comments are defamatory, as it has relied on and reported GAG's own statements verbatim. IPA seeks an understanding of GAG's activities and transparency about GAG's use of these funds. IPA has retained legal counsel and will respond to the Complaint in an appropriate manner.

Further detail about the lawsuit and a petition from illustrators calling upon GAG to withdraw the lawsuit is at the following web address:

http://stopsuitpetition.blogspot.com/

The individuals named in the lawsuit are: artist Brad Holland, Founding Director of Illustrators' Partnership and Co-Chair American Society of Illustrators Partnership; medical illustrator and Association of Medical Illustrators member, Cynthia Turner, Director, Illustrators' Partnership and Co- Chair American Society of Illustrators Partnership; Terrence Brown, Executive Director, American Society of Illustrators Partnership; renowned intellectual property attorney Bruce Lehman, Founding Director of Illustrators' Partnership and Counsel to American Society of Illustrators Partnership; commercial illustrator Ken Dubrowski, Director of Operations, Illustrators' Partnership.

*http://asip-repro.org

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CONTACT


Mark Lefkowitz
AMI President
Association of Medical Illustrators
781-784-5293
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