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Sunday, November 7, 2010

Trials and Tribulations # 1

Brett has alluded to some 'ups and downs' I have been experiencing...

On Friday, 29 October 2010 I contacted the Mainline Steam Heritage Trust (MSHT), owners of J1211 'Gloria', informing them that I had commenced a series of drawings of NZR locomotives and was wondered if they were interested in copies of J1211 'Gloria'. I received a reply from their Marketing & Operations Manager informing me that I did not have their permission to sell my prints of their locomotives on a commercial basis as they hold the rights to the locomotives. Apparently the MSHT actively pursue people who use images of their locomotives commercially. However, he did add that if I would like to use the images and sell them they would be happy to work out a commercial arrangement with me.

I had no idea I was infringing copyright and, of course, I have no desire to do so. Or get off-side with Mainline Steam as I get much pleasure from the efforts the members of the Trust undertake in keeping New Zealand's steam heritage available for all to enjoy. After all, they spend a fortune maintaining and running them.

I have opted to draw the locomotives because NZ steam holds an interest for me and, I think, a large number of New Zealanders as well as overseas visitors. My art work is not in the realms of David Shepherd or Terrence Cuneo but I do think I offer a slightly more personalised view of the locomotives depicted than a photograph does. I feel a painting/drawing to be more evocative than a photograph (although I have spent decades photographing NZ locomotives).

My drawings do not command much in the way of money & the sales volumes are very small so I'm not making a huge fortune. I would like to come to some arrangement with Mainline Steam (or any other owners for that matter) to acknowledge their ownership. I would be more than happy to include a royalty payment per print. As I've said, this is a low volume, low cost exercise but if my sales can contribute to MSHT in any way then I would be more than happy to be involved at that level.

To date I have had no response from Mainline Steam. Hopefully we can reach an agreement as I would like to continue drawing NZ Steam locomotives. Watch this space.

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