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How Etsy Sellers and Big Business Make Money on Public Domain Art

Saturday January 12, 2019. 09:34 PM , from Slashdot
'Some people have figured out how to turn reselling public domain content into side hustles,' reports Motherboard:
On Etsy, there are thousands of listings for downloadable prints and lithographs that are in the public domain. The concept is pretty simple: these merchants round up and download the most visually beautiful art in the public domain, and then sell prints on Etsy. But some of them don't even go that far and just sell digital files of the art. Then, the buyers can print out the prints at whichever size they want and use them as they please...
With that being said, there's also big companies like Walmart that are also trying to earn money off art in the public domain... Similarly, the Museum of Modern Art is selling 'Red Canna' by Georgia O'Keeffe, which is now in the public domain, for $166.50 (on sale from $185). For the love of god, don't pay $166.50 for something you could download for free and print yourself for less than $16.
Of course, none of this is bad necessarily. The public domain exists in part so that people can give formerly copyrighted works new life -- sometimes an iconic painting simply needs to become a bedspread. But now that many new works are available for free, it's worth having a quick look around if you're thinking of buying vintage art. You might be able to get it for free elsewhere.

To be fair, the Museum of Modern Art is a non-profit -- and reportedly avoids all government funding.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.
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