An aspiring graphic designer from Newcastle has set up his own website after internet pirates ripped off his designs and sold them online.
Keano Ross discovered his own artwork was being printed onto t-shirts and sold online after typing his name into Google.
The 19-year-old Newcastle College student said he hoped to prevent future copyright theft.
He said: "I started using Tumblr, a blog site where I uploaded one of my illustrations.
"It was only months later that I Googled myself out of interest and saw one of my drawings on a t-shirt.
"I checked out the source and it linked back to a website that was selling them, making money out of my work and not giving me any credit for it."
The moment any artist creates a piece of artwork, they own the copyright for it.
As long as they can prove that it is their own original work, it is illegal for anyone else to use it or claim it as their own without permission.
Copyright has become a major issue for visual artists today and in many cases it is hard for them to do much about it.
Ideally the artist would take the person to court especially if the item copied was being sold for a high sum of money, but for students like Keano this is out of the question as lawyers can be very expensive and taking the person to court may not be worth it in the end.
"Overall there were three different websites that had copied my work. All I could do was contact them individually, but I got no reply apart from one website saying that they have removed the item," said Keano.
He is now using the website http://bigcartel.com/ where he is selling his own posters and is hoping that this is a platform on to bigger things.
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