International art theft | Arch-world



International art theft information ::

List of artists found on, contact information and updates.

Arch-world Updates

Updates are posted in chronological order from newest to oldest

More Chinese sites, some cooperation

Sherrie Engler of the Equine Arts Protection League is busy notifying the Equine Arts community of infringements on another website that has just shown up:

art & craft Europic – China Oil Painting Reproduction

There are various genres that are being copied — as well as horses on this site.Also David Cole of the UK reported, “A recent visitor to my website alerted me to the fact that nine of my images had been stolen by these people:– Dancolour. The pictures stolen are 134, 80, 77, 72, 62, 60, 54, 50 and 8. In each case they have removed the logo/copyright symbol from my picture. In most cases they have produced slightly manipulated versions of my images.” We wrote back to David:

“You need to write to them directly, ask them to remove the images, copy to us (seems to help) and let us know what happens. Copy to embassies as well. We looked at your “reclining girl with red background,” and their copy. We’d like to use both examples in a future letter or click with your permission. In this case they are making hand made clones and they can copy anything they can look at.”
David reported back to us the next day:
“They’re off! Thanks for your help. I still am not sure which initiative achieved the result: A phone call from the British Consulate in Guang Dong or one or more of the three emails I sent earlier this evening. It would be helpful to know. I think the emails you forwarded (,, did the trick better than where emails to it were returned to me undelivered. As you suggest, it may all be temporary. We’ll see.”
added March 9, 2006 | 10:05 PM, PST


Arch-World a wounded duck

Monitoring the art-world and the arch-world sites as we do, we note intermittent activity. Andrew has confirmed that at one point the site went down completely—only to resurrect itself after a while. My feeling is that they are tired and punchy from the bombardment. Arch-world is now full of holes. It is a wounded duck, not yet a dead one. It is letters like this one from Barbara McGivern that seem to be doing the job:
“Attention Arch-World: I am instructing your company to stop using images of my art immediately. My images are protected by copyright law, and may not be displayed now or in the future on your or any website not approved by myself. Please remit $1,200.00 for each print that has been sold by your firm. I expect to hear from you soon with a cheque following, and an assurance that my paintings have been removed permanently from your website. I would like you to confirm that I have been removed by your company or any future companies that you are intending to set up…as you know we are protected by international copyright laws which China signed on to. You should have some respect for artists who have enough trouble selling there work that we do not have to be copied…if you like our art so much why have you not been in touch with us so we could do this legitimately.”
added Feb 20, 2006 | 7:15 PM, PST


Squeaking wheel gets the grease

At the present time it seems that all artists who have written and asked to be removed from the Arch-World site are staying removed. While we’ve sent emails and asked if they might supply us with their current plans, there has been no correspondence from them for the last two weeks. On the other front (Dancolour and Doupine) there have been several watercolour painters who have recently reported success in removal. We’ve written to all the Chinese pirate sites and thanked them for their cooperation in this removal. As in most areas of human conflict and misunderstanding, appeals to friendship and kindness often carry the day. We can only hope that this international goodwill continues to prevail.

For those artists who are cruising these sites and happen to notice living artists, perhaps friends, who may not be aware they are represented, they should be notified. It’s still a source of amazement to many of our friends that their work was on the Arch-World site for two years and nobody knew about it.


added Jan 16, 2006 | 8:00 PM, PST


Eternal vigilance pays off

As I write this the Arch-world website remains pleasantly crippled. The pay-off of all our effort is that further pirate sites have been discovered. They are two smaller operations run by another company—one for oils and one for watercolour. These are easier to directly check out and are at (pirated oil paintings) and (pirated watercolours) Subscriber Jean Haines, reports that “the (watercolour) paintings were almost identical to mine. Amazingly well reproduced. Two of the paintings they copied had been sold which further complicated matters considering the owners had paid full price for a one off original. At my request they have now removed my paintings from the site.”


added Jan 9, 2006 | 9:00 PM, PST


Eternal vigilance

It appears that for the time being we have put Arch-World behind us. Thanks to all who made it happen. For those who are concerned about artistic piracy and the lifting of Internet images for resale, we must now continue in a state of “eternal vigilance.” To this end Andrew is working on a search facility that will appear on this site. You will be able to enter your name and find out if you appear on ANY Asian site. We’ll let you know here when this project is completed. Thanks again.


added Jan 2, 2006 | 7:45 PM, PST


We’re off!
Currently there are no living artists on the Arch-world website. This has been the case now for four days. It seems our constant requests for removal have paid off. Thank you to everyone who has taken part in this email bombardment. We have asked Arch-World to keep us informed of any other plans they may have, through the new Art-world and other sites they may have in mind, and to update us with sample contracts, percentages, types of replicas to be produced, etc. They have agreed to do this but as yet there is nothing specific from them.

In order to keep everybody on the up and up, Andrew has offered to build us a dedicated search engine by which individual artists will be able to punch in their names at any time in order to see if they appear on ANY Asian sites. When complete, this service will appear here.


added Dec 26, 2005 | 7:00 PM, PST


A world of artists against Arch-World

Something we didn’t realize was just how gigantic the Arch-World site is. Also, we didn’t realize the difficulty of getting both historical and recently deceased artists removed from the site. This letter from Belgian painter Lilian Valladares is typical:
“I went to look at the Chinese pages to see about this Mafia story. I contacted everyone I know in order to spread the news. The darkest cloud in this whole thing is that there are many works from artists already dead. Their families, if ever advised of the misappropriation, will never be able to fight against this gang. Dead artists are rising and falling off their tombs in disgust.”
Regarding the delivery of the diplomatic letter in Beijing, there has been no response as of yet from the Chinese Ministry of Commerce — or significant changes to the Arch-World website.Please continue to alert others who are still represented on the Arch-World site. If your work is not yet removed, and you want it removed, continue writing them. It seems to take a bit of repetition and insistence. I get the feeling that it’s valuable to appeal to people’s sense of dignity and self respect.

On Wednesday the 21st we sent the following to Arch-World:

Dear Sirs,

Thank you for your continued action to remove art from your site. We appreciate this. In your form letter you mention that you are starting up a new commercial site. Could you send us a copy of the contract that you will be offering to artists?

All the best and thanks for your time.

Robert Genn

To which they replied on Thursday the 22nd:
Thank you! Our new commercial site The world of art is developing now. I should send you the contract when we finish the development work of “The world of art”.

Sincerely, Best wishes

added Dec 22, 2005 | 9:20 PM, PST


Arch-world site exposed further

Artists who make personal requests are still being removed in timely fashion from the Arch–World website. Shooting from the hip, we think about 50% of living American and Canadian artists have been successful in getting themselves removed. The percentage for living European, Latin American and Down Under artists is much smaller.

For those in Canada, I’m currently scheduled to be interviewed on CBC Radio One on a coast-to-coast hookup at unspecified times in all time zones on the afternoon of Wednesday December 21, 2005.

Also on the Canadian front, Robin Mader, of the Canadian Trade Commission for Visual Arts, has told us that these sorts of things are generally a “private matter” between individuals — and best handled that way. She has however made arrangements for a strong diplomatic letter to be passed between the Canadian Embassy in Beijing to the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, Trading and Law Department. This is to occur at noon Beijing time on December 20, 2005. We’ll keep you informed.

As concerned and affected artists, our most important job is to inform others who might not want to be “represented” by Arch-World. Please telephone or email people you know who may still be on the site. Protests to Chinese Embassies can’t hurt either. As I write this another email has just come in with a copy of a polite request made only a few hours ago that has resulted in the removal of several pages of a young lady’s paintings. Arch-World is a big site, and there are still lots of indignant artists to go. I’ve asked Andrew to email Michelangelo, Claude Monet and Francisco Zuccarelli, but these guys don’t seem to be checking their inboxes these days.


added Dec 19, 2005 | 9:35 PM, PST


More artwork removed

The good news is that individual artists continue to have their work taken off the Arch-World website. We get the feeling that the Chinese reluctantly comply after artists have written to them more than once. The form letter response from them is diminishing, although some artists are still getting it. What surprises us is that many artists on the list either don’t care or have not yet been informed. This is particularly true for Latin American and European artists. A great deal of work from a world of Public Galleries is still there as well.

This includes paintings from the Galeria Borhese, Rome; The Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, CT; National Gallery of Art, Washington; Alte Pinakothex, Munich, and many others. What to do about it? If you are cruising the list below and see the name of someone — or some institution — you feel should be alerted, please get in touch with them. Also if you notice any changes, or the return of work onto the Arch-World or other site, please let us. Thanks to the efforts of thousands of individual artists, we are making headway with Arch-World. In the meantime we are carefully archiving all of your letters in this matter.

If you’re interested in getting an overview of the current attacks on our global economy, you might pick up a copy of Illicit — How Smugglers, Traffickers and Copycats are Hijacking the Global Economy by Moises Naim


added Dec 15, 2005 | 8:15 PM, PST


Artists’ involvment

Thanks to your continued efforts the Arch-World website is diminishing. Some artists are philosophic about it. For example Adan Lerma wrote, “Intellectual property theft is not new in the Chinese culture. The people there really do not have the same view of the value or rights of creative property, of any kind: images, music, inventions, discoveries. Neither major international corporations nor governments seem to have produced more than lip service and token actions.”

Nevertheless, most artists continue to be upset. For example Ardath Davis wrote to

Subject: Using images of my paintings illegallyDear Sir or Madam:
I am instructing your company to stop using images of my art immediately. My images are protected by copyright law, and may not be displayed now or in the future on your or any website not approved by myself. Please remit $115.00 for each print that has been sold by your firm. I expect to hear from you soon with a cheque following, and an assurance that my paintings have been removed permanently from your website.
This letter had the effect of getting her paintings removed from the Arch-World website. Whether there will be a cheque in the mail is another matter.

One by one, in this way, we seem to be appealing to their sense of decency. Perhaps they are just respecting our individual and heartfelt requests. It seems to us that about half of the artists who have written and asked for removal have been successful. It may have something to do with repetition. My work floated away after my third letter. When the work goes off the following appears in the upper left hand corner of your page:

This page not available at the present time
This means “This page not available at the present time” In some cases your works are still posted but the shopping cart facility is removed. This might indicate that they are attempting to change from a selling site to an “educational” site as indicated in their letter below. If you happen to be cruising the list and you see the names of artists who you feel would not want to be “represented,” please contact them and copy them to this page. If anyone has any further information or notice of changes, please contact us at and we’ll post it here.


added Dec 12, 2005 | 10:00 AM, PST


Removal requests answered

Some of the protesting artists had been answered with a form letter that appears below. One by one the artists who complained the most were removed from the site. This could be temporary. They appear to be developing another website as well. We must continue on an individual basis to shame these folks from the business of helping themselves to our work. Various levels of government from several countries have offered to add what pressure they can as well.
From: “The World of Architecture”
Subject: www.arch-world.cnDear Sir or Madam:Upon receiving your e-mail, we immediately removed your name and works from our site, and honestly made an apology for our conduct.

Essentially, we would like to contact you to obtain your authorization directly, but it is a difficult job to find all artists worldwide. We indicated artists’ names of the artworks on the site, in order to protect your legal interest. Besides that, we made a statement on the site, and gave out our contact information, hoping the artist himself or the copyright holder of his artworks to contact us.

At present, the site is in trial operation, and not yet spread widely. The shopping cart and the whole buying process you saw is just for test of our B2C system, so far we have concluded any business. Certainly, we knew that China signed on Berne Convention in 1992, and that the Chinese government has the obligations to protect the interest of copyright holders of all signature countries. Therefore, we do not sell any reproduction of the copyrighted artworks. In fact, is now a nonprofit website, providing some information and knowledge on architecture, interior design, furniture, building materials and artworks for people in China, so the site is free apart from those contents which are authorized to pay by copyright holders or holders of legal rights and interests. We sincerely hope you put your works on the site, and promise your works are just for browsing only, not for selling. We are very sorry for any harm incurred from our conduct to you once again.

Besides, we are developing another e-business site, aiming at building a bridge between artists worldwide and Chinese art consumers, and all artworks to be sold on the site will be original and authorized by their copyright holders. We sincerely look forward to having your response soon, and thank you very much for your support and cooperation.

Best wishes,

Yunnan Longway Information Industry Co., Ltd.

It may be “a difficult job to find all artists worldwide” but we are now well able to find them. Andrew and I have personally written to ask that various friends who have been too timid to write, or deceased, be removed as well. There is of course the chance that they will shape up and offer a contract to artists, but in the meantime it’s my advice to clean them out of potential product, and let them start afresh. Please continue to check back here to see if your artwork reappears, and if it does, continue to ask for immediate removal. The address to write to is and copy to us at to back you up if need be.
added Dec 7, 2005 | 6:54 PM, PST


Status update

On December 5, 2005, Andrew watched as many of your images dropped from the pirate Arch-World site. In a while everything was gone and we seemed to have cause to celebrate. However, after twelve hours the website reappeared with replicas of your paintings for sale as before. At this time I’m asking all artists to continue to bombard these people by resending your previous requests, writing new protests and also continuing to alert trade commissioners, embassies, and other government people. Protest in the media may be valuable as well. We need to make sure this website is shut down and does not continue, like a bad dream, to regenerate itself.


added Dec 6, 2005 | 8:30 AM, PST


We Won!

I’m happy to report that your paintings are now falling like flies from the pirate Arch-World website. The thanks go to all artists and others (we think about 1100) who have written to Arch-World to protest and demand the removal of their art. Thanks also to all the members of the various Governments who got involved. It blows my mind but I think we have shut them down. Even the dead artists are now off.

But let’s not get carried away here — another Chinese site with the same stuff could pop up at any time — so our continued vigilance will be needed. I strongly advise artists, curators and gallery owners to keep googling artists’ names to see if anything appears. And please keep us informed. In the meantime, please join Andrew and I online for celebration and Champagne.


added Dec 5, 2005 | 5:00 PM, PST

If you wish to submit additional information please contact us at:



Contact Information

Web, Email and other links


Arch-world Website:
Home Page [english]Artists Directory Page [english]
Arch-world Email:









Doupine/Dancolour Email:









Europic-Art Email:





  • (Renjie Lee)


Arch-world phone number:
0 871 808 1666Doupine phone number:
(+86) 755-28724302Dancoulour phone number:
(+86) 755-28724302

Europic-art phone number:
(+86) 592-555-2746

We sent our removal request to all four Arch-world email addresses. If you check back to this page from time to time we’ll let you know if and when Robert’s work has been removed from the Arch-World website.

Important websites

The Chinese Embassy in the USA

The Chinese Embassy in the UK

The Chinese Embassy in Australia

The Chinese Embassy in Canada

Email Canadian Trade Commissioner (Visual Arts) Robin Mader

If you wish to submit additional information please contact us at:

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