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art encryption...

Well, it looks like I have to delve into this subject as I should
really know what's available for signing art.

Some poeple are concerned that art via the net is going to be ripped off,
abused, and any other sort of horra you can think of *if* people share 
digital images of their works via the Internet (WWW, ftp, newsgroups, et all).

So, I have been thinking that a way an artist can insure a viewer that the art 
they are viewing is really that of the artist, the artist can *sign* their
art with their private key and others can check it with their public key.
Now, the art would be factered into the key generated that others would 
check with the public key.

So, a image file (gif, jpeg, tiff whatever) would be run through a encryption
coding that would generate a signage based on the artist's image and their 
private key. The image would remain unchanged. Then viewers could run the
same encyription coding on the image and apply the artist's public key
to see if it really *is* their work....

I don't know if this is the best way to do something like this and
I sure am not much of a programmer... :)  But it would be interesting
to find if you think this is possible.

Any other ideas on work authenticy would be appreciated. The main goal here
is to let people view the work and if they *really* want to make sure
the artist posted it, they could check it with PGP... or the like.

Hopefully, people could catch art abuse and let the artist know about it.

I myself have my art on the net as "share art" and people can do what they
like with the images as long as they don't use them commercially without 
contacting me first. Also if they really alter an image, to say it's been
manipulated and the orig can be found at say art.net. I realize that some
folks may abuse these images of paintings I have done but I feel that what
I gain by sharing makes up for it all. 

Unfortunately, this isn't the case with other artists and alot of them
are not ready for this concept of sharing and letting go. They become 
terrified that their works might be open to the terrors I have mentioned.
I want to give these artists a method that will make them feel more 
comfortable about sharing digital images....  

Such a method will also help shoot down the marketeering, blood sucking,
types of slippery jerks I run into who try and scare artists from sharing
on the net. One fellow had the nerve to scare two artists away from art.net
with copywrite arguments and abuse issues and then in some crazy way, he
convenced them to pay him $ to provide the same service with no security
messures ither. Blows my mind that they went for it... sigh.....

This type of undermining will not help artists and I want to fight back.
This jerk also is probably scared of art.net because we are offering
to help teach artists how to put their stuff up with html, are offering 
a free space for them to create and share in, and are asking them to 
teach others the same. We are wanting to help other sites come up on the
net and do the same. We're totally non-profit. This jerk couldn't understand
why I would barter a painting for a years worth of Internet connection for
art.net. He asked, "What do you get out of it?". I just shook my head...


thanks for your help in advance and check out "Art on the Net" if you
get the chance... (http://www.art.net)


Lile Elam
founder and one of the webmasters 
of "Art on the Net"
[email protected]