I often get asked about copyright stuff, and what I think about copying other artist's work. I believe that my take on this issue is quite unusual, at least for modern artists.
Over the years I received several emails informing me that there are companies in China making copies of paintings of artists, both contemporary and historical, including mine, or posters of our art. The issue was a serious concern for many of the artists involved and it was suggested that we take legal action to put a halt to this practice; I was definitely not interested in that idea.
I checked out a couple of the sites and indeed found pages dedicated to my art, as well as several other pages devoted to artists that I know personally. Some had pictures of the studio on the website with the artists lined up at their work stations using their reference images to make 'forgeries'.
I got these images from the website of one of the companies that was making copies of some of my paintings. I bet some of these employees turned out to be really good painters, it's a pretty good way to develop your skills. I would have traded a couple of years in one of those factories for the years I spent in art school for sure.
I can certainly understand how someone would be upset that others are making money off of their work rather than making an honest effort to create their own value in the market. I do think this type of 'freeloading' lacks honor and integrity. That said, I am absolutely fine with it. Also, from an ethical, philosophical perspective, I do not support the idea of 'intellectual property'; but that is a different kind of conversation for another time and place.
Most artists understand that copying the work of great painters is the most effective and efficient way to learn and it has been the practice of the most successful artists for centuries. In fact, for centuries up until the time when art historians and lawyers got involved in the art market, you were not considered much of an artist if others did not seek to copy your work and it was a compulsory part of your education to copy the work of the 'Masters'. The 'Prix de Rome' was the most coveted prize given to the premier student at the French Academies of the 18th and 19th centuries. It was a sojourn in Italy to spend time copying the paintings of the great masters of the Renaissance: Titian, Tiepollo, Veronese, and the like. An art excursion like this was the chance of a lifetime for a promising young painter.
So copying the work of the Masters was not only considered acceptable, it was expected, and also filled an important role in the market. Entire studios would be established to make paintings in 'the style of' whoever the most sought after artist of the day was. There are many Rubens and Caravaggio type paintings that were done by copiers for example that make it very difficult for historians, museums, and auction houses to establish their true provenance. Of course, there was a market for these more 'economical' versions, and they also served to make the authentic ones more valuable.
I spent years studying and practicing to learn as much as I could from the 'Old Masters' and I am happy to share all of the 'secrets' of my craft. Not because I want people to copy my work, and it does happen regularly, but because I understand that it is an effective way to help others become better painters and may give them a few extra skills to add to their repertoire as they develop their own style. It's just a really good way to learn almost any trade.
Moreover, if people want to market and distribute reproductions of my art, (https://www.davidlangevin.com/pages/portfolio) in whatever form, or copy my style, then I am more than happy to let this happen. I think of it as free advertising.