Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Golf Channel FRAUD, Non-disclosed reproductions promoted for sale as artwork

Updated: July 24, 2009

POSTSCRIPT: (December 31, 2009) Sometime in the second half of 2009 the Golf Channel redesigned their website and all references to Linda Hartough and her work, much less any so-called artwork, were deleted.

Note: Footnotes are enclosed with { }.

12th Hole, 'Golden Bell' - 155 yards, Par 3,
Lithograph- Limited Edition Print and Artist Proofs,

Image Size: 15 3/8" x 27"" page=5005&select=330

The so-called Linda Hartough "12th Hole, 'Golden Bell'" lithographs, for sale at $225 to $500 each on The Golf Channel's website{1}, are actually non-disclosed reproductions which makes them "something that is not what it purports to be"{2} which is one legal definition of -fake-.

What proof{3} is there that these -FAKES- are at best non-disclosed reproductions instead of original works of visual art ie. lithographs?

This is answered, indirectly, on The Golf Channel's website, where these non-disclosed -fakes- are described as: "Prints of this magnificent oil painting are offered in both limited edition lithograph and giclee prints, each signed and numbered by the artist."

In reality, paintings can only be reproduced, resulting in reproductions.

On page 350 in Ralph Mayer’s HarperCollins Dictionary of Art Terms & Techniques, where the term “reproduction” is defined as: “A general term for any copy, likeness, or counterpart of an original work of art or of a photograph, done in the same medium as the original or in another, and done by someone other than the creator of the original.”{4}

Lithographs are original works of visual art created by an artist by drawing on a stone, plate or mylar. The artist drawn image is the tool. That tool is prepared and printed by the artist. Those artist drawn and printed images are called lithographs.

In other words, lithographs, as original works of visual art created by an artist, would -never- be trivialized as a reproductions, much less from a Linda Hartough painting.

This perspective is confirmed under U.S. Customs regulations, where in part it states that lithographs "must be wholly executed by hand by the artist" and "excludes mechanical and photomechanical reproduction."{5}

So, at best, to misrepresent reproductions done by someone other than the artist as lithographs ie., original works of visual art that were created and printed by an artist as if they were the same exposes, -at best-, an extreme lack of connoisseurship by The Golf Channel and Linda Hartough.

In Paul Duro & Michael Greenhalgh’s published Essential Art History, -connoisseurship- is defined as: “that of the art expert able to distinguish between the authentic and non-authentic, for example between an original and a copy.”{6}

On Linda Hartough's website, under Frequently Asked Questions, it states: "Proof of copyright Registration: One or two prints, produced in addition to the limited edition, which are sent by the publisher to the government agency responsible for copyright protection in the country in which the print is published."

According to Linda Hartough, the -publisher- is responsible for registering with the U.S. Copyright Office the copyright for the "prints" of her artwork. Since they are actually reproductions, who would own the copyright to those reproductions, the artist Linda Hartough, the publisher or the printer who reproduced them?

Under U.S. Copyright Law 106A. Rights of Attribution - “shall not apply to any reproduction.”

In other words, if an artist authorizes someone, like a printer, to reproduce their work, the resulting reproductions cannot be attributed to the artist. That printer that reproduced those reproductions would own them. That printer would only be contractually obligated to give the artist the reproductions they paid for. The artist pays for 1,000 reproductions, they get a 1,000 reproductions.

As for all the reproduction overruns, all plates, negatives, digital files and the like used to reproduce those reproductions, they would be owned by the printer and if they chose to do so that printer could reproduce more reproductions without the knowledge or permission of the artist.

This perspective is confirmed by the Printing Industries of America, Inc. in their published Printing Trade Customs, which, in part, states: “6. PREPARATORY MATERIALS Working mechanical art, type, negatives, positives, flats, plates, and other items when supplied by the printer, shall remain his exclusive property unless otherwise agreed in writing.”{7}

Under U.S. Copyright Law 103. “Subject matter of copyright: Compilations and derivative works,” it states: “The copyright in a compilation or derivative work extends only to the material contributed by the author of such work.”

So, Linda Hartough's copyright extends only to her original works of visual art ie., paintings and not the non-disclosed reproductions that The Golf Channel and she misrepresents for sale as lithographs ie., original works of art . Unless those reproduction rights were reassigned back to the artist, the printer would own the derivative rights to the artwork they reproduced.

Obviously Linda Hartough had to give permission to the printer to reproduce her painting or otherwise the printer would not have the right to reproduce it.

Once that permission was given to the printer by Linda Hartough to reproduce her artwork, she had two choices: 1) get the printer to reassign any rights they incurred under U.S. Copyright Law back to her in writing or 2) not.

Did the artist Linda Hartough have those reproduction rights, owned by the printer, reassigned back to her? If the artist Linda Hartough got the reproductions rights reassigned back to her from the printer that would be admission she knew all along that they were reproductions. If the artist Linda Hartough did not get the reproductions rights reassigned back to her from the printer that would be a possible explanation but not an excuse for her misrepresentation of reproductions as lithographs ie., original works of visual art.

Whatever transpired between Linda Hartough and her printer{s}, there is at least one example where a printer{8} had reproduction overruns of one of Linda Hartough paintings and at least one of those overruns, unnumbered and unsigned "Olympia Fields," was given as a sample for free upon request. This is one of the same non-disclosed reproductions that Linda Hartough promotes on her viewcourse.asp?id=114&cat=usopen website as a "Limited Edition - 850."

There goes Linda Hartough's so-called "Limited Edition."

Additionally, for this same Linda Hartough "Olympia Fields," the United States Golf Association, on its' 2003 website, gave the following description: "Celebrated golf landscape artist Linda Hartough captures the lush beauty and imposing character of Olympia Fields in this, her 14th U.S. Open Championship print. Her splendid painting depicts the 12th hole, a classic tree-lined par-4 with a narrow approach across a creek to an elevated green. Edition limited to 850 lithographs, signed and numbered by the artist. Matted with acid-free materials and framed in walnut. Framed size: 36 1/2" x 27". Sorry, no rush delivery or gift boxing available. - Print Only SKU #101093 $225.00 Members: $225.00."{9}

So, when confronted with these contentious issues of authenticity, how did the United States Golf Association respond?

In a June 11, 2004 "935 FAKES, USGA's and artist Linda Hartough's misrepresentation and sale of reproduction/ posters as original works of art ie., lithographs" Press Release, this author documented in emails to almost the entire USGA's executive membership that Linda Hartough's so-called "9th Hole at Shinnecock Hills Lithograph" being offered for sale at $225 or more each by the USGA on their 2003/4 website and in their 2003 catalog{10} were non-disclosed reproductions that would make them "something that is not what it purports to be" which is one legal definition of -fake-.

Though the USGA never directly responded to this published June 11, 2004 Press Release, in USGA did subsequently change their promotion and sale of Linda Hartough's non-disclosed reproductions in their 2004/5 website and 2004 catalog.{11}

Remember, in 2004 the USGA was promoting for sale at $225 or more each non-disclosed reproductions as "Limited Edition Lithographs" on their website and in their catalogs and after this author's June 11, 2004 Press Release the USGA stopped promoting those non-disclosed reproductions as lithographs and begin disclosing those reproductions as being "reproduced."

Without full and honest disclosure to reproductions as reproductions, what serious questions of disclosure and law may potentially come into play?

Under South Carolina's "Code of Laws" subtitled "Title 39, Trade and Commerce Chapter 16 Sale of Fine Prints; Disclosure Requirements, it requires the disclosure of a "reproduction" sold for $100 or more as a "reproduction" in a "Certificate."{12}

The so-called "Certificate of Authenticity" for Linda Hartough's "The 9th Hole, Shinnecock Hills Golf Club" fails to disclose reproductions as reproductions. In fact, it misrepresents those reproductions, offered for sale at $225 or more each, as original works of visual art by calling them "Limited Lithograph Edition."{13}

Under South Carolina law, the potential penalties for willfully failing to disclose a reproduction as a reproduction, may include but not limited to "amount equal to three times the sum of the purchase price and interest."{14}

Linda Hartough Gallery is located on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.

On the United States Golf Association's www.usga.or/aboutus/index.asp, under "The Spirit of the Game," it states: "Unlike many sports, golf is played, for the most part, without the supervision of a referee or umpire. The game relies on the integrity of the individual to show consideration for other players and to abide by the Rules."

Does the artist Linda Hartough and The Golf Channel show consideration for others, much less for potential patrons, when they misrepresent reproductions for sale at $225 or more each as lithographs ie., original works of visual art?

Additionally, on the United States Golf Associations's www.usga.or/aboutus/index.asp, under "Penalites for Breach," it states: "If a player consistently disregards these guidelines during a round or over a period of time to the detriment of others, it is recommended that the Committed consider taking appropriate disciplinary action against the offending player."

Aside the serious questions of law, should the artist Linda Hartough and The Golf Channel be held to a lesser standard of ethics than the game of golf they promote and profit from?

On page 413 in the Seventh Edition of Black's Law Dictionary, -deceptive act- is: "As defined by the Federal Trade Commission and most state statutes, conduct that is likely to deceive a consumer acting reasonably under similar circumstances."{15}

Section 5 of the FTC Act prohibits "unfair - acts or practices in or affecting commerce." In part, it states: "A seller's failure to present complex technical data on his product may lessen a consumer's ability to choose, for but may also reduce the initial price he must pay for the article."{16}

Would the failure by the artist Linda Hartough and The Golf Channel to fully disclose reproductions as reproductions potentially affect the "consumer's ability to choose" and "the initial price" they may pay?



How would the consumer react if they found out the so-called "Limited Edition Print" selling for $225 each is a reproduction
, aside the argument of quality, no different than the "Poster" selling for $45?

What needs to be accomplished is the full and honest disclosure of reproductions as -reproductions- by all artists, art dealers, galleries and the like, much less Linda Hartough and The Golf Channel. With full and honest disclosure to all reproductions as -reproductions-, it would allow consumer the potential to give informed consent whether to express interested in a reproduction, much less on whether to purchase a reproduction.

Additionally, full and honest disclosure, would allow legitimate artists who created original works of visual art such as lithographs, much less those who sell fully disclosed reproductions to potentially compete in a fair marketplace.

In other words, when someone like the artist Linda Hartough and/or an organization like The Golf Channel offers one thing "artwork" for sale and gives something else all together different -reproductions- for monetary consideration of $225 and up, it becomes "a knowing misrepresentation of the truth or concealment of a material fact to induce another to act to his or her detriment”{17} which is one legal definition of -fraud-.

In closing, the arts is not much different than golf when, as noted earlier, the USGA states: "The game relies on the integrity of the individual to show consideration for other players and to abide by the Rules."{18}


2) Page 617, Seventh Edition of Black's Law Dictionary, ISBN 0-314-22864-0

3) Page 1231, "The establishment or refutation of an alleged fact by evidence." Seventh Edition of Black's Law Dictionary

4) ISBN 0-06-461012-9 (pbk.)

(Note: Scoll down page to this PDF file: “Works of Art, Collector's Pieces, Antiques, and Other Cultural Property - 05/01/2006.”)



8) Litho-Krome Company 1323 Eleventh Avenue, Columbus, Georgia 31902-0988


10) © 2003 United States Golf Association “Distinctive Apparle and Gifts for People Who Love the Game” catalog

11) 2004 United States Golf Association “Distinctive Apparle and Gifts for People Who Love the Game” catalog


13) The Linda Hartough Gallery, 140 Lighthouse Road, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina 29928


15) Seventh Edition of Black's Law Dictionary, ISBN 0-314-22864-0


17) P
age 670, Seventh Edition of Black’s Law Dictionary ISBN 0-314-22864-0

18) www.usga.or/aboutus/index.asp


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