Documentary on Chinese Piracy Filmed in Jacksonville

Documentary on Chinese Piracy Filmed in Jacksonville

Two local filmmakers are creating a documentary on art piracy.
JACKSONVILLE, AR - A local woman's battle with a foreign company selling counterfeit copies of her artwork will be the focus of an upcoming documentary.

RB McGrath says a Chinese company stole the image of a painting off her website, then resold thousands of copies profiting up to $1 million.

She never saw a dime.

Now McGrath is partnering with a couple of filmmakers to help raise awareness.

She's been painting for decades and sells prints through an online company.

When the piece of a violin didn't do well, McGrath wanted to know why.

She said, "I discovered this company was selling them all over, all over the world. It was a shocker, I literally pushed the chair back from the computer."

McGrath says it's difficult to file piracy lawsuits in China, because it's basically allowed there.

Filmmaker Keith Hudson heard her story and wanted to help.

He's been filming a documentary with McGrath since this winter.

Hudson said, "The title of our film is "Digital Peruggias" and that is sort of a play on Peruggia, who stole the Mona Lisa."

Hudson's hope is to raise awareness and encourage folks to support local artists.

He said, "I think it will help people gain a larger appreciation for the people who work really hard for what they do."

While McGrath doesn't expect to ever receive a dime, she's hopeful people will hear her story and choose their artwork more wisely.

She said, "This is ruining the livelihood of American artists who are struggling to make a living."

Filmmaker Pham Minh is also working with Hudson on the documentary.

The two would like to release it next year at the Little Rock Film Festival.

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