I am very happy to report that Shell Love Bug is back where she belongs – in my possession. I’m proud I created this sculpture symbolizing the love of beachcombing and I’m proud of the many talented people, who helped shelldazzle Shell Love Bug 3 years ago. And then there’s a very important second part of this saga… I’m extremely proud of the many amazing people whom I call friends that supported me in this THREE year battle to win my art back from Lee County- including the wise and sensible Commissioner Frank Mann. But most of all I’m thankful and so grateful for my husband Clark. He stood by my side through thick and thin- I couldn’t have gotten through this without him.
So I want to explain a few things…. first of all, I was not paid for my work on Shell Love Bug. Lee County NEVER paid me for anything to do with Shell Love Bug. Period. We had an agreement that if I brought my idea of a mobile sculpture to fruition to display at their planned event, they would buy my canvas for my art… which was a car… then give the car to me as my payment for my work for them. I honored our agreement – Lee County did not.
Second, I had to bring a federal lawsuit against my own county, Lee County, for copyright infringement to get what was rightfully mine- my artwork- Shell Love Bug.
Copyright is a federal law that was created to protect and promote the original works of artists and creatives.
Even though I held an official federal copyright with the paper to prove it for my Shell Love Bug artwork, Lee County starting using my art in ways I didn’t approve and without my consent. I resorted to hiring an attorney to officially send a cease and desist order to Lee County in March 2018.
The only reason this lawsuit existed is because Lee County displayed and promoted my copyrighted artwork for their own use, after I officially ordered them not to. That is copyright infringement of my art- my intellectual property.
While my copyright case has now been resolved, I’m hoping no other artist will have to go through what I did. Having to file through the federal court system for a copyright infringement lawsuit is not only costly, its physically and mentally draining. Intellectual Property laws were created to establish a safe and enabling environment for creativity to flourish for not only on a personal level, but also for innovation and competitiveness for businesses and communities. Infringing on this law, exhausts and stunts an artist’s creativity, whether it be visual art, music, literary works or anything else.
So this is what gave me hope for the future of copyright holders ….
Just last month, May 2019, a proposed law, the CASE Act (Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act of 2019), was introduced in both houses of Congress. This would provide a more efficient and less costly means for most copyright holders seeking justice for infringed works through a specialized small-claims-court. Although CASE Act would not have been an alternative for me since my infringer was a government entity (and very complex because my “canvas” had a car title), it is extremely important this bipartisan legislation passes to make this act become law. This law will protect the majority of copyright holders who have been infringed upon. Help give artists and creators the respect we deserve by contacting your Senators and Representatives in your state to ask them to support the CASE Act so we can all be a part of keeping the creative process stay strong.
As Brene Brown says “What is art if it’s not love.”
Shell Love Bug was born a symbol of Love… and now she is a symbol of HOPE as well. The hope of keeping the creative process strong.
So hopefully one day…. This Too Shell Pass.
CASE Act Bills:
House of Representatives – HR 2426
Senate – S 1273
You go, girl!!! You speak your truth on the behalf of yourself and many other artists who have little defense against the misuse of their creations!
Great job! Now you can use the Shell Love Bug as intended: a visual ambassador for our amazing environment, rich with the wonders of nature!
I am so proud of you!
So happy to hear❤️❤️
Yay!!!!! Since signing your petition I’ve been wondering how you’re doing and the status of the court case. So happy you won!!!!! I hope to see the Shell Love Bug in person for a Shellastic selfie 🙂 Cheers to victory!!!!
So happy for you. Right is right!
F-I-N-A-L-L-Y!! Congratulations on your vision and persistence–for ShellLoveBug –and for artists everywhere.
In what way(s) did Lee County use your art?
Congratulations Pam. As a fellow artist it’s very discouraging to know that many artists’ works are copied and people get away with it because most people do not have the time, strength, knowledge and/or money to do this. It is very sad and there does need to be an easier avenue for protection of copyright holders. Please everyone help support this bill! Pass the word!
I have looked into writing a book for years but have been discouraged from the information I have discovered especially with how easy it is with the internet and digitize media for people to copy others work and benefit from it.
I’m sorry you had to go through this experience in order to protect your copyright. Unfortunately you won’t be the last. The internet has made everything so accessible and most people don’t understand or give a hoot about copyright protection. I’ve even heard stories of people that have copied an entire website and posted it to promote their own business! Its ridiculous.
I’m glad you won your creation back and I know you will only do good things with her.
This is such wonderful news, Pam! I’ve missed your blog. I’m so glad you got her back and I know you will use her for only great things!
Congratulations, Pam! So proud of you. Look forward to seeing you again (and the Shell Love Bug) soon!
So happy for you. What a frustrating battle. So happy you won!
I’m thrilled to see your blog again and to know you won your case. I can’t wait to see many more wonderful blog posts/pictures to come.
I am ecstatic to see your smiling face in front of the Shell Love Bug. Hooray for Commissioner Mann to put an end to this battle and to be on your side. Clark has been your strength through the tough times. I look forward to seeing you on the beaches! ❤️❤️
I’m so happy to hear that it’s back and that you’re finally back!!! Have missed you!!!
Pam, I am so happy for you! Have been praying off and on for a couple of years about this. I also have missed your wonderful and informative shelling videos on YouTube during this whole ordeal. I hope this frees you to start that again. You are one of the few that puts accurate videos out there. In Jan of 2018, I moved to New Port Richey to be closer to family and am now an avid sheller at Honeymoon Island State Park. I was able to identify some of my findings by going to your website. Thank you for all your hard work!
I’m so happy to hear that it’s back and that you’re finally back!!! Have missed you!!!
So glad justice prevailed and that you’re back! I followed from time to time the news of the proceedings – what a process!!! Hoping to see more shellacious news in the near future….it’s been a long dry spell!
Soooo happy to hear this. Hoping to see more posts in the future. We have missed you and are glad to see your smile once again.
I’ve missed your iloveshelling emails
I’m soooo happy for you⛱
This is the best news I’ve seen in a long time! I’m so glad the Shell Love Bug is home with her Mama where she belongs. I hope to see her some day. Thank you so much for everything you do and share.
What wonderful news. So happy for you and congratulations. I hope to be able to see your Shell Love Bug one day.
Way to go Pam! So happy to hear about Shelllovebug!
So happy for you! You went thru a lot of unnecessary rigamarole. You stayed true to who you are. We missed you and your posts. Ive been following you since day one! Welcome back!
CONGRATULATIONS PAM!!! I have been following your case in the news and was hoping that the things Commissioner Mann said and did was going to put an end to your nightmare. So glad Shell Love Bug is back where she belongs! Take a breath, enjoy your baby and hopefully you will be back on the beach soon!
Hugs to you and Clark!! Katherine Haskins from PA
This is cause for Shellibration!! I think a big party is in order! So happy for you and look forward to seeing The Shell Love Bug in the future. This news made my day
What GREAT news, Pam!!! We are so happy for you! As soon as I saw the post, I sent it to my husband and kids because we’ve been watching your story for the past three years and were heartbroken for you. Shell Love Bug is back on the island, where she’s always belonged. It was a highlight of one of my trips a few years ago when I saw “her” parked at the Lighthouse beach. So happy for you!
CONGRASHELLATIONS!!!! So happy for you Pam. I’m sorry you had to go through all that – we are all so glad you are smiling again! Hope to see you shelling soon.
Congratulations Pam! I’ve really missed your posts and shelling trips. Glad you’re back. And we’re visiting Sanibel as we speak!
So happy for you Pam!! I was so happy to finally see your post in my e-mail. It’s been too long. All is right in the world once again.
Thank you for standing up for what is right!
Yay!!! Congratulations! So happy this finally worked out in your favor – as it always should have! Shell Love & Hope Bug
So happy to hear this Pam! Congratulations! We have all missed you during this difficult time. I hope you are back!!
Glad to see it’s back where it belongs! We all have missed you Pam!
Oh. My. Goodness, Pam!!! I’m so glad this is over for you! So proud of you for fighting for what is right! W O W— Love you and miss both you and Clark!!! ♥️♥️
Pam, I was beyond ecstatic to hear that you had finally gotten Shell Love Bug back where she belongs! I can only imagine the heartache, stress and toll it took on you and Clark battling with the County.
Kudos to you for being brave enough to stand up to Lee County! Can’t wait to see the Shell Love Bug in person! (And to be able to see you again, of course). We do tend to gush over the babies first. :o)
So happy to hear your “baby” is finally back home where she belongs.
You have both been missed greatly and we all look forward to your future posts. I always look for you when we get over your way, hope to see you one day soon.
Wonderful to hear this great news!
Great news, Pam!!!
Looking forward to seeing your shelling posts again!
AWESOME, Pam!!! So glad the Bug is home where it belongs 🙂
Pam, I am thrilled that this nightmare is FINALLY over for you!!! Shell Love Bug is back where she belongs. I have missed your posts. I hope now that this heavy weight has been lifted off your shoulders you can once again enjoy shelling the beautiful beaches of Sanibel. You have inspired so many people with your enthusiasm for shelling and nature.
So happy for you, I know you went through a lot for a long time but you got through it and won!! God bless you! Thanks to your husband too for sticking by you!
Pam, my husband and I live just a couple of houses down the street from you and were so happy to read the news about your frustrating battle for the Shell love bug. Success is sweet when fighting for the right thing!
Hope to meet you and your husband soon.
I say this news calls for a big Shellabration this summer.
Congratulations !! Just in time for our arrival on June 27-July 11th. I hope there is one or two great blogs of yours before we arrive !! Having been on 3 Shelling excursions with you, I truly know your heart is in a unique and very special place with the shelling everywhere!
Way to go Pam!!
Sandi hill Huntsville , Ala
Hooray!!!!!! Greatest news ever, so glad to hear the news shellzam !
Yeah !!!! So excited for you Pam !!! Hope to see your posts start up again… sure have missed you !!! ♥️♥️♥️♥️
Congrats to you, I’m so glad that the right thing finally happened!
Congratulations! I too have missed your blog! Houston has a huge art car parade in May. You should bring it down (or up ??).
Way to go Pam… The fight was worth it!
Congrats. Hope to see more shelling blogs soon ✌
Oh, Pam! I am so happy for you. I have thought of you struggling with this so often. And have missed your posts so much! Hugs, and a happy dance!
Yay! Congratulations. Sorry you had to go through all that.
Don’t give up, love your spirit and your artwork!
Way to go Pam! So happy for you! Can’t wait to see your posts again!
So glad the decision was in your favor. Went on one of your shelling cruises a couple of years ago. You have a love for nature and people. Hope this frees you to start blogging again. Live in Kentucky and your wonderful photos kept us beachy between vacations. Congratulations!
Pam, we are so happy for you!! We live in WI. and have loved your shelling videos.
We are going to be in Naples next week and plan to visit Sanibel at least once. We are very excited, and a lot of that is because of you showing us the beautiful shells you find!! Thank you, God bless!!
Way to go, Pam! I’ll be in Sanibel for the July 4th parade. Will we get to see our Love Bug there again! Hope so. Would love to meet you sometime! I’ve been through some similar stuff. I’m sure we could have a blast over a cocktail sharing stories!
I am SO SO HAPPY to find this in my email box this afternoon! I met you and took lots of pictures at The Shell Factory, not long before the “big mess” started. I was so upset and have been wondering how things were going.
This morning I had a “deja vu” moment; as I closed my laptop, I glanced at your “I LOVE SHELLING.com” beautiful turquoise bumper sticker on my laptop lid and I wondered and wished to hear from you soon!! THEN this afternoon, I had your email in my box and I was shocked!!!
It was a premonition or something! Whatever it was, I am so happy to hear the good news!!
So glad you’re BACK!!
Congratulations, Pam! SO happy that sad chapter is behind you. Looking forward to following your future adventures with Shell Love Bug! You are both Sanibel treasures. ❤️
Good morning Maureen, this is Sheryl from Commissioner Mann’s office. Can you quick send me an email? We appreciated your mailbag letter to the press the other day! [email protected]
This is the best news today! I am so happy that you have the ShellLoveBug back. This is such a joyous occasion. I read the Facebook post and had tears. I know you and Clark are breathing a little easier… We that love you so, are too! Happy driving!
Pam, so happy this is over and your bug is back where it belongs!!
I am so glad they finally did the right thing!!! Now I can start thinking about visiting Sanibel again. I love Sanibel, but I have not been back since all this started with you. Congratulations!!
Pam so pleased you persevered! Hope to see you blogging again and conducting the shelling expeditions. You go girl❣️
Yippee!!!! So happy it’s over and you got back what was yours. Honestly can’t believe it came to that, but glad you pushed forward and did not give up. Hopefully I will finally be able to see this masterpiece in person in the future. Congrats!
Peace and Love to you and Clark!!!!! Congratulations on a very hard job, well done!
So happy that you’re Shellabrating this huge victory! We have all missed YOU!! Can’t wait To see you later this summer!!
Congratulations, Pam! Look forward to seeing your posts again
I am so happy for you and the Shell Love Bug! Yeah! Congratulations!
I’m so happy for you, your hubby and all your loving followers ! Congratulations!!
Coming to Sanibel in July hope to see it where it belongs! Love to you ! Hope to see you on YouTube again soon!!! Happy Shelling!!
Awesome! So happy for you! Happy Shell Love Bug has it’s happy home. Because of all the recent problems in the Dominican Republic my daughter and her fiance cancelled their honeymoon to there and instead are going to FL. After a day at Discovery Cove and days at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter they will be honeymooning in Sanibel Island! I am caring for their dog here at home so now I hope they will see the Shell Love Bug and send me a picture! And I hope they bring me a shell home too! My husband and I plan for our third trip to Sanibel next summer.
YAY for you! I hope to see you riding in it soon!
I’ll look for you on the beaches.
I’m so happy for you, Pam. Hope you and Clark can relax and enjoy Sanibel.
Congrats Pam…. Im beyond thrilled for you!
You Took a stand and won…Congratulations!!!
Wasn’t easy but very worth it! Yay!!! Thank you for your note 🙂
We are so happy for you that you have the Shell Love Bug back with you where it belongs!
Thank you so much! Woohoo!
So very excited for you! They put you through the ringer but you came out on top! I’ve missed your blog and shelling excursions with you! I’m happy to see you smiling again.
Pershellverance! Haha thank you!
Crying tears of joy this is finally over. Have missed your posts and info on shelling. You are an inspiration to all. Kendra from Shellabloo 2
It is a breath of fresh air to finally hear your side of this journey. You eloquently wrote why this is such an affront to artists everywhere and why it is important to have copyright infringement and intellectual property laws to protect any kind of artist. What you had to go through should never happen to another artist, anywhere or at any time. I couldn’t be prouder of you for standing up for what is just and fair. It brings such happiness to see the joy on your face now that Shell Love Bug has been returned home!
So very happy for you and Clark that shell bug is back where we all knew she really belonged. Hope you can find some peace at last and reconnect to the simple joy of shelling. Hope I meet you again on the beach sometime.
Congratulations Pam! So glad you have your Shel Love Bug back!! I met Pam on Sanibel Island in late summer 2016 and have been following I love shelling since. I look forward to reading your posts again.
Pam, you will be stronger after this storm! Although I don’t know you personally, I’ve followed your story along with many others. We’ve had your back. We’ve applauded your efforts. We looked forward to this day for you from many parts of the world. Your fought the war and won the battle, because you won this for many other artists as well! Shell on, Pam! Looking forward to your come-back!
Thank you for your words, Linda, and thanks to all of you who had my back. I’ve still got some healing to do but I know you are right- I’ll be stronger. I’m looking forward to that! Artists need to stick together and fight for what’s right 🙂
Pam, I was in Sanibel when I read that you got the shell love bug back. So thankful I cried!! Hope we will see you resume your postings on YouTube. Miss your sweet enthusiasm!!!!
I second that. Miss videos and postings!
I’m so glad you won your art work back. You deserved it. So glad to have played a small role by signing the petition. YAY Pam!