Okay, I've been having something of an onslaught of art theft reports lately. Thank you to everyone who has submitted a report(s). It is with your help that I'm able to track down and report the majority of the theft.
This journal was put together to try to get rid of some common ideas that bring people to think that art theft is an okay thing and to make it clear where I stand regarding a few different types of art theft. Art theft is just a soft term for copyright infringement and should not be taken lightly.
On the other side of this battle are the thieves themselves. It is true that many of them do know that they shouldn't be taking and reusing the art they found and liked but many more of them are completely clueless concerning the terms and rules various artists have concerning their work. Because of this, I ask that you please do not flame or attack the thieves you find
. Newer, Better Watermarks Are More Effective & Informative Than My Old Ones
The more recent art that I have been posting has been turning up less frequently in other people's galleries and around the internet. This is an awesome thing and I attribute this to the fact that I've taken to putting big, obnoxious "do not use" copyright watermarks all over it. So, while that has been a success for the most part, I do apologize to all my watchers who have no ill intentions yet have to put up with the watermarks. Really, I am sorry for that. I am working on making my watermarks larger but more opaque to make it a little more bearable for you (the viewer) while still protecting my art.
The older designs in my gallery are another story. They show up all over the internet from multiple copies of them being plastered all over Photobucket to them appearing again and again in various tattoo blogs. Because of this, I have started to update my older works with my new, improved watermarks rather then the piddly, near-invisible ones I used to use way back when. Hopefully, my intentions concerning those pieces of art will be more clear once I have accomplished this.
Because of this "watermark renovation", it will not be uncommon for you to see some well-watermarked images right next to images that have little to no watermark protection at all. Does this mean that those images without watermarks are free to take? No. There is nothing
in my gallery that is up-for-grabs. Please contact me before reusing anything
in my gallery. But You Posted It On The Internet, You Should Expect It To Get Stolen
To address an argument that I feel will inevitably come up with the posting of this journal, yes, I do realize that anything posted to the internet is an easy steal for anyone who wishes to do so. But the fact of the matter here is that my art is originally posted to the internet on DevinatART. With that said, I would like to make a point that DevART, being an art gallery, is not a Clip Art CD and should not be used as such. Please come and look at the art in my art gallery all you want. But when you're done, leave it there and do not repost it anywhere else online.
Another argument that is frequently brought up concerning the reuse of art is the statement, "They (the artist) should be flattered that their work is enjoyed to the point where people want to use it." Poppycock. How is being stolen from supposed to be flattering? Commission work is my full-time job. My art is the equivalent of merchandise for me and when it gets stolen, that is basically the same thing as walking into a retail store, finding something you love so much you want it, and walking out of the store without paying for it. Being stolen from is not
flattering or attractive in any way. Concerning Removal And Take-Down Of Stolen Or Copied Art
I did state previously that I'd rather the art not get stolen in the first place but when it does, I do my best to report it and have it removed. Photobucket is very good about this and Google's Blogspot people used to be good, but have been rather disappointing lately. DevART in particular has gotten very bad about their allowance of art theft on this site which is sadly why I have so many good examples for the next section of this journal.
To reiterate my art use terms again, I've put together a guide with examples below.
However, before viewing these, please know that I strongly disagree with attacking or flaming art thieves
in attempts to "fix" the problem. If you do leave a comment on any of the stolen pictures below, please keep it gentle and polite.
Also, I have contacted these each of thieves (sometimes more than once) a long time ago about these thefts. They have had lots
of time to fix the problem but have chosen to either lie to me about it, hide my comments, block me, or flat out ignore to me. I have even reported these thefts to DevART, but all they did was mark these thefts as Invalid and, like the thieves, ignore me. So, seeing as they're still online, I decided I would make the most of a frustrating situation and use them as visual examples in my anti-art theft journal. But What If They Didn't Really Steal Them? It Could Just Be Coincidence...
I do agree that there is the possibility of this happening in some cases. However, I feel a hundred percent certain that all these examples here really are true rips of work that I originally created. How? In the examples I have posted (aside from the photographs of the tattoos), the art thieves in question have not one, but multiple images in their galleries that match up awfully well with my originals. Sure, it could be a coincidence if there was one image that was similar but when there are several, it is kind of hard to ignore the evidence. You're Making A Big Fuss about Nothing. After All, It Is Impossible To Copyright A Pose.
Yes, another good point and a truth. Howver, I am going to counter this with the fact that many people can draw a wolf in the same pose and have it look different. How do they do this? Each artist will have their own way of stylizing the ears, eyes, paws, fur, etc that make it unique to them. On top of that, it is not just the pose here but the angle the subject is being viewed at. Try taking a figurine of a wolf and drawing it. Now change your perspective of that figurine and try drawing it from the perspective of being above it or set it on something above you and draw it from beneath. Has the figurine changed shape or pose during this process? No. Do the two drawings of this wolf in the exact same pose look different? Yes.
Please keep in mind that there are a great many ways to be creative enough to draw something that doesn't require an artist to go and trace or copy something, line by line, that a different artist has already done.
Okay, on to the guide with examples... What Is Not Allowed 1.
Flat out nabbing images from my gallery and reposting them in your DevART gallery, Flickr, Photobucket, Facebook, blog, RP forums, etc. None
of this is allowed. I cannot tell you how exhausted I am becoming of seeing various pieces of art from my gallery being plastered all over sites like Photobucket and Facebook. Yes, they delete the stolen images when I report them but reporting art theft is a time-consuming and arduous process. I would much rather spend that time working through my commission list or doing some personal art for myself.
I don't want to see any of my artwork showing up online anywhere
other than my DevART gallery. An exception to this would be if you purchased a commission from me. At that point you are allowed to post it wherever you like as long as it is not-for-profit. An exception to this
would be if you commissioned art from me and payed my license fee that makes it legal for you to make money from that piece of art that I created. Then and only then would someone be cleared for reposting and making money off my art. 2.
Directly copying or editing/altering my art are also no-nos. If I did not give out consent for you to copy my art or change it up, I don't want to see it being done. Period. An exception to this is if you would like to redraw something of mine for your personal practice (and practice only!). But
, if you do this, I ask that you do not
post that redraw of my art anywhere online. This includes your DevART gallery or any other art site. If you feel that you must post what you've drawn online, I ask that you find some other picture to copy from and do not use my art for your practice.Examples: VS. VS. VS. 3.
Reusing my art as tattoos for yourself is also forbidden. If you didn't buy it, it is not
yours to use or do with as you please. Changing/altering them in any way to "make them your own" doesn't make this anymore okay than using the originals. The second person here thought that they should be allowed to use the design merely because they thought it was pretty. Examples: VS. VS. 4.
Making linearts or bases from my art and giving them out or selling them to the public is also not allowed. Don't do it.Examples: VS.
Hopefully this will make my terms and standpoint on this topic a little more clear. Please remember that not all art thieves know that what they're doing is bad so be kind and don't flame if you do come across one.
Also, to any would-be art thieves, know that when you take and reuse a piece of art from an artist without their permission or knowledge, you are doing very little to show respect to the person who created the piece of art that you love so much. I get so upset and frustrated sometimes when dealing with art thieves. So much so that, at times, it saps me of creative energy and makes sharing my art online seem a hugely unpleasant idea. Please keep this in mind before snatching someone else's hard-worked-for art.
Thanks for hearing me out. If you need anything clarified or have a question about something I did not cover, feel free to leave a comment.