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Submitted on
August 31, 2012
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54 (who?)
Hello everyone, there's something that has been bothering me as of late.

Sad to say I'm used to art thieves now, but I am slowly starting to encounter a different type of theft, one that isn't just plainly uploading a piece of artwork that is not theirs.

I've been getting notices more and more from helpful deviants regarding people using my artwork, mostly my chibi, to make bases, or to trace over directly and claim the artwork as theirs.

That is considered theft.

Regarding the bases, it is not theft if you use a base with permission, nor if you create a base from scratch with an original drawing. However it is theft if you take an image from the internet, trace over it directly, then upload it and claim it as your own. I'm not sure what the schools are teaching these days regarding proper citation, but "google images" or "zerochan" or simply "pixiv/tumblr/danbooru/internet" are NOT PROPER SOURCES.

The only artists I've known who thinks imitation means flattery are artists who don't get their artworks stolen/edited on a regular basis. If your argument for doing these things is to "spread the nice art you found" or "pay homage because it's so pretty and you want to draw like that", then think... would a farmer feel flattered and happy if you steal their crops with the excuse that you admire their farming skills and wish you could have such great corn? No, they'd call you a filthy thief, and that is what you are. If you admire their skill or art work, it should push yourself to develop your own skills! Or if you really need to reference something, there are plenty of free source referencing website and resources available ALL over the internet. If you really MUST use this specific artwork for reference, at least have the common decency to ask the artist. I personally have never gotten mad or refused a respectful note asking if they could, with proper credit, reference a pose or composition or art work, and I'm always excited and happy to see the end result! :) (to those who has always asked me for permission for art use, thank you.)

It doesn't hurt anyone to take two seconds to think "hey, is what I'm doing really ok?". It also doesn't hurt to use helpful resources like google reverse image search or saucenao to look for the original source. I hope if you're old enough and well-off enough to have internet access, you should know the difference between right and wrong. Why would you rather steal off someone else's hard work for a small slice of popularity? Wouldn't you rather have a guiltless heart and be proud of being known for something you created by yourself?

Before anyone actually is stupid enough to bring it out, I will address a counter-argument I've seen on the internet, particularly relating to "editing" as seen on tumblr: "If they don't want their work to get stolen, they shouldn't have put it on the internet in the first place! Welcome to da intarwebs, n00bs"


Artists, and anyone else who creates things, put their work out there to share with the world. We do it out of positive feelings of sharing or expanding or even showing off. To say that someone who shares should EXPECT their work to be stolen or edited without permission, is like saying people who open stores shouldn't complain if they get robbed, or even expect to be robbed. We live in, hopefully, a civilized society, with civilized people who have morals and values. If I were to drop you off in a country where there isn't a sense of security and any moment anyone can just burst in to your home and steal your stuff, then when you complain, the only response you get is "well you shouldn't have bought things to put in your home!", then what would you think? I doubt you'd blame yourself for being robbed.

These ~pretty pictures~ you see on the internet is not randomly created from thin air. These images, no matter how "animu" or "pro" they seem, are drawn by hand by a PERSON. An actual human being just like you who worked maybe 20 minutes maybe 20 hours on a piece of artwork. They might have studied tirelessly about art, and put a lot of hard work and sweat into being able to draw how they do now, and for you to simply take an image from the "intarwebs" and then blatantly trace over it or make a base or simply edit it and then upload it claiming as your own, you're a THIEF. The internet is smaller than you think, and you will get caught.

This was a rant that I typed out after getting too many people "referencing" my works without credit or credit to (the now infamous ground for thieves) "zerochan". If you're going to come here making sassy remarks about my grammar or spelling or cohesion consider yourself banned from my page.
  • Mood: Frustrated
  • Watching: Yuru Yuri S2
  • Playing: Animal Crossing City Folk
  • Eating: yogurt with apple chunks
  • Drinking: Grapefruit honey tea
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obsessioninhumanform Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
Preach it, sister!

I have yet to have more than one person steal my art from me, but the one person who has done it lives in my house and refuses to own up to her actions.
Colorful--Melody Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
this is just a common sense
Moorina Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
and yet tons of people don't have it...
Colorful--Melody Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
i know right. so stupid D:
Karmillina Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yes, oh so YES at anything at everything in this journal.
shunao Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2012
i feel like everyone needs to put this on your journal....
Elegant-Blossom Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
:iconsomuchwin-plz::iconsaysplz:So much win~!!

Agree with everything you say~ ^^

Isn't Anipan making great efforts against Art Theft~? They have a new technique for securing your works without using watermarks and I believe it's very good~ I even sent em on how it could be stolen regardless of that, two ways, so they can make it much more secure for everyone~ Maybe Deviantart will implement something like that once too~ ^^
KrissyPootel Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2012  Student Digital Artist
100% agree with what you've said. I think there needs to be more awareness for this issue, so that people can stop this as soon as a stolen piece is posted.
lolita-stocking Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
People will never learn.. unfortunately. = v= I do agree though, and I've seen some really stupid reasons being given as to why people do it too.

And if they don't ask, at least for the love of god they should credit. But not even that gets done.

Would be nice if we could put an end to this OTL /sigh
klendusic Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2012
the main problem is, these people are totally ignorant which makes me really mad. They don't care, they do what they want, it's their thing. No. Stop that.
to be honest art theft or art editing, even, has happened so many times that people got tired of the same cases over and over again. It repeats itself, it's never going to end. Sometimes it's the same thief it's ridiculous how persistent they are.

Anyways this is a good argument I hope at least some of the people sees this and think twice before they steal/edit/trace artwork.
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