First, let me clarify: I'm not just talking about premade backgrounds, but also about cut-out stock and brushes or anything else where people use images (their own or other people's) to create the resource. And while this is mainly geared toward members of Photomanipulated, I do hope that this journal will also be able to shed some light on things for others.
Personally, I've never been a fan of premade backgrounds, but I'm also not the type of person who thinks everyone else should do as I say just because I have a bad feeling about something. So far, that held true for premades: I steered clear of them because I feared copyright issues, but I didn't have much more than a bad feeling and some research on my part to confirm this. Now, an official dA blog has strengthened my believe that as an artist, using premades will do you more harm than good.
Copyright is something that often falls by the wayside with premades. And if it turns out the images used to create the premade were not legal to begin with, the end result is that not only will the premade be taken down, but all the images created with it (in good faith!) will be deleted along with it! This is especially upsetting if you've been using the premade for a commission/prints/etc. but even if you've "only" created a manip as a hobby, it still sucks to see your work to to waste just because someone else wanted to be in the spotlight (and premades are a good way to get some of that these days) for a day.
How can you prevent this?
Either, you steer clear of premades completely, or at least you check their sources! If anything feels off, don't use it - and don't fav it either! No more spotlight for those who can't be bothered to check/credit their resources!!!
How do you know if the sources are legitimate?
Often, this is hard to find out, because no sources are listed. This is against dA policy (see this article), but it still happens. I would suggest to not use those AT ALL. At the very least, an indication of "images shot by me" or something along those lines should be present to tell you they shot the images themselves. If you really like the premade (or brush etc), ask them where they got their images from ("Did you shoot all these different things yourself?").
- Just because someone on dA is okay with their stock being used for manips does NOT mean they are okay with it being used in premades/brushes/etc. Unless there is explicit permission given for this kind of use, assume the use for premades is not allowed! Premades is a relatively new line of stock, so many stockers may not have heard of this before and as such have not had the chance to rule this use out or allow it.
So, if you find that one of the resource providers is okay with use in premades BUT you need to always credit him/her, too, then you HAVE to do that! The restrictions set forth by the original copyright holder can under no circumstances be nullified by the creator of the premade! For example, they cannot allow you commercial use if the original stock wasn't allowed for that etc. So be careful what you can and cannot do!!!
Which brings me to the point of fairness, that is not written in the rules, but that has prevented me personally (and probably the professional stock sites as well) from offering my own stock to make premades with: the person creating the premade puts work into it, that is undeniable, BUT if the photos are not theirs, credit is in my opinion (!) also due to the original stockers. And I've rarely seen that done. Just something to think about...
So, what does this mean for photomanip submissions at Photomanipulated?
This is the tricky part. In groups I run I tend to trust my members. And that includes not requiring credits in the form of direct links (unless the stocker's rules say so, of course). Which in turn makes it nearly impossible to monitor for premades used that may be illegitimate. Besides, it is YOUR job to get your resources straightened out, not ours (= the admins of this group). It will be YOUR image deleted and not ours. And, most importantly, most people here do not even want to use illegitimate sources. They may not know they are doing so (which is a reason to write this journal), but if told, they'll change their ways to comply with the law.
We are not going to play police just so we can point fingers (and feel righteous). And certainly, we are not going to condemn everyone in this community of manipulators just because there are a few idiots out there spoiling the fun for everyone else. This is NOT what this group is about. We want to educate people and be clear on the fact that the responsibillity lies with you as photomanipulator using images you did not shoot yourself to make sure those images are legit. However, we will tell you in a comment about what using premades might entail if we stumble upon questionable sources on the premades used in your artwork. We are not going to go looking for them. But sometimes, we have more time to check or see something we've seen before, so you may get a comment while others may not (for the same "offense"), with your work most likely* still being accepted.
*If it does not get accepted, you will be told exactly why. For example I could imagine a case where the so-called premade is just so obviously not legitimate that we have no choice but to say you knew what you were getting into. And that in turn would be like missing/false credits or credits to illegitimate sources: we just won't accept this because there is a clear line we can draw.
Please don't disappoint my faith in dA manippers. I firmly believe that everyone should know as much as possible about copyright and decide for themselves how much potential trouble they want to get themselves into. And while there are some clear-cut lines we can draw here (as outlined in our guidelines: credit is a must and legitimate sources are, too), there simply are some things I am not willing to play judge and jury over - and premades and their legitimateness are one of those things. In part because if we start to check every credit layer, we will get caught up in all this and the purpose of the hroup - to share art and resources - will be lost on the way.
However, if I find that this group gets overrun by manips made using premades with shady sources, I will have to rethink this pollicy. This would result in direct links becoming mandatory and us declining any manip whose resources so much as smell off.
I really don't want to go there.
PS: please note that for resources submitted to the group, we WILL check your sources nd decline ANYTHING we are not comfortable with. I think this is more than fair.
Take a look at these, too:
Of Copyright + Premades
Disclaimer: I'm no lawyer, I do not work for deviantArt, I'm merely someone who has been doing photomanips for quite a while and has taken the time to read quite a few articles on the topic. The views expressed hereunder are mine alone. They do not reflect any "official dA opinion" nor are they to be taken as "legal advice". Furthermore, you may live in a country that hasn't signed any of the treaties that govern international copyright law, so you'd have to check with your country's national laws.
I strongly urge you to not only read the journal, but also the comments underneath it as there are a lot more examples of what you can and can't do as well as more links to information being shared by your fellow deviants!
What is Copyright?
I'll paraphrase/quote the wikipedia article on the topic for this:
"Copyright is a legal concept, enacted by most governments, giving the creator of an original work exclus
Stock and Resources: Policy ClarificationThe Stock and Resources community is an integral part of deviantART, both for having an active community of its own as well as providing high quality stock to all deviants.
As this community has grown so much over the years, so has the amount of invalid stock and resources that have been provided by some deviants. The Stock and Resources community feels like this reflects negatively on them, the volunteers have a hard time trying to teach people about valid stock and how to use it correctly, and it gives an appearance that deviantART Staff tolerate so-called “art theft” or copyright infringement.
In this article our aim is to reinforce our policies regarding stock and stock use and clear up some misconceptions.
Stock and Resource submissions to deviantART:
What are Invalid Stock and Resources?
In short, invalid stock or resources are anything which you do not have full permission to upload. This incl
Premade Backgrounds and Group Submission ChangesToday we’re going to address the “Circle of Stock.” Cue Disney’s “The Lion King” theme song and call me Mufasa. Just like in the circle of life, what we do affects another group, and returns to affect us again. We have a responsibility to the artists that use our stock to provide legitimate and safe stock resources. As an administrator for a few art groups as well as stock groups, I have seen what happens to the artists who use invalid stock resources. They have had their art declined, or had to replace stock elements through no fault of their own. This especially includes those who includes celebrity or otherwise copyrighted material, even if it was uploaded to the Resources and Stocks section of . It isn’t fair to the artists who use the “stock” and hurts the credibility of not only the stock provider who uploads it, but the stock community itself.
Premade backgrounds have always seemed to be flo
The last one especially - it has not been linked in the text of the article, but it explains even more comprehensively what you could be getting yourself into by using premades without credits. For example, did you know that you won't get a DD for anything when your sources don't check out?!
Articles and Links
Photomanipulation for Beginners
an article about what photomanipulation is and what you need to try it - and on the ever so important issue of "where do I get pictures to play with?"
--> read article <--
Of Copyright & Premades
is an article that strives to explain what copyright means, who it protects and that simply putting work into something will not make using something without permission okay.
Know your Basics - article series:
A series of articles that try to explain some basics in art that you may or may not have heard of before but didn't know what to do with them. All of them are written especially for photo- manipulators, but the principles should hold true in any genre.
--> Know your basics - Colour Theory <--
--> Know your basics - Composition <--
--> Know your basics - Perspective <--
--> Know your basics - Textures <--
--> 01 | 02 | 03 | 04 | 05 <--
Artist Scam - there's a new one around!
[You can also read this article on my blog where it was first published] There are a million and one ways to get scammed on the internet, we all know that. And of course there are also scams directed at artists specifically (1). But there is a new scam in town that I want to talk about that is geared specifically towards online artists. If you are an artist with an online presence chances are you have received one private message or other on one of your social sites. These messages differ, depending what they are trying to sell you, but they usually have one thing in common: they sound like YOU are going to be the one earning a shit ton of money – for next to no effort. And usually that is because your art is just so special. aha. sure *sigh* (hint: no ones art could ever be that special) Note 1: I am not telling you any names because the next person trying to scam you might use a different one. Ultimately, the name is completely unimportant, what is important is to know that you
Notre Dame, Improvements and Progress
Progress is a strange thing. It can be so incremental that you don't realize you are making it :giggle: I've been looking through some old pictures I took these past 10 or so years since I've had a DSLR, particularly to see if there was something I would like to put up as exclusive stock for my upcoming contest (over at @kuschelirmel-stock - it'll start this weekend! :w00t: ). I stumbled upon our visits to Paris, where I found my Notre Dame pictures. I uploaded three here into my gallery (as well as making them available part of an exclusive stock pack - coming soon!): I still cannot fathom that a lot of it burned down in April 2019 (with no one getting seriously injured). It was one of my favorite places to visit in Paris; even with all the tourists inside, it felt super divine to be there. On a side note, despite large donations, the 2024 date set by French president Emmanuel Macron is seen as an impossible time frame, and especially so after the announcement in July 2020
Sneak Peak + Contest?
Well hello there! I am still here and seem to have some more energy lately - in big part thanks to my watchers and friends over at my stock account @kuschelirmel-stock who have managed to make me see that it is *not* just me who feels like all creativity has just drained from them these days. For some reason knowing I am not alone and that it is okay to voice these thoughts (despite that little voice in the back of my mind constantly shouting "Stop complaining, you've got it great, this is peanuts. Whimp!") has made a tremendous difference. :heart: :heart: :heart: Aaaand it also means I'm actively trying to be more active here on dA and "behind the scenes" with manips and uploading stock and I'm also keeping at it on the Photoshop 3D front! Not that I have managed to finish a manip yet, but hey, baby steps, right? :D Sneak Peak Here is a sneak peak at what I am currently working on (among other things - meaning it'll take ages to finish, but that is fine :D ): Can you guess
kuschelirmel - the art of Jasmin Junger
Since I don't get around to updating this journal as often as I should, I thought I'd leave you some information on me and what I do in case you're interested... My name is Jasmin Junger, by day I work for an engineering and construction company based in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. I live in Karlsruhe though, that means quite the long commute every day (though I can do home office sometimes). That in turn means there is little time for my photography and photomanipulation hobby - so if you are trying to reach me, please don't get mad if I don't immediately respond. I have been photoshopping for more than 15 years now and I still absolutely