Using my Finished Artworks and/or Stock

6 min read

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mjranum's avatar
I'm posting this as the definitive reference for "what you are allowed to do with my work"

The images in :iconmjranum: are my personal gallery and are finished artworks.

The images in :iconmjranum-stock: are stock images and are available under a different and much more liberal set of rules (here:… )

I do not mind if you wish to use one of my finished artworks as inspiration, reference, or the butt of jokes - as long as you're creating whatever it is you're doing without altering my hard work. If your work is heavily derived or based on mine, I expect you to show courtesy and give me appropriate credit. If one of my photos inspires you to do a sketch, I am genuinely flattered.

Do NOT use one of my finished artworks as stock material for photomanipulations. If you do, you're just wasting your time because I'm not going to give you permission to use or publish it in any way, shape or form. If one of my photos inspires you to think "this would be cool with sparklies added to it as a backdrop on my myspace page" - you're wrong. If I wanted sparklies on my images, they'd be on my images. If you are thinking "I want to add my deeply passionate poetry to this image" - don't. If I wanted poetry on the image, I would have put my own poetry on the image, myself. What I mean by "finished artwork" is "this is how I want it." If you want to change my artwork from the form in which I left it, that's disrespectful of my creative choices, and I do not look kindly upon it.

If you violate my copyright in any way you are permanently banned from using any of the images from my stock account, in addition to anything else I may do to you. All decisions will be final and apologies will not be accepted.

Yes - You can use one of my finished artworks as a decorator for your myspace page, or a sticker for your refrigerator, or whatever, as long as you don't edit it and as long as you credit me appropriately. ("Photo by Marcus Ranum" is sufficient)  If you just grab my work and don't credit me, you are violating my copyright and I'll make sure that the experience is unrewarding for you. (For example:… )

Yes - My images are available for commercial licensing (some of them) or prints (here:… ) but do not approach me asking if you can host my images on some site or other where maybe I'll get a dollar if someone buys a print someday. No thanks. I already get that at DeviantArt. :D

I get one or two emails a week from someone asking "hey, take a look at what I did! can I post this?"  The answer, if it is a photomanipulation of one of my finished artworks, will be "no."  I feel like a real ogre saying "no" but re-working my finished artworks without even asking me first is the epitome of creative rudeness and I'm sick of it.

Once or twice a month I find someone who has posted my work without credit in their flickr gallery, or whatever - if you put "photo by Marcus Ranum" you're OK but otherwise I will file a DMCA complaint and get it taken down. If you're making money from my stuff, I'll send a goon or a lawyer to recoup a license fee from you or otherwise make sure you regret your decision. Save us all the trouble.

Very rarely, I have had artists contact me asking if they could use one of my finished works for a composite - and, if they ask courteously - I've sent them an un-postworked version of the image to work with as stock. For artists who are using my finished works for references, I have sometimes provided full-resolution copies of the originals. I'm not doing this to try to restrict access to my work, in other words; far from it. It's simply that, as a photographer, I see my post-work as an integral part of my artistic process and I don't want my post-work post-worked. :D  There are some images that I am jealously hoarding close to my chest - but what you may not realize is that I sometimes enter into agreements with models that I won't post certain images as stock, or whatever. That's why you won't be seeing any stock of some of my models - it's something I promised them I would not do. And then there are things like my neko-girl images: I am not making any of them available as stock because I like to periodically gloat over them and cackle, "mine! all mine!" late at night. Joking aside - I want them to have a unique look to them. I'm allowed a little spoonful of artistic ego, aren't I?

Frankly, I find it deeply disappointing that I even have to explain this stuff. Anyone who is doing art should understand and respect copyright -- if you violate my copyright, then what moral standing do you have to get annoyed if someday someone violates yours? I've gone to considerable effort and expense to offer 1,500+ full-resolution stock images in my stock account for people to take, enjoy, have fun with, and give full rein to their creativity. I'm tired of people responding like I'm being a big meany because I didn't give up a particular image as stock - so, what the hell, they just stole it from my art gallery instead. That's abusing my good will and a good way to wear it out.

© 2008 - 2021 mjranum
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shadowbob19's avatar
Im so with you on this its wrong what people do to are images like the other day I saw my friend using one of my pictures I did and I got mad at him but it was for school and I was ok with it because he gave me credit for it so I was happy:) but I dont like the people that dont give me credit for my work. Because now I add this to my images can you check out my page and see if there ok and if they don't detract my work.

Thank you
I love your post on the copyright and your pictures are really amazing and so good
mjranum's avatar
Thanks for your comment.

I generally find that the people who "get" copyright are the creators. Which means that anyone who does their own art, pretty quickly comes to understand how annoying it is when someone else pirates and messes with it. It's a pretty universal experience.
shadowbob19's avatar
your welcome
bye the way do you think how i do my copyright on my pictures look ok jw
EmanuRenton's avatar
100% agree mate and...its the first time I read a so long post, but it was interesting... and RIGHT!
anya316's avatar
i just wanted to say that i've been watching your work for a long time and your pieces often inspire me to sketch (don't worry. The few times i've sketched your actual works it's been for practice, not to post) You're an amazing artist and i'm so glad you so clearly put these rules forward! As someone who's very into photography and just beginning to develop as a portrait photographer, i'm so often inspired by your work and i love that you talk about your techniques so that i can apply some of your vast knowledge here and there! Thank you for doing what you do!

Also... my dream is to one day shoot the legendary Miss Mosh, i iz jealous!
mjranum's avatar
My pleasure; it's good to know it helps. If you're interested, there are also a few walkthroughs on some of my photoshop postwork on [link]
DragonsLover1's avatar
. . .And then I find the rules. :slow: Nevermind the question then.

I agree with all of the above. These are your rules; I'll respect them. :D

And thanks for putting up with dA. I know the site and its members can be really difficult, so it says a lot about you that you stick around anyway. :)
InWineThereIsTruth's avatar
I absolutely know how you feel. The funny thing is I actually get the same kind of problems on the photo manipulation side. I do visual effects for TV and film for a living and work with a lot of models and photographers. As a result there is a lot of still work I get to do as well. I don't really post lot of my manips here because of the nonsense that follows. I get the "hey who's account did you yank that image from?" or "where did you find that and can I have it too". Most of the time its people just flat out stealing my work maybe change a color or two and claiming it's their own. I get really pissed and tell them that it's an actual job and in most cases I set up the damn shoot, came up with the idea and did all the manipulation. I even had to post a journal entry about it which had very little effect.
It's pretty sad when they don't get how damaging this is to everyone including them selfs...
mjranum's avatar
I'm really on the fence about it. My friends keep telling me I should give in and just forget about it, but - damn it - I went to the trouble to open a whole stock account for them! Can't they leave the art I've worked so hard on alone? (sigh)
perseo1965's avatar
Hi, I just want to thank you your more that fast answer, and, well I'm planning to send a copy of what I have on mind (a acrylic painting on canvas), based on that amazing model, sadly I'm not sure if I could have the pleasure to meet her on person. I'm a painter and I like photografy too, plese don't worry, I'll respect the value of your work, I truly understant your points...
Jemmeh's avatar
I'm very glad you aren't one of those artists who's just gotten totally fed up and smacked ugly watermarks or just totally left DA.

I like your art. It's awesome and inspiring.
mjranum's avatar
I'm very glad you aren't one of those artists who's just gotten totally fed up and smacked ugly watermarks or just totally left DA.

I'm pretty close; it's very frustrating. Even with my rules (which I think are very liberal) I spend a couple hours a week dealing with people who don't bother to read them.

Glad you enjoy my stuff. :)
Jemmeh's avatar
;__; Please stand the abuse. It's awful to have to stare at watermarks--or even nothing at all.

Instead of a watermark, I have a black bar with info on it. I figure people who right click and save will still have that thing stuck on there. You might want to put something like that on there with "THIS IS NOT STOCK" or something. It's not a watermark all over the photo, so it's not as bad, I think. You could give it a go? U:

Or I could just kill them all for you. <3
mjranum's avatar
I wish I could just periodically wail on one of the copyright infringers with a tire-iron. I bet that would discourage the rest.
Jemmeh's avatar
Ohhh, and then post an image with a beat up bloody copy-right infringer. x)
kgsomaraj's avatar
Excellent poetic rendition of the female figure !
mrmacc69's avatar
no sparkles - well forget it!

(although I do like a lot of your photography even without sparkles)

the copyright lady is the best image
it's poignant!
mjranum's avatar
:D thanks. :)

Now, I need to shoot an image with sparkles, huh? :)
mrmacc69's avatar
I can't believe you haven't. It's all the rage sparkles are... everyone's shooting them.
I heard - and this is from a reliable source - Debbie Gibson - teen sensation and Miley Sirus - SPARKLES!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Now you didn't hear this from me - but - HANNA LUVS SPARKLES!

True story! Spread it on!
shadowflux1's avatar
no worries about me doing photomanipulation for I do not have the programs to do so. however I may do a sketch, if that is alright. if I draw a picture based on one of your works I will list that one of yours inspired it.
mjranum's avatar
Sketches are fine. Have fun! :D
kitten42's avatar
I'm sorry to hear that so many people have been taking advantage of your lovely artwork. I've enjoyed both your stock account and your art account for many months, since my husband found Sweater Girl and I wandered in curious about the roaring laughter coming from our home office. It's sad that you have to even write such a journal entry.

I do sometimes try to draw from your photos, but I'm a farrier, not a visual artist. If I ever do manage to do one that I think is good enough, I will ask your permission before posting it, credit your photography properly in the credits, and continue to applaud your lovely work.
mjranum's avatar
My husband found Sweater Girl and I wandered in curious about the roaring laughter coming from our home office.

Thanks; you just made my day. :D
kitten42's avatar
You're welcome! I still like that series of yours best, though "Gothic Beauty" and "Death Rides a Pale Trike" are my two favorite individual pieces.

Looking forward to seeing more, both of beautiful human forms and of P-nut. All of my horse pictures are over on my *ladyhorseshoer profile, but I always love horses, no matter which user I'm logged in as.
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