A Couple Topics For Discussion

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Hello all! Hope your summers have been going well! I've been having a wonderful time not having to worry about classes or upcoming school assignments and wish the summer could just go on forever! Alas, the school season will be back upon us soon but at least I only have one year left to complete my degree! Anyway, it's been a long time since my last journal update and I have a couple things to discuss.

:star: In Need of a New Photo Hosting Website :star:

To start, I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions for a good free photo hosting website for storing sketches, completed works, and photos? Photobucket has been getting more and more glitchy and obnoxious over the past few months and I've decided it's time to finally end the twelve year relationship. What I am looking for in a new photo hosting website is something that allows organization of images by folders that can be made private or public, allows hot linking, and a reasonable amount of storage space (I had 2GB on Photobucket which sufficed for my purposes). Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!


:star: Art Theft/Copyright Infringement :star:

I know I have brought up this topic in the past but theft of my work has gotten so bad for me lately that I feel compelled to discuss it again. In just the past few months, my art has shown up on snack food packaging distributed by a large US grocery store chain, on the cover of a book from an author in the UK, and as countless decals and embroidery patterns sold all over the internet including on large websites like Amazon, eBay, and Etsy. And all this occurred without my awareness or consent. Seem bad? This is only a small and recent sampling of the instances where my art has been stolen and used/sold without my permission or compensation.

This lack of respect for others' intellectual property seems to stem from the general attitude toward artists, which is that the act of creation is something that simply comes to them and is easy so they can just readily make more. This couldn't be farther from the truth. Behind each work of finished art, there must first be a concept. Sometimes this concept comes together in a flash, but frequently it is more of a challenge. Then, once the concept is clarified, comes the labor of bringing the idea from the mind of the creator out into the world where anyone who views it can see the artist's vision. This can take a couple hours or it can take days, weeks, or months, and sometimes even years. Hours of focused work on a project can result in eye strain, cramps in hands and wrists, and sore backs from crouching over a work in order to maneuver pens, pencils, paint, etc in such a way that every little line or splash of color is where it needs to be. When a viewer looks upon the end product of an artist's efforts, the behind-the-scenes work is not always readily apparent. Though it may seem silly to point out, artists are living breathing human beings that work hard for their art. We are not machines that exist to churn out art for the benefit of whoever wants to profit from our labors.

Commission work is my sole source of income so preventing theft of my intellectual property is particularly important to me. I use that money to pay rent, bills, and my college tuition. To help protect my work, I do my best to make it as clear as possible that I do not allow the unauthorized use or sale of my art. This involves me heavily watermarking each and every image that I post to any of my online galleries and asking that it is not used or posted elsewhere by third parties. Regardless of this being against my wishes and in violation of US copyright law, it does still happen, and very frequently at that. 

The solution to this problem lies in awareness. Many are unaware that using or selling others work, even if "it's just something they found online," is actually illegal and can lead to very serious consequences if the artist decides to sue. Before grabbing pictures off of Google images, stop and consider that, if you did not create it, you do not hold the copyright to the image and are likely not legally allowed to do with it what you wish, even if the website where you find it might say it is royalty free and may be downloaded free of charge. To err on the side of safety, it is always good to find the original artist and talk to them about their terms in regards to the use of their work. Some artists will not mind at all, though many will prefer that their work is not used or sold by others. So please, be aware of this when looking for art, tell your friends that copyright infringement is an illegal thing, and if you're curious to learn more, the US copyright department has an excellent FAQ page with lots of good information. This page can be found here:

www.copyright.gov/help/faq/ind…

On a much more relaxed note, I want to add that I am not against tracing/copying for the purpose of learning. It is a great method of "learning the ropes" and, as long as drawings made after my works are used *only* for personal learning and enjoyment and are kept private and not posted anywhere online, I am perfectly fine with it.


:star: Contact Info :star:

Would you like to place an order for some custom art? Have a question about your pre-existing order? Just have a question in general? I can be contacted here on deviantART but also be reached through these other means. Please keep in mind that, while I try to respond to all emails and messages right away, this is not always possible due to my busy schedule and college-related obligations.

Email: art.of.wildspiritdesigns@gmail.com

WSDesigns On Facebook: www.facebook.com/art.of.wildsp…

Portfolio Website: wildspiritdesigns.wix.com/wild…

Carbonmade Portfolio: wildspiritdesigns.carbonmade.c…


I look forward to hearing from you!


-------------------------------------------------------



:star: I am currently OPEN for custom COMMISSIONS, please check out my FAQ for terms and prices: wildspiritwolf.deviantart.com/…

Art tips and general FAQ can be found here: wildspiritwolf.deviantart.com/… :star:


:star:  I have a selection of a few of my different ART pieces available as affordable PRINTS, please see here for details: wildspiritwolf.deviantart.com/…



I'M SORRY, I DO NOT TAKE FREE ART REQUESTS OR POINT COMMISSIONS
Published:
© 2017 - 2021 WildSpiritWolf
Comments33
anonymous's avatar
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fossilizedmouse's avatar
Doesn't deviantart have it in its TOS that it can sell any art posted to the site?
pandabarrie's avatar
Your images are great quality and that might be something you can change in order to stop theft.

When sending a mock up to a customer who hasn't paid yet we always save the art on a mockup of the garment at 72dpi rather than 300 or 150. They can still view the art and read everything, but if they were to try to take it to another company (this has happened; they liked our art, but not our prices) The other company would have a terrible time 1- separating the art from the BG, and 2- dealing with the low resolution. While they can still see the design, They'd have a tough time replicating it.

What I propose you try in addition to your watermark, is taking a photo of the paper the drawing is on rather than having it scanned and cropped. Or Photoshop the tattoo on a stock image of a persons leg, or pillow for example. I have tons of resources if you're interested in getting images for mockups that I could share with you.

What makes people google searching images click your picture instead of anyone else's is image quality. Doesn't matter how big the water mark is, if they can run it through threshold on PS, they'll try it. It's tough when you're trying to take professional images of your art. But done right, artwork mocked up on something can look just as good.
WildSpiritWolf's avatar
This is the most useful piece of information on thwarting art theft that I've heard in years. It's seemingly so simple but I hadn't considered it prior so thank you so, so much for your comment! I have begun taking cell phone photos of my art for the images that I post to my art galleries and social media accounts.

How are these? Much less steal-able? www.tumblr.com/blog/artofwilds…

--WildSpirit
pandabarrie's avatar
I pulled one of the images off of tumbler and enlarged it and there is a ton of pixelation happening when I magnify it, Which is great! Anyone who really wants your art will literally have to trace it by hand or in illustrator but such a simple step makes the process so much more complicated for them. It sucks, cause you probably want to take better pictures of your work, but these kids can't be trusted with nice things.
Glad you liked the tip, I really hope it works for you!
scratchmarksart's avatar
you need to register your works on this service to get full international protection, and it's easiest for lawyers to get you royalties/cease and desist orders/damage payments

i think its $3 per 20Mb, for 5 years of protected storage and the site has connections to specialist lawyers who will take your case as soon as you spot something wrong

worldwideocr.com

Copyright Registration and Archives - Instant international protection from WorldWideOCR.com
WildSpiritWolf's avatar
Thanks for the suggestion but I showed this to my lawyer and they said that it wouldn't count for much in court.

--WildSpirit
scratchmarksart's avatar
Ah, legal stuff is difficult, you'd think solid answers would be easier to find seeing as it's ment to be law.

did he say why it wouldn't count for much? because i've been looking for something like this for a long time after finding out that the poor man's method of sending a letter to yourself doesn't work in court
WildSpiritWolf's avatar
They said that works registered with that service would create a paper trail to show when the work was created, however, it would not suffice for an artist to file an infringement suit in court.

--WildSpirit 
Brakawolf's avatar
I actually suspect it has more to do with the sort of unspoken assumption since the early days of the web, that anything posted on the internet is sort of up for grabs and falls into some conceptual public domain, whether anyone disagrees or not. In the late 90's I used to tell people just not to put anything on the net if they seriously didn't wanted some control over what happened to it, but since then the web has become so completely enmeshed and central to virtually everyone's daily existence that you have very little choice if you want to do business.

I don't really have any suggestions.

At least you're complaining about something which you actually rely on for income, rather than most of what I see which is stuff like people having shit fits about someone stealing the shade of purple from their sparkle dog's eyelids.

Does it help at all to think of it as 'breakage'? Sort of the inevitable downside to the exposure which brings your commissions, etc? I'm only saying that because I don't know what you could do about it other what you're already doing. I don't know that any amount of public awareness is going to a certain percentage of people from taking something for nothing if they believe they can get away with it. Large numbers of people being conspicuously and successfully prosecuted might make a difference, but there isn't much perception that that happens.

Frankly BTW, though this is only peripherally related, I've thought Google are a nasty, sinister piece of work for well over a decade.
Moon-any's avatar
If you have proof of it being your art you should sue the food packing people. It is terrible that someone would steal your creations that you have worked so hard on. I would email ebay and see if you can get your art taken down or maybe write a comment on the page selling it for everyone to see. 

I know, somewhat, how it feels to have your intellectual property stolen I am a writer and had shared some writing with a teacher of mine, when I was in high school, and she showed it to another student without my permission than when the school held a writing contest she won and when I read the paper it was published in I realized it my story. This is why I never post my stories for people to see or let them keep copies if I give them the paper copy to read. Obviously this not the same as large sums of money where not involved but I know how frustrating it can be.

I hope things work out.   
MaryDenton's avatar
With regards to the theft of your work were you aware of the clause quoted below that Wix introduced when they bought dA out a while ago now? This is precisely why I have taken all of my artwork down from this site and I suggest other artists may want to do the same... Sadly, dA is no longer the company that promoted artist's work whilst respecting their rights over their own work...

16. the 2nd sentence: "For the sole purpose of enabling us to make your Content available through the Service, you grant to DeviantArt a non-exclusive, royalty-free license to reproduce, distribute, re-format, store, prepare derivative works based on, and publicly display and perform Your Content."
WildSpiritWolf's avatar
I have seen deviantART's submission policy here: about.deviantart.com/policy/su… but it only goes to 15. Would you happen to have the link where you found the 2nd sentence of clause 16? Thanks!

--WildSpirit
beachbead's avatar
This is something else a artists has to watch out for too, last month I spotted someone selling someone's tribal wolf head design, I informed the person who was selling it who's art it was and the artists never allows their work to be sold, seller messaged me back saying they bought the copyright to said art I though ok I'll ask the artists and so I did they looked at the seller site and said no they never sold the copyright to this person, so I asked the commissioner and they said they didn't sell the copyright to this person either so I let the seller know but they still think they have every right to sell said design because they bought the copyright to the work, come to find out that seller bought the art from a scammer you see these people will find a art and sell it on their site as a pattern or ect and make the person who is buying it they have bought the copyright to that art which they never did. To this day that seller will not remove the art from their store no matter what the artists or the commissioner has told them. Even reported it too but that site will not remove it, because that seller has told the site they own the copyright to said art which they don't.
beachbead's avatar
The art thief problem is getting out of hand I no longer post my works hear on DA I post my works else where.
HeavensChaos's avatar
I'm on another site where everyone has been talking about jumping ship from photobucket -pretty much all of them are running off to flickr, which I believe should do a lot of what you asked. And the storage space is huge. Of course the hobby for that place is different but its all I can offer as far as suggestions go.
Pegocorn48's avatar
On the copyright infringement issues, I honestly don't have a solution. I can only say I've heard that taking off a watermark is the first thing students in computer design learn so perhaps you could find another way to mark the images?
Tiger-human's avatar
I agree. With me, I intergrate my DA signature into every piece of my work. I've even done it on school projects at times due to the habit of it. All my work is draw by hand, so the strain is very apparent considering I'm also a writer at the same time...But yeah, watermarking, isn't exactly a valid way of marking your pictures. I suggest imprinting it with your signature somewhere along the picture where it is hard to see. This way if you see your art being taken, to point out the exact location of the signature and that you did not consent to the use of your art work in any shape or form.
xXLaila-Wolf712Xx's avatar
I'm not sure if you know but someone on facebook is claiming your art and I told my sister about it. He says that "He drew it!" i showed my sister what picture he flat out copied and he says his sister drew one too but its clearly your art. I'm trying to explain to my sister that its flat out art theft anc copyright infringement but she said who cares. I'm like seriously?! She draws herself but I'm trying my best to explain to my big sister about art theft and stuff but she won't listen to me >:C!! I had to google up your pictures and BAM! There they were. 
Sepla's avatar
You may want to contact a copyright attorney and see what you can do about others using your art for commercial purposes. It will probably cost you an arm an a leg, but if you can sue then it will be worth it. 
MaryDenton's avatar
I would draw your attention to the clause introduced by Wix when they bought out dA...

16. the 2nd sentence: "For the sole purpose of enabling us to make your Content available through the Service, you grant to DeviantArt a non-exclusive, royalty-free license to reproduce, distribute, re-format, store, prepare derivative works based on, and publicly display and perform Your Content."
Sepla's avatar
I think that only implies that DeviantArt can use your product. If that was not the case then why would DeviantArt provide a watermark to protect your art, or remove other deviants from the website that steal other artists' artwork? 
MaryDenton's avatar
Are you willing to take that chance? And I ALWAYS used my own watermark! Supplied ones are as easy to remove as they are to put there, especially by those placing it there...
Sepla's avatar
Yes, I think providing your own watermark has a little more of a safety benefit. 
Shadowpanther16's avatar
I have been reading several journals recently from many artists both from DA and elsewhere.  With the availability of money making things like Etsy, Cafe Press, Society 6 and other, so many people are taking advantage of talented people for their own selfish reasons.  I had the opportunity to  personally speak with an internationally known and amazing artist this year named Shannon MacDonald. And even she, an internationally recognized and awarded artist, has had to hire people who scour the web looking for people making money off of her art. Her assistant works hard to find, contact and when needed get legal representation and cease and desist orders against people on those sites. It is something very sad and very universal that sadly will not be going away soon.  As a not really much of an artist, I love DA to see concepts and ideas from true artists that i can only get into my brain but not out on paper. You and one other person here on DA are on my top list of commissions. Hoping  this year lol.  For more of an observer then an artist myself I prefer to meet and learn about who makes what I love. I have many art and photo prints in my collections that I have gone out of my way to get personally from the artist so I can meet them and get their take on the artwork. From artists like you to people like Shannon , Nene Thomas, and Amy Brown. Take heart you aren't alone in it. And know that there people like me who appreciate what you do for our imaginations and want to help any way we can.
anonymous's avatar
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