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Few words about art-thieves.

Journal Entry: Sun Jan 6, 2013, 3:39 PM


My dear watchers, I really appreciate your support when it comes to fight against art-thieves.
But I bet there are also many people whose thoughs can be interpretted like "why is she so hysterical about it?". Some people say, that the fact, that some photo is worth stealing, is a kind of compliment.

Ok, so let me present my point.

At first: why am I so unhappy about reposting of photos?
Because, pals, if somebody just reposts a photo without any change, it just gives totally open space to other people who would find the photos on his/her blog, taking it and posting it themselves. And because the first person did not credit the original author, they also do not credit the creator. The more people do that, the more times the photo is reposted. Always without credit. Sooner or later, it becomes a kind of "public" property and original author has almost no chance to effect this situation.

Do you know this photo? Honestly, EVERYBODY knows it. But do you know original author? Do you think that original author now has a chance to fight against the reposting?

The other side of the same problem is, that finally, ORIGINAL author is attacked by people who think such person just posts stolen art. Again, I bet everybody knows an image of angry wolf. Do you know that original, I mean REAL original author of this painting is a dA member? But if you checked the comments under the original deviation, you would find many "art thief!" "you stole this" comments there! Original author now has difficulties to prove it was really him/her who created this commonly stolen work.

And now a super practical example, pals. My good friends Allerlei and amrodel entered a National geography contest and also thanks to votes of dA members, they got into TOP 20.
But some "active" woman checked their photos and found them on a blog. A person, who created this blog, stole many photos including mine. And this not very clever woman took it as a proof that amrodel in fact posted a non-original photo into a contest!
And this person contacted National Geography, urging them to disqualify amrodel and her photo from the contest!
So Amrodel, absolutely honest and original photographer, got into troubles because of some idiot, who reposted her work without giving her any credit.

That's it. Me, Allerlei and amrodel DO allow people to use our work for drawing references. We allow them even to use them for manips. I am stupid and naive enough to allow them even to use few shots for RP or blogs - IF THEY GIVE CREDIT.

All we want to keep is our dignity, respect and we want those, who use our work, to make absolutely clear that it was US who took the original photo. We just want to stay safe.

Please, do NOT repost our photos without any change. Please, do not post our photos on facebook. Share the link to original, please - NOT the photo. If you upload and share someone's photo, you just help to turn it into common property. That is not fair. Especially when we do allow people to use our work for their own art. I think we do deserve at least a portion of respect which still allows the world to see us as original authors.

I am very sorry that Allerlei and especially amrodel got into troubles because of some person who does not follow the basic rules. Both girls spent hours trying to deal with the situation. Fortunately, they finally proved that stupid woman wrong, so she deleted all the comments without even saying "sorry". But it took them hours!

I have seen my photos reposted on Facebook. Some of them got THOUSANDS of "likes" and were shared many many many times.
Do you think it made me feel good?
It did not.
Because there was no link to original. All those people who posted it, liked it or shared it, helped to make my photo a public property. And believe me, I do NOT want my art to become a public property without obvious creator. I think that as an author of the photo, I have all the right to be known. I have right to stay safe. I really do not want to face the comments of those, who would later point at my photos, saying "YOU STOLE THAT! I SAW THAT ON THE WEB AT LEAST MILLIONS OF TIME!"

Once more, please. Always share the link to the photo, NOT the photo itself. Please.

If some art is worth stealing, it might be a bizarre compliment.
But it is always a thing, which not only annoys, but also THREATENS the original artist.
It just helps to turn the original art with obvious author into annonymous picture which is a "common property" everybody feels free to post........................................

THAT'S why I am so hysterical about art-theft, people. If I wanted to fight against all those who reposted my work outside of dA, I would have to found new and new accounts for new and new websites every second day.
Here on dA, I will do my best to fight against those who repost work of people who posted their own original work outside of dA. If I can help them somehow, I would.

Thanks for your attention and thank you for considering it! :aww:

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AxMongrel Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2013  Student General Artist
It's sad that these things exist and I'm very sorry to hear that. It's probably a lot harder for photographers since (at least to me) it's harder to separate these "creators" aside from watermarks and a few fans. For people who draw, there is that pro (if you get to that point!) of having a recognizable style. I'm not there yet, but out of artist I love, I can definitely recognize them from a mile away! Even some people I don't actually follow, but just got so used to seeing xD I don't know, It's such a controversial subject and sometimes meanings get watered down over time. But I'm sure that we can all agree that it's not right, nor will it ever be to have someones hard work stolen and be made famous by someone else. I'll be sure to credit you when possible. Your photos are absolutely gorgeous and deserve at least that much.
woxys Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2013
Pale-Recluse Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Bravo. You can also mention that taking anothers work and claiming it as yours with created back stories is a moral offense. It is not a compliment when someone steals a drawing that took an artist a month to draw and posts it as their own with a comment like, "oh, I got bored last night and did a little drawing, its not my best but I hope you like it anyway."
Sinister-Sweet Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2013   General Artist
I've had the same thing happen to me on facebook, but with a drawing I made. Hundreds of likes and reblogs but no damned credit for my most popular deviation.. What's worse is that it's fanart, so people tell me, "You're already stealing, so who are you to say I can't reblog it?" :no:

This kind of thing is only going to get worse as the instant gratification age becomes more and more prevalent. Soon enough, the internet will be declared an image free-for-all.
Ravens-Eye-Studio Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
I completely agree with you. I see many pictures on Facebook that are from artists on DA. Some people even post a link to the artist. Then, I go to the artist's page on DA to check whether or not they allow their art to be used any other places. Many do not. But, the people posting on Facebook do not bother to check this. It makes me very angry so I tell the artist and also reply on the Facebook post that the piece of art was one on Facebook seems to care. I think it is a horrible crime for people to steal art in this way (or any other way!).

But, I want you to know that I am keeping an eye out for you and every one else. If I EVER see your pictures used on another site you can count on me to let you know! I just have to first figure out that it is your picture. And, I don't catch them all because I am not on Facebook all day. Only part of the day.

Keep posting journals like this, though. People need to be aware of this problem and your journals help that happen.
vaelvictus Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2013
One issue: please stop calling them thieves. They are copiers, pirates, plagiarizers; but they have not taken your deviation off your account and put it somewhere else. They have not stolen anything, by definition of the word.

As for the topic at hand: it's sad, and you make your point well, but a subtle watermark will have to suffice if you care about copiers. Two subtle watermarks. And nothing that can be easily cropped. An artist should put their watermark creatively in a nice spot, as artists have done for centuries. As a reply to you specifically, it seems your watermarks can be easily removed with the crop tool and still retain a proper picture.
EveVictus Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I don't think you ave to technically take something from someone (so they don't have it anymore) to steal something. They are copying their photo, putting it on their website, and calling it theirs. They are making other people believe it's theirs, that it belongs to them. So if they were to see it somewhere else they wouldn't believe it belonged to the original artist. So it's like it was taken from them, because now they are put in the position that it's not actually theirs.
It's the same with stealing someone's identity. They call it stealing identity, not copying or pirating it. Though, it still is copying. They are taking information about the person and making people believe it;s them, so they can get certain things like money from the person they took the identity from.
These art thieves could steal recognition, fame, they can win contests that the original could have won, etc.
So even though they aren't physically taking these photos from the original poster's website, I still believe they are thieves.
vaelvictus Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2013
See my response to woxys.
EveVictus Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
woxys Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2013
they are thieves :) not only they post my photos on other websites. Some of them tried to SELL them and make profit.
They ARE thieves :)
vaelvictus Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2013
It appears English is not your primary language. Allow me to help you.


Under no circumstance is your original deviation taken from you. Your thieves are copiers, but like identity theft, "art copying" doesn't sound as menacing or fierce as "art theft". They can make all the profit they want. It is potentially illegal to do so, but they are not thieves, they have not taken anything from you. Even if they took potential revenue, the denial of profit is not theft.
Emberguard Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2013   General Artist
Your definition:
Take (another person's property) without permission or legal right and without intending to return it: "thieves stole her bicycle".

But that's just it, even by your definition given it's still stealing your work when they copy your work. They're still taking your idea and your effort without permission. And what's worse is that by doing so they also take away traffic and revenue from the original artist, so they're also stealing in that way too.
vaelvictus Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2013
They aren't taking it away, they are copying. The deviation and source file will remain there. They especially are not "taking the effort", they are taking (in part, at worst) the boon of the effort.

Now what of artists who intend to make no profit, but have their work copied?
Emberguard Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2013   General Artist
And one other thing:

"One issue: please stop calling them thieves. They are copiers, pirates, plagiarizers; "

Plagiarism is stealing :|
Pirates steal
copiers are stealing in the very act of stealing (thus why apple/microsoft/android keep suing each other for "copying" each other)
Emberguard Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2013   General Artist
Then why is it every book has copyright? Why would no one be allowed to copy any book that is on the public and publish it on the net without getting a law suit regardless of whether there is any profit involved? It's because copying in itself is stealing. It might not be taking away a physical copy, but it is taking the idea, stealing the idea.

"Now what of artists who intend to make no profit, but have their work copied?"
Even if the original artist did not make any profit, it is still their property and to just copy it is stealing their right to keep their own work as their own.

Even code has copyright. If you copy a piece of code from a website, any website regardless of whether it's making money and use that code it's considered stealing because you didn't do the work yourself.

Why can't you see that copying without the original artists permission is stealing from them their idea?
vaelvictus Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2013
All I can do at this point is forward you to this search. You will see the internet disagrees with you.


And I'll give you some quotes.

"Theft deprives someone of something, while copying it potentially reduces or increases its value," Hyperlogos blogger Martin Espinoza pointed out. "Clearly, copyright infringement is not theft, or we would not need a whole separate body of law to address it."

"I wrote a book once, titled Heads In The Sand. I both own physical copies of the book and own the copyright to the content of the book. It is obviously not equally harmful to me if you break into my house and steal my physical copy of the book than if you were to somehow go to the library and make a photocopy of the book. The difference, not at all subtle, is that when you steal something of mine (be it my book, my iPad, my shoes, my money, my immersion blender or whatever), I don’t have it anymore. If you copy something that you’re not allowed to copy without my permission, that’s a very different issue. Perhaps you deprive me of income I would have had if you hadn’t done that, or perhaps you don’t deprive me of anything."

I hope this will help, otherwise it may be my last response on this issue.
Emberguard Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2013   General Artist
not really, like the quote says if you break into a house and take a physical copy it's stealing. But the second part of the quote that I don't really agree with, if you go into a library and photocopy the content that's still stealing. Just try to photocopy it blatantly in front of a police officer and the librarian and see what they'd have to say about it. I can guarantee you'd be legally in trouble. Otherwise why does every book say you're not allowed to photocopy them without permission/buying the book yourself?
(1 Reply)
EveVictus Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
You already know how I feel since I'm talking to you. :P
EveVictus Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I completely understand this. I know this person didn't technically "steal" my photos, but she also did. On Facebook, someone is pretending to look like me. I'm not flattered that someone wants to look like me, I'm annoyed that now other people believe that this person actually looks the way she does. So someone who could come across my Facebook or DA could tell me I stole the photos, or am pretending to look like this person. I can easily prove I'm me, but it's annoying to deal with. Facebook still hasn't dealt with the problem either. She must be following me on DA, because she took photos of me that I've posted and deleted months ago. She took a photo of me with my daughter and called my daughter her sister on Facebook. It's actually kinda creepy.
I tried finding someone with a similar name on DA to block this person from seeing and taking my photos. If Facebook gets rid of my photos on her Facebook, she can go and make another one. Or post more later on. I'd like to find her and block her. I'm just not going to be able to. :/ My Facebook is mainly hidden from the public, and all of my photos I post on there. So it's not like she can find me there either.
Here's her Facebook with my stolen photos:

She is also currently taken my photos. Her profile picture I posted last week. So, I believe she must be a watcher.
ZombieQueen368 Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2013  Student Filmographer
I :heart: wolves :iconilavplz:
Lightscriber Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2013  Professional Photographer
Well said!!! This is why I stopped posting my landscape photos... I only post my animals and most people don't want them... so sorry your friends had to go thru all that misery... but I'm happy they were able to prove that they were the original artist.
Aurora9912 Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I am appalled, because I find myself needing to apologize. I have posted people's works on FB--and I always note the artist--without thinking about the fact that others will post and repost and the artist will get lost in the process.

My sincerest apologies to any artist I have harmed in this way. It was not intentional. I will promise, from this moment forward, to only share a piece I admire greatly through link. The reason I did it the other way was so the art would show in a larger format on FB. It was unthinking.
DragonWolfACe Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Woxys, I agree with everything youve said here. Everything.
Icewingmoontigress Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013  Student Artisan Crafter
This is probably the only reason that I am glad I cannot produce a great many good works. Theft. Still, I can empathize. Very sorry for any who have had their works stolen.
thepowerofagamer Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
wow.. ;_;
Ayamel Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
You're totally right. The only thing you could do aoubt that is an obvious watermark on the pic that cannot be removed without being noticed. And then people will start complaining about how the watermark ruins the picture -.-

But it's hard to prove that somebody stole an artwork (or did not) and that's the reason why there are so many stolen artworks on dA. It's just a pain in the ass to accurately report them. And once you start doing it, you'll soon stop again because the flood of stolen artwork you'll find is just crushing.
LydiaRhianne Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
:noes: I totally understand your frustration. I just found an instance of someone taking my photo without giving credit. :no: I hope you don't mind, but I posted a link to here in my journal entry about it, because you expressed the issue very well and more people need to know about all sides of this issue. :hug:
Olvium Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Totally agreed and supported! :thumbsup:
xXRubyRosesXx Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
im so sorry for you and your friends. i agree that art theft is NOT a "compliment". no one has ever stolen my art but i feel for those who have had their art stolen.
TheGreatOmegaDragon Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
i really don't get art thieves or photo thieves ...why steal why not find the pleasure in doing something yourself
I've even question things when i want to fav work, i look at the comments to see if people say art thief, i should just like a work and the owner being proud that so many are liking their 'hard' work .
its not easy drawing, or sitting in the cold trying to get the perfect shot
its a shame that someone's good work has to have watermarks all over there picture cause some idiot will steal it just trying to be popular ....
SilkenWinds Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
I need to learn how to make a watermark similar to yours, that is too hard to remove. Do you have a tutorial on that? :D
Seriously though, I get worried about art thieves. I know a lot of people like my work and I wonder what's going on that I may not know about.
I do use a disclaimer on all of my photos and put my DA name on there but I keep feeling I need a better watermark. (I refuse to use DA ones because they block the picture.)
Blood-Rose-from-Hell Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013
I am so very sorry for what has happened to you, amrodel, and Allerlei.

I have had some of the same issues, only mine were with poetry. Stupidly, the person who had tried to claim my poetry had submitted it to the same contest that I had, but I still had to spend 4 hours trying to prove that I'd wrote it, which had proven incredibly difficult.

It's people who steal art and claim it that make me want to spew angry fireballs from my eyes >3<
God-like-thing Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013  Hobbyist Filmographer
Woxy should have written her thesis on Art thievery
woxys Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013
if only I could...
Canis-Lupess Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013
All I can say is that some people (Thieves) really need to get a grip. I mean to go to the lengths that woman did with your friends works and get them into bother over their own creations signals a mentally unhinged person to me. These people need locking away because it makes you wonder what else they are capable of.
larewenevenstar Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
great explanation. I know how hard you work to stop art thieves, and where i can help i do. but this time you pointed out things that i hadn't thought of, like when it comes to contests. i know there was a girl on dA who discovered that someone had taken a poem and drawing of hers, entered it into a contest run by a publisher. she won, and the girl who stole the work was given full credit. the original writer and artist complained to the publishers about it, but they made sure it was as difficult as possible for her to contact them, just so they didnt have to deal with this situation. that is something i think is particularly wrong and should not be allowed to go on.
Lunchi Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013
Not to speak of those people who post stolen photos AND offer them for sell! They dare to make money with art that is not their own. I think that is the top of infamy.
Allerlei Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
And more sad is that in this case even didn't help me my link on the picture. She was so stupid, she ignored that my link is everywhere. So in final, when she admitted Amrodel is original author (which I tried to prove all the time), she said "well, you're original author so I'll delete everything, but the rest of the photos are downloaded from the internet!" so everything started again and I had to prove my photo is really mine... :XD:
woxys Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013
Allerlei Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Jo :XD: Haha, ještě nemít Radka, tak bych si toho, že mě osočila, ani nevšimla :XD: nevím proč mi to tam nevyskočilo, zatímco u Amri jo...
PlanningPlantNerd Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
well said!!!!!!!!
jennystokes Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013  Professional General Artist
This is so awful BUT I really do not understand how these pics get stolen.
Sometime ago I made a Journal entry about how to insure against thieves..............not many people took my advice. I still see pics able to be downloaded full-size!
So again:
When 'uploading' a pic. to d/a there is a box under the photo :no download of large image (You have to wait for the image to be done before you see a tick in the box.........untick it.)
ALWAYS put the d/a logo on.
Everything changed on d/a when they decided to allow larger format............I spent to weeks going through all my pics. making them un-downloadable.
It's worth it.
This art thievery has got worse since this time.
amrodel Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013
Krásně napsané a děkuji za podporu :hug:
michaelaforbus Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013  Student Photographer
Hey Woxys, could you let the owner of the first snarling wolf owner know that their photo is being used here ([link]) without their permission/credit? I'm not sure who the original artist is or else I would contact them. :/
Fawkes-Winchester Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
I want a camera so I can take animal pics like you <3
NeeroSaga Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013  Student Photographer
I know exaktly what you mean.
I have had the same problems.
Scilent-Toaster Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013  Student Photographer
Thats a bunch of bull poopie that people do that. It makes you rethink about liking random pictures on facebook that have no information whatsoever about who the author might be.
sparkleburst Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
there are some unbelievable out there who dont respect the original artist and it is really horrible how the people will think YOU stole it, when it was yours but it just became so commonly known!
Rainwolfy Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I now fully understand too. It's the same with pixels isn't it? They just get reposted all over the place and now nobody knows who made them.

butterk Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013
your explanation made sense now i know the point of watermarks i always click no but now i will use them, but my question is if you post on here doesn't that make it public property? because this is a public sight , i don't know what happens to my work after i put it on here, and i drew some pictures from images
i found on the internet, is that stealing? because i can't draw an animal without a picture to look at . thanks
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January 6, 2013


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