Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login

How to deal with Art Thieves

Journal Entry: Thu Jan 17, 2013, 12:32 PM
I'll update this journal with more information if people make suggestions, or if I find any more on my own.

Hello, I've been browsing on this site for over a year now and I've seen my fair share of art thievery, and how different artists react to their work being copied or stolen. While I'm no expert on these matters, I have decided to write a little journal here of the ways I think you should deal with art thieves.

These are my opinions and I'm not here to criticize anyone for how they deal with it. Everyone is different and they take things differently, it's human nature.

There is a difference between copied, and stolen art. Copied art is when someone takes an art piece/character/concept you created and does just that, traces it/copies it. Stolen work is when someone takes your art and reposts it as their own art, sometimes the thief even removes the signature of the original artist. Now, there are reasons to suspect someone is copying you, but there are none for someone stealing it, an artist can identify their work anywhere, if you didn't upload an artwork you created, it's been stolen. Copied artwork may be a little trickier to identify, because the thief may change certain aspects of it, for example, a thief can spot a character you created, and they'll copy the character, but not the artwork the character was featured in, or the pose the character had.

--

How to deal with stolen art:

-Note the offender and politely ask to take the artwork down, some people treat Deviantart like Photobucket and may not know any better, so there is no reason to get too upset, sometimes the person just didn't realize what they did. If they agree, then no harm done, the artwork is removed and you can move on with your life.

-If the offender refuses, or doesn't answer at all; just report the artwork and move on. There is no reason to make a scene out of it, Art Theft is something that requires maturity to deal with. So just report and move on.

--

How to deal with copied art

-If you suspect someone is copying you, make sure you have credible proof, a similar color palette does not an art thief make. If you feel someone has copied your character, it's no use to get angry or paranoid about it, stay calm and think rationally. Compare your character/artwork to the offender's art, and remember, a couple of similarities mean nothing, there is still the possibility of it just being a coincidence. You must approach this objectively, not subjectively, if you expect art theft, you'll find it, even if it isn't art theft.

-If too many red flags are raised from your comparison; calmly note the artist about the artwork in question, ask whatever questions you feel are appropriate to discern whether the artist copied or not.

-Do not accuse the offender of art theft, no one likes being accused of art theft, and they may be offended and not talk to you anymore. Try to ask them about similarities calmly, but don't accuse them outright.

-If you truly feel the artist copied your work, ask them to credit you (if they haven't already). If you are credited in a traced artwork, there is no problem. Tracing is often used as a way to practice drawing, if a person uploads a traced artwork, than it should be credited to the original artist. This also applies to a copied character, even if the artwork isn't traced.

-These are best-case scenarios, if the offender refuses, or doesn't reply at all; then simply report the artwork and move on. There is no need to expose the thief or harass them in any way, it serves no purpose and worse, it may give the offender the opportunity to report YOU for harassment.

-One last thing, remember to check the upload date of the artwork! When the artwork was uploaded can tell you a lot, if the artwork was uploaded before you even created the character, than it was just a coincidence.


--

These are my opinions on what a person SHOULD do when confronted with art theft, but please keep somethings in mind:

-You can't copyright colors, a similar color palette does not equal theft.

-You can't copyright poses, the human (and animal bodies) can only twist and turn so much. Some poses are GUARANTEED to be similar. Unless you are SURE the artwork is traced, it's not theft.

-You do not need to credit for using a reference. References are used by everyone in the art world, its a great way to learn. However, there is a difference between referencing and tracing.

-Exposing an art thief through journals or art serves no purpose except to cause drama. Art Theft is something that requires maturity and a calm mind to deal with. Getting angry and staging your own personal war against a thief will cause unnecessary drama.

-You must approach this OBJECTIVELY
 -Objective: Not influenced by personal feelings or opinions in considering and representing facts.

-Avoid being SUBJECTIVE
 -Subjective: Based on or influenced by personal feelings, tastes, or opinions.

--

How can I protect myself?
There is no full proof way to protect yourself, thieves can be crafty. While there is no way to protect yourself from copied art, you can protect yourself from stolen art, and it's really quite simple: SIGN YOUR ART! It's that easy, an alternative would be to add a watermark to your art, that way you know it's yours, and Deviantart even has a neat feature that adds a watermark for you.

--

Too Long? Didn't read?
Stay calm, consider the facts.
If you find art theft, ask nicely, if it doesn't work, report, and move on.
Avoid being driven by emotion, everyone has a right to get angry, but you must deal with these situations rationally.

That's it pretty much, feel free to comment with your own opinions, or if you have any suggestions, I'll be glad to add them (and credit too)

Have a nice day :)

This Journal Skin was designed by Night-Beast
Add a Comment:
 
:iconf4814n:
F4814N Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2013
Happens to me several times. I'd never complain. I just let my fellow friends do the bidding for me. XD
Reply
:iconthetweedletwins:
TheTweedleTwins Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
Well Said! :iconbravoplz: I have thankfully never had to experience art theft or copying (at least not to my knowledge), but if i ever do, I will keep this advice in mind.
Reply
:iconrt-001:
Rt-001 Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2013  Student Digital Artist
I'm glad you found it useful, thank you :)
Reply
:iconthetweedletwins:
TheTweedleTwins Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
You're welcome! :D
Reply
:iconfreakkatt:
FREAKKATT Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Journal's need Daily Deviations.
Reply
:iconrt-001:
Rt-001 Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Ha, thank you for that thought :'D
Reply
:iconlucain24:
Lucain24 Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Genius... I would give you a high-five but I hit the screen instead.
Reply
:iconhell-raiser13:
Hell-Raiser13 Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Read the whole thing and I have learned while reading o3o Way to go.
Reply
:iconcocofoxstudios:
CocoFoxStudios Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
tl;dr :D *flails*
Reply
:iconrt-001:
Rt-001 Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2013  Student Digital Artist
I recommend you read, you could learn a thing or two.
Reply
:iconcocofoxstudios:
CocoFoxStudios Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
i can't learn anything from you
Reply
:iconrt-001:
Rt-001 Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2013  Student Digital Artist
likewise :D
Reply
:iconcocofoxstudios:
CocoFoxStudios Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
now you know that's bullshit, you copy aswell XD
Reply
:iconravenheaven:
Ravenheaven Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2013
What he copy?
Reply
:iconrt-001:
Rt-001 Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2013  Student Digital Artist
I don't know what he means, but he just said he copies because I obviously learned it from him :icongeniusmemeplz:
Reply
:iconravenheaven:
Ravenheaven Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2013
I know that this artist driver and pointing at everyone and say that they copy, but I know that's not true. In the world of art to drawings and figures always be comparable, and there is no point to point people. He should read this diary and learned how to behave.
Sorry for bad English. I use google translate.
Reply
:iconaki-rain:
Aki-rain Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
There are so many times when I've seen art theft dealt with in such an immature way... This very well outlines what comes through my head whenever I see a situation like that. If you can be mature about art theft, then it might be easier to hold your stance and seem less like you're attacking someone.
Reply
:iconrt-001:
Rt-001 Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Exactly! Thats what I'm saying, you should see the things I've seen, the immaturity of some people is astounding
Reply
:iconankou-magpie:
Ankou-MagPie Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I agree with this, totally. Especially the whole 'reference/poses aren't copyrightable'.
Someone, can't remember who, posted an interesting...I don't know if its a expose exactly or what, about art theft. A Deviartist was claiming their fanart was being copied, an image they'd drawn of their character in the 'Slenderman' game. The person presenting the anti-argument to it, went and collected examples of similar fan arts of the game, displaying practically the same picture over and over. Dozens of artists drawing the same thing, but with no connection to each other besides the game. They didn't all copy this fan-artist, they just played a game and were inspired, and accidentally were all drawing virtually the same thing.
Be reasonable before crying wolf, art is a thing that has been done for hundreds-thousands-of years. Original stuff is hard, not every elven blue person is a Navi and not every picture of a tiger leaping is copying that one you did, that one time. Or whatever. Sorry for rambling.
Reply
:iconxxdialinnxx:
XxDiaLinnxX Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2013
That incident involved me and my picture [link]. RT posted a journal about it on his page in defense for me. It was resolved after a few hours, and let me tell you I hope to never have to run into that sort of problem again :'D
Reply
:iconrt-001:
Rt-001 Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2013  Student Digital Artist
thanks for your point of view, and I agree with it completely, artwork can be similar, but that doesn't make it a copy

and my friend :iconrebivaleska: drew slender fan art and was accused for stealing art, I'm pretty sure thats what you're talking about : p
Reply
:iconankou-magpie:
Ankou-MagPie Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
That probably is the incedent I was talking about. It really is the best example of be cautious over who you accuse. Remember what they say about assuming :)
Reply
:iconbluewaterrose:
BlueWaterRose Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I ran into a few so thanks :3
Reply
:icongiggertiger:
giggertiger Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2013  Student General Artist
Thank you this will help me if this ever happens to me
Reply
:iconrussianky:
Russianky Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2013
I don't mean to sound like an old timer here, but I've been around enough to see many artist rant on about this subject matter. I must say RT your rant, vent or what ever you wish to call it, was very well put together and clear to understand. I don't know if this means anything to you, just thought you could use a compliment since you seem to be suffering pretty harshly lately, and as i side note, it's good to hear form you again, even in a rant such as this. Hope things turn around for the better for you soon comrade.
Reply
:iconrt-001:
Rt-001 Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Haha, thank you, it's not really a rant or a vent, it was my goal to educate people who read this, these are my opinions I'm presenting. If anyone learns something by reading this, than I've accomplished what I was aiming for :)
Reply
:iconrussianky:
Russianky Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2013
I see, well it went according to plan it seems.
Reply
:iconkristopheb96:
KristopheB96 Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
Is thisover you know who complaining a certain someone stole his work??
Reply
:iconrt-001:
Rt-001 Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2013  Student Digital Artist
That MAY have motivated me to write this, but names shall not be mentioned here ;3
Reply
:iconkristopheb96:
KristopheB96 Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
That's what I assumed.


And I know, that's why I censored it :meow:
Reply
:iconvixenslife:
VixensLife Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2013  Student Filmographer
You're awesome.
Reply
:iconrt-001:
Rt-001 Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Ha, likewise :iconsmile-plz:
Reply
:iconcat-fab:
cat-fab Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2013
Well said.
Reply
Add a Comment:
 
×

Featured in Collections

Devious Collection by amyshineclaw

Journals by BlueWaterRose

Commission sheets or journals by cat-fab


More from DeviantArt



Details

Submitted on
January 17, 2013
Link
Thumb

Stats

Views
712
Favourites
9 (who?)
Comments
33
×