Hi everyone! How are you all doing? It's been awhile since I updated my journal and there is a particular issue I want to discuss...
Art theft. It seems lately, I've noticed, that it's getting worse and worse. Or at least for me anyway... So I wanted to dig deep into the meaning of art theft and explain in detail what it means to us artists trying to make a living, or for any under-appreciated artist.
What is Art Theft?
This is my personal answer to this question. Art theft is the action of a person(s), in which they deliberately copy, reproduce, edit, publish, transmit, upload, etc, in any way, without artist written consent (written consent is far more legit than spoken words, as written can be a binding contract, which can be later used as evidence). Art theft is the action of right-clicking & saving, uploading (without permission). It can also be art theft when deliberately copied, such as painting the exact photograph (if said photograph is NOT a stock photo), and used without permission.
This leads me to my next point.
Does 'Crediting' mean I can use what ever I want on deviantART? (Or external websites).NO.
From FAQ #306: Does "Crediting" let me use whatever I want?
states- You must obtain written permission from the proper and legal owner of any work which you wish to use, credit alone does not replace this requirement.
Official written permission or license is required whenever you wish to use artwork or photographs created by someone else; it is also required if you wish to use screenshots, official artwork from a video game, scans from an art book, or any other source material which is considered the legal property of another person. Permission is still required even if you have planned to manipulate, color over, blend the original with other images, or otherwise digitally work over the original work.
Explicit permission is not required when you choose to use valid stock resources. Please check your sources carefully to ensure that they are valid stock.
There seems to be some confusion in what constitutes as 'correct crediting'. Not only do YOU as an artist, need to credit your work, so does everyone else who publishes art (WITH consent).
This is how I credit ALL my art:© Sarah Jane Photography
Hold alt, press 0169 to create the copyright symbol.
Outside person(s) must correctly credit artist's work:
If it is an image that you have uploaded onto a blog/tumblr etc-
ORIGINAL IMAGE NAME by ARTIST REAL NAME/USERNAME found here (link to image)
Eg: "Sweet Delights" by `Whimsical-Dreams
(Sarah Jane Photography) found here [link]
This is where I need to stress that you MUST upload the original image link, do not be lazy! If we (artists) have taken the time to create art, the least you can do is give credit where credit is due. Properly crediting means you respect the artist, the original image, and therefore showing compassion for all artists who put so much time and effort into their work.
My next point is that the internet is NOT a free place for everyone to click, save, and upload JUST because images are at their disposal. It really disgusts me that some people think the internet is just there for them to steal work, and give no other thought to the poor artist. I have very very little tolerance for those who steal art. I'm a patience and gentle person , but when I find that my work has been stolen, or even others, I muster all my energy to ensure the person(s) take down my work. My message to every artist out there, is that we MUST support each other when art theft occurs. If it can happen to one person, it can happen to you too.
A wonderful example of artist support - On Facebook I began to 'Like' spiritual groups to search for quotes about Buddhism. I stumbled onto a group called 'Love and Compassion'. To my horror, I saw that this group, which claimed to uphold morals and values such as compassion, were using my photograph 'Not Forgotten' ([link]
as their Display Picture on their Profile. Upset, I left a comment on the display photo, patiently asking them to take down my photo as I was the authentic artist and they had no consent from me what-so-ever. The founder of the group had the nerve to respond with "Your photo is circulating all over facebook.. Everyone else has this photo as their profile picture". Just because one idiot uploads it, doesn't mean that others should follow the same disgusting behavior. I asked this person to credit me, and instead he claimed it was HIS photo. What!?
I immediately explained the situation on my personal Facebook page, where to my delight, lots of people supported me and left messages on the group to take it down. Thank you to all those lovely people who backed me up and finally got him to take it down! It shows me that with determination and support, artists are very capable of doing something about art theft.
Now another situation that has been bothering me, I received a message on my image of MYSELF here -
The person who asked me had ALREADY uploaded my photograph onto Facebook as their group display picture, and THEN asked me for permission. That is NOT how it works!! You ASK for permission first and THEN if the original artist agrees (and states that they expect crediting, and link given), only then you may upload the said image. It is incredibly rude to upload first and then ask. I don't mean to name and shame here, just providing an example of the types of behaviors I see all the time.
One last point- a classic example of extreme art theft-
My original image -
If anyone knows how to read their language or get the image removed, I would be forever grateful to you
tl;dr? HAVE RESPECT FOR ARTISTS, GIVE PROPER CREDIT!
If we work together, with a little patience and compassion for all artists, the problem of art theft would reduce massively.
Thank you everyone for taking the time to read
Hope you're all well and happy!