View Full Version : Art theft

Mermaid Sirena
01-19-2012, 01:28 PM
I just thought this would be a good example of how no matter how small or unknown you or the other artist is. If you use someone else's work either directly or near the same and either claim it as your own or don't give credit. You will be caught.

This is the original image.

http://fc00.deviantart.net/fs70/f/2010/197/5/0/The_mermaid_by_satiiiva.jpg (http://satiiiva.deviantart.com/art/The-mermaid-100048559)

And this is what someone decided to do with it.

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/110807/18/4e3f37551ed7d.jpg (http://www.modelmayhem.com/1390552#24356607)

Art theft is not cool and there are many people (including myself) who will inform the original artist of the theft. Has anyone else reported stolen art or had their art stolen?

01-19-2012, 03:45 PM
There's a picture of a girl photoshopped over a picture of Hannah Mermaid somewhere.

Mermaid Sirena
01-19-2012, 04:00 PM
Really? That would be interesting to see.

01-19-2012, 04:23 PM
a LOT of people photoshop over top of Hannah Fraser it drives me nuts. My work is also stolen A LOT.

01-19-2012, 04:51 PM
That's so annoying. And so disrespectful to the artists and/or models :mad: It's sad how so many people have no sense of honor anymore...

01-19-2012, 06:48 PM
I think its possible that a lot of people don't even realize there's anything wrong with it. A lot of people simply think of all content as just floating around, and are unaware that anything they do with it might negatively affect its creator. It's kinda upsetting. People have always used existing content, but they used to be aware where it was coming from, and gave credit. That isn't how it is today.

Fun fact: did you know that while it is not legally necessary, Weird Al Yankovic gets permission from every artist he parodies?

Mermaid Sirena
01-19-2012, 07:33 PM
I'm afraid you are right that it just occur to people that what they are doing is illegal.

Bonus points to Weird Al Yankovic.

01-19-2012, 07:41 PM
Aww, man. I hate it when this happens. Similar thing happened to me D:

Mermaid Sirena
01-19-2012, 07:57 PM
Anair what advice to you have for other mers in avoiding and or dealign with art theft?

Aela I would be interested in seeing what they did with your photos, were you able to resolve the situation without to much drama?

01-19-2012, 11:18 PM
Sirena - It was actually video footage that someone had used without my permission, who then gave it to a third party agency who hosted it and also put their business name on my video. So I made a complaint to the appropriate authorities, who took the footage down. The person who then took my footage in the first place then gave my personal details to the third party agency, who harrassed me for several weeks, threatening legal action if I didn't retract my complaint. It only stopped when I read them the ToS of the hosting site and told both parties they were breaching privacy. Neither the third party agency nor the person who took my footage takes responsibility for the incident. Both have said I was the one with the problem.

Mermaid Sirena
01-19-2012, 11:56 PM
How on earth could they blame you? That is ridiculuse! I'm glad you were able to work it out though eventually.

Mermaid Jewel
01-19-2012, 11:57 PM
I brand everything I have with my copyright symbol but since I refuse to watermark the entire image, some people have the gall to crop it out. I have to place it where you really can't crop it out but people still do it and it bugs me to no end.

01-20-2012, 05:17 AM
I just don't post things online :/ That may change later, but right now this works for me.

01-22-2012, 06:38 PM
Here's another perfect example:


look familiar? oh yeah, it's this


Not sure how long the 'artist' will leave the comments so everyone can see them, but she swears she hand drew this, didnt trace or manipulate anything *rolls eyes*

01-23-2012, 07:40 AM
Maybe she's claiming to hand draw the piece from a reference picture ... definitely looks manipulated though. You can find out for sure by looking at the code encrypted in the images, if you want.

Nate Walis
01-23-2012, 07:51 AM
There's the phenomenon of crytomnesia, in which a person fails to recall memorising something and later mistakes it for an original memory or idea (a guy I know in a band would regularly play a "new" riff he'd come up with only to have another member of the group play it for him on their Ipod and suggest he'd heard it on the radio), but that's pretty obvious theft!

I'm not on the side of the art thieves, but I do think that the rapid expansion of editing software and the fact that anyone can rip off and image and post it somewhere else on the net has resulted in many incidents of this happening with no knowledge of wrong being done on the part of the person responsible.

I'd refuse to accept innocence in cases where stuff has been used commercially and the original owners have been disadvantaged and then harassed when they have acted to protect their legitimate interests, but common knowledge of copyright on the internet is woeful at best.

I learned this the hard way when I made the mistake of posting some images from a site on a forum some years ago now. At the time I had no idea I was doing something wrong, I just wanted to let other interested users know that there was a pretty great site on the internet that they should really visit. The owner of the images posted on the site with a mixture of scolding about the images and gratitude about the traffic it had generated for them. I was mortified to have committed such a faux pas, but a small part of me was amused that the owner of the images was trying to be annoyed at the act while appearing to brush it aside for the attention it got them.

That to me is the great irony of the issue, that to really be affected by it you have to be good at what you do and worth ripping off. It shouldn't happen, but at the same time it's good to know that you're hot enough of a property to attract the attention in the first place. As Oscar Wilde said: "The only thing worse than being talked about, is not being talked about."

But just for the record, art theft is naughty and wrong.

01-23-2012, 09:27 AM
I also think issues of ownership and copyright can also get very hairy, and are not always so clear cut. For example, verbal agreements between friends to use an image, when one person decides they have changed their mind but the image has already been used and published, can be VERY difficult to deal with.

In general though, I agree with all of the above. Especially in the age of Google - someone can find an image created by someone they've never met in seconds. I guess it doesn't occur to some people that that's not okay, which is really sad for the artists.

Nate Walis
01-23-2012, 09:30 AM
I think the answer has to be better education on one side and an understanding of the difference between innocent wrong-doing and malicious theft on the other.

This isn't an issue where a broadbrush approach will have a good outcome for anyone concerned.

01-23-2012, 10:44 AM
this was posted on an art website that has a LOT of info about copyright. When you upload something you have to select a little box saying it's your work! I emailed back and forth with the woman- the art site removed her work so the link no longer works. Originally she swore she drew it by hand then digitally coloured it. In the email she admitted to manipulating Hannah's photo. I think people try to play dumb sometimes...

01-23-2012, 11:23 AM
And some people just absolutely do not have a clue what personal property and personal privacy is. Theft is theft. There is no "mean-well" theft. It's stealing. Even if a third party takes it they still need permission from the original owner.

And some people are just young and very naive.

There's no use trying to tart the meaning up to suit you. Follow the rules or GTFO.

Nate Walis
01-24-2012, 05:35 AM
To quote Satan's Prime Minister, what we need is: "Education, education, education!"

02-02-2012, 11:40 PM
as to the original post... I hunt for art theft on regular basis on Deviant Art.. Ive reported many images. Its one of the worst sites at times. Thank fully I have nto had my art stolen. (knocks on wood)

Its a shame you have to worry when you post works on a site and wonder.. is someone going to steal it.

I do know that there is legistation in the works currently to protect intelletual property. this is not related to hipa or that other one.
it started a while back as a petition... Il have to look up the details.

As an artist myself i worry that it will happen eventually. Like all well know artist.. theft is part of the game unfortunetly.

02-21-2012, 12:56 AM
I had a rather nasty shock today in my local paper where my picture and REAL NAME were printed without my knowledge or permission. I only found out when a friend told me and I must say I am rather disgusted. Not only is my human name listed publicly for all the mer-stalkers to see but I wasn't even INFORMED about this going to press. I'm rather disappointed that my picture was used after the other mermaid who is in the picture was so upset by breach of privacy late last year. Jeez, so much for MY privacy. I've lodged a formal complaint with the paper which I hope will be followed up on. So much for mermaid on mermaid communication or consideration.

02-21-2012, 03:21 AM
It came as a shock to you and me both, Aradia, as I had not even mentioned yourself, Volitania or Nerissa in the interview. I did not expect, nor could I have anticipated that the journalist would scour the internet to search for extra photos and information from the Leader Newspaper. Thus it came as a surprise to me to find such irrelevant information contained within the article that was supposed to be about myself only. If the journalist had asked me for permission to use your name, or Volitania or Nerissas' names, I would have refused to give it out.

I am sorry that you have been so hurt during this, as it was not my intention to cause you such distress, nor to tarnish your reputation. I hope you endeavour to seek reconciliation with the newspaper and get a reason as to why it was included when it clearly shouldn't have been.

02-21-2012, 03:45 AM
I have not seen it before but I know it happens

However I believe it is okay to take someone else's art change it but clearly stare it isn't theirs provide links to the original image extra extra just my opinion but to just steal it and say it is yours really annoys me

02-21-2012, 11:08 PM
Actually, whether you give credit or not, it's illegal to alter someone's original image unless you purchase the rights to the image first. When I first started doing digital artwork years ago I would practice by pulling photos off the internet and making people into mermaids, fairies, naga, etc. but when I started thinking about actually sharing my work I learned that I had to either find someone I could buy the images from or take the pictures myself.

02-22-2012, 12:20 AM
Or, on deviantart, you can ask for the rights to the image from the person who posted them. There are several stock photo people on DA who will let you use their images as long as you ask them and give credit in your description.

02-26-2012, 02:11 PM
I am new to this forum, and being a professional photographer, unfortunately I know all too well about copyright infringement. I have had my photos stolen off blogs, FB, my website, ect. I have found them used as profiles, on business websites of a company 'claiming' to sell a product they don't even make. I even had someone using my photo once as a profile picture. I have dancers edit my photos, blow them up bigger, and use them without permission. People like to draw inspiration through photos, costuming, and your creative works all the time, and unfortunately it happens. All you can do is call them out on it. In order to protect your photos online, the best way is to watermark the images. Do so in a way, that makes it difficult for someone to edit it in Photoshop. For instance put the watermark near the face, lower the opacity, so that it doesn't distract, but enough to be seen. This won't help with creative theft, but will help when people use your photos without permission. Also disable right-click if possible.

02-27-2012, 06:09 PM
i found a similar photo of hannah fraser's tail and i told her to take it downor give credit. 1868
i cant find the original anywhere tho i remeber it. =/

02-27-2012, 06:52 PM
a LOT of people photoshop Hannah's tails. I decided to just offer 1 high resolution stock image and watermark everything else. I think if I have one image at least people wont go stealing my stuff when they can actually use one shot for free and legally. Hopefully that deters people.

Mermaid Sirena
02-28-2012, 02:38 PM
Doubt it, though it's a good idea :)

shimmygoddess that's a good idea for where/how to place the water mark.

03-04-2012, 01:54 PM
I agree that change must start with awareness. Before we can expect people to respect people who rely on their content for a livelihood or choose not to alter a watermark, people must realize that the internet does not simply generate fan art of mario on its own. Agrigators promote this misconception.

Even though I don't produce content, I add a corner watermark to all my photos on Facebook. I don't expect anyone to steal pictures of my vacation, and they can crop it out if they like, but I consider it an act to fight ignorance. People need to become accustomed to the idea that everything they see online is attached to a creator, whether they know it or not.

03-04-2012, 01:56 PM
Also, some funny side notes:

Check out www.clientsfromhell.net . Its a sadly humorous blog of anonymous stories and quotes of creative professionals being disrespected.

See this story about how the author of SOPA, Lamar Smith, had an unlicenced photo as the background of his website: http://www.vice.com/read/lamar-smith-sopa-copyright-whoops

03-05-2012, 01:28 AM
I agree, art theft is a terrible thing, but what about idea theft. I mention this because of a recent thing I have seen, now a while ago a friend of mine had a idea for how to craft a design and mentioned to some one who did work in that way. This person said the idea was silly and dumb (Not a direct quote mind you) and refused to even try the idea out. Since then is no longer talking to my friend, for other reasons. Well the idea has since then been used by a few people who either my friend told and they liked it or came up with a with a similar version on their own, low and behold the first person told is now doing the same design. Of course they have failed to mention why they started using the design in any way.

Mermaid Sirena
03-05-2012, 05:49 PM
Unfortunately that's the way the world works. I know in real life I have been working on a couple business idea's I wish to launch at some point in the future however apart from three select people who I'm working with to launch one no one even knows I'm planning it and no one knows the other which I feel is rather revolutionary though I wont be able to launch it for several years.

03-08-2012, 01:32 AM
Idea theft is definitely more tricky, though. Its more fluid. With ideas, its hard to say how similar to ideas are. With drawings, or text, you can hold the two up and say, "these are the same".

03-08-2012, 12:52 PM
I have had this too, especially with costume design. I had to remove all my photos off my blog in fear someone would copy my idea and finish theirs first. LOL. People are always going to claim they were inspired by something, and know matter how hard you try to make the public aware regarding copyright, the battle never ends. We discuss/rant about this in depth on all my photography forums daily. I used to have my watermark at the bottom or top, but now I plaster it across. I just don't care. Someone will steal it and at least my logo will be near my face and people can see who took that photo. I had a situation several weeks ago where a photo was used without permission and for fun, I created this. This was my profile pic on FB for days. I told people all my photos would now have this. LOL


Mermaid Miel
03-09-2012, 07:50 AM