Shop Forum More Submit  Join Login

The Art Theft Discussion

Tue Jul 7, 2015, 3:39 PM
Art-Theft-Cover by ProtectArt

The DeviantArt community has always been deeply concerned about art theft.

We are committed to providing a completely open conversation on this topic. With your active and constructive participation we can become a leading voice on how we adapt to the challenges of being artists on the Web.

This Journal frames the continuing conversation and concern about art theft in general on the Internet and on DeviantArt. Each section links to a more specific and expanded treatment of the topic with additional links to useful materials and readings. Your comments to this Journal will be reviewed by experts and comment threads of general interest will be linked into the expanded topic sections.

Something to keep in mind at the outset: we are all guided by a code of decency, honesty and the expression of mutual respect. So, try to be tolerant and understanding even when reviewing these materials. Ethical behavior is a reward and a duty larger than laws and rules. Sometimes people interpret right and wrong differently even when both people have the exact same good and ethical intentions. Keep in mind that everything anyone does will be right if it’s also decent and honest even if some rule of law or contract was technically broken.

Artist Creditkozispoon

Art theft is stealing a painting from a wall.

  • Sometimes the term “theft” is accurate and it always attracts attention.

  • The word “theft” can be used casually, sometimes to describe copying any part of an artwork. The term “theft” also defines actual criminal conduct and is associated to a harsh moral judgment that may go too far.

  • Stealing an object is theft. Using artwork without permission is frequently called “theft” or “stealing.” But it might, instead, be copyright infringement or the violation of a contract that just feels like a theft.


  • More About Stealing

Artist Creditkozispoon

Not all copying is wrong.

  • Everything comes from somewhere. To some degree all people copy what other people do starting with talking, walking and eating. And, the same is true in writing, art and music. There is a limit to the originality of any artwork in any medium.

  • Basic standards of decent, respectful and honest behavior — and the law — will prevent copying when it will harm another person economically.

  • Copying can be permitted because it’s an accepted practice or sometimes because the laws directly permit it.  As an example, there is a rich history of using tracing for learning and some artists want their work to be copied.

  • Protection from copying is also time-based. Copying very old things is a way to preserve them and keep them relevant in the culture.

  • Entire fields of recognized fine art such as collage and “appropriation art” (like Andy Warhol) depend on copying and the law is favoring this development.

  • More About Taking

Artist Creditkozispoon

Copyright laws are powerful tools that protect art and artists and can prevent the misuse of artworks.

  • Copyright gives the author the exclusive right to copy, distribute, alter or base other works on his or her original work.  These rights are very broad.

  • Those who violate the rights are called “infringers” and can be made to pay money damages or can be made to stop their behavior.

  • Copyright laws also create a balance between the needs of artists to protect their work and the needs of the culture to express itself by protecting people who want to use copyrighted works for specific reasons such as criticism, comment, political speech and sometimes it protects the actual use of artwork in another artwork.

  • Copyright only protects the way an idea is expressed. It does not protect the idea. Anyone can use an idea, even if it’s original. Patent law or trade secret law could protect an idea, but these laws have strict requirements. They mostly apply to making useful things, and almost all artworks don’t qualify.

  • Every country has similar copyright laws but with many technical variations and differences. It can get complicated.

  • More About Copyright

Artist Creditkozispoon

Stock, even free stock, comes with a license. The license is a real contract.

  • On or off DeviantArt, the word “stock” means the artist or company intends other people to use a photograph or another form of artwork — and it always means that there are conditions to using it.

  • The conditions for stock use could be very open, such as “use it anyway you want, at anytime, for anything” or they could be very restricted specifying size, uses, changes, payment, credit or all of these.

  • Every time someone gives you permission to use a work it’s a contract and you need to be as clear as possible about how far that permission goes.

  • If you use stock and violate a condition, then you are breaking a contract and maybe also engaging in copyright infringement.

  • More About Permission

Artist Creditkozispoon

Fan art as love is different than fan art for sale.

  • Fan art usually takes characters, situations and sometimes directly copies artwork from all kinds of media including films, television, comics, books, or games. Typically, the original version is protected by copyright laws.

  • Most major media companies that control the properties most fan art celebrate are OK with fan art made not for profit. But, the companies will rarely admit this because it would compromise their need to protect the properties when they have to. This “fan art understanding” is entirely within the control of the owner of the property and they can withdraw it when they like.

  • When fan art is sold in multiple copies it tends to become a problem for these companies, which is a problem for artists as well. It can be a violation of both copyright law and trademark law.

  • Fan artists recognize that there are also ethical issues in reproducing and selling fan art.  It is considered different than selling an original drawing or painting that is fan based.

  • It is a good practice to label fan art if there is any risk that someone would confuse it as official, licensed art. It is never OK to label fan art as coming from the original owner or creator.

  • More About Fan Art

Artist Creditkozispoon

“Moral Rights” protect artists from others harming their artwork and protects artists from people taking false credit.

  • The right of “integrity” protects against harmful damage to artworks and permits the artist to step in to protect his or her art even after a work has been sold or licensed.

  • The right of “attribution” defends artists against people taking false credit for the artist’s work and against people who claim something was made by a particular artist when it wasn’t.

  • Not every country has these laws or they have very weak ones. The U.S. has very weak protections but they do apply to artworks published in limited editions of 200 copies or less. France and Germany have the strongest protections.

  • There should be an obvious ethical obligation not to claim false credit and not to damage another person’s artwork.

  • More About Moral Rights

Artist Creditkozispoon

Ways to protect your art on the Internet.

  • Putting your own work on the Internet is not giving it away. A blog or a website is a display or a distribution of your work. But, it isn’t a statement that other people can use the work or copy it.

  • A website or blog’s terms and conditions are a contract that defines what the site and what people who visit the site can do with your work — read it and decide.

  • Automatic copyright protection is available to all new works of art and in most countries you do not have to place a copyright notice on the artwork.

  • Placing lower resolution files for display on the Internet is an excellent technique to prevent many commercial uses of artwork.

  • Sites like DeviantArt offer watermark options on submission.

  • Post with a clear notice saying what people can or cannot do with your work to remind your viewers that they have only limited rights.

  • More About Protection

Artist Creditkozispoon

Resolve disputes with a conversation, if you can.

  • Misunderstandings about using artworks and taking credit for things that may go too far are very common. Use the messaging system or comments to give people the chance to do the right thing after they find out what the right thing should be.

  • If messaging and conversation doesn’t work, consider using a website reporting function, contacting the administrators, filing a formal copyright takedown request or contacting a lawyer for assistance.

  • More About Resolving Disputes





Design: marioluevanos
Illustration: kozispoon
Writers: Joshua Wattles, Rom Bar-Nissim
Add a Comment:
 
:iconrose3212:
Rose3212 Featured By Owner Edited 4 days ago  Hobbyist Digital Artist
The user :icongokarnut57: stole from :icon707fangirl:
I dug up the link!
Tammy's fake son this is a clear theft of the one by 707fangirl here Cyoot Dragon baby
Reply
:iconarkriythe4th:
arkriythe4th Featured By Owner 4 days ago  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
First off, screenshots, especially that of a game of a franchise that 707Fangirl DOES NOT OWN are fair game. Hell, screenshots are not allowed on DeviantART so why bother defending that point. If people can own screenshots then 707Fangirl would be banned because of Nintendo by now.

An they're edited thus they're fair game as they can be labeled under parody, satire, or original artwork because they add something new too except for the Tammy's fake son one. That one is actually theft.

And don't block me because it will show that you're a bigot.
Reply
:iconrose3212:
Rose3212 Featured By Owner 4 days ago  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You'll be glad to know I didn't block you and posted a rant about her, I am not her personal white knight!
Reply
:iconarkriythe4th:
arkriythe4th Featured By Owner 4 days ago  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Well, if you say so, ma'am. Nice to meet you anyway.
Reply
:iconrose3212:
Rose3212 Featured By Owner 4 days ago  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Nice to meet you, too...She needs to grow up...I might unwatch her if this continues.
Reply
:iconflooffbutt:
FlooffButt Featured By Owner Edited 5 days ago
This girl TiffanyHTF is tracing LiLLi-ViLLa 's work, pretending her art is her own work

Original art:
Maid holidays Virginie by LiLLi-ViLLa

Stolen piece:
tiffany by TiffanyHTF
Reply
:iconfluffi-dot:
fluffi-dot Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
So there is a girl on instagram who is redrawing/tracing some artwork. She is not giving credit; however she is also not saying that the idea is hers. So she is basically creating a loophole. I do not however want to start drama with her so I decided to keep quiet, however she's been doing it quite frequently and even started an art account on instagram. So what would someone do in that situation? Do I just leave her until she gets caught by someone else?
Reply
:iconpeteman12:
Peteman12 Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This looks like it was traced:

Mature Content

are you crying ?? by zouirech00

Original
Are you crying? by StressedJenny
If there was attribution I might not be so quick to judge.
Reply
:iconma-ze-ru:
Ma-ze-ru Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2017
I PLAY MINECRAFT by apicalspook  stolen off  theyre gay poly by POLYCHAETE

That feeling when you come back to DA after ages of inactivity just to keep stumbling upon that kind of stuff without even having to spare a moment to look, seriously....
Reply
:iconcreepeekiwi:
CreepeeKiwi Featured By Owner 4 days ago  New Deviant Student General Artist
Ugh, I saw that one too. The worst part is she blames the original artists for stealing HER art.
Reply
:iconma-ze-ru:
Ma-ze-ru Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2017
The user jueg has been posting nothing but stolen art from other artists. It's obvious at glance and seems like at least majority of them in not on DA and rather based on Pixiv, making requesting them to personally report to DA an issue.

Below including some of the quickly dug-up posts:
Pregnant Pokemon Trainer 2 is a repost of www.pixiv.net/member_illust.ph…
Pregnant bikini belly 10 is a rough edit of the stomach and breasts with no credit to the original post from here: www.pixiv.net/member_illust.ph…
Pregnant beuatiful 13 is a repost of www.pixiv.net/member_illust.ph…
Pregnant bikini bellies 4 is a repost of www.pixiv.net/member_illust.ph… which seems to not be available for viewing anymore (common occurrence in reaction to works being stolen from Japanese artists, sadly) but can still be found on Pixiv rankings pixivrank.net/ht/tag6766/p1.ht…
Pregnant Morrigan 3 is a repost of one of the pages of this bundle www.pixiv.net/member_illust.ph…, an alternate account where the artist uploads some of their works in more 'questionable' versions, the picture being their remake of www.pixiv.net/member_illust.ph…
Pregnant maid 3 is a CG taken directly from this game www.bishop.gr.jp/products/ykt/

The list could go on and on. The only things I could not find sources of and hence might be the poster's original content are the 3D renders. Everything else is 100% stolen from other aritsts outside of DA.

Please take appropriate action. If things like that persist, the use of DA as an image repository rather than a site for people who create to share their works will just keep getting worse. 
Reply
:iconcreepeekiwi:
CreepeeKiwi Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2017  New Deviant Student General Artist
dragon furry by titangirl321 Here's some stolen art I found a few days ago. Original ---> Ru-bra by phation  I've reported it and hope things will blow over soon.
Reply
:iconshadowzamai:
ShadowZamai Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2017
With brave wings she flies by empirejeanexe this is stolen, the original is here: Angel  by ryky
Reply
:iconlorieninksong:
LorienInksong Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2017  Professional General Artist
Hey.  Before clubs started I gave a deviant permission to upload a few of my works to a club account.  Now that clubs are around I would like them taken down, but the deviant is inactive and I don't want to file a DMCA against them.

Here are the URLs:
'Blue Night' by Lorien077
'Twilight WIP'-Lorien077
'Arachne' by Lorien077
'Cutie Raine' by Lorien077

Again no wrong-doing, but I have since changed my stance (because of rampart theft issues) on reposting and need these removed.
Reply
:iconprotectart:
ProtectArt Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2017
This would be a help desk ticket on DeviantArt.  But its not likely to work because DA respects the account holder even if they aren't around anymore and that account holder's control over their own account.  A takedown request would work if you feel you are withdrawing your permission.
Reply
:iconlorieninksong:
LorienInksong Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2017  Professional General Artist
How do I do a take-down request?  Or is that the same as the DMCA take-down thing?  Sorry, its an odd situation and I'm a little confused about how to proceed.
Reply
:iconprotectart:
ProtectArt Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2017
Same thing as DMCA. help.deviantart.com/dmca
Reply
:iconaq1746950:
aq1746950 Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2017
Happy Birthday! PlagueAliki
This guy is copy my work...

Original:Couple
Reply
:iconrose3212:
Rose3212 Featured By Owner Edited Nov 19, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
To top it off, a lot of people here(not naming names), steal other people's work, my friends have posted journals about it on their pages.
Another website has been stealing people's OCs, too.
Reply
:iconsoloflyte:
soloflyte Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2017  New Deviant
Sometimes  the problem may trying to get hold of the artist in the first place. If the artist is busy to check his messages, then the requester is ─║eft in the lurch. An upfront policy statement on copyright position in the artist's page would be better. That way, any person would know what the position of the artist with respect to the work. And move on, if he is not allowed.
Reply
:iconflamefeathertail:
flamefeathertail Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Found a TLK tracer who doesn't give credit or whatsoever.. copying, whatever. Is it good or bad?
Reply
:iconnic3r:
NIC3R Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2017  New Deviant
What if someones using copyright images and altering them in photoshop and posting them up as realistic paintings? Not my copyright work and these are companies that are not going to waste their time coming here and filing a copyright report. I find it very offensive as a real artist that people are creating fake work and passing it off as paintings.
Reply
:iconprotectart:
ProtectArt Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2017
You should make those views known when you come across it with a respectful comment to the artist that is posting those kinds of works.
Reply
:iconscovt:
scovt Featured By Owner Edited Nov 5, 2017   Digital Artist
HawaiianShakespear stealing limeSmoothie's fursona trying to resell it :3
Birch otter FURSONA ADOPT by HawaiianShakespear > Birch ref sheet by limeSmoothie
cut off their signature at the bottom too


why are we now not allowed to report people who do this? esp if the creator isnt on at the time of stealing and they hide and delete their account before action can be taken against them?
Reply
:iconlimesmoothie:
limeSmoothie Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2017  Student Digital Artist
thanks so much for posting about this, yo. i wasn't online to help, but i super appreciate you guys spreading the word around so quickly!! ;v;
Reply
:iconscovt:
scovt Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2017   Digital Artist
no worries ;v;
Reply
:iconsolarpaintdragon:
SolarPaintDragon Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2017  Student Digital Artist
okay literally
now sing

this person just posted a disney screenshot. How is this allowed???
Reply
:iconhovel:
Hovel Featured By Owner Edited Nov 2, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
AJ in a dress 
This is not mine art but i its obvious stolen. No Discription, no comments allowed. There is just nothing. it also has a watermark on it...

(Original: When You Help Somepony )
its two years older
Reply
:iconauffallend:
Auffallend Featured By Owner Edited Oct 30, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
So I found someone who is claiming art as their own when they are only coloring over or using vectors on already existing photos/ Screen caps. Many/most of this person's gallery consists of such paint overs that give 0 credit to the actual images, or even the fact he used a ref.
He also Doesn't even bother with the backgrounds, and just blurs out pieces he can't/ doesn't want to paint over...
I am all for painting studies, but don't go painting over a picture and call it your own!!!!

What makes this all REALLY bad, is that he has been using these images to advertise commissions, aka TO MAKE MONEY!

I have several examples here in my journal that I was able to track down, but they blocked me before I could continue to track down the rest of their gallery:
Help me nail an art thiefSo I found someone who is claiming art as their own when they are only coloring over or using vectors on already existing photos/ Screen caps. Many/most of :iconheroforpain: 's gallery consists of such paint overs that give 0 credit to the actual images.
He also Doesn't even bother with the backgrounds, and just blurs out pieces he can't/ doesn't want to paint over...
I am all for painting studies, but don't go painting over a picture and call it your own!!!!
Help me get this guy to at least start giving credit!!!!
Example: 
Their piece, claiming they painted it all -
The actual photo - https://www.pinterest.com/pin/135037688810194511/
You can clearly see they brushed over the face and that's it. They didn't even touch the hair...
MORE EXAMPLES:
Theirs -

Actual -
http://img.wennermedia.com/article-leads-horizontal/american-horror-story-clowns-trump-missed-opportunity-ab4206ec-7ad4-4731-aa78-e8ec43a6603d.jpg
BG proof... blurred th
Reply
:iconazures-legacy:
Azures-Legacy Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
SOMEONE IS STEALING MY ARTWORK!!! WHY CANT i CANTACT YOU PEOPLE ALL i GET IS THIS CRAP!!!
Reply
:iconprotectart:
ProtectArt Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2017
Read the DA Copyright Policy section called Notification of Copyright Infringement which you can find here: about.deviantart.com/policy/co… and then file a DMCA notice by following the link in that section.
Reply
:iconauffallend:
Auffallend Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
It used to be so different... File a report and post the images originals and thefts here to speed up the process. There are also various groups you can send a Theft Journal too to increase the exposure and get others to report for you
Reply
Hidden by Commenter
:iconofficial-maria-art:
official-maria-art Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
anatomy poses can't be copyrighted
Reply
:icondancingstones:
Dancingstones Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2017  Student General Artist
yeaa,, imma just resolve this lol
Reply
:iconauffallend:
Auffallend Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
A pose trace is a little more difficult to fight since people cant copyright poses. My cat does this same pose daily so they could just claim they saw their own cat do it and used that...
But I agree, it is very similar to yours
Reply
:icondancingstones:
Dancingstones Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2017  Student General Artist
aaa yea thats very true,, thank you for commenting ^^"
Reply
:iconlplily:
LPLily Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
shantelkessi9.deviantart.com/

May be a tracer. Be safe
Reply
:iconmfinneonm:
mFinNeonm Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2017  New Deviant
I agree. Her style is constantly changing, especially with her bases.
Reply
:iconlplily:
LPLily Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Multiple account or same friend who does bad stuff i guess : ADOPT!7  ,new oc Alex 
Reply
:icondeathstroke50:
deathstroke50 Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2017
I noticed that the background & tree in this piece:  Rakan and Xayah Reedited (League of legends) by Shanixia
is taken without permission from this one (right piece):  Sketch Dump XVIII by LorienInksong

I know that lorieninksong did not give permission (as demonstrated by the "You are not authorized to use this artwork" badge) for the tree and design tracing.
Reply
:iconprotectart:
ProtectArt Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2017
Same idea but different execution. Its important to understand that copyright or artist's rights to their work doesn't include the ideas and approaches in a design.  It's a difficult line to draw at times but a copyright lawyer would say that in the examples you provided, there is nothing to complain about.
Reply
:iconlorieninksong:
LorienInksong Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2017  Professional General Artist
Shanixia does not have permission to use ANY of my work, and certainly did not have permission to trace the oak tree and some of the framing from my piece.

I spent hours studying oaks and referencing famous trees.  I spend more hours on the rest of the sketch too.

But :iconshanixia: traced my work and got all the benefit for free.  Without permission.  I explicitly state on each deviation and each gallery folder that my work is not available as a resource or to be used.
Reply
:iconshanixia:
Shanixia Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I asked her and mentioned this on her profile.
Reply
:iconlorieninksong:
LorienInksong Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2017  Professional General Artist
You did not ask me.  You gleefully informed me that you used my work.  You didn't even credit me.

I'm very upset, and am considering closing me accounts because of people like you who just take from me like its nothing.  
Reply
:iconshanixia:
Shanixia Featured By Owner Edited Oct 21, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Im sorry! I was waiting for an answer when it was WIP... I would credit you. Im a beginner artist, I was trying to make this type of tree with your style (art nouveau) and ... it ended very similar to yours. They are not exactly alike...It wasn't really on purpose. Facebook Disappointed Face emoji 
Xayah and Rakan Dreamcatchers (League of Legends) by Shanixia
Reply
:iconlorieninksong:
LorienInksong Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2017  Professional General Artist
A non-answer isn't a yes.  I didn't answer because every one of my deviations says explicitly in the description that my work is not for use.  (I'm also fighting a serious illness and just plain haven't been available.  I was only just starting to get better enough to draw.)

Everyone is a beginner, and makes mistakes.  But it is NEVER okay to use ANYONE'S hard work without their EXPLICIT PERMISSION.  And this hurt me!  A lot!! 

I'm glad to see you've already removed the traced parts from your work.  I'm still not happy about it but at this point what can be done to make right has been.  Thank you.

So instead of more scolding: a tip.  Deviantart has a 'stock' section; featuring photos of all kind of people and places, as well as pre-made stock images that are okay to use.  When I was a beginner my favorite was Tigers-stock  Lots of nice art nouveau frames, and they make their terms of use very clear.  Next time you need a thing (even just a reference for what you're trying to draw) try the stock section. :)
(Also I keep a 'stock' section and 'tutorial' section in my favorites.  Feel free to check that stuff out, its stuff that I've used or found helpful.)
Reply
:iconshanixia:
Shanixia Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks you for the advices I will check them. Do I need to credit you for the frame? Im totally confused right now...
Reply
:iconlorieninksong:
LorienInksong Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2017  Professional General Artist
I'm letting you off the hook on the frame because I really don't want any reminders of this.  

If you use someone else's stuff (with their permission) you should credit them.  Otherwise the people viewing your artwork will think you made that part, and you'll be taking credit for someone else's work even though that wasn't your intent.

Basically if you're going to utilize other people's art, even if they made it only for other people to use, you're going to need to find and read their rules for their stock.  These are usually located in the description below the image, or a journal on their front page with rules.

Lets use :icontigers-stock: as an example.  They've put all their rules in their DeviantartID, so its on their front-page, on the right side.  They also put a link to their rules in each of their deviation descriptions. 

Each stock artist will have different rules, some like Sirius-sdz have no rules at all, but its only fair to put in the time to find and read them in exchange for free stock.  
Reply
:iconsirius-sdz:
Sirius-sdz Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2017
absolutely. I don't allow anyone to claim ownership over my works anywhere else, which is in my Faq or description on my textures. I think that everyone should respect the rules put up by stock or resource artists, whatever these are.
Reply
Add a Comment:
 
×

Featured in Collections

Important Articles - PLEASE READ by ArtInOurHeart

Journals: Features, Contests, etc. by Unialien

Journals by Chee-boo


More from DeviantArt



Details

Submitted on
July 7, 2015
Submitted with
Sta.sh Writer
Link
Thumb

Stats

Views
307,367 (54 today)
Favourites
3,087 (who?)
Comments
13,609
×