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Question about art theft in a book

I have a question about art theft outside the realm of the internet. I have a little game I play in bookstores where I pick up new books and pick out as many altered images I recognize as possible. These images always have the original signatures removed and are presented as wholly new works, without credit listed anywhere in the book.

Several times now I've seen art that I recognize off of deviantart or art belonging to artists I recognize.

My question is whether or not it would be helpful to mention the companies and books that do this here, in case other artists want to see if they recognize their own art being used? And should I contact the original artists? Obviously I don't know for sure that they are using the images without permission, but I would venture to say that they do not, for the most part.

So in general, when you see theft in the "outside world" like that, is it worthwhile to take note of it and contact the original artists? Is there anything that can actually be done?

Thanks for any advice.
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( 44 comments — Leave a comment )
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Dec. 19th, 2007 01:19 am (UTC)
Out of curiosity, what kind of books are these?
Dec. 19th, 2007 01:22 am (UTC)
I'm sorry, that would've been good information to include eh? :)

For the most part these are picture books about fantasy creatures. Mostly I've noticed it with dragon art. Most recently, I've seen Deligaris' work (his red dragon) being used in a children's book about dragons. The image really stands out against the background they slapped it on and does not match any of the other artwork.
Dec. 19th, 2007 01:26 am (UTC)
These are sold for money, no? Then I guess it would be helpfull if you'd contact the original artists about them c:
Dec. 19th, 2007 01:28 am (UTC)
True enough :3 I've seen people saying that it's not worth the effort to try and solve art theft outside of the internet, because the the inevitable legal issues, and wasn't sure how true that was. Thanks though, I'm inclined to agree with you.
(no subject) - aaaamory - Dec. 19th, 2007 05:06 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - semisonicstar - Dec. 19th, 2007 05:22 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - furinari - Dec. 19th, 2007 11:45 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kuwaizair - Dec. 21st, 2007 10:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
Dec. 19th, 2007 01:39 am (UTC)
Hmm, makes sense. That's my main worry about contacting artists -- that they won't be able to do anything with the knowledge. But thanks, I guess if nothing else they'd be able to try. I'll have to start writing down titles, authors and publishing companies.
(no subject) - thaily - Dec. 19th, 2007 08:49 am (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - hypsidium - Dec. 24th, 2007 05:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
Dec. 19th, 2007 01:47 am (UTC)
Sadly theft is quite common in the artist world (and just about anywhere now a days)
I doubt posting the names of the companies will do little.
Unless the image or character is actually legally copyrighted it's nontechnically free reign.
Dec. 19th, 2007 01:55 am (UTC)
Well no, it's not free reign. :) From what I've read/understand, you automatically own rights to any image you create. The only common domain images are those posted on government websites or images posted before a certain date that I can't currently remember (at least, this the case in US law, I am not familiar with the way it works in other countries -- more information.) But by all means someone please correct me if I'm mistaken in this.

However I agree with you, I'm worried that it would not be much help to post this information.
(no subject) - semisonicstar - Dec. 19th, 2007 01:57 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - celestialwolfen - Dec. 19th, 2007 01:59 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - semisonicstar - Dec. 19th, 2007 02:00 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - armaina - Dec. 19th, 2007 02:15 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sunhawk - Dec. 19th, 2007 05:01 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - thaily - Dec. 19th, 2007 08:51 am (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
Dec. 19th, 2007 01:56 am (UTC)
*nods* I suppose the knowledge itself if nothing else is good for them to have.
Dec. 19th, 2007 02:01 am (UTC)
this is the kind of art theft I CARE about
there's no debate here, what they're doing is illegal.

Yes, contact the artists, they will be greatful that you did.
Dec. 19th, 2007 02:04 am (UTC)
heh, agreed. I care about all art theft but this in particular really burns me :S But thanks, that appears to be the consensus -- I will definitely start contacting artists with information, even if it turns out they can't do much about it.
Dec. 19th, 2007 02:02 am (UTC)
I'd contact the artists. They have a right to know where their work is being displayed, especially if it's without permission.
Dec. 19th, 2007 02:04 am (UTC)
*nods* From now on I will be contacting them. I suppose I was worried that they'd just tell me there wasn't anything they could do, but you're right -- they do have a right to know. Thanks :)
Dec. 19th, 2007 02:27 am (UTC)
Do the infringments all seem to come from the same publisher? Or maybe 2 or 3? Could be class action lawsuit time.
Dec. 19th, 2007 02:35 am (UTC)
You know, I'm not sure. I hadn't really thought much on it. But I plan to keep pencil and paper with me next time I visit a bookstore (which, inevitably, will be soon...) and take down as much information as I can. If I start to notice any one publisher doing this repeatedly, perhaps at that point I'll make a post about it here.
Dec. 19th, 2007 08:47 am (UTC)
Contacting the original artists is definitely the way to go!
That way they can contact the publisher who ripped them off, they can threaten with or take legal action against the publisher and legally force them to pay them for use of their art.
Dec. 19th, 2007 06:13 pm (UTC)
Heh, alright :) I'm going to start doing just that -- if nothing else, as someone else pointed out, it's at least their right to know it's happening. Thanks!
Dec. 19th, 2007 10:21 am (UTC)
It's not possible that the artist sold them the piece? I'm just curious as to whether that's a likelihood or not.

Although I can't imagine a publisher not giving due credit on the title page. o.O
Dec. 19th, 2007 10:45 am (UTC)
That's a possibility, they could just have forgotten to mention the artist.
You could still contact the artist and say "Hey I saw your art in [book], it's a really nice picture!"
(no subject) - semisonicstar - Dec. 19th, 2007 06:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
Dec. 19th, 2007 02:40 pm (UTC)
I would say definitely yes. If someone is publishing and making money off of someone else's work the artists should definitely know, regardless of whether or not it's on or off the internet.
Dec. 19th, 2007 06:15 pm (UTC)
Thanks :)
Dec. 19th, 2007 06:13 pm (UTC)
My 2c: I'd like to see it posted here, although please include what publisher info you can, so we know what to avoid. However, there is always the question of whether they ARE stolen, or if they were legitimately bought; the best bet is to ask the artists in question.

Sometimes something does come of it. Like, the whole Shmorky vs Todd Goldman (aka "david and goliath" company). The guy stole a frame of Shmorky's webcomic ("purple pussy") and put it on several paintings that sold for over 1K! After much hassle, Shmorky did manage to get the full proceeds for the paintings, and Todd Goldman's had his art taken down by several galleries and, last I checked, is in a heap of trouble for numerous other copyright violations!!
Dec. 19th, 2007 06:16 pm (UTC)
That's true, I remember that case, heh! I am going to start notifying the artists in question, and if I find that any one publisher is doing this on a regular basis I will post about it here.
(no subject) - spiffystuff - Dec. 19th, 2007 06:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - semisonicstar - Dec. 20th, 2007 07:03 am (UTC) - Expand
Dec. 19th, 2007 10:53 pm (UTC)
This is the MOST important kind of theft I want to know about! Internet reposting is petty beans in comparison to other companies publishing and selling physical merchandise with stolen art on it.

There is always a chance that the artist in question sold it to said company, but I know as an artist I ALWAYS appreciate and am never bothered when people say "Hey I saw your art here, is it supposed to be there?" Chances are it's not. This kind of theft is way more important to me than e-theft. Anytime someone is selling my art illegally I have to do something about it.
Dec. 20th, 2007 07:04 am (UTC)
Hmm, thanks for the thoughts :) I'm kinda relieved to know most artists would want to know -- I know I get angry just seeing it, and it isn't even my art. Heh!
Dec. 20th, 2007 12:50 am (UTC)
Defiantly tell the artist, and give them as much info as possible. Leave it up to them to deiced what to do. Its not really up to you to decide for them. :P I always appreciate it when people are looking out for me, and always want to know if there is anything questionable, even if it is nothing. :)
Dec. 20th, 2007 07:05 am (UTC)
Thanks, will do! I'll take down the publisher's name, the title of the book, the author and perhaps the page the image is listed on -- surely that would be more than enough :) But it's good to hear from other artists!
(no subject) - chenneoue - Dec. 20th, 2007 11:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
Dec. 28th, 2007 04:49 am (UTC)
Most of the time the best you can do is write the name of the book down and tell the original artist. :/
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