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Jan. 13th, 2008

Not sure if this is allowed, but....

I had a DA user asking me this:

"Okay, I'm so new to this, and I am sure you probably get emails a lot asking this question. I was wondering if you would grant me to use your artwork for tags, snags, tubes etc.? I belong to a few paintshop pro group. Im new to this, so I do not know what to ask except what are your tou (terms of use) and if you allow the use of your work? I'd be happy to follow any instructions on tou and of coarse credit you with copyright. sorry to bother you, i just love your work! at the bottom are free to use artists who have given permission to use their work and their tou (not granted to me but people in general). The 2nd link it examples of tags (not the ones i use, just some examples) Thank you for your time. And I totally understand if you say no!


ps.. i searched your blogs for an answer before i wrote you, sorry if i missed it"


I have never been asked this kind of thing before, so I wasn't sure how to handle it. I guess what I'm asking is does this sound okay, and what are the risks? I asked if she plans to use for herself, or redistribute. If it's just for personal use that seems okay to me, but I'm not sure about having the art redistributed as I'm afraid that I will lose credit along the way. I'm not that popular of an artists so I don't think people would recognize my stuff if they saw it without a name attached. I ganked some terms of use from Rightsofartist.com, which says may not use any of my images to create filters, brushes, tubes, nozzles, fonts or other current/future software plugins without permission, but I don't know if I should give permission or not. :X

UPDATE I asked and she said it would be for personal use and she wouldn't redistribute it or use it to make money.

And just so this is a more valid Artists_beware post, I though I'd share link to the journal of an artist who has recently had is art stolen and published by a company: http://alexiuss.deviantart.com/journal/16335369/#comments
Artist's beware has moved!
Do NOT repost your old bewares. They are being archived.


( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 19th, 2008 07:38 pm (UTC)



If she is asking you if she can use your artwork to make a profit for herself in ANYWAY, your safest bet to have a legal and binding contract written up. Getting a lawyer involved to help you write it up is even better, or have her get a lawyer involved. You check through each and every single sentence in that contract, make needed changes to it before ANYTHING is signed. You set out prices, the portion YOU get from the income of sales on any items sold with your artwork on it, a payment plan, and how often you get paid.

Make sure that it is noted in that contract that YOU hold any and all rights to the artwork being used, and if you wish to for ANY reason, you can legally pull out.

YOU get it legally notarized and keep copies for yourself.

Find out EXACTLY what this girl wishes to do with your artwork. I mean down to the last detail. It HAS to be in the contract exactly what she's using your artwork for. She has to have permission from you for everything she wishes to make stuff out of, and she wants to add to that list, your full permission must be granted and I'd suggest another contract.

I'd almost limit the length of time she can do this. Say like every year, the contract has to be renewed. If you keep on her butt with the legal parts, she may think twice about trying to screw you over.

Think of something like this in the business sense. And no pussy footing. Business is business. Being nice and fun is one thing, and you can incorporate it into the business, but don't let anyone use it to screw you.

Just be careful, k?

Jan. 19th, 2008 09:06 pm (UTC)
Thanks, no it's not for a profit or redistribution, just personal use. But... the whole thign seemed a bit iffy to me.

Thank you for your feedback. :)
Jan. 19th, 2008 08:20 pm (UTC)
I get these fairly often. I usually just politely turn them down and thank them for being kind enough to ask at all.
The problem is that even if you get a contract all fancied up and signed by both parties, any time someone alters your work (crops it, 'tubes' it [which usually means replacing your background with one they made or took from somewhere else], or in any way alters it) and reposts it, it becomes that much harder for you to protect your work if someone hardcore rips you off and you need to take them to court for some reason. Each time your work is altered and posted by someone else, people will see it in its new, altered form and it becomes less 'yours' in a jury of peers.

If you feel that you never want to worry about protecting your work legally (some people don't care, and that's their prerogative!) then deal with it as you wish. I just wanted to explain why I don't let people do this with my work. :)

An example: Somewhere down the line some Photobucket user took one of my dragon paintings, cropped it so that my signature and copyright text was gone, and reposted it. For some reason it got really popular and lots of people saved it and then themselves reposted it. Eventually I found it starting to show up on eBay as prints. This was Very Bad!! Everything worked out but because the image had gone so long (without me knowing) and been so re-distributed without my signature/copyright, it was a nightmare to get everything squared away. If I had been forced to go to court (wasn't worth the $$ in this case) I would have had a harder time than I would have liked.

Hope all this helps! :)
Jan. 19th, 2008 09:04 pm (UTC)
I've let people use my art work for icons and such on LJ, and they're pretty good about crediting, but I'm not familiar with tubes so it felt sort of iffy to me. Plus tubes sounds like something that would be better for clip art and stock photos....

Thanks, that info is really helpful. :)
Jan. 19th, 2008 08:35 pm (UTC)
I got that same one. I always politely thank them for thinking of me but decline their offers.
Jan. 19th, 2008 09:02 pm (UTC)
I think that's what I'll do then. I don't really mind if people use my art for website banners or icons (as long as they link back to me and don't redistribute)... but tubes and brushes seems kind of skeevey to me. :/
Jan. 19th, 2008 09:27 pm (UTC)
I get this a lot and I personally don't mind a bit of free advertising. I keep a log of the people and sites who have my permission (though most will list you with your written confirmation to cover their own backs anyway).

If you don't mind people putting your art into email/forum signatures, then why not? All you need is some Terms of Use. Stick them somewhere in your FAQ if you have one. Here are mine, they follow the same formula as many other artist's. FYI tubing is cutting the image they want out and sticking it on a different background. I don't like this myself so don't allow it!

"Do you allow tubing?

No, since this might encourage wide-spread reproduction and distribution of my art without due copyright credit, as well as unacceptable distortion of the images.

Sig-tags/ AV’s/ e-mail stationary / website stationary – Normally yes, but you must still ask my permission first, and you will be expected to adhere to the following terms:

* That you embed my copyright and link back to my website that reads as follows:
© Rachel C. Beaconsfield www.NeonGryphon.com

* The images are not to be used for, or in conjunction with, any role-play or character profiles under any circumstances.

* Images are not to be used for commercial gain.

* Images in the Guest Art Gallery are strictly not to be used.

* The images are not distorted/warped in any way that changes it from its original appearance or context. Though proportionally resizing it or cropping sections to fit is fine. Strictly no tubing.

* Images are not to be displayed on, or used in conjunction with any pornographic site/material. All art is to be kept strictly G-PG13.

If you’re a member of a non-profit group that produces sig-tags/ AVs / forum stationary / website stationary please do contact me and let me know you would like to use my art – Permission is most usually granted and I’m always interested in seeing any creations.

If you need to use my art for any profitable means you should contact me to discuss.

Jan. 19th, 2008 10:26 pm (UTC)
Thanks for showing me your TOS it was very helpful. I don't mind banners and icons as that's just cropping and resizing, but the stuff she was planning to do sounds like it would have altered the artwork (since she seemed mostly interested in tubing). Since they aren't stock images I feel like they shouldn't be incorporated into another piece of art.

Thanks again for the info, it gives me some ideas for my own TOS.
Jan. 19th, 2008 10:37 pm (UTC)
What exactly are tubes, anyway?
Jan. 20th, 2008 03:41 am (UTC)
A Series of Tubes (First in a One-part Series)
Image Tubes are a common tool (at least in Paint Shop Pro) that involves a series of images compiled together, sometimes with alterations in color, resizing, or rotation, so you can then 'paint' with the tube and image-after-image comes out.

It's useful for when you need an 'area' texture or image, like blood, flower petals, butterflies, disco lights... there's even a sample tube that looks like rope. If you find yourself repeating a certain complex item over and over again, in other words, it's a job for a tube.

I haven't made any for myself, but this is mostly due to ignorance in how to do so. (I really should learn, though...)
Jan. 20th, 2008 10:51 am (UTC)

I'd turn her down flat, generally if you say yes to one tagger, you've said yes to them all even if they say it's for personal use/they won't redistribute it/they won't sell it.

A lot of artists find their stuff put out on tubers/tagger's okay to use list once they say yes to one person. And their work ends up -everywhere- often without credit and often mangled horribly.
Jan. 20th, 2008 11:20 pm (UTC)
That's a good point....
Jan. 20th, 2008 05:44 pm (UTC)
About that journal relink...

I recently saw a news article about companies stealing artwork. In an actual newspaper, no less! It's everyone, from little podunk companies to moguls like Virgin Mobile (they were the prime example in the article.

All the more reason to watermark the shit out of anything you post online. *sighs*
Jan. 20th, 2008 11:19 pm (UTC)
Yeah, but then when you do watermark, you get assholes like this: http://bodyartist.deviantart.com/journal/ giving you a hard time about it. :/

That's really awful that even bigwig companies are stealing art! Is the article online by any chance?
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )


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