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China vs the internet - Grand theft artwork

Okay, this isn't a specificly furry item, but I saw this in my morning RSS feeds and is worth keeping in mind:


Yesterday, my pal Darren Di Lieto, from The Little Chimp Society website, emailed with some upsetting news. Turns out someone scraped the contents of his website and published it into a 350-page book being sold online for $100. You can read more on this post in Darren’s blog.

I think watermarking is the only way to get around issues like this when the companies involved use fake contact information and exist in countries where you're never going to be able to take them to court. Thoughts?
Artist's beware has moved!
Do NOT repost your old bewares. They are being archived.


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 22nd, 2008 01:32 am (UTC)

Even watermarking won't entirely stop them. At the end of the day, risk is part of the business, you can reduce it but not remove it.
Apr. 22nd, 2008 01:40 am (UTC)
What lilenth said.

Doesn't matter what you do, if somebody wants to steal your stuff, they will. Watermarking is the equivalent of getting a cheap padlock. It deters the casual thief, but somebody who's determined can cut it off pretty easily.

I don't bother to watermark my stuff. I'm probably more casual about it because 2-d art isn't a source of any income at all to me, so I don't really care. I know it sucks for people who actually try to make a living at this, but it's just the way the world works.
Apr. 22nd, 2008 01:41 am (UTC)
I comfort myself in the knowledge that my stuff is far too boring for someone to gank. :D
Apr. 22nd, 2008 01:44 am (UTC)
A friend of mine who lives in China had an ENTIRE post of his ripped and reposted by several Chinese websites without credit.

And after he requested that they credit him, in Chinese, they only laughed at him. A lot of commenters sided with him, but most were just "Meh".

Damn it. :(
Apr. 22nd, 2008 01:55 am (UTC)
my first thought was "it's China". They are pretty much the world centre for knock offs and piracy. There have been cases where factories which make legitimate lisenced products by day make identical knockoffs at night, on the same production lines, to the same plans, but without paying the owners of the IP who likely spent millions developing and designing the product. There have been cases where entire cloned factories have been set up, identical to the ones producing legitimate products but in the next city or province, selling their knockoffs for huge profits.

When it comes to determined thieves, there's really nothing you can do. maybe watermarking can help, but like DRM, that can harm legitimate fans and legitimate sales; someone downloading and sharing a couple of images with friends or in blogs because they like them can really help raise an artists profile, watermarks which are severe enough not to just be cropped off would really put a lot of people off this beneficial sharing. In any case, even the most complex forms of copy protection can be circumvented. Hollywood and the RIAA impliment ever more complex and intrusive copy protection, which can be broken in hours by a horde of determined hackers. It does suck for the people trying to live off their art, especially the smaller self employed artists, but there's not a lot that can be done past informing potential buyers and hoping they are honourable enough to only pursue avenues of aquisition which benefit the creator.
Apr. 22nd, 2008 03:00 am (UTC)
Watermarking apparently doesn't even matter as they printed "marked" images anyway

example: http://www.apefluff.com/ci93/main.php?g2_itemId=276

*sighs* Its really hard to do anything on the legal end of the business stick.... I Hope their able to recover something, somehow...
Apr. 22nd, 2008 05:04 am (UTC)
Yikes. That's just awful. I agree with a lot of the other commenters though that watermarking just won't help that much. :/

Apr. 22nd, 2008 05:25 am (UTC)
Actually, I have an idea, while exceedingly nasty and potentially getting them thrown in prison for 10 years, is well worth it.

Include phrases in your watermarks, specifically phrases that the "communist" government hates. These include "Free Tibet", anything that encourages democracy, and anything about the tragedy at Tienanmen Square.

Reason being: Its China. That's the *ONLY* way you're gonna win a copyright battle of ANY sort in *THAT* country.
Apr. 22nd, 2008 07:31 am (UTC)
In China they harvest the organs from live, waking prisoners.
I'm not really surprised by anything they do anymore :(
Apr. 22nd, 2008 05:08 pm (UTC)
If they rip my jpgs, they'll get crappy prints. I can't stop 'em, but I control the quality images.
Apr. 26th, 2008 03:06 pm (UTC)
Yeah... I only post images of my drawings with maximum height 600 pixels online :)
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )


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