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Advice on Art Theft...?

Someone on DeviantArt just contacted me to let me know that my art had been "stolen." I've never had this happen before, and it's not quite the normal "posting my work and calling it their own" situation...

The person who contacted me was an artist who was commissioned to draw someone's character. Their customer gave them a reference image, which they thought looked familiar. As it turns out, it's a recolored version of a commission I drew a while back.

The original is here, and the recolor that this person showed me had the cat character painted over with black and purple, and my signature crudely scratched out (the person who contacted me has removed the recolor from their photobucket account now, though their customer is still using a cropped version of it as their avatar on this FA account)

The customer claimed they first found my original drawing here, on some site called e621 - a site I've never heard of...

I'm at a bit of a loss, here. They're not publicly posting the recolor as theirs (other than the FA avatar), but they are distributing it via email and were careful to remove my signature and avoid crediting me (or the character's owner).

So... what should I do, here? Is this enough cause for concern that I should approach this guy about stealing my work? Should I just let it slide because this is the internet and stuff like this is bound to happen?

Looks like I'll be watermarking work from here on, though. Sigh, I hate watermarks.

Update: The avatar was removed by FA admins, and the reposted image was removed from e621 once I asked the admin to take it down.
Artist's beware has moved!
Do NOT repost your old bewares. They are being archived.
https://artistsbeware.info/

Comments

( 42 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
confusedkain
Sep. 20th, 2010 06:02 pm (UTC)
This.

Personally, I never post anything in full anymore because of the CONSTANT theft I deal with my work.. Watermark or like uozlulu said, compress it dddooowwwwnnn. Good luck!
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - ryunwoofie - Sep. 21st, 2010 08:32 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - djdragonboy - Sep. 21st, 2010 10:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
connorgoodwolf
Sep. 20th, 2010 05:28 pm (UTC)
I'll forward this to the FA admins.

Also,

e621 is an art pirate site. Even though I had the site shut down over child porn, people currently post art of on the site which doesn't belong to them.

They're typical art pirates, including the mindset.

You can remove your art by emailing varka at varka@e621.net
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - mandyseley - Sep. 20th, 2010 06:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sigilgoat - Sep. 20th, 2010 06:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
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A note regarding the rejected entry: - oceandezignz - Sep. 21st, 2010 10:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mandyseley - Sep. 20th, 2010 10:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - celestinaketzia - Sep. 20th, 2010 10:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - bagheera - Sep. 23rd, 2010 06:20 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - witchiebunny - Sep. 20th, 2010 07:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mandyseley - Sep. 20th, 2010 07:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - witchiebunny - Sep. 20th, 2010 07:51 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mandyseley - Sep. 20th, 2010 08:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - starlight_art - Sep. 21st, 2010 12:52 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - slavkei - Sep. 21st, 2010 12:57 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - oceandezignz - Sep. 21st, 2010 01:00 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mandyseley - Sep. 21st, 2010 12:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - oceandezignz - Sep. 21st, 2010 10:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - albinowolf - Sep. 21st, 2010 12:58 am (UTC) - Expand
fatkraken
Sep. 20th, 2010 06:21 pm (UTC)
Other than the sig being scratched out, I don't think it's that big of a deal. If they were making money from the character or claiming they had drawn it it would be another thing entirely, but to use it as basically an outline to sketch out colours to commission an original image is different to me. It;s still a bit off obviously, but not worth getting upset about.
mandyseley
Sep. 20th, 2010 06:45 pm (UTC)
I didn't think it was worthy of pitching a fit, but the scratched-out signature irked me enough that I figured it was worth asking if there's anything I SHOULD be worried about... I've never run into this sort of thing before.

Thanks for your input.
connorgoodwolf
Sep. 20th, 2010 06:29 pm (UTC)
I emailed WarMock earlier and he has defaulted the avatar.
mandyseley
Sep. 20th, 2010 06:40 pm (UTC)
Thanks
animecat
Sep. 20th, 2010 06:47 pm (UTC)
I hate watermarks too, but since I started using them I have seen NO evidence of my work popping up anywhere but where I post them. I also only post things at a reduced size in a low quality JPG with a max of 72dpi. It helps, it really does.

My advice? Get creative with your watermark. I use my studio logo. You can make it fun instead of boring. It's not quite so bad that way.
sigilgoat
Sep. 20th, 2010 06:55 pm (UTC)
That's why I started using watermarks as well. Commissioners all get an unwatermarked version (which sometimes they post, but I send them a low rez resize which they end up using most of the time)

I've noticed a half in my stuff showing up other places. You'll want it to be in the MIDDLE of the picture, or at least covering up some of it, or people will still work around it.
oceandezignz
Sep. 20th, 2010 07:21 pm (UTC)
This. My favorite thing to do when I watermark is actually put several in the piece itself. A big one in the middle, overlayed, 50% fill (Photoshop speak wooo), and then one or two others in the corners, one at least at 70% and the other at somewhere around 30 or 60% depending how I feel.

If they're that desperate to snatch your work, they have a lot of watermarks to go through, and just end up giving up.
(no subject) - sigilgoat - Sep. 20th, 2010 07:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - animecat - Sep. 20th, 2010 08:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sigilgoat - Sep. 20th, 2010 09:30 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - animecat - Sep. 20th, 2010 09:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
thaily
Sep. 20th, 2010 07:21 pm (UTC)
Confront them directly if you have a chance, tell him to stop using your work.

Then make a public note on your original submission and contact the new owner of e621 and tell him to take the image down. Hopefully this guy will have more sense and respect for artists than the previous one.
mandyseley
Sep. 20th, 2010 07:44 pm (UTC)
Contacted e621 earlier today, we'll see how that goes.

As for a confrontation, FA has already taken care of the only public display of the recolor (his avatar) and beyond that, I'm not too bothered just yet. I'll keep an eye on things and speak up if it comes up again.
cesarin
Sep. 20th, 2010 09:00 pm (UTC)
as for the icon thing, I think you could ask the dude, I found people as well using my personal icons I bought for their characters, and they kindly acomplied to change theirs.

being nice at first can make wonders, unless the admin or subject at hand is an asshole.
wich of course... requires more effort to make them still acomply.
mandyseley
Sep. 20th, 2010 09:28 pm (UTC)
I'm all for manners and being kind by default. The artist who contacted me deals with this customer in real life, and asked me, if I DID confront them, not to bring up their name just in case it caused problems. With that in mind, I'd planned to wait a little while before confronting this guy, so there was less of a chance that he'd put two and two together.

In the meantime I asked advice, since I've never run into my work being "stolen" without being publicly posted before... The FA admins already stepped in for the icon, so as of now I'm willing to let it slide as long as the recolor doesn't show up publicly again.
ext_264380
Sep. 22nd, 2010 07:42 pm (UTC)
Try not to blame e621 for this one
I hope you will take consideration to the fact that e621 both named you as the artist, and linked to your DA gallery.

e621 has always had a policy that it is never acceptable to remove an artist's signature, or to remove watermarks, or otherwise defile an artist's work.

The whole purpose of e621 is to be a search engine, nothing more, and strives to give every artist the recognition for the work that they deserve. A human powered search directory, using keywords people assign to images in order to be more powerful than crawler based search engines which lack precision for images.

Please reconsider the way you think of e621.
kayla_la
Sep. 22nd, 2010 07:47 pm (UTC)
Re: Try not to blame e621 for this one
That might be more possible now with the new management, but understand that the bad reputation e621.net has currently is pretty much all due to Arcturus, and the abhorrent way he treated the artists that were essentially the lifeblood of his own site.

All us artists want is respect.
Re: Try not to blame e621 for this one - ext_264380 - Sep. 22nd, 2010 08:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Try not to blame e621 for this one - kayla_la - Sep. 22nd, 2010 10:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Try not to blame e621 for this one - bagheera - Sep. 23rd, 2010 06:27 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Try not to blame e621 for this one - oceandezignz - Sep. 23rd, 2010 06:35 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Try not to blame e621 for this one - connorgoodwolf - Sep. 30th, 2010 12:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
( 42 comments — Leave a comment )

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