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Advice on Tracing/Heavily Referencing

I'm sorry if this is the incorrect community to post to, but I'm at a lost of where to turn, and it seems that Artist_Beware give good advice to artists.
I've been quite unsure if I've actually wanted to come public with this either, just attaching my name feels like someone will find out it is me. I'm afraid this might ruin my standing in the community because this person is popular, but I hope this post is worth the risk.

TLDR; I suspect someone, who has been caught tracing before, is continuing to do so. But the sources this person is tracing from are INCREDIBLY hard to find (see reasons below).
This person takes commissions, if that matters at all.
What do I do to help put a stop to this? Are there places I can post (anonymously) about this issue in hopes more people can look for sources? Should I directly confront this person, or should I continue to go through administrative routes as I have done in the past?

This person is popular on the site I post on, and because the images they choose to trace from are so obscure and hard to find, no one knows what they are doing except the staff and I.
The first red flag to me was that this person's work quality seemed to jump from image, to image. I didn't think anything of it for a couple months, until I came across several images I KNOW I had seen before.
This prompted me to look for the original images. I did in fact find the original images. The original images were in the middle of my favorite manga. In the middle of a chapter. I just happened to read this manga SO MANY TIMES that I had noticed the similarities.
Now this search wasn't easy. The manga has about 80 chapters, and I went through every single page to find these. It was time consuming, and I had to go back and forth several times to find them. However when I did find them the images lined up pretty well. Let's just say they lined up well enough that I reported the stolen images and the staff took them down. None of the images that where taken down where commissioned pieces, however looking at several other pieces I could see the jump in quality.
The staff had told me if I could find one more traced piece this user would no longer be allowed to post on their site. I have spent many hours pouring over websites, mangas, anywhere to see if I can find something else.
The problem is that this person changes the colors so well/lineart is a different quality that I can't just throw it into tineye or any website like it. I'd need to know the exact location of the image to find it.

The part that bothers me the most is that none of this is public knowledge and this person continues to take commissions. None of this person's clients are aware of this, since I went directly to the staff and the images were removed with out mention to anyone. To be fair, it looks like this person hasn't posted a commission in awhile, however I know people have paid this person for work to come.
All I know is that I wouldn't want to be in a clients shoes where my piece MAY or MAY NOT be traced.

I don't know where to turn or what to do. Maybe I'm spending too much time on this person.

Community Tags:

Artist's beware has moved!
Do NOT repost your old bewares. They are being archived.


( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 21st, 2013 05:34 pm (UTC)
I've been in a similar situation before. I was browsing through the recent submissions on FA and saw that an image had been traced over a not-well-known Pixiv artist's work. It wasn't of a quality that TinEye could catch it and I only recognized it because it's one of my absolute favorite "adult" images I've ever seen. I reported it and staff took it down, then gave the user a temporary suspension when they re-submitted the same image again.

I really feel as if the user has traced more works, because their style and quality vary so widely, but I could never find any other proof, so I just kinda gave up... .__.
Aug. 22nd, 2013 12:46 am (UTC)
Wow that's a terrible story! I cannot believe that the person was allowed to put the image back up!

It can be hard like that, especially when they are so different. I heard tho, now you can drag and drop images into google and it will search by similarity. I've tried it several times in my case, with no luck, however you might be have some more luck.

I'd also try SauceNAO if you said they were a pixiv artist. Maybe that would pick something up. Although if they have changed the colors enough, maybe not.

I wish you luck in your issue as well. It can be hard not knowing what to do.
Aug. 22nd, 2013 12:48 am (UTC)
Yeah, SauceNAO is how I found the exact link to the image's original submission.


Is a great add-on, it gives you TinEye, SauceNAO, and IQDB.
Aug. 22nd, 2013 02:42 am (UTC)
Yeah~ I have an addon like that already, and I believe there is one for chrome as well C:
Aug. 21st, 2013 05:38 pm (UTC)
"The staff had told me if I could find one more traced piece this user would no longer be allowed to post on their site."
Maybe it's just me, but I become slightly skeptical about things like this, because if the staff is aware that the artist has traced, and traced several images as you say but then you need just one more image... it kinda makes me think that the staff don't want to ban the artist, especially if they are popular.
Maybe it's just that my soul has shrived after seeing this so many times in DA, but...

Not sure I can suggest any real help, except to keep an eye on the art in case there will be another very blatant trace to get them banned eventually, but as per my first part, I wouldn't stress over too much of it.
Aug. 22nd, 2013 12:38 am (UTC)
I do love the staff on the site I am mentioning, the few interactions I've had, have been good. However I do tend to agree, I wish more action had been taken in general. There didn't seem any sort of repercussion other than removing the images in question.

I will continue to keep my eyes opened. Whenever a new image is posted I take it upon myself to look for keywords about the part I think is traced.
As this person seems to change the way they trace by now only tracing parts of images instead of whole images, it makes it all that much more hard to continue looking.
I'll try not to stress over it too much! Maybe I have been over thinking this all along.
Aug. 21st, 2013 05:39 pm (UTC)
There's a bunch of people who read obscure manga (My favorite is Rustblaster... >.>) So, post some of the images. There's the Art_Theft community, but I'm not sure how active they are these days.
Aug. 22nd, 2013 12:11 am (UTC)
I'm agreeing with this.

OP - You don't have to post who the person is, just host the pictures to another site and link them here. I used to read a lot of manga online and may be able to help.
Aug. 22nd, 2013 12:17 am (UTC)
If the OP were to do this, we would actually prefer they not do it here and instead take it to art_theft.
Aug. 22nd, 2013 04:36 am (UTC)
Fair enough.

Is there any particular reason why, for future reference? In the past we've found sources of traced art when people have been posted here. Is it just because this is an advice post?
Aug. 22nd, 2013 04:46 am (UTC)
Part of it is that we don't allow advice posts to reveal the person (and showing images would do that indirectly), and the other part is that AB only allows art theft posts in specific situations, which we can't be sure this would fall under unless the OP wrote a proper beware.

That said, it's also just more suited for art_theft in general, as they're more prepared to find originals over there than we are. They're just kind of better at it.
Aug. 22nd, 2013 04:58 am (UTC)
Isn't it the same crowd in pretty much all of these communities, anyway?

Also, what is the point of this post, then? What advice could we possibly give without being shown any of the possibly stolen work? "Look harder?"
Aug. 22nd, 2013 05:05 am (UTC)
If you really want to see the images, feel free to (politely) encourage the OP to post to art theft. Which is advice in and of itself, as the OP is looking for.
Aug. 22nd, 2013 06:07 am (UTC)
I also feel a little strange continue to be apart of the community holding this knowledge as well.
It makes me feel really awkward to share similar clients with this person. I adore my clients, but I also don't really feel I should say anything to them, as it isn't my place.

Sorry this wasn't clear in my original post, I struggle to write at times.

I'm also looking for communities to post on, if I go forward with this. I am extremely worried if I should continue forward since this artist seems to be popular. I guess there isn't much advice to quell my fears other than confidence.

Edit Aug.22.2013 1:09AM ;// I guess the better question would be how to prepare to handle any repercussions that I may face coming forward.
I'm sorry I'm terrible at writing.

Edited at 2013-08-22 06:09 am (UTC)
Aug. 22nd, 2013 08:28 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure what repercussions you'd face, to be honest. If someone is tracing, the community generally sides with the one showing the proof of it. If you have proof, then a beware would be possible. The beware would be aiding those who'd drop money on an artist who traces and sells it.

If you need MORE proof, an Art_theft post would be better.

But to waffle about who may or may not dislike you over a legitimate beware is a little silly, there will not be any repercussions other then maybe a day or two of small petty drama. It will not effect you much, if at all. You just have very little to worry about in this circumstance, should your proof be rock solid.

Popularity means nothing when the artist is using other peoples work as a stepping stone to gain it. Popularity should never be the reason you (or anyone else) holds back from revealing the truth about fraud.
Aug. 23rd, 2013 01:25 am (UTC)
Thanks for the clarification!
Aug. 22nd, 2013 12:29 am (UTC)
Not only as mentioned above, I am extremely uneasy posting any images and or names. The style is quite quite obvious, so anyone who uses this site would know who it is in a moment.
I just needed advice on how to continue forward with this issue, as many of the people involved are clients of mine as well. I really do love my clients, many of them are very nice, good, and kind people and are VERY respectful and treat art and business properly.
It makes me feel strange to have this information.

I many wind up posting somewhere like art_theft, however for now I'm too afraid of the repercussions, or my name being attached.
I was just hoping for some direction of where to go next, or if it worth putting in more time. I guess the answer would be to go to art_theft, maybe make a new livejournal account so my name isn't attached, but I still feel like it will come back to me sooner or later. Maybe I shouldn't be so worried.

Aug. 21st: 7:30PM: Edited because I wrote "below" (to above) when my comment was actually posted below. Sorry!

Edited at 2013-08-22 12:31 am (UTC)
Aug. 22nd, 2013 04:56 am (UTC)
I understand your concerns.

In the end, it's up to you what to do, but I feel that you owe it to the artist's clients to stop this person if you can. Since you've taken the time to go digging already, why stop now? If you don't want to be confrontational and just need help finding the stolen images, ask someone(s) here, at art_theft, or a friend then report it to the admins. I'm pretty sure since they already have info on this person's tracing, if it gets publicly traced back to you, no one will be able to give you much flack. Even posting here says you're not doing this out of spite or anything, you just sound like you want to fix the situation so that the most people can be happy in it. Obviously not everyone is gonna come out peaches and gravy, but looking at the bigger picture, what's worth more? The artist's reputation and ability to remain on the site or protecting their (and some of your) customer base?

Sorry for the ramble, I'm just trying to sort out my head. Hopefully the rest of the advice you're getting here helps more and I promise I won't be upset if you decide to keep out of it. :) Good luck!
Aug. 22nd, 2013 08:36 pm (UTC)
I have a bit of an option:

If you are hesitant to post because of reputation, or fear, then perhaps give this information to a friend. Or, send one of the moderators here your evidence and we can discuss it with you personally without any sort of public opinion.

An art_theft post will reveal the artist, and Beware will reveal the artist. At some point you either have to own up to knowing the information and stand your ground with confidence, or simply back away from the issue at hand. There's really nothing else you can do in this situation. I cannot see much advice being given to you that isnt "Who is it? Post a beware or Art_theft". (They are semi active, yes)

Your clients probably would like to know if an artist they are purchasing art from is traced. I'd look at it from their standpoint.
Aug. 22nd, 2013 12:32 am (UTC)
I hope they are active, that might be the next stop for me, however, it does make me worried that I am the one coming forward with this.
I'll have to look into the proper forms to fill out to post there as well, if I ever do find the confidence to come forward.
( 20 comments — Leave a comment )


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