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WHO: starfreckles/Teacake

WHERE: http://toyhou.se/Teacake and http://starfreckles.deviantart.com/

WHAT: digital art originally created for another user of a character that had since been traded

WHEN: 14th December

PROOF: http://i.imgur.com/470qqD3.png (bottom to top) http://i.imgur.com/CcD0ILC.png

EXPLAIN: I was notified of my art being covered with someone elses watermark here https://toyhou.se/145538.mazoe/gallery it was this image http://piecreature.deviantart.com/art/Drippy-puppy-533113517 covered in their own personal watermark. This is against my TOS which states that no edits can be made to my art. I have since clarified to add that no watermarks can be added to my art, though i feel that the distinction shouldnt have had to be made.

I contacted them asking them to take it down and they needed proof that I was who I said i was. I thought that meant it would go well. Instead they got extremely angry with my response and not only did they respond rudely acting as if my own art belonged to someone else but they also created a journal to badmouth me, saying that they will tell people about me.They also say key things in the journal to specifically make me look bad, such as claiming that the art was commissioned art and that i got "seriously bent out of shape" when neither things are true.

The art was originally made for an acquaintance as a trade. I do not recall ever doing business with the person who created this journal. No money exchanged hands like they claim. I do not feel as if I was rude or anything of the sort, i was only protecting my rights as an artist. It makes me extremely uncomfortable to see someone elses watermark on my own image. If it was asked then I would have provided my own to be put alongside theirs so that it was clear that the art was created and belonged to me, but they did no such thing.

I am posting this here to warn people of doing business with people like this as well as see if other people feel the same way I do about other people watermarking their art. I'm honestly curious how one would feel if they were in my position.

Edit: they apparently made some sort of "apology" i do not trust impersonal fake apologies like this. the fact that they did not contact me makes the apology seem to me as if it was made only to make them look good. As well as that they still clearly stand by what they did even though they broke my TOS and repeatedly claimed to have paid for art from me. This was not a simple "knee-jerk reaction" it lasted for more than a day.

I didnt know they made more than one journal until people in the comments pointed them out, actually. https://archive.is/tLBmT and since they are using the fact that the copied journal was a screencap as some sort of excuse? heres the last archive i had of it https://archive.is/nXbkI i cannot archive private messages, sadly. at least as far as i know, i am not very tech-savvy.

Edit: I will link my TOS here for reference; http://www.furaffinity.net/journal/6610556/ the only recent edit that has been made is "*The Customer may not, under any circumstance, add their own personal watermark to my art." to clarify what I consider an edit. Please notice the following quotes from my TOS that have to do with this situation;
*The customer does not pay for the rights of the art, they pay for the service. If one would like to buy the rights to the art, please discuss this before sending payment.
*The customer does not have the right to resell my work or transfer the right to post my artwork to other parties. The customer paid for the service and does not own the copyrights to sell.

Edit: they left an apology in the comments below. I am very iffy on it still, but will accept it. ive also been told that it was removed so this is now resolved. I could not tell earlier because I was blocked and had no access to their page to check.

Edit: I guess its not over, they posted a journal and I am being blamed for harassment that I could not have been responsible for since I've been busy the past few days. https://archive.is/U5Zri and https://archive.is/Ycc0h

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


( 83 comments — Leave a comment )
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Dec. 19th, 2015 05:47 am (UTC)
Some of the comments on their dA journal are super aggressive and uncalled for. Example..

bitch I can do BETTER art than this, what the actual fuck."

Yikes.. 6______9;
Dec. 19th, 2015 12:49 pm (UTC)
ill admit that hit me hard. Comments like that are a huge reason as to why i no longer draw much besides collabs.
(no subject) - lunar_orchids - Dec. 20th, 2015 12:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - poizenkat - Dec. 22nd, 2015 11:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
Dec. 19th, 2015 06:07 am (UTC)
Blocking her. There's just absolutely no reason for Starfreckles to flip out at you for just politely asking her to take the image down. And agreeing with rueg, her comments are extremely aggressive and foul-mouthed.

Beware very well warranted.
Dec. 19th, 2015 06:32 am (UTC)
What nasty and abhorrent behavior.

It looks like they have since created a second journal with endearing phrases such as the following:
"I'm laughing so hard right now but at the same time I have zero time, nor patience to deal with butthurt halfbaked artists who are hella rude to anyone who doesn't bend over backwards because they think they're the shit. "

Thank you so much for the beware.
Dec. 19th, 2015 07:24 am (UTC)
Now they've deleted both journals and put up another journal claiming they want to apologize for acting badly but then going on about how they didn't do anything wrong. Yeah...okay.
(no subject) - poizenkat - Dec. 19th, 2015 12:51 pm (UTC) - Expand
Dec. 19th, 2015 09:48 am (UTC)
I think the thing I find the worst about this, attitude aside, it the assumption on their part that they own the artwork when they do not.
As has been discussed here many, many times, the original artist retains the rights to an image unless the purchase of rights has been discussed and done during the commission process. They have no right throwing ownership in the form of a watermark over artwork unless they have permission to do so, and as I'm sure we all know, claiming "I DIDN'T MAKE THIS" doesn't fly.

Edited at 2015-12-19 09:50 am (UTC)
Dec. 19th, 2015 12:54 pm (UTC)
yes this upsets me the most. It is stated very clearly in my TOS that I own the copyrights to my art. It is the first thing in my TOS in bold letters. I even stated it a second time, once again in bold letters, later on.
Dec. 19th, 2015 09:57 am (UTC)
At one hand I do understand wanting to protect your characters, I had a commissioner specifically ask I add a watermark to his piece since he was afraid of character theft - on the other hand respecting the wishes of the artist really shouldn't be that darn hard.

Also that last journal is super icky "sorry-not sorry" basically. And yes - adding a watermark is an edit, just like flipping or rotating an image is an edit. Some artists may not care about 'minor' edits like that - but that doesn't make the rights of those who do any less.
Dec. 19th, 2015 12:58 pm (UTC)
I can be negotiated with if approached in a polite manner. I rarely see in closed species character theft that art besides the official art is stolen. I'm sure it's happened, its just not something i've seen much of.

yes thank you for telling me about the journal, i didnt even know it existed until i saw this comment and i likely wouldnt have without this comment, either.
Dec. 19th, 2015 02:01 pm (UTC)
Not only would I never want to do business with this person, I also wouldn't want to do business with any of the people who've commented on their ranting journal about how they're so right to watermark art that isn't theirs. That's a big bag of nope right there.

Also,the bit that REALLY grinds my gears in their response to you is the bit where they say that the character is their "OWN PERSONAL intellectual property" (caps theirs) and that the artwork is theirs so they can do what they like with it. Firstly that shows that they (and those who agree with them) have absolutely no concept of how copyright works and no respect for the rights of artists, secondly it's not even their original character, they just bought it. Just because it's technically 'their' character doesn't mean they own the rights to the art itself and can modify it as they see fit.
Dec. 19th, 2015 02:02 pm (UTC)
Well this is frustrating, their attitude that because it wasn't watermarked it's apparently 'free game'??? The sad thing is had they attempted to contact you at all, maybe there could have been a compromise of a new unique watermark could have been made that acknowledges both the owner and the artist? Just. Give a heads up to your artist. That's really all it takes x_X
(never mind the fact that they didn't seem to want to find out who the original artists were for the art they got of the character they now own?)

Also- I'm just going to put in a note about ToyHouse, in that if you have watermarks activated it pretty much applies it to everything you upload unless you explicitly tell it to not use the watermarked version. Also, because the artist can be credited in the image listings, most don't think much of it. In general the watermarking may not necessarily be a malicious act, just something people do to make it clear it's their character. I figured this information might be important for anyone else going through toyhouse after this post.
Dec. 19th, 2015 02:45 pm (UTC)
I actually have before been approached by someone in the past. I put a "character belongs to username" mark on the art so that it was clearly specifying character ownership instead of implying art ownership like most watermarks do.

I kinda thought it was just some sort of mistake until i got that kind of response.
Enn Shaw
Dec. 19th, 2015 02:22 pm (UTC)
Holy crap, I can't properly comment without making personal insults and calling this person names.

How were you "seriously out of shape?" You just made a simple request. -_- I think they got that aggressive because of their overinflated ego too.
Dec. 19th, 2015 02:25 pm (UTC)
I thought it was common sense not to watermark artwork unless you, yourself made it. I'm really confused as to why this person is super upset, and why their nonapology explains that it is their right to watermark artwork that they had no hand in creating.

Sure, someone else maybe could steal the character but I don't know how that is even your problem to begin with. I mean, someone could find the unwatermarked version on deviantart anyways and use that. This person doesn't exactly have proof that the art was made for them if they got it second-hand and the artist never interacted with them.
Dec. 19th, 2015 02:37 pm (UTC)
I honestly thought so too? thats why it wasn't specified in my TOS before. I never ran into an issue like this before i found out about this toyhouse website.
(no subject) - wuvvumsoc - Dec. 19th, 2015 06:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - lovelesskiax - Dec. 19th, 2015 06:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - poizenkat - Dec. 19th, 2015 06:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - lovelesskiax - Dec. 19th, 2015 07:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - poizenkat - Dec. 19th, 2015 08:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - lovelesskiax - Dec. 19th, 2015 08:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - lovelesskiax - Dec. 19th, 2015 08:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - latiro - Dec. 20th, 2015 12:43 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - celestinaketzia - Dec. 19th, 2015 02:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - wuvvumsoc - Dec. 19th, 2015 06:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
Dec. 19th, 2015 02:58 pm (UTC)
For both of you our deciding factor in this was mainly the fact that Teacake said they would be happy to oblige should you present that you are the original artist. You did, and then they decided to be combative after the fact.

And Teacake? If you're reading this: No, you do not own the work and may not do as you please. Copyright, unless otherwise signed off via contract, will always default to the artist. Any failure to abide by the artist's wishes could have easily just been ended by a DMCA Takedown notice.
Dec. 19th, 2015 07:21 pm (UTC)
i can understand to a degree why it is you're upset over this-- you view adding a watermark as "editing your art." i understand that.

and i do understand her attitude was unsightly. that is something you do have a right to be irritated about, i'd be bothered by it too if i was in your situation.

however, i think it's important to recognize that though YOU yourself have never come across theft of art that isn't the original adopt, quite a lot of individuals have. people steal all the time for sake of roleplaying characters that aren't theirs. it's a common occurrence, especially within the adoptable community, to watermark and take care of the design and accompanying art because you care very much of the design and would not like to see things end up in bad hands.

watermarks are very important-- it's not that they're watermarking the art to claim it as theirs, or to purposefully deface your work, but rather to keep it as theirs (as it is THEIRS, in a manner of speaking, since the art came with the design and the design is now owned by them) and they want to make sure it remains safe.

i see where you're coming from, and i see why you're upset, but you have to understand from a consumer standpoint in a community that DOES surprisingly hold a lot of theft, that watermarking is very important.

EDIT: also as an artist and someone who takes commissions often, i'd like to say that your tos is incredibly strange. if someone owns a character (say, a sushidog like in this instance) and then wants to sell that character to someone else, are you saying they do not have the right to give the art that you drew, paid for with their own money, to this new individual who has paid for the design and its accompanying art? that seems unfair to quite a few individuals, and hardly in favor of making yourself out to be someone to commission often.

however this is just my opinion and i do apologize if this offends you, but i can see how your tos might end up backfiring on you and i'd hate to see individuals loving their business over a potentially wonky and offputting terms of service.

Edited at 2015-12-19 07:27 pm (UTC)
Dec. 19th, 2015 07:40 pm (UTC)
if they wanted to keep the watermark then they could have spoken to me about it respectfully.

How exactly is this unfair? the art is mine and they do not have a right to sell my art or the rights to my art which they do not own. I never said that any future owners cannot save or keep the pictures in private, but that they do not technically have the right to repost it.
This is so that I can keep track of where my art would be and who follows my TOS. it's to prevent problems like this where people edit my art without permission because they never read my TOS and made a false assumption that I sold the copyrights to my art.

as my TOS states if people do not like anything they can discuss it with me and we can make some sort of agreement. So far no one has.
(no subject) - starcharmer - Dec. 19th, 2015 10:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - wuvvumsoc - Dec. 19th, 2015 07:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - uriiko - Dec. 19th, 2015 07:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - celestinaketzia - Dec. 19th, 2015 08:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
Dec. 19th, 2015 10:06 pm (UTC)
Really a ridiculous level of explosion over being asked not to edit work that isn't theirs to edit in the first place, and then stooping to personal insults and public tantrums??? yikes

Man talk about avoid at all costs, definitely a warranted beware.
Dec. 20th, 2015 12:00 am (UTC)
I just wanted to throw in my two cents about the watermarking thing. I can kinda see where this person is coming from, I've started watermarking everything on my toyhouse to non-authorized people, because I have had several people edit artwork belonging to my characters because they're pixel work. I honestly see most people on toyhouse using the watermarking feature, because the credit for the artist of the artwork/image is directly below the image. I think it's less of a "this artwork is mine/the copyright of this artwork belongs to me" and more of a "i'm putting this watermark on this so people don't steal my shit".

That being said they acted so poorly and their attitude is really inexcusable. I don't really see what the big deal is, considering it's very easy to edit an already uploaded image to not have a watermark on toyhouse. :/
Dec. 20th, 2015 12:29 am (UTC)
I didnt read the comments, so if it's covered already my bad!

But TH automatically adds a WM to all art uploaded if the user ticks it. Either their own personal one, or the TH one, like dA does.

They never actually edited the image. It's WMed to people either, not logged in, or non authorized.

I dont allow people to EDIT my art and add WMs, but TH doesnt actually edit the art, it's just to unlogged in/unauthorized people.

Their attitude is... well, a whole other matter.
Dec. 20th, 2015 02:15 am (UTC)
whether they use a website function or do it personally, the image was edited. I was logged in and it was still watermarked. im not sure how authorizing it works, but either way im not really okay with it.
(no subject) - weisk - Dec. 20th, 2015 02:33 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - teekchan - Dec. 20th, 2015 05:22 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - poizenkat - Dec. 20th, 2015 05:26 am (UTC) - Expand
Dec. 20th, 2015 02:42 am (UTC)
I am sorry.

I had a knee-jerk reaction to the initial response back to my note asking for definitive proof of the artist being who they were, and I did, in fact, immediately remove the artwork upon request. I can even show proof of the fact that the art is no longer listed.

However, the second response of "You shouldn't be editing people's artwork it's against their tos" felt like I was being scolded like a child and I responded to them accordingly with my own understanding of how it worked.

I won't make excuses, I reacted in rage because I was upset due to outside circumstances, how I was responded to, and again, I apologize for that, but I won't remove every single piece in my toyhou.se and every single watermark over my characters. As a victim of a lot of art theft, it's the only way to protect my characters and their artwork and namesake. I know they aren't protected by law, but that doesn't make it right for anyone to simply take someone's artwork and post it elsewhere. A person who has rights to the character has every right to be upset if the art is taken just as much as the artist who's art was reposted.

I know that there are artists who disagree with the watermarking, but I have never once had an artist come to me in the past several years of working with anyone tell me to never watermark anything I paid for, or traded for with a character.

I'm not going to say that how I reacted was right, and I did react on the moment in comments which, honestly was dumb of me, and the journal I have still stands. I won't do business with artists who won't let me protect my work when I've had characters, art, and such used for not only rp on deviant art, but in hate speech, hate tumblrs, and on furry sex sites. The only reason I have watermarks on it is to deter that sort of thing from happening, but I still want to show and give free advertisements to artists that completed the work.

So, I watermark, and give all proper links back to the original creator of the piece. Even if I receive the art in a trade, I link back as often as I can if I can find the original artist. In this case, I had linked back to the OP's page and given proper credit in that sense and laid no claim that the art was, in fact, mine. I received the character in a trade and the art was included prior to the TOS change, so I simply added the character to my gallery on toyhou.se like I did with all of my characters.

Again, I'm sorry for my reaction toward it, and that's all I have to really say on it.

I've made all characters on my gallery private, I've removed my journals with their comments, though I will leave the current one with my apology on it, but I will not remove the part of not wishing to do business with artists who are not okay with me at least protecting the artwork I commission from them. If I give money for a service, then the art produced, I feel, I should be allowed to at least protect as mine. Even though the artist created it and it is their property as well, the character in the work is still my brainchild or otherwise.

If you wish to still block me, so be it, I won't complain or whine about people not wishing to have anything to do with me due to a mistake I've made. I'm not sure I'm familiar with some of the users who've said they're blocking me otherwise, to be honest.

However, I want to at least say my peace considering this article was made about me.

I'm not going to read all the comments left because it will simply make me upset and exacerbate my current conditions that will possibly fuel another knee-jerk reaction that I don't want to give any more reason for anyone to continue the discussion on.

Again, I am sorry, and I hope that this can be marked as either resolved (I believe removing the artwork per request is resolving it as that was the situation, as were the journals.)

Hopefully you all have a pleasant evening.
Dec. 20th, 2015 02:46 am (UTC)

All that matters is have you removed the watermarked image as the artist wished? Once that is accomplished we can remove the beware tag and mark this as resolved.
(no subject) - teacakedfreckle - Dec. 20th, 2015 02:52 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - celestinaketzia - Dec. 20th, 2015 03:25 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - poizenkat - Dec. 20th, 2015 04:21 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - armaina - Dec. 20th, 2015 03:47 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - teacakedfreckle - Dec. 20th, 2015 04:00 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kontonakuma - Dec. 20th, 2015 04:14 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - teacakedfreckle - Dec. 20th, 2015 04:23 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - poizenkat - Dec. 20th, 2015 04:31 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - teacakedfreckle - Dec. 20th, 2015 04:48 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - poizenkat - Dec. 20th, 2015 04:57 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - germanchoclates - Dec. 20th, 2015 11:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
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