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Hello! Sorry for any mistakes I make while posting this because it's my first post, but I'm in need of some advice!
I'm a not so popular artist. Only a few hundred followers. Someone popular has heavily referenced some of my art and made profit from it. I'm honestly a little afraid to make an official beware. I don't want their followers to attack me. I don't know who's in the wrong but I will explain the situation a little bit without giving away any identities.

A few months ago, I posted a YCH on my furaffinity with a set theme to the pose and background. All was fine and well until about 2 weeks ago or so when some of my friends and I noticed that a rather popular artist, that is watching my art account, posted and sold a YCH with the same theme, and an almost identical pose. When I say identical, I mean 90% of it is the exact same as the one I did previously. I asked my friends what they thought about it and one of them contacted the popular artist. Long story short, the artist contacts me and apologizes profusely, claiming it was mere coincidence and they've never see it before. I tell them that this is strange considering that they followed me shortly after I posted the original YCH, and they've been around to see the reposted reminders for it. Just to clarify what that means, when a YCH doesn't sell after a week or so, I repost it, with a link to the original post, for new people to see.

They apologize more and still say that they've never seen it. This time they offer me the money that they earned from the YCH, which I deny. I personally felt like it was a bribe almost, and I didn't want them to hold it over my head in the future. They never posted the finished YCH and deleted the post where they sold the YCH. I have it screencapped in case I need to post an offical artist beware. I've noticed that they've copied poses and adoptables from other artists which is more proof that maybe this wasn't a coincidence at all. This has made me worry even more. Let me say that none of it is traced. It's all in their own art style. So is it really a problem then? Is heavily referencing and selling for profit as bad as tracing and should I really worry about it? Any thoughts would be appreciated! Sorry for making this post so long.

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( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 27th, 2016 10:21 pm (UTC)
if it wasnt directly traced i personally dont see anything wrong with it.
May. 27th, 2016 10:57 pm (UTC)
I mean they are heavy referencing others people's work without crediting them, so yeah there is something wrong with it
May. 28th, 2016 12:22 am (UTC)
without the actual images theres no telling how close it was or how generic the scene was.
May. 27th, 2016 10:45 pm (UTC)
It *might* be a coincidence. I've actually had something similar happen to me on more than one occasion. An artist I follow and I both posted a YCH with the same character in almost the same pose within the same 24-hour period. We didn't copy each other, it just happened. Another time I posted a YCH that ended up not selling, so I eventually cancelled it, then months later another artist I follow posted a commission that had the same character as the one I used in my YCH in the same pose. Again, she didn't copy me, it was just coincidence. And those are just two examples; they aren't the only ones.

This sort of thing happens a lot more than most people realize, and it's pretty normal. There are only so many poses out there, so it's bound to happen.

That said, if they're using a lot of other artists' work for reference...really I don't know what to say about that. In that case they're really shooting themselves in the foot with that, because when you reference other artists instead of life or photos or whatever, you're going to end up replicating any mistakes the original artist makes... I also find it strange they offered you money.

Edited at 2016-05-27 10:45 pm (UTC)
May. 27th, 2016 11:14 pm (UTC)
Well, if it is a coincidence, they've had quiet a few coincidences. I'm not trying to talk bad about this artist, but they have another ych that is an exact copy of someone else's art work.

I just think it's unfair that they're making a profit off of other people's art and ideas. They seem creative enough to be able to make up their own stuff on their own.
May. 29th, 2016 07:40 am (UTC)
I mean yeah, if this is a habit of theirs, then it's less likely a coincidence.
May. 28th, 2016 05:48 pm (UTC)
heh One time I posted up a YCH and soon after that, someone I had never heard of Noted me screaming at me that I was copying/tracing their YCH and how dare I and such.

... But we had referenced the same image for pose ideas. I linked her to the photo and was like "Looks like we used the same pose from this!" and just ended up deleting my sketch to keep the peace.
May. 29th, 2016 07:40 am (UTC)
Pfft. I would've just told them to get lost...
Hunty Belmnt
May. 27th, 2016 11:36 pm (UTC)
...The fact that they tried to offer money rings a biiig red flag. If it was so soon since they followed you and came up with the exact same/identical pose - because I'm a a cynic and see the absolute worst in the art world, I'm gonna be the unpopular one and say they might be ripping off of you.

I'm on the fence about tracing/referencing. It's bad if they're making money off of it and not crediting properly but it's a non-issue if it's for practice.

May. 28th, 2016 12:10 am (UTC)
Yes! This is exactly how I felt. The money was very strange and I didn't take it for this reason. I didn't want something to happen and the artist ends up saying "It's fine because I paid them for it"

May. 28th, 2016 12:50 am (UTC)
Seconded. Them offering money screams of a guilty conscience and that's honestly something I *would* want to know about an artist before potentially giving them money.
May. 28th, 2016 05:45 pm (UTC)
Without seeing the images it's really impossible to know, and even then, it could just be accidental. I've created adopts from pallets and species generators and ended up with near identical things as others.

Offering the income from it could just be that they feel REALLY bad about accidentally copying, and want the 'proper owner' (Even though you cannot copyright poses) to have the income. I've seen it before.
May. 28th, 2016 12:30 am (UTC)
Unfortunately, this is one of those cases where there isn't really any advice to give without seeing the comparison. And even then it's often coincidence. Especially since we don't know quite how basic of an idea or pose it was (often it seems very unique, but often isn't).
May. 28th, 2016 01:29 am (UTC)
I can't say for sure because obviously the examples aren't provided, but this has happened to me several times before, where I saw almost my exact posing for a YCH used in others, and each time it was simply a coincidence. Unfortunately with how intense the fandom fixation is on YCH's right now, Generic poses or concepts often get accidentally reused or redone. Heavy referencing with YCH's are hard to verify, because of how often poses and themes are redone over and over.
Like I said, I can't see any samples, and am not necessarily saying *this* is just a coincidence. Simply that, if it's not, it will be hard to prove, and a lot of people would argue that it doesn't matter anyway, as it seems to be perceived as a grey area to use similar poses.
This artist *could* very well be copying off you- I do see the offer of money as pretty suspicious, and the fact that they are watching you doesn't really help the notion of innocence for them.
May. 28th, 2016 06:18 pm (UTC)
In times like this archive.is is your friend.
It's a site that archives webpages exactly how they look in that moment down to the smallest detail and it's 100% free.
Make archives of both the poissble tracers suspicious art and what you think they might of copied so you can go back and reference both when needed. The images won't break in case you need to resave.
Then go save both images and overlay them to see how close they get. Repeat with all images you think may be copied and have a possible copy for.
There is also the fact I've seen artists trace bases for YCHs so that could be it too.
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )


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