Okay, here’s the thing. Today I had a brief opinion exchange with some Instagram users about whether an art reposter should link the creator or not. My answer to that is “ALWAYS”.
I know this topic has been discussed so many times, but I feel it needs to be regularly repeated and reminded because there are still many people who fail to notice that reposting someone’s art without crediting them is an art theft (harsh but true). And before I confuse the shit out of everybody, this rant will be referring in particular to social media that do not have a reblog/share option, e.g. Instagram. This monologue does not apply to Tumblrs/Facebooks/etc., but I still share it here since many of Tumblr users also happen to be on Instagram. (When it comes to Tumblr and such, my stand is quite simple - DO NOT REPOST. PERIOD :) (ok, you can repost, but only with the author’s permission).
I am aware that most people on Instagram (and other media) tend to repost just because they love the art so much that they want to share it with fellow fans, and I’m really happy and proud that some of my works get that attention from time to time. It gives a huge motivation boost. But at the same time it’s really disheartening to see the work being reposted by another account with dozens, hundreds or sometimes even thousands likes, without any link to my profile. And it’s not only me. I’ve seen too many brilliant artists being reposted without credit, it truly breaks my heart. Their art receiving so many praises and likes, gaining the reposter a crowd of new followers, while the artists are still struggling to surpass 300 fan count. It’s just ridiculous.
“Okay, I reposted without credit. So what? I took it from someone else who didn’t link you. They should be at fault, not me.” It doesn’t matter. Stealing from another thief doesn’t make you any better. And if you do credit the reposter, well, then you’re definitely helping the wrong person.
Not crediting the artist just because you didn’t find the art on their account but someone else’s is also not an excuse. Looking up artist’s name with Google is very easy, even if their name has been cropped out from the drawing you can still search by image (CLICK HERE TO LEARN HOW) and link them. And the more exposure and recognition they get, the more fanarts they will be willing to produce. And the more fanarts they make, the happier fandom will get.
P.S. Just so you know, crediting without link to artist’s account doesn’t really work. Sadly, most of internet users still does not make the effort to look up the author when you give them the name, but they are more willing to visit their galleries when you provide the link. True story.
P.P.S. All in all, my adventure with the Instagram reposter luckily ended with them linking me back. We’re good now :).