reposting because not enough people have seen it

art theft in the phandom

This morning I woke up to several panicked messages from friends letting me know that somebody had tweeted a drawing of mine, claimed that it was their own, and that Phil had ‘liked’ this stolen artwork on twitter:

This person not only had the gall to upload it and suggest that they’d made it, but they also criticised the way I had drawn his face and then accepted compliments from other people, as seen in this screenshot:

This drawing means a lot to me. Ready Player One has been my favourite novel for four years now, and I was thrilled when Phil first mentioned it in one of his liveshows. It’s not a particularly well-known book, and it made me so happy to hear that Phil also enjoyed it.

I spent nine hours on that drawing. Nine hours hunched over that damn graphics tablet with a cramping hand and shoulders. I constantly redrew the pose even though I suck at anatomy because I wanted it to be perfect. I worked right into the early hours of the morning because I didn’t want to stop. I was so excited. I knew that Phil would enjoy this drawing.

The only other time I’ve been noticed by Dan or Phil was in 2015, when I tweeted another artwork at Phil. He ‘liked’ it and I almost had a heart attack.  It was an incredible feeling and I wanted to feel that again.
Everybody here knows how difficult it is to be noticed by Dan and Phil. Most people never get it. I was certain that this artwork would be recognised, and I was correct. It just wasn’t in the way that I wanted it to be.

The art thief deleted the tweet after being called out (they haven’t apologised or answered any of my messages yet), and I’ve posted my drawing again in an attempt to have it rightfully credited to me. Despite my best efforts, I doubt that Phil will see it again, or, if he does, I don’t know whether he’ll act. The pride and accomplishment that I felt after completing this drawing has been marred by this shitty, talentless person with low self-esteem and weak ethics. And what happened to me isn’t an isolated incident.

Take, for example, @phantheraglama and @maddox-rider’s constant struggle with people who repost their art. Or when @arctoids and @incaseyouart discovered that their work was traced and used in Dan’s The Urge video. I was there when @pinofs found themselves in a situation similar to mine, when Dan liked a tweet from someone who traced their drawing. 

It’s not limited to ‘art’ artists either. Some of my friends, @phansdick, @insanityplaysfics and @crescendohowell have their incredible phanfiction reposted constantly. @moaninghowell, @themostfuniveverhad and @moonlitdan’s edits have been stolen and posted, too. And this isn’t everyone. These are only the people I’m aware of, and the ones who are lucky enough to have had their plight seen by others. There are many, many other artists who don’t have enough followers to be noticed, or who never get the recognition they deserve because the thief has more followers than they do, and anything they say is overshadowed by that.

After scouring through copyright and code of conduct laws for various social media, I’ve learnt that unfortunately there is nothing you can really do except report the problem and hope that staff are able to delete the offending post. Since most phan artists don’t actually legally buy a copyright, we are completely reliant on the decency of others to prevent art theft from occurring. Most of the phandom is great and works to support artists, but unfortunately, the bad eclipses the good. The ‘good’ majority is irrelevant when there are ‘bad’ people out there, doing bad things.

So how do you stop this from happening? You can’t. There are, however, ways to make it harder for people to actually steal your art, a lesson I wish I had taken to heart before this happened.

1. Put your watermark in a noticeable place and make it your username, not your actual name. Write it somewhere that has a distinctive pattern or colours that are hard to replicate so that nobody can brush over it easily.

2. Specify in your caption what you’d like done with your art. Every artist is different – some are okay with people reposting their art with credit, others aren’t. Make sure you tell people what you want, as many people repost things with the good intention of getting it more recognition. 

3. If all else (including nicely messaging them) fails, report the shit out of the person.

And to anyone who has ever stolen art, know this: Your way of getting recognised by Dan and Phil is crap. Any reblog, like, note or compliment that you get is OURS. None of that goodness is directed to you. You have done nothing but shit on the hard work and achievements of other people. You’re the scum of the phandom.

I think that Vic, from @incaseyouart, phrased it really well: It takes many years to develop a fine skill such as drawing, because to learn is to develop your style by referencing other artists and material. Tracing and reposting someone’s image, and other forms of art theft, are cheap ways of reproducing art. It is plagiarism of great effort. Not only does it steal from the original artist’s feelings of accomplishment and pride over their creation, it also discourages proper skill development. Do not repost, create. Do not steal, learn.

I hope that we can start up a discussion about art theft again. I really don’t want anyone else to go through this stressful and disheartening experience.


Update: The person has apologised and seems to regret what they’ve done. Phil also liked my post on Twitter again! Thanks to everyone who helped, and Phil for seeing the issue and fixing it :) Even though this was a win for me, unfortunately art theft is still a huge issue. Let’s not forget that.

Hey guys

I think it should go without saying at this point but don’t repost people’s work and remove attribution. I’m not even going to preface this with a “please,” because I’m a little done with being polite about it.

I’ve sent more DMCA takedown notices in the past month than in my entire career as an artist. I don’t know if ‘tis the season for people misunderstanding the seriousness of removing art from its context, but come on. There are no excuses, especially if the work already exists on the platform you’re reposting it to.

Chill with the reposting. If you have enough energy to save every picture to your computer, re-upload it, and strip my name from it, you’ve got enough energy to just click reblog and not piss everyone (ie me) off. 

If you’ve got any respect for me or other artists who are out here trying to do our own thing, please stop robbing us of opportunities. You may not think a re-upload without attribution is doing that, but it is. I’ve gotten jobs from here before because people have seen my work spread around with my name attached to it. Removing that is removing my ability to further my career and pay my bills.

Thanks to all of you who have been sending me messages with links to re-uploads, there’s no way I could possibly keep tabs on all of this stuff. I appreciate it so much.

So thanks, thanks. Just be cool, ok?

Hey you! You are awesome

I am not a writer but a vidder-fanartist. I can understand how a writer must feel when anons start sending hate through tumblr or those reviews on ff or AO3.

I can understand when a writer, vidder or fanartist want to give up because of the fandom.

I have seen a lot of envy and people who think are popular and start thinking they deserve everything. They sometimes are rude with other swen.

I also have seen how little groups are formed and you feel you are not allowed to get in.

I have seen how people would do everything so that Lana or Jennifer RT or FAv their tweets, including hurting other people in the process.

You, “populars” you are there because the rest of the fandom put you there. But it doesn’t mean you are a star, doesn’t mean you are on the top of the world and you can look down at the rest.

It’s unfair this is happening to writers, vidders, fanartist in this fandom.

They are the Swen who are giving you stories, moments and those anons are making this to them? Really? Enough is enough.

Good artists (and this implies EVERYONE, included the ones who don’t get so much reviews)(writers, vidders and fanartist) give up because they are tired.

They are tired because of anons, because of reposts, because of people undermine them, because people don’t respect them.

And it’s unfair.

The artists give hope, joy and smile to the fandom with their art, with their words, with their visuals.

I have seen how guests write rude reviews. If you want to criticize the fanfic is okay but don’t insult or undermine the author.

I have seen how people create accounts and steal fanart to get that recognition thanks to fanartists. (If you don’t credit fanartist, what does it mean? Means you want those RT or Favs or likes, with not a good purpose, just recognition)

Those anons, guests and disrespectful people should put in artist shoes for once.

When you leave a rude review, insulting them or steal some work to be popular, you really don’t know how much effort the writer has put to write their story. You don’t know if writing or making fanart is the only way they are happy because their lives suck! You don’t know the situation they are living and you only add more shit to their lives.

Just be kind and respectful and this is a free advice I give you in life.

Dear artist,

Don’t give up. I know perfectly is easy to say, difficult to do but this happened to me too.

But if you leave the fandom but you can’t stop writing and making fanart that means that you don’t have to give up because of those people. That means you feel that passion for all what you do and you must go on!

Never give up!

Don’t surrender to those people

and fight. 

If you think what you are doing is good, then it will be for the rest.

Don’t doubt about yourself just because others tell you that you are not good enough.

This fandom can be a beautiful place. It was few months ago.

I don’t know what happened but this must stop. Start respecting artists, respecting people. Because everyone has a place in this fandom: a writer, a reader, the newbies, fanartists, vidders, cheerleaders… everyone.

Every Swen is in the same level than others. Here there are not “populars”, we don’t have a status, we are all the same fans, enjoying our ladies, our ship, SwanQueen. 

What some people are doing is the same that haters are doing to us.

Remember artist, you are awesome!

cheedho  asked:

Just wondering, why don't you want some of your art shared on twitter?

That is a legit question.

People should just know the difference between “sharing” and “reposting”. 

When I don’t mind my work being on twitter, I usually post it there myself. To share it, people just have to use the button made for that effect. Just retweet. That’s what the button is for. Sharing. There is my twitter handle, my caption, my link to my blog, my art; everyone is happy.
If you absolutely want celebs to see it, you are welcome to RT and tag them, if I posted it in the first place it means I’m okay with it.

Reposting is straight up stealing and ripping me, and any artists people repost art from, of a certain amount of publicity that social media offers, especially twitter. And there is close to nothing as important as visibility for an artist. To this day, Hayley Atwell retweeted my art 5 times. 5 times it was a repost. 5 times I could have gotten an incredible amount of visibility, and I didn’t. 5 times Hayley herself could have seen who drew these fanarts, but she didn’t. 5 times I wanted to stop posting my work online because people are inconsiderate assholes, coming to me saying “AT LEAST SHE LIKES YOUR ART BE GRATEFUL”. No, fuck off, illustrating and drawing is my job outside tumblr. I need the visibility and while I am grateful and happy people I admire likes my work, it isn’t enough or doesn’t change the fact that someone stole an opportunity from me, to gain a little visibility and even maybe a job from a potential employer who would have seen and liked what I do. 5 times everyone was overjoyed for me and I was just crying behind my screen, feeling robbed.

I am flexible on the matter and while it still hurts and bugs me, if at least my twitter handle is mentioned in a repost and it’s stated that the art is by me, I am keen to let it go. But again, WHY NOT RETWEET FROM THE SOURCE?

When I say in my tumblr caption “please do not share on twitter”, it’s usually because the work is NSFW and I am not comfortable about people showing this for every one (actors/actresses) to see. And in that case, there is no questions you need to ask yourself. I said “don’t share this particular piece of fanart on twitter” so you do not share that particular piece of fanart on twitter.
It’s as simple as hello and if people doesn’t get and respect that, it means that they are stupid on top of being fucking assholes :)

I’d just like to say please don’t use or reprint any art by kobeni_hisako (Twitter) / mcbit2 (Tumblr). You can reblog their art on Tumblr, or like it on Twitter if you are following their account (since it is private right now, you cannot retweet). That is how you can show your appreciation of their art. They have made their policy extremely clear, but I still see people using their art as icons, headers, blog images, etc, with no permission and/or no credit. I believe this unauthorised usage of their art is why they made their Twitter account private, as many other artists have, although I could be wrong. Regardless, please respect their wishes.

I blurred out the name here because from what I can see they did take down the posts and icon, but please know that this is not an appropriate response if an artist ever tells you to take down their artwork. It’s not claiming that they’re your art that is the issue. Artists don’t want their work used or reprinted for various reasons. Please respect their wishes and be polite. ‘Liking it enough to share it’ is not a valid excuse and the artist will most likely not appreciate that as much as some people seem to think. (They’ll probably appreciate that you like their art, but not the way you went about showing that liking. There are other ways as said above that will not have a negative impact at all.) I’m saying this because I have seen the impact unauthorised usage/reprinting of art has had on some artists and it is really saddening. (Some have privatised all of their accounts, written “DO NOT REPOST” in bright red English letters everywhere they can on their visible profile, etc. You get the picture.)

In general, if you’re unsure of an artists’ stance on using their art as your icons, headers, reposting, etc, then either ask them directly or don’t do it. If you can’t find the original artist, don’t do it.

Thanks for reading. Please share if you can.