I know, it's been over a year now since I actually posted a journal. I kept trying to think of things to post but kept wanting to wait until I was active with uploading again before I did, but this is a topic that I find interesting, kinda upsetting, and am seriously curious about other people's opinions or experiences with this.
(BTW, I have been still drawing quite a bit over the last year, but it's mostly been pencil drawings in my character sheet sketchbook. After I changed computers last January my old scanner doesn't work with windows 8. Curse you windows 8!!
So I need to spend a day on my son's computer, which my scanner works on, and get a bunch of them up here.)
So, the main topic is... where do you draw the line when somebody is directly copying your character?
I don't mean just art theft, but somebody takes your design nearly 100%, uses it for their character, makes art of them, etc. There are other factors, such as them linking back to your picture (although in this case it was a stolen version of my picture by an identity thief) and saying that it was 'inspired' by your art (when it's a direct, 99% copy where all they changed was a slight hair length), so you are somewhat getting credit. Then on top of that, they have art created by other professional artists of YOUR character for them, without giving any credit and making comments about how it's their character.For example:
(and these are old examples BTW, just something new with one of them came to my attention yesterday)
This is MY picture that an identity thief stole. They made a DA account using my old username, copied my text directly from my old Elfwood account, took and uploaded my art without permission.pooka-bunny19.deviantart.com/a…This was my picture from Elfwood of my main (and favourite) D&D character Mi'ri'lil that I drew just over a decade ago.
(This was stolen and uploaded not long after the picture was shown on Elfwood, about a year or so after I posted it there.)Then this person alexander3 makes a character using my design, and Mydian makes art of 'their' character which is 'my' character. www.deviantart.com/art/Sonora-…
Now they did put a note that it was 'inspired' by my dress (not including that the whole design was mine, hair style as well) changed nearly nothing but the hair length... and oddly 'sort of' gave credit to me by linking to the stolen version of my picture. O.o
Now I have to say that this didn't really bother me too much, but it did make me uncomfortable. The link to (the stolen) picture of Mi'ri'lil and not just claiming credit for my designs is what made me not too upset about this. It was years after the doll was made that I found it and made a comment about how Mi'ri'lil was pleased that another Eilistraeean likes her clothing designs because she's a bit of a seamstress/designer, and that the link they had was to a STOLEN version of my art.
I didn't think much about this for awhile, not such a big deal... but yesterday I found something else old about this. A professional artist made a picture for the person who used my character and her design without permission.azraelevangeline.deviantart.co…
So basically it was a fully done, digital painting of MY character with no credit, and the comments by the person who initially stole my design on there just went on and on about how it was 'their' character without any notes that they copied the design in the first place.So, where do you draw the line on something like this?
The last picture had happened before I had even seen the doll copy of my character from years ago, but if I had even seen it in time. Somebody copied my design and character, and I basically was very uncomfortable about it but let it slide. But then other people are making art of my character for them, with notes that it's the copier's character.
Do you stop it at the initial copying going 'Hey! What are you doing, you didn't even ask permission about this!'
Do you contact the person who made the extra art going 'Hey! It's right on the picture that they COPIED another design, it's unethical for you to have made art of a copied design!'
I'm not even going into the identity thief issue... I seriously should report that and have that account taken down. -_- (BTW, just by trying the 'report deviation' probably won't work because the person copied my identity and the form doesn't really cover that. O.o )
This isn't the only example of design theft getting extra art..Example 2:
(again, a very old one)
Years ago, when I just signed up with DA, a person Kneph
contacted me because they were being bothered on Furcadia. Apparently they completely stole my art of my character Wepawet, and used it for their character Kneph. i148.photobucket.com/albums/s3…
The odd part is that they wrote to me asking for permission to KEEP using my character's art and design after they were caught by other people online. O.oThey had received pictures and set up commissions on Furcadia of MY character.
So basically there were full done pictures of my character, same design/clothing/colours/weapons/etc, that they were taking claim to and owning telling everybody that it was their character.i33.photobucket.com/albums/d53…i33.photobucket.com/albums/d53…img467.imageshack.us/img467/94…
Now because they wrote to me about it, I had told them that no, I didn't like the idea of people using my character designs as their own but I would be happy to help make a re-design that they could use. (Not something I would normally even do, this still made me uncomfortable, but them writing me about it softened me up to it.)
I had worked on some re-designs, but then the person complained that they didn't want 'their' character's design changed.. then I reminded them that was 'MY' character's design, they had no claim on it... and well, that sort of was the breaking point for me and I stopped the redesign and didn't respond to them again.
*sighs*So again, where do you draw the line on something like this?
Initially, if somebody else pointed me in their direction, and they didn't have extra art made of my design that they stole I normally would ask them to please stop using my work, they didn't have permission and I wasn't happy about it.
Finding that they had art made for 'their' character using 'my' character's design... that just was.. well... 'ouch'. I don't really have the words to express it, but wow, that's just putting lemon juice on a wound.
How in the world do you deal with something like this?It's odd how it's a thin line for me of what I don't mind, and what bothers the heck out of me.
~ Using my character (the actual, full character.. name, personality, design, etc) in an 'at home' RPG as a bit of a character cameo or as an NPC - I find that flattering
~ Using my character to roleplay them privately as their own character, with notes that it's actually my character they're using - it makes me kinda uncomfortable
~ Art being made of my character and design by somebody claiming it's their character, but saying that they copied it from me - that makes me very uncomfortable
~ Taking my character and design and re-naming them to just copy my ideas and claim it as their own for a private RP (no art) - That makes me kinda upset
~ Making art of stolen designs and claiming it as their own concept/idea - that makes me angry
~ Directly taking art of my characters, erasing my name, claiming that they drew it, claiming my character as their own - That makes me furious and I tend to take serious action against it
.So where in the world do I put that person having art made of my character that they stole, for themselves? How do I react to the person who made the art? What level of theft and hurt do you put something like this?
Gah.Anyhow, please share your opinions, your own experiences, if this has ever happened to you and where you think that you would draw the line on situations like this.