I just got a little note linking me to someone selling a product with one of my pieces on it. Luckily I haven't experienced too many instances of art theft. But I draw fanart. Fanart gets passed around the internet. People lose track of the provenance and it just happens that things turn up here and there used without permission.
I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt. I don't think most art theft is malicious. People see something they like and they want to use it.
And of course it's always
flattering when someone loves your artwork.
But I have a personal policy against profiting from other people's intellectual property (it's why I don't sell prints of my fanart) and this is why: when it happens to me it makes me feel incredibly violated - the same as if someone had broken into my house and stolen pieces of finished artwork from my portfolio. Every time I get a note from a fellow deviant linking me to someone using my art I get this mixed reaction of gratitude and dread.
Gratitude because I'm glad there are people out there looking out for each other, who care enough to let me know.
Dread because then I have to go write the thief a message asking them to stop.
And it makes me feel like a big bitch.
Because it's the internet right? Half the reason we all love it so much is *because* badass fanworks get passed around. And because I honestly don't mind people using my artwork for their own personal use (and some awesome projects have been inspired by my work, it makes me ridiculously giddy when I think of it). I know the anonymity of the internet can make it difficult to feel the personal relation between an artist and a piece of artwork (and the hours and hours and hours of effort and struggle and frustration that an artist puts into a piece), I feel like there's this disconnect people have with the images they find on the internet and it's utterly unfathomable to me. I would NEVER use someone's work for public purposes, much less commercial
purposes without explicit permission. Why do people think this is okay???
So long story short; I will put a link on my DA homepage if I ever start selling prints of my work. If you ever see my artwork (or products with my artwork on them) for sale somewhere else I will always be grateful for a heads-up.
>>> P.S. [link]
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