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Thread: Protecting your work..
July 2nd, 2012 #1
Protecting your work..
I really appreciate the talent on this website, and all the high-quality images being posted here, but I have to ask? Aren't you guys afraid of having your hard work and high-quality images ripped-off?
Personally, I only post photos of my work, because the low-quality images make me feel a little more protected from theft. I understand it makes it far less interesting to online communities, because the photos can't do the original justice, but I also feel that it keeps my original works safe. That may just be a security blanket, but I can't bring myself to post high-quality images of my work, because it's so easy to steal and digitally render art these days.. As a new gallery artist, and new to world of fine art, I'm often being warned that gallery artists are notorious for theft.
Many, if not most of you are professionals here; what are your thoughts on this?
Those who have something to fall back on -- always do.
Hide this ad by registering as a memberJuly 3rd, 2012 #2
Well, if someone does rip you off (though I don't know if you mean actually stealing the actual images, reposting them in the internet and claiming them their own or just copying ideas) then so what? I mean sure, having someone copy your ideas is irksome, but you rarely lose money because of that and I'm pretty sure at some point every artist has ripped someone else's ideas either unconsciously or deliberately or someone has done the exact same thing first (the old, "nothing is original" thing), and bad quality photos don't necessarily stop people reposting your photos if they so want and if you're afraid that if you post a high quality image then someone will use it as a book cover or something and make billions of dollars out of your work... then that's a pretty rare thing to be afraid of. Not that bigger end art theft hasn't happened, but that's more like refusing to ever go into water because you heard one guy dies per year from shark attacks and you're afraid you're that one guy.
And you've done your own ideas and images with your own skill, if someone has to take your ideas and designs and copy them totally because yours are more interesting/original/well executed than what they can come up with, then it's just likely to bring crap to that person in the end.
Not to mention if you plan to be a professional and have your art somewhere then that kinda diminishes the control you might have over your art on the internet. What I mean is that if you do book illustrations, the covers will be shown on the internet, anyone can buy the book and see your images (and rip them off or whatever) or scan them and post them for others to see and in galleries people can take photos of your work (if that's allowed in the gallery but generally somehow stuff will end up on the web) or the person you did the images for wants to use them as promotional stuff (like desktop images, icons, banners, and so on) and though you might control something of those, it's impossible to control it all and you'll just drive yourself nuts if you try or get too worked about it.
Not to mention having good quality images (and I mean images that are clear and sharp, not super large/high resolution images that are primed to be printed) are more likely to attract potential employers too.
Last edited by TinyBird; July 3rd, 2012 at 03:19 AM.
July 3rd, 2012 #3
i think this whole stealing problem is a little overrated in most cases, but especially in yours. youre saying youre a gallery artist... do you think someone would steal your place in an exhibition, standing there with a print of your photo of your picture (no typo), while youre having the original?
i dont get that watermark stuff neither... on portfolio pictures id put my contactdetails in a corner outside my creation (for the artdirector having the contact details instantly), but not some, in most cases badly designed, semitransparent rubbish, thats on top of and obscuring the reason i actually want to show it (see paragraph 1).
 by intentionally presenting your artwork in a worse way than possible, youre only harming yourself, your direct competition has it easier, and the stealing dorks dont care... theyll steal something else.
[edit 2] to me the best prevention is to post your artwork in several communities and getting it known. your fellow artists are quite good at recognizing stuff theyve seen (its an integral part of our trade ) and have little empathy with thieves. and if it still happens... theres laws assisting us in making it a quite miserable experience for the offender.
[edit 3 (after this im done... i promise)] or would you buy ugly, uncomfortable shoes, so its less likely someone would try to steal them?
Last edited by sone_one; July 3rd, 2012 at 10:29 AM.
July 3rd, 2012 #4Registered User
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beyond a signature hidden somewhere in the painting and having your website address in a corner you really shouldn't bother any further with protecting your art from theft as watermarks are rather obtrusive and low quality/res jpegs usually ruin the art.
Also dedicated thieves will just end up removing your watermarks anyway although I don't see that happen often at all.
July 3rd, 2012 #5
Honestly, the minute you put your art anywhere public, you're taking a calculated risk... If you post work online, then yeah, no matter what precautions you take, if people can see it, they can find a way to rip it off. Likewise if you sell prints or have your work published in any printed form, sure, people can buy a copy, scan it, and print off a thousand more copies...
But if you want to be a professional, these are risks you need to take. As a professional, you need to get your work seen by as many people as possible, and you want them to say "wow!" when they see it. So you put your work out in the world and present it attractively, and accept the risk of occasional rip-offs. And in reality, the damage from rips tends to be minimal for the most part. Especially if you publicize yourself enough so that the majority of people will recognize your work as yours, even if it pops up in random corners of the web with no attribution.
Granted you don't want to post huge print-resolution images willy-nilly. But good presentation and images of a decent size makes you look more professional. Bad blurry pictures, tiny low-res images, and giant watermarks tend to scream "amateur!"
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July 3rd, 2012 #6
The rip-offs you tend to see most often are crappy designers looking at a good design, duplicating it by tracing or re-drawing, changing it around a bit and then slapping it on some merchandise. And you can't really protect yourself from that by posting low-quality images. At the point where it's so low-quality that it can't be re-drawn, it's also so low-quality that nobody will want to see it.
July 3rd, 2012 #7
You all make very valid points.. I suppose it's really something I need to get over.
Those who have something to fall back on -- always do.