Art Theft - And how to stop it

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  1. #1

    Talking Art Theft - And how to stop it

    Hey guys, i have a question for all you its not a real big thing i guess. But well, all of us as artists work hard to do are work, and sometimes even want to sell it, or maybe even most of the time, we all have websites, and we all post on art forums. I was just wondering, how exactly do you protect against people right clicking your images saving and printing out with there own digital printers. I mean if you sell prints, and you have a pretty big pic of the photography or painting on your website someone can easily copy it, with ok quality still. Is there a way to stop this, i see alot of artists, showcase there work on there sites at small image sizes, thats another question what is a good size to display work at on the internet, without ruining how it looks from going to small??? And from others not taking it.... kinda deal. I have many people told me ya i printed out your pic man looks great or w.e and i am all like oh really can you please not do that blah blah! But really im soo mad. But usually friends with them sooo uhh.. But im sure many more people do this.


    Anyways... i hope i made sense with all that rambling.


    Justin.

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  3. #2
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    Always post stuff never over 72 dpis. It'll look like shit when printed out but will be fine on screen. Also, the right amount of compression can help... But pleaaaase no right-click disabling... It's a bronze age old trick which only slows down the real thieves and pisses off the nice people that would like to keep your art as a sample.
    Always remember ; if it looks good on screen, it's okay. Only the end result counts. And there's no 100% proof way to avoid art theft. Take it as a compliment when it happends You never know ; Your work could be showcased on pink fuzzy slippers from a developping country !)

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  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by egerie
    But pleaaaase no right-click disabling... It's a bronze age old trick which only slows down the real thieves
    Yeah its only too simple. Ramp up your screen resolution, open the picture on browser fully, take a snapshot, paste and crop on photoshop.

    72 dpi at medium compression Jpeg should be more than adequate. If you have tonnes of details then they'll be lost but if its a line sketch then its more than enough.

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  5. #4
    OK thanks guys, as for this 72 dpi thing most pictures i submit are at that...saved to web, 72dpi the whole shabam... But, should i post the images smaller? I usually post/put them on my website at, 550 by 750 ish, or like 750 by 450 something like that...?

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  6. #5

    Lightbulb

    Even 800x600 images would be fine - have you ever tried printing out an 800x600 image at a reasonable size? It gets all pixellated and goes to hell pretty quickly. If anyone wanted a printout of an image from the web, it's either gonna have to be a tiny print, or a large, crappy quality one. I wouldn't worry too much about it.

    Just don't go posting the original PSD file or anything, and you should be fine

    It's worse with 3d models, since those can actually be downloaded, re-rendered and people can say they're their own. I've had that happen to me before, fortunately it's pretty easy to prove who made the original, since the original author tends to have "work-in-progress" files, backups and different versions of the file, whereas the thief only gets the version that was available online.

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  7. #6
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    It seems there's some WIDESPREAD misconception about DPI. It doesn't matter, in any single little way whatsoever, what DPI you save your image as.
    The only thing that matters is the pixels, you can have 3000 pixels at 1 dpi, 72 dpi or 300 dpi and it'll look identical.
    The DPI is just telling the program how big it should make the image when printing and it can be changed manually without interfering with the image whatsoever.

    This might be obvious for most but I still see references to DPI when it is completely irrelevant.

    edit: what I'm trying to say is:
    save a 500x500 image at 72 DPI and it will look IDENTICAL in EVERY WAY to a 500x500 image in 400000000000000 DPI.

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  8. #7
    I find myself worrying momre about people who will right-click, save, then post your art as their own in their online galleries, portfolios, etc.

    I've used obnoxious watermarks in the past, but they usually only discourage the more "simple" art thieves who can't properly use photoshop.

    Thankfully, this has never happened to me but we all know of someone who has had their work ripped off like this. Moreso, one friend of mine found her artwork, despite it being 72 dpi, printed on various T-shirts and mousepads on ebay.

    Flattering, I guess, but damn...

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  9. #8
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    My problem is hotlinking. Some asshat on myspace is currently jacking my bandwidth, but I can't find them among the zillions of memebers. The last time it happened, it turned out to be a girl who jacked my lil' link banner to Eatpoo- "Welcome Ladies"! She simply copied and hosted it herself after I politely asked her to quit. My Webalizer took me straight to her page, but the current link just goes to the sign-on page. Grrrrr!!

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  10. #9
    Watermark is your freind. Always put your name, web url (or email, something people can reach you at) in the picture somewhere.

    And keep things below 800x800 would help a lot. If you want to show details, simply post up a cropped zoomed in detail shot on particular parts. It's really no need to post things too big. It just become a hassel for the viewer really.

    There's really no fool proof methods for prevent thieves. They can smudge off your watermark or sigs, or just trace over. You just have to learn to deal with it. And pray some people would help to look out theives for you.

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  11. #10
    from my experience i have found the people who worry and take the most steps to "protect" their work are the ones who have the least to worry about. i cant count how many crappy crap crap images i have seen with a big ol stupid watermark over it.when was the last time you saw a craig mullins watermark? honestly, who cares if someone steals your work in the hopes to get a job? you think if they get hired off stolen work they are gonna be able to keep the job they get if they didnt have the skills to begin with? ninja please. im not saying stealing is okay, but anyone who steals artwork and gets hired for a job off it is going to be expected to perform to that same level of the stolen stuff. so dont trip, dont worry about watermarks, and just worry about making art good enough to be stolen. -c36

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  12. #11
    Haha, thanks guys, thx coro that makes alot of sense man

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  13. #12
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    Ima rip off coro by saying "Ninja please.." from now on..

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  14. #13
    shit i wish id watermarked that comment -c36

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  15. #14
    I dunno, but a few years ago a friend of mine talked about this and he had a pretty interesting solution that did kind of make sense. Just spread your work all over the place. The more folks that see your work, the greater the chance your work will be recognized. The more folks who learn to recognize your work, the more likely others will know it's your work and not the thieves'. However, I forgot how he suggested spreading ones' own work, but I'm probably over simplifiying what he said, it was like 4 years ago afterall.

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  16. #15
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    If anybody is using your work to find a job, to sell, or just to have, then GREAT! The day people start counterfitting your work is the day you know your art kicks ass, and is worth $$$. You should be flattered.

    "If one advances confidently in the direction of
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  17. #16
    Hehe, thats actually a cool thought guys...The day people rip off your work the day your work kicksass Never thought of it like that, but what i was getting at is what if you want to sell prints, people steal them....and you get no money for prints... But w.e im just gonna stick with this:


    "The day people rip off your work the day your work kicksass "


    Thanks.

    Justin.

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  18. #17
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    I think I'd throw a piracy party the day I see one of my images making money for someone else.

    imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery but it doesn't hold a candle to outright thievery!

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  19. #18
    hi Dudes ,

    the most cheapest way to realy copyright your art is just simple
    just once you finished it zip all files together or scan it and burn it on cd
    put it in a parcel and send it to your-self

    and then never open it until there is the first lawcase
    because the datestamp matters





    Last edited by matesch; July 4th, 2005 at 04:51 PM.
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  20. #19
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    A lawyer told me this is worthless.
    But keeping your wip files works!

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  21. #20
    Poor man's copyright doesn't hold up in court anymore in the US in suing someone, but I dunno about how it holds up for defense from lawsuits. I also dunno how the varying courts in Europe handle such matters.

    I will say this much, today a friend of mine relayed to me how one of his works posted on DeviantArt were copied by another DeviantArt user. How he was made aware of this, I didn't ask, and assume it was one of his fans, but the offending individual did remove it, which somewhat backs up what I said earlier. Can't stop the actual thieves from stealing the work, but if you spread enough of your work around you can count on your admirers refering you to the offending image so you can take action.

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  22. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by goldenavatar
    Poor man's copyright doesn't hold up in court anymore
    It never did .


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  23. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by JustinBeckett
    what i was getting at is what if you want to sell prints, people steal them....and you get no money for prints....
    As long as you keep the pic size to about 800x600 to even 1024x768, it'll be fine. Customers for prints will want good, sharp prints that those resolutions cannot deliver. There may still be fans who will print the pics off your website, but that's mostly because they can't afford a real print. You won't lose much money either way.

    ...+1 exp
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  24. #23
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    Best way to prevent is to plaster your name and the copyright symbol allllll over in with 50% opacity!

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  25. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by el coro
    from my experience i have found the people who worry and take the most steps to "protect" their work are the ones who have the least to worry about. i cant count how many crappy crap crap images i have seen with a big ol stupid watermark over it.when was the last time you saw a craig mullins watermark? honestly, who cares if someone steals your work in the hopes to get a job? you think if they get hired off stolen work they are gonna be able to keep the job they get if they didnt have the skills to begin with? ninja please. im not saying stealing is okay, but anyone who steals artwork and gets hired for a job off it is going to be expected to perform to that same level of the stolen stuff. so dont trip, dont worry about watermarks, and just worry about making art good enough to be stolen. -c36
    Overly huge watermark are lame. But at least people should put their web URL somewhere on the work. It's easier for people to look it up later if they save the image in their HDD.
    You may not have to worry about thieves using the work for jobs, but you do need to worry about other things, such as thieves using your work for contests.

    and just worry about making art good enough to be stolen.
    Kudos to that.

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  26. #25
    if its a painting or a non replicable piece that was stolen, then you might have a problem on your hands. However if someone were to use any piece of your work for profit, it can be a good thing in a lawsuit to profit from. Just need proof that it isnt eronious.

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  27. Quote Originally Posted by darth massacre
    Yeah its only too simple. Ramp up your screen resolution, open the picture on browser fully, take a snapshot, paste and crop on photoshop.
    Go Internet Explorer > Extras > Internetoptions > Temporary Internet Files-Options > Show Files >> there you will find the picture you saw in you IE and you can copy them to another folder.

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueMech
    Best way to prevent is to plaster your name and the copyright symbol allllll over in with 50% opacity!
    What ? You make your latest piece of art ,with all your skill and hard work and then you "copyright symbol allllll over in with 50% opacity" ?
    You are a very brave man .

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  28. Well, I had problems with art thieves, and one of my friend got her works ripped a few times. We are not professionnal, but we draw a lot of fanart of japanese serie, and the average teenager fanboy/girl often don't understand the meaning of intellectual property, and just put the pic he/she like on his/her website without disclaimer.
    One of the thief actually print my friends pics, even if those were in low res, then colored in colored pencil and scanned again, but forgot to erase the signature before trying to sell 'his' work.
    I don't think the problem is really with those stealing pic to get a job, sonner or later, they will be discovered, but some thiefs manage to sell bad print of good art. Apparently, people are ready to pay to have a ‘real’ copy of a pic they like.
    There is also the problem of reputation stealing. Bad artist trying to get praise and admiration by tracing or stealing art. I used to knew a girl (not anymore, thanks God) which was sure she was an artist because she could copy others people drawing. She didn’t understood why everyone shunned her for tracing our drawing.
    In every case, there is no miracle remedy. Either a big ugly copyright, or a signature in a unalterable part of the pic, or, more efficient, not putting our art online (which Im sure, everyone would find stupid, except for one of my friends who suggest to).
    On another hand, what Goldenavatar said is true: Every time one of my pictures was ripped, it was recognised from my devart, or elfwood gallery. It’s efficient... To the point a guy thought I was an art thief when stumbling on my website shortly after my devart gallery. XD

    Sorry about my english, I’m at work (bad me baaad) and don’t have my dictionnary.

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  29. #28
    As long as people can't steal away my brain and my hands, I find this kinda thing little to worry about.

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  30. #29
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    Appuyez Sur Le Boutton

    I'm just worried about sharing too much of my brain with people, where they know so much they might claim it as their own... as long as they know where they first saw the sight before sharing it with others as their own...(that's why all my est stuff isn't online, just on the walls on my room... and it's beautiful I tell you. very intimate to me... (and I don't meen that in a sexuel way) I probably have no worries anyways...

    ~Mr_S_14

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  31. #30
    The best way to ensure no one steals your work is to do shitty work

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