More and more people trace those days. And I'm not talking about the ones that just rip off anatomy books like eldavissimo but people that are using photos, frames from movies and the like, usually plundered form the net. I'm not talking about using reference for something I'm talking about straight tracing when somebody takes a porn picture or a still frame from a Hollywood movie, puts it on a layer in photoshop and draws over it (and sometimes uses part of the original photo in the final art). Countless people now do that PROFESSIONALLY (i.e. making money out of their art), especially in comic books (covers and interiors). Some 'artists' are even really famous for that.
To me this is ethically wrong, because you basically steal from somebody else, and this is technically wrong because it will never look good. Any pro can spot those images a mile away. They have a lot of perspective problems, anatomy mistakes due to lense distortion and so on. BUT a lot of average customers and clients cannot see this, especially if the final picture looks 'like a photo'.
So I'd like to hear some opinion on this. Is it right to make money by tracing something, be it a character, a car, a building, a whole scene, of somebody else work (photo, movie, drawing, etc.)? This is to me a new problem because in the past it was never that easy to trace over things, but Photoshop and the current taste for 'realism' make it tempting for people without talent or shame to rip some reward.
What do you think?