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Thread: Copyright Question

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
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    1,993
    It's a murky sliding scale is the short answer. And credit is always important. If you want help finding the source of an image, or finding images you can freely copy (look up stock images on DeviantART, they're designed for this sort of thing), then we can definitely help with that as well, but it's a slightly different question, so I'll try not to get off topic


    If you copied the image closely enough that anyone could tell it was the same image:

    - you should generally try and credit the original when you post, both as a general disclaimer (the idea wasn't yours, just the way you painted it), and to give credit to whoever took that photograph. A horse may be a horse, but the lighting, composition, etc, is something that photographer brought to the image. This also means that you'll receive feedback, praise etc that's actually *accurate*, and focused on the bits YOU did.

    - you generally shouldn't use it for commercial gain, because that's the thing that tips it from 'I just wanted to try drawing this awesome inspiring image' to 'aha, I found a way to use this awesome image and pretend it's mine so I can make money from it'.


    If it's... oh, half the same image, but half of the final image is a mix of other sources/your own creativeness, then I'd probably still credit the specific bits, but not worry about it too much. But bear in mind that it is often quite easy to spot that it wasn't all 'your own work' when you're just starting out, because the skill mismatch is so high and you haven't learnt all the techniques to integrate it (which is adding more of your own skill, which tips the balance further towards original), so it's generally best to credit if you aren't sure.


    If all it did was inspire you, or act as a reference for one tiny part, then it's just one of a dozen different ingredients and not really the 'true' source of the final image.


    The rule of thumb, basically, is "could your image have existed without the original image?" If you take away the stuff from the first image, what's left? *That's* what crediting copied/traced/referenced work is about.

    Credit is often the only way of respecting the original artist on the internet and it's very important, even more so because it's so easily 'lost' (as in the case of you not even knowing where it came from originally). It's so, so easy to just take a picture without thinking about it and then that's it, the picture is free on the internets and will be shared and cropped and edited a hundred times.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Rome (Italy)
    Posts
    24,142
    Quote Originally Posted by HannahRage View Post
    It's a murky sliding scale is the short answer. And credit is always important. If you want help finding the source of an image, or finding images you can freely copy (look up stock images on DeviantART, they're designed for this sort of thing), then we can definitely help with that as well, but it's a slightly different question, so I'll try not to get off topic


    If you copied the image closely enough that anyone could tell it was the same image:

    - you should generally try and credit the original when you post, both as a general disclaimer (the idea wasn't yours, just the way you painted it), and to give credit to whoever took that photograph. A horse may be a horse, but the lighting, composition, etc, is something that photographer brought to the image. This also means that you'll receive feedback, praise etc that's actually *accurate*, and focused on the bits YOU did.

    - you generally shouldn't use it for commercial gain, because that's the thing that tips it from 'I just wanted to try drawing this awesome inspiring image' to 'aha, I found a way to use this awesome image and pretend it's mine so I can make money from it'.


    If it's... oh, half the same image, but half of the final image is a mix of other sources/your own creativeness, then I'd probably still credit the specific bits, but not worry about it too much. But bear in mind that it is often quite easy to spot that it wasn't all 'your own work' when you're just starting out, because the skill mismatch is so high and you haven't learnt all the techniques to integrate it (which is adding more of your own skill, which tips the balance further towards original), so it's generally best to credit if you aren't sure.


    If all it did was inspire you, or act as a reference for one tiny part, then it's just one of a dozen different ingredients and not really the 'true' source of the final image.


    The rule of thumb, basically, is "could your image have existed without the original image?" If you take away the stuff from the first image, what's left? *That's* what crediting copied/traced/referenced work is about.

    Credit is often the only way of respecting the original artist on the internet and it's very important, even more so because it's so easily 'lost' (as in the case of you not even knowing where it came from originally). It's so, so easy to just take a picture without thinking about it and then that's it, the picture is free on the internets and will be shared and cropped and edited a hundred times.
    Perfectly clear and correct what You did, dear HannaRage!
    It's a matter of fairness to cite what inspired You and became part of your composition as a distinctive valuable element (which is not easy and objective to assess).
    The problem, in our age, is that copyright and trademarks often extended to areas where it shouldn't, such as, for instance, words or a whole vocabulary of a certain language, or works where few trivial techniques or tricks, often computer generated ones, got a good outcome without becoming a really original creation. Once more being honest about Your sources is the golden rule, but what is ethically and morally correct doesn't always correspond to what is legally so and this depend also from jurisdiction.
    Todays everything got quite complex indeed.
    If I think to how many masters created from previous great masters in art history, either by looking at their prints or by giving their version of a certain painting etc. with no copyright at all, since the specific art sensitivity, skills and techniques were always able to differentiate them, we may certainly recognize that, quite often today, we attribute to creativity a too much extended definition and a value to certain "original" outcomes which really have such a poor addition to their content that it cannot grant uniqueness.
    Panta rei (everything flows)!

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    1,993
    Oh, a followup - one reason crediting matters so much on the internet when you post is because once you post YOUR work somewhere public, you can't control how many people see it, or what happens to it. Showing a few friends in person, or on a very private Facebook page doesn't matter at all, you can do what you like there, but sharing your art on a forum or art site or anywhere public, no matter how limited the audience you *intend* it to reach, means that suddenly it's Out There and could potentially end up where the original photographer can see it/cause problems for them (and while it's unlikely, people do like to see what people have done based on their own work and many artists actively police the internet for theft of their work to try and stay on top of it).

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    614
    Taking your own photos in this case is very satisfying. That way you'll never get into the tricky situation of using someone else's artwork for anything besides inspiration and in that case, reference.

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