(cross-posted to all the places)
I just have a "public service announcement" type thing regarding my art - and everyone's art, for that matter. No matter who it is, where they're from, or how popular they are. The message is this: IF YOU REPOST SOMEONE'S ART ANYWHERE, CREDIT IT AND DON'T EDIT IT.
I've had a LOT of people reposting my art with no credit at all, editing my pictures for icons/profile pictures/simply removing the signature, and impersonating me and claiming my characters as theirs. My main problem seems to be with Facebook, but this is not okay anywhere at any time.
I understand that a lot of people put time and work into collecting and putting together image collections. I understand that they do this because they really like the art. It can be flattering when people want to share your art with others because they like it and think it is worth being seen by others. It is not flattering, however, when people post the art without giving credit to the person that has done all the original work. If you really like the art and want to share it, then make a way for people to know WHO drew it, so that they can find more as well as give the artist the exposure they deserve. It takes a mere few minutes to post a picture to a site, but it may take hours or days for the artist to create that picture. Don't you think they deserve to be given credit for all that hard work?
There are copyright laws – yes, even on the internet. But on a personal level, I've been drawing and struggling with it for 20 years and I put a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into my work. It makes me very very upset and stressed when people repost my art and characters with absolutely no way to trace it back to me. Along the way, there have been some people who think I'm a terrible, horrible, mean person who goes around looking for pictures to report. For the record, this is not true. I don't LIKE when my art is reposted (at all) especially without credit, but I have never gone looking for images, and I hatehatehate having to report them. But there have been many instances where uncredited art has been brought to my attention, and my response is that I WILL report the image if it is not linked back me - or I'll at least ask the person to remove the image(s). I LOVE that people like my art, I really truly do. But if it's posted and not linked back to me, how am I supposed to know that people like it? How will they find more? If you repost art without sharing the artist, or edit their hard work, you're really only hurting the artist even if you genuinely love what they do. It takes just a moment of your time to show respect by linking for the hours of time an artist spent creating something appealing.
Another common problem is finding the image in outside galleries and continuing to perpetuate the problem by sharing sourceless art. If you found an image outside a personal gallery and don't know whose it is, reverse search it. If you don't know what that means, Google it. There are many different sites to do this, and you can even use Google itself (Just go to the image section, and click on the little camera. Upload or link the image URL and it will try to find that image.) It's really an incredibly simple thing to do. In the end, if you just link back to the artist on pictures, it will make everything easier for everyone.
As for characters and impersonation, this is just hurtful. I love my characters and I identify with them. I'm sure you wouldn't like if someone took something that you owned and loved, and said it was theirs all over the internet. Or if someone pretended to be you and said horrible things about people and made you look bad. It's the same thing, so please don't use characters that don't belong to you. It's not hard to make your own. The best rule to go by: If there is already art of it, it probably belongs to someone.
So please. Please make it all simpler for artists and admirers everywhere, and link back to artists if you repost art. We'll all really appreciate it.
P.S. -- I know people are probably going to argue about this....I'm not arguing it, and I probably won't reply at all because I don't want to start anything. My deal is simply this: link back to me and don't claim my characters/impersonate me, and I'll leave you be.