First off I just want to say thanks to everyone who let me know about other people stealing my work and posting them to their dA pages and Tumblr accounts. If you're ever in a position where you're wondering "should I bother Vest about this? Would he get mad at me for spamming his inbox letting him know who is posting his work as their own?" I assure you, it would be much better if I knew than if I didn't.
I read every note that I receive, especially ones regarding serious issues like art theft.
I would also prefer it if you guys didn't confront the artist and tell them they're being bad. They're art thieves, they either don't care who they're hurting, or they're too stupid to see the error in their ways. I've seen thieves go to tremendous lengths to justify art theft, mostly to their own fragile little ego, with excuses like "I'm protected by Fair Use" or "this is my first amendment freedom of speech."
Oh, the "Fair Use" idiots. Those are my favorite to take down. Really tears a hole in the fabric of their faux reality.
"Fair Use" is a protection that extends to me. To people who make their own original fan art. People who actually put forth the effort to create something from a blank canvas. "Fair Use" is no justification for art theft, and simply putting a couple hue tweaks, Instagram filters, or cheesy quasi-demotivational emo poetry over it doesn't justify the usage of the source material.
Unfortunately, deviantArt has made the bone-headed decision to advise people to tell the offending art thief to kindly remove their work and refer to some "informational journal" of sorts. This is exactly what they request people do if they find an artist ripping off another artist. This is their recommended course of action when you try to send them a report for art theft.
This is ridiculous.
Just tell me directly. Send me a note. I read all my notes.
DA only has the power to give you bad advice that can lead to unpleasant confrontational nonsense that just makes you feel angry and powerless against a stubborn flagrant thief. I have the power to file a DMCA report on my personal behalf and get the work taken down immediately.
And note that I won't DMCA everything. DMCA's are really overpowered, it's almost unfair how easily they can be exploited. We saw such exploitation this week on Vimeo with Sony's scummy IP firm DMCA blasting a wide selection of long-standing films just because they had the word "Pixels" in the title. Yeah, as if a shitty Adam Sandler movie couldn't just have the decency to stay shitty in the safe confines of theaters, it has to waft its shittiness into real life too.
This journal's comment section is 100% open to rants about Adam Sandler.
But I'll be able to review each instance individually and act at my discretion. Somebody showcasing my work on their blog for an art feature? I'll definitely let it stay. Some small-time independent music producer using one of my landscapes for a YouTube upload of their single, and giving me proper credit in the image description? I might open a line of dialogue and get something figured out (if even), but won't go the nuclear DMCA option.
But people just blatantly ripping off my work, claiming it as their own, and dumping a heap of filters on it to try to pass it off as an original piece? People trying to sell prints of my work for money? People using my work to promote their personal commercial projects? That's stuff I absolutely need to know about so I can act accordingly.
But the most important thing is, I will appreciate every single notification that I receive. I won't be getting all trigger-happy with DMCA bombardments against Tumblr. I just like to know where my stuff ends up so, if necessary, I can control on how it's used. Besides, wouldn't you rather be guaranteed some thanks and appreciation by telling me, rather than risking a bitter confrontation with some Internet art thief troglodyte on their home turf?