Not Giving Credit is Stealing
This is a warning, because the following post has the possibility of upsetting those that might see themselves displayed here. To be blunt I am not directing this at any specific person, but at the behavior. If you do recognize yourself in what I am about to say, that is not on me but fully on you.
Now, with that disclaimer out of the way I am ready to discuss Art Thieves. I am a role-player. I have been playing for years upon years. On table and online. It’s an activity that I do enjoy greatly and allows me an outlet for the creative side in both writing and in visual arts. That being said, I have never used another person’s image without giving credit to the model or the artist. These days, I use my own work anyway.
Nothing sets off my peeve-o-meter more then seeing someone failing to credit the work they have “Borrowed” off the world wide web. I don’t understand it because I am of the mind that if they liked the image well enough to use it for their character, they should at the very least respect the Actor/Model/Artist that made it possible.
Perhaps I see my characters as very personal. They are mine and born from my imagination. I assume others feel the same way. I may be wrong but I can only speak about my own point of view. I am also not talking about the many mutants and superheros that are the current trend either. Maybe some may simply think that “everyone” knows who the artist or likeness they are using as the avatar of their character. The reality is, most haven’t the first clue.
Sure, I recognize those artists that I love easily. Those such as Royo, Boris & Bell, Cleavenger, Parkes, Dahlig, delon, Sorayama, Brothers Hildebrandt and so many more I just can’t mentioned them all here. (This is not a complete list of all the artists I love!) From the classics to the more modern fantasy artists I can usually spot those I adore. I then look to see if the one using their images had the decency to add a credit. Those that have, get a delighted smile. Those that couldn’t be bothered, earn a scowl and a lot of grumbling. Some of the above artists mentioned are still new but their work is brilliant and you know what? They LIKE to get credit for what it is they do, just like everyone else.
You see, I have to wonder if those same people who are either too lazy or just don’t give a flip about what art they use are even worth playing with. Are they going to turn around later and claim everything done in a mutual story was all “Their” idea too? Or maybe display it somewhere else and fail to note that they had help with a co-writer? After all, if it’s on the “Interwebz” it’s okay to take it right?
Then we have the ones that find the image on the internet and alter it, and it somehow becomes all theirs. They don’t credit the original artists at all. If asked, they don’t see this as stealing either, but they sure do put on their profiles such gems as “Created in Photoshop by ME” which isn’t really a correct statement in the least. Changing eye color or hair does not a masterpiece make. Someone else created the base that is being altered and it’s them that STILL should be credited.
Can’t help but say this bothers me. Some images I have seen are lovely, but without a credit I can’t find who did it or appreciate more of that particular style or design because, again.. the lack of any information makes that impossible and sorry, but the words “Found on Goggle” makes my ears burn and I call it what it is and that is plain and directly, a total cop out.
It comes down to this really. If a person likes the picture enough to use for their characters, why can’t they credit the people that actually did all the work making it? That is after all the “RESPECTFUL” thing to do. Otherwise, your just a thief.
Adding something here for those that want to find the image they are using and discover who actually made it. This is a wonderful tool I have used for years. There is one you can get as an add on to the Firefox browser and they also have a web based search too. The name of this wonderful tool is called Tin Eye. For the add on version for Firefox Tin Eye Reverse Image Search
In closing, think about it like this, if you wrote a story or crafted an image you were proud of, how would you feel if someone just took and claimed it as theirs? Having had this happen to me more then once over the years, it has built up my many peeves about it. If you like it enough to use for your precious characters, then CREDIT the one that made it. That isn’t a whole lot to ask if you think about it.