Thursday, October 10, 2013

Miffed & Irked by a Lazy Art Thief

I don't understand why people do this.  I don't know what exactly there is to be gained by it.  I've seen it before, and I'm sure I'll see it again.  Some do it better than others, but still, the motive mystifies me.

I'm talking about art theft.  Today, I'm not talking about the huge rip-off stint certain senator's nephew has committed a few years back with a full fledged "canvas oil painting" scam web site full of stolen art being reproduced mechanically, then sold as original pieces of art with bogus certificate of authenticity.  Nothing that grandiose.  I'm talking about small cases of individuals that lie to claim authorship on other artists' work.

I woke up this morning to a message from a fellow fantasy artist via Facebook.  There was a link, which led me to this photo.


Now look at the bogus watermark right over my own (and over my signature to the lower right).  Well, this individual was clearly too lazy (or... not proficient enough in Photoshop... just to give the benefit of a doubt) to remove the original watermark, but clearly wants to claim that she is the artist of this work.  I've seen people blur, or otherwise digitally manipulate, to be a little more... hmm, what's the word, 'inconspicuous'?

Furthermore, I'm baffled at what she was expecting from her friends and family, if she received any reaction/comments.  We have eyes, and it's not that hard to see that there is a watermark underneath her name.  What are we supposed to think about that?  Congratulations, you have attempted to claim someone else's work as your own and failed?    Oh, wow, you must think we are really stupid if you think we won't notice there's some text and logo with web address and a name underneath your name?

As artists, I don't think many of us like it when people just use our images for avatars, icons, profile pics, tags, facebook "cover", web background, tattoo, stationery, etc.  It's annoying enough that a lot of people assume asking for permission will automatically grant them their wish to use images for free.  It's also annoying that there are people who collect art images from all over the internet and put them in a "gallery" page on facebook (or some other sites) without any credit to the various artists.  But I consider putting your name right over the artist's watermark or signature a proof of one's attempt at obscuring the name of the true creator behind the image and at claiming the image as his/her own.  And this is where it gets irksome.

Just look at the sloppy digital scribble over the original artist's name...  Why?
I wish I could identify the artist of this work, but I don't recognize it from my circle of artist friends.

What is there to be gained by lying and bragging about art one didn't make?   Maybe I'll never understand the mentality of people like that.  It just seems that these people who do this kind of things seem to live in an imaginary world of tiny bubbles where they are the biggest and brightest stars and everybody else is a total idiot with no connection to the bigger world whatsoever to catch them in their lies.  I've seen this "steal and claim" behavior often among some young kids on deviantART over the years.  They're usually new to the site, desperate for attention, jealous of people who have hundreds of thousands of page views and whining to themselves why they can't get any recognition ... instantly... by just being there.

Maybe these are people who think they're so special that reality doesn't apply to them.  And there's no such thing as karma.  Ignorance must be... bliss.

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