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Oh art thief, oh art thief
How you’ve brought us all to grief.
How can you be unashamed?
When you stole from people unnamed

How you think about your own fame
Just like others like you playing that game
How you feed off us
How you live on others success

How can you sleep at nights,
Knowing you infringed other’s rights?
How can you enjoy this fame,
Knowing it rightfully belongs to another name?

Do we also carry the blame
That we blindly follow someone’s claim?
To the people that believe everything humans say
To you I say good day

We must always question what we are told
Or we can start to be controlled
By vicious lies and such
To me that is just too much
As everybody knows, there are art thieves all over the world.
Now there are many reasons why somebody would do such a thing, I am positive that you can make up some reasons yourself as well. Leaving aside the reasons why we shall continue to what you can do, to prevent it.
The time we live in where everything can be shared over the internet with everybody, has only made us more vulnerable to these kinds of things.
It is very easy to gain access to somebody's information as well as his or her documents over the internet.
This has only played people like the art thieves in the hand.
It is very easy to copy a picture or a text, which we all are aware off; you probably have already done it for a school project or such once.
Sometimes a site has some kind of mechanic behind it that brands (for example the 9gag brand underneath a picture whenever it is copied from the site and pasted elsewhere) or a watermark that is more difficult to spot (for example the Deviantart watermark).
As new tools are made to prevent documents and art from being stolen, new tools to counter those are made each day too.
Meaning that on a technological field, we cannot stop art thieves permanently using technology but we can bring them to a temporary stop, since they will try to counter whatever system is preventing them from copying images from Deviantart and such.
(This idea is most likely impossible because the internet is basically about free trafficking so disabling the copying of images and text completely will most likely not happen.)
There is one thing we can do however.
Sometimes we see a piece of art, be it a text or a photo, a drawing or a sculpture, appear on a site that does not have to be Deviantart itself. (If somebody is copying the work from somebody on Deviantart then chances are they will not upload it on Deviantart, since the chance of being caught is then way higher than on another site.)
Of such a piece of art looks even slightly familiar, please look it up and see, most of the time if you have such a hunch, it will turn out to be correct.
Thanks to Google, we can also search for pictures now, which makes it very easy to find copies of works.
It might not seem like such a through thought solution for the problem at hand, and that is why I invite you to suggest things that we can do as a community to prevent art from being stolen.
I know that most of the artists on here have an account on other sites as well, which may sometimes lead to false accusations.
If you have a hunch that somebody has stolen a piece of work, please do not take action in blind anger.
Sometimes they are indeed innocent, and even if they are not innocent, they are still human beings who still have a right to be treated with the same amount of respect, as you would want from somebody else.
One thing that we must not forget is that we should never stop questioning.
Sometimes art thieves are encouraged by people praising them, even if it is for works that do not belong to them.
Before one should start praising someone, they must make sure that it was really them who have written those words. Who drew that magnificent portrait with just a pencil. That created that sculpture or took that stunning photo of a forest. (There are so many diverse artists that I cannot possibly name them all, but from all medias art is being stolen.)
We must always question the things around is, that is how develop as human beings.
And we must stand together, whereas that is how develop as a community.

If you have any suggestions to prevent art theft please leave them in a comment and I will add it in here as well.

Please leave feedback

Written by Jerrel Simons
© :iconkoratoshisfriend:

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:iconmoon-light-kit:
moon-light-kit Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
This is a lovely poem and it speaks the truth about art thieves.

How can you sleep at nights,
Knowing you infringed other’s rights?
How can you enjoy this fame,
Knowing it rightfully belongs to another name?
I actually ask myself those questions daily whenever I come across people stealing someone else's work on dA. I suppose some of them think they can get away with it, but they're wrong. It will come back to bite them in some way or another. I keep asking them, "How would you like it if you made something you worked really hard on and then along comes someone who claims that piece of work as theirs? How would you feel?"

I just... ugh. I'm sure the majority of art thieves are trolls or children that lash out when someone calls them out for stealing.

On a completely different note... 

I couldn't help but read your poem to the tune of "Oh Christmas Tree." Sorry... :D
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:iconrainbowdash000000000:
rainbowdash000000000 Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2013
cool
Reply
:iconxy2kura:
xy2kura Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2012
Yeah like I was saying before.. one of them is on here, if anyone sees this.. please be so kind as to look through this [link] and help report almost all the stuff there. Taking anime pictures and uploading them as your own is one of the most frustrating of art thefts..
Reply
:iconkeithvaughn:
KeithVaughn Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2012
I have a different take on art theft and it's one that is rooted in self confidence as an artist: I am a Source. My images: drawings, paintings and writing come from within me and my total experiences. They cannot be duplicated! All an art thief can do is a poor copy... a second hand job from a hack/hack artist. If they do anything with the image they made on a professional level i.e. I see it on a product, the response is simple.

Send a C & D order from a lawyer (Cease and Desist) or they will be sued for copyright infringement. (The people who put out the product or the stores that carry the product.) I will also send terms of them for using the image: payment, ancillary terms and other considerations. If they fear a lawsuit, these terms will be accepted. The other fallout is the thief now has the Mark of Cain on his forehead if he tries to sell any other image. Whether he is 14 or 45 this "use him and get sued" will dog his steps the rest of his life.

As far as copying goes, I don't give a damn. Humans, myself included, learn by copying; until they get the lesson they need and move on. If you put it up, just acknowledge your source and move on. Not only my signature goes on a painting or drawing: every brush stroke, every pencil line and every word combination is my own--it cannot be duplicated, just poorly copied.

Don't worry about the art thieves so much as producing good artwork and a lot of it. It's the best thing you can do to discourage the false impression that the copied artwork is their own. Your style is well known and copies are seen for what they are.

Keith
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:icontheemptychest:
TheEmptyChest Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012
I fully agree.
Reply
:iconkeithvaughn:
KeithVaughn Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2012
Live the words and feel their power.
Keith
Reply
:iconthetaoofchaos:
thetaoofchaos Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012   Writer
Totally agree. You should post this as an editorial because it drives to the heart of what really matters, and puts art theft and copying into some perspective.
Reply
:iconkeithvaughn:
KeithVaughn Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012
I don't know if I'll make an editorial about it. It was just something to get artists, especially the new ones, to continue making art and not get caught up in things that distract them from their art/mission.

Thank you for the compliment thought.
Keith
Reply
:iconkoratoshisfriend:
Koratoshisfriend Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
I don't believe I quite understand what you're saying. I think you mean that they try to copy it by tracing the painting and such, but what I mean is just copying it off a website and using mechanics to erase the watermark of the original artist (and if there is a signature erase that as well) and then add their own. Because off that it doesn't look like a copy but it is in fact a slightly altered version of the original. That might go as far as the original artist being marked as a fraud.
What you said about marking the copiers is also quite hard since most of these thieves sell the stolen art pieces under another name. Even if they get caught it does not mean that they will always stop, since for some it is just easy cash.

If I misunderstood your comment please explain it a little more clearer what you mean and I hope I didn't offend you or anything. I do value your opinion on the matter, but you should understand that most artists are getting quite upset if they see that somebody else is claiming their works.
Reply
:iconkeithvaughn:
KeithVaughn Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2012
I guess what I'm trying to say is to ignore this annoyance (and it is a pain) and continue producing artwork to get it out into the big, wide world. After a time your unique style will be known and people with money will want you to create artwork for them. If this ever happens to an art thief, they are dead. An AD (Art Director) can spot an inconsistency in style at a glance and then look for the actual source.

Getting ripped off for someone else claiming your art to the tune of $15 to $20 for a print or copy is annoying. But when the time comes where people actually want your original art (professional or private) and are willing to pay $1,500 to $ 15,000 for an original that petty annoyance from the thief wears off rapidly. Remember these art thieves are bottom feeders and always will be.

What I'm trying to say is: Make Art and a Lot of it then Post it! Ignore minor distractions that divert you from your art. This includes art thieves and other scum. Remember in a perverse way that theft is a form of compliment.

No, I'm not offended by you wanting clarification of my post. Thank you for asking for it instead of concluding I'm a babbling idiot. Hopefully this reply got across the long term view of what's important and what's not.

Keep producing your Art, Keith
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:iconkoratoshisfriend:
Koratoshisfriend Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Yes, I can agree with most of that, but the annoying thing is that an artist can refuse to make a specific piece, and I guess most likely art thieves will refuse these requests. This will raise suspiscion, but sadly not everybody does then expose these art thieves for who they are. And it is possible that an art thief sometimes asks more money for a piece than the original artist. And that is just plain annoying.
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:iconkeithvaughn:
KeithVaughn Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2012
Yes, it's annoying but the true irony is that they can never be more than bottom feeders. Relegated to obscurity because like cockroaches they can never withstand anyone shining light on them. While we artists can continue to develop and constantly push ourselves to the next level (with increasing rewards for our efforts and professionalism and vision.)

If they ask for more money and get it, it means you underpriced your piece. (very valuable marketing information!) If you find them in another market/venue selling your pieces, they have done your marketing for you. A quick explaination and link should wipe out their credibility and you take their customers. All that effort on their part and you get to screw them and their reputation i.e. revenge in spades.

I will admit to being human. If I found someone stealing my art, I'd still want to break their nose.

Keep doing what you love and loving what you do,
Keith
Reply
:iconkoratoshisfriend:
Koratoshisfriend Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Agreed on everything you just said.
It might be hard to get some of the customers to fully believe you at first (when the thief has been stealing for quite some time), but not impossible, it would just take some work.
Reply
:iconkeithvaughn:
KeithVaughn Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012
Some never will believe you. So what? All you can do is tell the truth and go on from there i.e. make more art.

Keith
Reply
:iconzereverefano:
Zereverefano Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Man... I love you. You've just summarized what the true purpose of DeviantArt, Elfwood, and all these other art sites are SUPPOSED to be for: you and only you. Unfortunately some smacktards are trying to steer them all towards the course of the hate-spawning Encyclopdia Dramatica and wipe out ANYONE who doesn't believe and worship their every word spoken and character created. But luckily for us, there's still a few real artists on who aren't bothered by such trifles as these. You are really, a special person. *hugs*
Reply
(1 Reply)
:icondicegirl14395:
Dicegirl14395 Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
you know whats worse than an art theif.. someone who steals photos from facebook (profile pictures) and uploads them saying they are his 'friends'.. this guy [link] uploaded pictures of girls i personally knew claiming to know them, but when i confronted him about them he blocked me from making comments on his profile and pictures as well as removing my other comments and changing his name and location.. before that he said he was from seychelles (where i and the girls whos photos were stolen live) but when i asked him where in seychlles he lived he suddenly changed his location to singapore... the girls also have no idea who he is and never gave him permision to use their photos.. so i could use some help in getting him removed from DA at least.. i dont know who to ask for help or what to do here
Reply
:iconkoratoshisfriend:
Koratoshisfriend Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
In that case I would suggest that you report him to the DA staff. Maybe it is wise to first consult their help desk. (You can do that in the official DA chat room --> [link] If the link doesn't work then just say so and I will send you a new one.)

If you have any questions they can help you out.
Reply
:icondicegirl14395:
Dicegirl14395 Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
thank you so much!!! i sent a message through the help desk, but i have to wait until tomorow to get a reply due to the fact that they are away on weekends.. but thankyouuu! :hug:
Reply
:iconkoratoshisfriend:
Koratoshisfriend Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Not a problem.
If you have any other problems feel free to message me at any given time, I reply to notes most of the time right away.
Reply
:iconxy2kura:
xy2kura Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2012
Thanks for bringing attention to this. I have my own posters and support against thefts. Even sadder is that I all ready seen a couple on this group with using pictures that don't belong to them and they think crediting is okay. I just wish DA would hire at least a couple people to deal strictly with art theft and removing them. I get so tired of seeing it.
Reply
:iconkasainokokoro:
KasaiNoKokoro Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
That poem is really good :)
Hopefully people will stop stealing others' artworks
Reply
:iconanimatedastronaut:
animatedastronaut Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2012
So true.
Reply
:iconrefeathers1104:
Refeathers1104 Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I've found three art thieves on DA in the last couple weeks alone. One of them was just today.
Reply
:iconkoratoshisfriend:
Koratoshisfriend Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Just today?
Can I perhaps ask who it was?
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:iconrefeathers1104:
Refeathers1104 Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I don't recall the user's name. But they had posted a fractal phoenix that could easily be google-searched to find that the user was not the original artist. Didn't help their case that this particular image can be found in stores on posters and bought from the original artist's website. Some other people who actually owned a poster of it pointed out pretty quick that it was theft.
Reply
:iconmikisakiiro:
Mikisakiiro Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
There's an art thief over yonder this-a-way~ [link]
Reply
:icontamxt:
Tamxt Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2012
thank you for that however i have a personal question about what constitutes art theft that i would love to discus with you on a more private setting if you wish to message me back as soon as you are able
Reply
:iconkoratoshisfriend:
Koratoshisfriend Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
There are quite divere opinions on what is indeed art theft.
I think that as soon a person uploads (I'm fine with downloading) or starts selling a piece of art (of all medias) without the real artist's knowledge and/or permission it is officialy art theft, since at that point you are claiming that the work is yours.
Now it is debatable that when a person uploads a picture and says who the original artist is, it would not be art theft.
Well I think that when such a case occurs, the person who uploads it still is punishable, they might have said who the original artist is, but they perhaps did not have the artist's permission to upload this piece which is still copyright infringement.
If a person is selling the art, be it online or offline, then that person should have 1: the artist's permission and 2: There should be an agreement about selling the art. In this case I am talking about that the artist still gets his/her money. In that case I think that the artist and the person could make an agreement that the person who sells the art gets a small share of the profit since he sold the art for the artist. (That is up to the artist and the second person to decide.)

I hope that makes my opinion a little clearer.
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:icontamxt:
Tamxt Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012
it does indeed so what would your opinion be of someone who goes through the internet and finds pieces of art that they enjoy and collects them simply for personal viewing (no sharing uploading or utilizing of the art involved) it seems based on your definition that this does not constitute art theft but i wonder if it is still wrong to download someone elses work even for just viewing pleasure without the artist knowledge
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:iconkoratoshisfriend:
Koratoshisfriend Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
That is a rather difficult thing to decide on. I guess that if it is for personal view it would be okay in my opinion but that is for every artist to decide on their own. If the artist doesn't like it than there are some things they can do to prevent downloading or even people who can view it.

Like I said, this one is up for every artist to decide on their own.

I think the downloading would be rather useless because you can just look it up on the internet if you want to see it. If I need a picture for a presentation it always seems to get lost in my files whenever I download it so I personally won't download something unless I know that I will use it right away.
Reply
:iconmoushi730:
Moushi730 Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2012
Just did an experiment about this, maybe some people who enjoyed this would be interested in seeing it ^^ would be interested in seeing it.
[link]
Reply
:iconlucain24:
Lucain24 Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Well said.
Reply
:iconmimmylvlx:
MimmyLvlX Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2012
I want to write this into a song.
Reply
:iconlegendofhearts:
LegendofHearts Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2012  Student Artist
I agree, it's not fair that thefts happen to those who work really hard on what they do. I'm dealing with it myself, someone's been (badly) copying the works of my friend and a friend of my friend, and who knows who else. She gets reported and stuff, but no matter how many people tell her to stop, she won't listen. Even some of her friends have told her to stop because they care, and she blocks them the moment they say to stop. It's a hard battle. :iconsighingplz:
Reply
:iconpeppermentpanda:
PeppermentPanda Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2012
Im going to send this to every art thief I find. ;u;
Reply
:iconhg-project:
hg-project Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2012   Digital Artist
Just ignore them. Those kinds of immature and attention-starved dumbasses aren't worth any of our time.
Reply
:iconkoratoshisfriend:
Koratoshisfriend Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Yes, I try to ignore them, but we should also try to help our fellow artists. Do you not agree that we should help each other?
Reply
:iconhg-project:
hg-project Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2012   Digital Artist
The thing is that a lot of these guys have the mentality that whatever retarded thing they do, as long as they get some attention, it's worth it--that's why most of them pull off crap like this...or they're just plain stupid.

And haha, YES, it's a good thing that you want to help fellow artists--you're a good person. :D Heck, I even share the same feeling. BUT the world has a good supply of idiots and art theives are always gonna come and go. As long as they're not making a monetary profit off of others' hard-earned work, the best thing is to ignore these kids.
And some of these art thieves are really obvious so people with a decent amount of common sense aren't gonna be convinced. More like, a lot of them are teenagers with a lot of self-esteem and inferiority-complex issues. Or they sincerely respect the artist and are expressing their respect in a stupid way. Their "art thievery" are pretty petty things anyways--really, there's no need to be oversensitive about such a mundane thing. (I kinda feel sorry for them sometimes, lol.)

BUT if something serious happens--like they're getting money from the stolen works, or they decide to hack the original artist or god knows what, THEN it's time to take action, definitely.
Reply
:iconrs-kyra:
RS-Kyra Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2012  Student Photographer
Ignoring them doesn't fix the problem. Wordlessly reporting them does.
Reply
:iconbansini:
Bansini Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I support you on this one. Many people also seem to use deviantart alot like photobucket, just like a certain deviant who came on the front page yesterday. I feel we shouldn't support that, since they just steal art of sites like pixiv and post itas their own. What do you think? Very nice article, btw. I read the entire description too...;)
Reply
:iconpandaproduction:
PandaProduction Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2012  Student Digital Artist
You/we can't tell people what to do. That's enforcing your will upon other people. Even worse to use mass majority force upon others.
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:iconkoratoshisfriend:
Koratoshisfriend Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
But, if they are stealing from others, do you then not think that there should be some sort of punishment? If you start to take away rights and such of others, then you should not expect that those rights will work or you too.
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:iconpandaproduction:
PandaProduction Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Do those rights actually exist, or did we just make them up for our benefit?
Reply
:iconkoratoshisfriend:
Koratoshisfriend Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
If these rights don't exist, then neither will the right you spoke of earlier exist.
Reply
:iconpandaproduction:
PandaProduction Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Wait, how is "You can't tell other people what to do" a right?
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:iconkoratoshisfriend:
Koratoshisfriend Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
No, being in command of what you do yourself is a right. So if another person forces you to do something you don't want to it would be interfering with human rights.
Reply
:iconpandaproduction:
PandaProduction Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012  Student Digital Artist
That's not a right so much as a truth about what you can do as a free agent. You're always in control of your will, it doesn't require any protection.
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:iconkoratoshisfriend:
Koratoshisfriend Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Sadly, it's not always a truth and I don't think you are truly understanding what I am saying.
Reply
(1 Reply)
:iconkaterinathestorm:
KaterinaTheStorm Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2012  Student General Artist
dAmm you art thieves
Reply
:iconoenvy:
oEnvy Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2012  Student General Artist
:iconfacebooklikeplz:
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