More and more thieves are popping up which is annoying me that they are increasing. Many artists are still refusing to watermark their work or if they do, put it in a place it can easily be cropped out.
Many say watermarks ruin artwork, that is not completely true. Many watermarks if designed properly can look nice and blend into the artwork. Others only say that in hopes artists won't watermark their work so they can steal it. It is more important to protect your art than for it to be stolen. Don't listen to those who say "I do not watch or fave work with watermarks on them" type of users, they are not worth your watch if they won't respect that you are an artist and work must be protected. Focus on your true watchers.
Please WATERMARK YOUR WORK! It can be simple text, however I suggest making it transparent to blend into the image. For those who don't have the programs to do this, you can see do this. Just write your name and place them over your work and make the text colour similar to the colour the image is. This way it blends in and thieves may not notice it is there, making it easier for us to find you if it is stolen.
Take time with your watermark, see it as your logo or trademark signature! It can be simply your username, maybe in fancy writing? or next to a logo head of your character. Watermarks should be part of the art as well!
Place it over the image where it cannot be hidden or edited out easily, again if you make it good enough it will blend in with the image! Even if people crop it out they risk taking out most of the artwork making it not use-able to really steal.
If you put it in the bottom right (common place) they can easily edit over it or just crop it out. So think carefully and take your time placing it in the perfect place!
Cannot make your own watermark? Simply use the DeviantART watermark which is transparent, not as good but it better than people taking your art and people unable to find you to alert you.
For the DA watermark you just change the size the image is shown (Under mature content button) if changed from original size, the button to place the watermark on it will appear.
Biggest peeve I swear! Why? because you are just handing the original file to the thieves to edit and claim as their own.
What? they can simply copy + paste the image? True but it won't be the original file so may be smaller size, if transparent the background will be black when opened/pasted = if the lineart is also black they will get rid of it or upload it with the black background making them more guilty.
I see too many people set their work to "download" and there is no need unless you are letting them make their own .gif icon or something. Not a beautiful piece! I suggest to turn this feature off which is at the top-right of the submit page.
Not to mention if they cannot download, large change they will get the image small which will make it blurry. If you see a small image that is blurry = 99% it is stolen and Google can still find the image if it has been on the internet long enough.
Even if they copy+paste, if you put your watermark on it well enough, we can still see it even if they re-size the artwork!
I been asked over and over how I catch and spot art thieves within their first upload. It is not that hard. I just refresh the "Newest" upload on the front page and most times a thumbnail will catch my eye.
If the image is blurry or even just looks too small for what it should be, I check it out. If it is of Tinierme Adoptables, I check them out again because people may be trying to sell them (they cannot be sold for any type of profit). Usually I spot art I seen before thanks to YouTube videos (thank you!) or the art itself will seem too good to be posted on here (can be taken from official artists and anime art websites) so I take my chance and google check them.
I also check their gallery if I am unsure because either 1. The style changes, 2. They upload images too fast (check their times) 3. Look carefully for a watermark, 4. Just google/tineye/iqdb.org (great for finding anime images) check the images 5. The images are too small
Not that hard to spot them out, I just look for the points above. If you think someone is stealing but those reverse sites cannot find anything, do not be afraid to ask a group or note me so I can see if I seen it before because sometimes the art has not been online long enough for those search engines to catch them.
Some thieves use the excuse "Transferring from my old account" and will usually give you the name of an account abandoned and empty or de-activated to make it seem true. DO NOT believe this trash. 99% it is a lie as the artist will usually put on the old account they are moving and contact you on it.
If they say they lost the password or email to the account or cannot get on it, again do not believe them. If they cannot get on it than the old art will still be on it.
Sometimes they will make shell-accounts (accounts made and left to age, most times empty) or ask friends to contact you to make it seem more real, again unless the account in question tells you, it is a thief/fake.
If they say they are from another art website, do not believe them. Many artists from anime websites are being targeted and used for thieves to say they are them, however again they can easily state on the account in question if they are coming here and can contact you from it.
Lastly from what I have noticed, thieves/underage thieves fail to use the "reply" button and will make a new comment to thank someone or reply to them without using the reply function.
If they use the "I don't know how to delete" excuse, explain it to them. If no work is taken down within 10 minutes then just report and refuse to help any longer as by this time, they are stalling for time in hopes you will forget them or abandoned the account.
BUT WAIT! one last little thing....thieves most likely will hold a grudge against you and may steal your art. Because of this I suggest using an empty alt or account you do not mind risking the user trolling or stealing your work to ask them to take down the stolen work and report. However unless you are going to talk to them, you are safe to use your main account.
If you know of anything else to stop thieves then please state them so they can be added. I am sorry for the lengthy journal but this is a must thing to read and understand. This is the easiest way I could explain all the points and thank you for reading it.
If you want to format this into something you find may be easier or re-upload then please do but do not claim you wrote the original journal. Credit ~Maoiza
I've been doing watermarks for a long time, bad idea to use
s watermark, it's huge/dense/ugly/doesn't work, you have to make it yourself and make it more transparent and make it pervasive so if someone steals it you can easily prove it's yours because if the pathetic loser wants people to think it's theirs they have to completely destroy the picture by erasing the watermarks, also whoever submitted their art first is the one who made it there's no denying it but you still have to be as careful as humanly possible because if they're famous you might not be able to prove it's yours, if it gets stolen the worst thing you can possibly do is confront the thief you have to report them then make a journal on all your Art Thieves groups with evidence (e.g. screenshots or watermarks or submit date)
Also if you're an animator you have to keep your signature (e.g. en1glvla.newgrounds) throughout the entire movie or someone will download the swf and upload it as theirs which means you're screwed
Sometimes I'll (very rarely) leave Download on and the content will get a crapload of downloads
Download file is just about the dumbest thing ever, I wouldn't enable that even if someone paid me
My style changes every picture and I'm probably the only person in the world who's like that but all my work is done in Flash, it's 100% original, and I have a fountain of proof I made everything
all the real artists will make a journal saying that they changed their account and give you a link to the new one
That's incredibly stupid, 99% of the time they're going to stall, the only logical thing to do is to report then make a journal
The worst thieves are the ones who trace or copy your art but that's not the main concern, the main concern is doing everything you can and spending as much time as you can protecting your OCs
They need to make their own watermarks, when I looked at my pictures that had the dA watermarks sometimes the watermark wouldn't be there, also it's hideous and makes your png much smaller, I'm not saying it will get stolen if they use dA's but it can
I never had a problem with my swfs I just make sure it's off everytime so no one reuploads it as theirs, I'm afraid to put my work on
because here it's mostly girls stealing wolves from eachother and I'm in all the Art Thieves groups, there it's mostly teenage boys who make perverted cartoons all day and play call of duty all night
I mean you have to lower it to 1600 instead of your original size
You protect as much as you can, or your stuff ends up on t shirts (happens more than you can possibly imagine), imvu, etc. the main concern are the OCs, those are the heart of your gallery and I bought
entirely for mine
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