Stealing is a crime, everyone knows it.
People steals out of greed, out of spite, sometimes out of necessity and often to get stardom.
Such crimes are punished when justice manages to find the culprits… much more difficult when it touches an artist, be it a professional or a freelancer. The difficulty then increases if the crime is carried out on the web with the theft of a digital work.
Is it possible to steal a drawing that only exists digitally?
"Theft of art" is the term coined by artists to redistribute art without giving due credit to the original artist. There are different "levels" of art theft and each artist decides for itself whether or not to intervene depending on the situation. Let us clarify that here we are not dealing with the simple plagiarism of a work (ie the copy or tracing of the drawing), but with the appropriation and use of the original without the consent of its creator.
Someone may be thinking "but is there no copyright to protect you?" or “why don't you put a signature / watermark to protect your work?”, questions I always hear.
Do you think who steals these things matter, or that you can't find a way to mislead security? If they manage to steal from a bank despite the alarm systems, they manage to do it even with copyright out of the way.
The thefts of works online are thick and frequent and happen in different ways, only the types of thieves change. They can be:
· people and organizations that use unlicensed images for promotional purposes
· people who claim your art is theirs
· People who want to profit from your work
In the first case, over the years I have often read of situations in which artists I follow denounced large and small companies to exploit their works to easily earn money without giving them the right contribution. I know that some have gone through the law, I don't know how many have managed to win since this intervention takes a long time before it can be solved.
In the other two points instead, in the "lesser of evils"; we only have to deal with idiots who pass off our works as their own.
The latter are the most common and most repeat offenders: you punish them once, they will do it again immediately after. They think that by doing so they manage to get fame without effort and that they can even earn it, if they don't do it for money at least for the attention: Instagram, Twitter and Deviantart are full of these subjects and asking them to stop is like hoping to see snow ice cream. The only solution is to ask directly for the intervention of the site staff and hope for a just punishment (which, I am sorry to say, does not always happen).
Even on Youtube thieves are not exempt, perhaps here it is easier to identify them thanks to the videos in which they would show works with the original subjects and in which they have the nerve not to put the credits. They even did it to me and it makes me very angry.
In any situation, it is stressful and disheartening not to be recognized for one's efforts.
Just because you find a beautiful design on the web, this doesn't mean that it becomes the exclusive property of whoever saves it: there is a person behind it who has spent many days of work to make it and who just wants to be recognized for their effort. In addition, many of these designs are sold by the artist himself to decorate gadgets produced by themself. Drawings are not a means of showing off one's skills, but also a means of sustenance. We need to intervene more severely on art thefts, provide more security to creators and punish anyone who dares to make money on their backs.
To you who follow us for our work: we thank you and we ask you to report anyone who takes possession of our work.
To the thieves who rob us: you are pathetic and not even all the easy likes in the world will be able to hide the rottenness that covers you.