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January 15, 2014
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Hey peeps!

         Any of you who follow my journals know how passionate I am about pursuing the seemingly endless procession of art-thieves that pop up with increasing regularity. I was recently directed to this website, I Am An Art Thief/Plagiarism Exposed: www.iamanartthief.com/

        I'm putting this out there so those not in "the know" can educate themselves and, even more importantly, so that any of us can easily report these people when we stumble upon them. No, these aren't the art-police but, in my 20+ years of experience in dealing with these types, I've found that public exposure is the best tactic. Cockroaches HATE the light. Just be sure that if you're planning on outing someone have your evidence ready to go. This isn't a witch-hunt against people copying someone else art in an attempt to learn or for mere enjoyment. It's for people copying someone's art, claiming it as their own, and/or attempting to turn a profit from it. Be discerning. I also recommend contacting perpetrators beforehand in a polite manner, explaining the situation non-threateningly, and let them take it from there. Some of these people, baffling though it may be, just don't understand what they're doing is wrong.

      Best!

~TiM~
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:iconmagikinchi:
MagiKinchi Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2014  Professional General Artist
NICE... Good to know!
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:iconfranzoi:
Franzoi Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2014   Traditional Artist
Nod 
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:iconinhonorart:
InHonorArt Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
sad
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:iconmlh70:
mlh70 Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2014
I find this a most interesting topic . First and foremost I will totally agree if a person taking work that is not their own or permission given to them sells it , yes that is obviously a Art thief. I would like to get into other issues.

1) If I draw an image exactly like jim lee am I a forger ?
2) If I ink an Image exactly like Tim townsend am I a forger ?
3) If I Color an image just like  Alex sinclair am I a forger?

I think most people would say yes to #1, but what about the other 2.

How about if I download an image from deviant art, should I get permission first. If this is the case there are millions of art criminals out there.

Lets say I suck at drawing and sketch and sell action comics #1 am I an art thief.

I have even heard John Romita Sr. in a youtube interview say his style was based on 3 or 4 illustrators before him. I don't think anyone would call him a art thief. I have seen professional artist  say they despise people who copy other artists and then they draw in the style of a norman rockwell or Alphonse Mucha.

Let's say I wanted to make a personal book for myself "Not to sell" with all the comic art I love. It would be impossible legally because I would need to get the rights from 100's of artists . I won't even get into some of low quality crappy t shirts companies sell that after 1 wash now fits my 10 year old. My fear is that alot of great art is going to be forgotten in time because of legality issues.
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:icontimtownsend:
TimTownsend Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2014  Professional General Artist
I would say "no" to all three questions. You wouldn't be a forger, just unoriginal. People appropriate styles ALL the time. Emulation can be a big part of the learning process. Most people who start out with a heavy pre-existing influence grow out of it over time and develop their own styles. Look at the legions of Kirby clones, Jim Lee clones, Art Adams clones, that used the styles as a base-line to build upon. You can't copyright a style. We're talking strictly about stealing existing images, taking credit for them, and/or attempting to cash in on them. 
Reply
:iconmagikinchi:
MagiKinchi Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2014  Professional General Artist
I think on the technicality of the posed questions - it specifically states "an image exactly like" - which does not suggest as what it sounds like you took it to be in the exact style of another artist to being unoriginal. If recreating any already made image because they want the challenge to reconstruct / recreate = forgery in the art world.

Most international copyright law, but certainly in the USA, dictates a minimum 20% change would have to be applied to any "copy" of someone else's work and that 20% needs to evoke a departure from the original to make it one's own intellectual endeavour. For Andy Warhol's Marilyn Monroe in neon colours for instance... the satirical application of Campbell's Soup can in today's world would have had Warhol in a Cease & Desist Law Suit to defending Campbell's logo and identity because despite the message, he technically ripped them off and sold a strong portion of his fame through them without either being their employee or paying them for use.
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:icongeorgecalloway:
GeorgeCalloway Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2014
Warhol and Lichenstein are missing.  :D  This site is great.  Bleeding cool has been a bit more lax and too loose on their definition of stolen art but they used to be good with the swipe files.
Reply
:iconred-viper-of-dorne:
red-viper-of-dorne Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2014
here's a story that aught to get you fired up.
worldofpopculture.com/2014/01/…
Reply
:iconkevin-sharpe:
Kevin-Sharpe Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2014  Professional Artist
rock on. thanks Tim!
Reply
:icon7daywalk:
7daywalk Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Nice!
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:icongrafight:
Grafight Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2014
Nobody is better qualified than a professional inker to know when someone's been  tracing without permission! Well done!
Reply
:icontimtownsend:
TimTownsend Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2014  Professional General Artist
Lol! You may have a point. :)
Reply
:icongrafight:
Grafight Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2014
Well, I hope that didn't come out wrong... LOL. What I mean is, you see perfect proportions combined with very poor line quality and you think... something's not right here...
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:icontimtownsend:
TimTownsend Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2014  Professional General Artist
No worries. I totally got your meaning. Lol. :)
Reply
:iconel-douglas:
el-douglas Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2014  Professional General Artist
that's the way to go!
Reply
:iconkeijn:
Keijn Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
It's a never ending fight, but we cannot retreat or surrender as well. Thank you. ;)
Reply
:icontimtownsend:
TimTownsend Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2014  Professional General Artist
My sentiments exactly. Too many people think its too much trouble. "Ill let the next guy handle it." If more and more people took a stand and made a big deal out of it when they came across it (think Rob Granito), many of the would-be-swipers would start thinking twice about it. After the big Rob Granito story exploded in to the mainstream it really made a difference.....for a while. How soon we forget.
Reply
:iconkeijn:
Keijn Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Yeah... you're right. For this kind of things, people memories are too short... but not for posting stupid things on Facebook. XD
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:iconginmau:
ginmau Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2014  Professional Interface Designer
Was pointed to this site a few weeks back and had to share it as well. Great initiative to try and stop this kind of crap once amnd for all!
Reply
:iconallisonsohn:
AllisonSohn Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
cool- thanks for this. I just found a piece of my artwork on a dress on Etsy. I sent them the relevant info....
Reply
:icontimtownsend:
TimTownsend Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2014  Professional General Artist
Awesome!
Reply
:iconactorzinc:
ActorzInc Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2014   General Artist
I've met people that defended their digital art plagiarism because  *drumroll* People in the past copied other people's art traditionally!  It's genius!

Even the ones that just trace stuff...  it's lazy and talentless.  You want to do that, fine, but do it for practice, don't post it and give me that as a defence!
Reply
:icontimtownsend:
TimTownsend Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2014  Professional General Artist
Because everyone knows two wrongs make a right! :) Morons.
Reply
:iconactorzinc:
ActorzInc Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2014   General Artist
Totally!  LOL...
The problem, esp. perhaps with digital art, is it's getting harder to detect.  -_-
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:iconkit07:
kit07 Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
After reading the title, I though you were admitting to something. 
Thankfully you ain't a thief. 
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:iconanielaabair:
AnielaAbair Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for the info. very useful.
Reply
:iconjerome-k-moore:
Jerome-K-Moore Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2014  Professional Filmographer
"TIM TOWNSEND... fighting a NEVER-ending battle for TRUTH, JUSTICE, and the Creative WAY!!!"
Reply
:icontimtownsend:
TimTownsend Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2014  Professional General Artist
I want my own theme song. ;)
Reply
:iconjerome-k-moore:
Jerome-K-Moore Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2014  Professional Filmographer
See?  A theme song.
That's a way better line than Colin Farrell had as Bullseye ("I want a costume!").
Reply
:iconsithlord151:
sithlord151 Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2014  Professional General Artist
Thanks for the info, hopefully it won't happen but just in case its nice to have a website to go to.
Reply
:iconmuady:
Muady Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2014
I had to deal with my first art thief a while ago.

Politely asking them to take it down lead to nothing. But going in and telling  all the commenters on on her page that her works were stolen and directing them to the originals plus getting the word out through facebook put enough preasure on her to delete her entire profile (full of stolen stuff)
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:icontimtownsend:
TimTownsend Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2014  Professional General Artist
That's usually the script. :)
Reply
:icondreamerwstcoast:
Dreamerwstcoast Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2014   Traditional Artist
Thanks. I got yo back!
Reply
:iconhunter-wolf:
Hunter-Wolf Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Well said, i have seen some baffling examples of art-thievery and plagiarism that i totally get what you are saying .. so thanks for the link, i'll be keeping the it in my bookmarks for whenever i spot one of those thieves around.
Reply
:iconrichardpace:
RichardPace Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2014  Professional General Artist
Thanks for this, Tim!

~R
Reply
:iconspyhawk824:
Spyhawk824 Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2014  Professional Artist
Right on Tim... I agree whole heartedly
Reply
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