How To Deal With Online Art Theft

Here we are at the final post and this is where the most important and useful part of this campaign will be. TLDR? Don’t worry, this post will tell you all that you need!

First of all, once you or a follower finds out about the theft, take a screenshot! You’re going to need that evidence. Be sure to keep the URL and page information like when it was uploaded safe!

Going off Nela Dunato’s article on how to deal with art theft, the next step would be to send the offender a polite but firm notification. This notification can be a message to their blog or an email to them, but the key step in this is to request a take down of your art within a specific time frame. Usually most artists give 72 hours (3 days) to the offender but that’s up to you. This step tends to work with more professional companies stealing art from you, but it doesn’t hurt to try.

The main thing is to contact the hosting site if negotiations fall through. This can be Tumblr, Pixiv, DeviantArt, or even LiveJournal, though they all have different policies in place for reporting art. You can use the screenshot you took before to make your case to the web host here! Most of the time, you’ll have to file a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) report against the user that’s claiming your art as your own. Yes, you’ll need your personal information, but if you’re young, just ask a parent or guardian for help.

Here‘s an example DMCA report you can reference if you need to file one.

The most important part of how to deal with online art theft is to keep producing! Sure, people might steal your work and pretend it’s their own, but they are the kinds of people with incredibly low self-esteem and really should be pitied more than anything else. They need a crutch to get through life and you? You’re standing right there! You’re making beautiful works of art that people love!

Clear the way above you so that you may stand on top, and everyone is bound to see you. You are a force of creativity and people will try to bring you down out of jealousy, but you. You are incredible. You are an artist.

Don’t let art theft kill your imagination.




image source from MorgueFile






The 3 Golden Rules Of Talking To Artists

This is the penultimate blog post to this campaign and it was a pleasure writing for you all. This time, we talk about how to talk to artists. Wanna borrow an artwork to put in your video? Ask the artist and see if they’ll give you permission! Like someone’s art? Here’s what to say without making them feel super uncomfortable! This is the go-to post for interacting with great artists online.

  1. The number one rule is always be polite!

    Artists put their works online to selflessly share their love of something , whether it be for an existing show or game, or their own characters. Nothing could be worse for an artist to see any form of disrespect toward them or their work! Consider how you would feel if you made content and put it out there only to receive messages like ‘if you do (insert something bad) to your characters, I swear I’ll hunt you down and burn your house’. Sound extreme? Well, Alex Hirsch – writer and creator of Disney’s Gravity Falls cartoon – had something to say about it in this series of tweets. Be mindful of how your words can be interpreted by the artist. Creators are only public out of the goodness of their heart (as well as a little ego, can’t deny that) and sending badly-worded messages whether as a joke or otherwise can hurt them enough to withdraw from social media as a whole.

  2. Try not to compare the originality of an artist to something that already exists.

    Some artists may find it flattering, but it normally isn’t. Saying ‘oh, your character looks like X character from TV show’ is the same as saying ‘you didn’t put enough effort into your character’s design and you’re just copying from an already existing source’. Sure, most ideas are recycled and it’s very likely your designs will look a little like something else, but there are a great many pioneering designers that have and will create unique designs in the future! Just look at the spectrum of children’s cartoons: when was the last time you heard of a story about polymorphic rocks with strong character and unique design? Or the daily life of three bears trying to get by in the human world? Artists’ lives revolve around creativity and claims of unoriginality will only serve to demotivate them.
  3. Respect their decisions!!!

    Did you work up the courage to ask an artist whether you could use their work for something of your own? That’s great! Did they say yes or no? Now, here’s the part that might hurt your pride:

    Artists are entitled to say no to you.

    Artists create content and by right, they should be able to control where it goes on the internet and beyond. If for whatever reason an artist refuses your request to take their art, even if it’s as small as ‘I just don’t want anyone taking my art’, respect that decision and move on. Yes, rejection will hurt a little, but it is better than a potential future where artists simply close shop and disappear because their art escaped their control because of a few people who disrespect their wishes. Create an environment where artists feel safe posting their art without the threat of theft pr loss and artists will repay in spades of lovely artwork.


  1. Be polite
  2. Don’t compare artists
  3. Respect artists’ decisions


image source from jppi on MorgueFile

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Hello world! Important Information!

This is a social media campaign run by a third-year student for a university course in 2015. The campaign aims to educate artists and non-artists of the rights held by original creators regarding the work they put online, and act as a resource for information. While this campaign aims to run over the course of 6 weeks, the effects may affect people much longer than the projected time.

The owner of this campaign takes no responsibility for any damages and/or losses incurred by individuals or groups resulting in disputes over copyright. This campaign remains purely ideological and philanthropic. Page views, discussion, feedback, etc. will all be gathered as data for assessment and will be treated with full confidentiality.