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March 18, 2009
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Journal Entry: Wed Mar 18, 2009, 6:47 PM
:iconisoldel:




The Situations
It's time to take another look at your Terms of Use for your dolls and bases to make sure that every loophole has been covered. Why? Because of online thieves who love to go around them.

Situation #1 - Individual Sites
One major site that has been posting many edited works from artists, HERE. Just click on "Diversas I" and "Diversas II". A few dolls have been taken down after locating the original artists and a translator but many still remain.

Situation #2 - LiveJournal Groups
A few LiveJournal groups in particular have a certain view on copyrighted works and freeware, some seeing dolls as mere clipart. I would advise all of you to take a good look at your Terms of Services to make sure that they are 100% solid and fool proof and to also become well informed of your copyrights on and off dA.

Some users even offer their blinkie 'services' for a monetary profit. This is ILLEGAL and users can be banned from the hosting site(s).

The best thing we can do is keep on them and report those that pop up on our radar. If you find an image of one of your dolls that was stolen and edited, save it to your system to look up on TinyEye. It's a reverse image look up system and will find anything that resembles it in case they re-host the image.

And how did I find out about this? From a sudden flood of visitors and a denied link that sparked my curiosity. If this ever happens to you, investigate it! One very useful and free tool, StatCounter. Get it and use it!

Art Theft Screenshot by isoldel
Screenshot of the theft from one of my dolls. The two images that were created were eventually taken down.

:+fav: & Promote!
:thumb108223374: :thumb108252693:
Dealing with online copyright violations
How to report art theft on Photobucket
Rights for Artists Not a dA page but still very useful!

If you would like a basic outline of a Terms of Use, Suzy from Doll on the Hill Factory is willing to let others copy her TOU. I would ask beforehand out of sheer courtesy and manners though. ;)

I have created a journal post on LiveJournal for both communities to read and post on so we can really communicate with each other, Caelest's Journal.
I had high hopes that it would help and look at how much we've accomplished! See journal entry, elvencrystaline.deviantart.com… .


The Cases
Case #1 - Sassy Graphxs
community.livejournal.com/sass…
Dolls were being edited for blinkie signatures. No profit involved but Terms were violated nonetheless. Those involved are now working towards a common cooperating goal.
Status - :bulletgreen:Case Resolved!:bulletgreen:

Case #2 - Doll Anonymous
community.livejournal.com/doll… (Group closed!)
Dolls were being stolen, edited and then SOLD via PayPal. Group has been closed.
Status - :bulletgreen:Case Resolved!:bulletgreen:

Case #3 - Piinkcupcake
community.livejournal.com/piin…
Dolls are being edited and then SOLD via PayPal. Most of the dolls are from Korean sites that allow(?) editing but a few custom dolls were offered. Owner was notified and has responded positively in taking them down.
Status - :bulletgreen:Case Resolved!:bulletgreen:

Case #4 - Marcia Designer
www.marciadesigner.com.br/
Just click on "Diversas I" and "Diversas II". A few dolls have been taken down after locating the original artists and a translator but many still remain.
Status - :bulletorange:Partially Resolved!:bulletorange:


The Mission
I must state that only the original artist has the complete power to enforce that their works are removed but here are tips of what they and everyone else can do to help with that.

Original Artists
1.) SAVE the offending images and URLs! You will be needing them in the future if things go sour!

2.) Write a proper letter to the one posting the edited works asking for them to cease/desist and that they notify everyone who could've gotten them to delete their copies. It is important that the copies are deleted.

3.) If that doesn't work and they have posted them in a group, then copy the letter and any replies and send them to the owners/moderators of the group(s). Ask for their assistance if need be to convince the person to comply to your wishes.

4.) If even that doesn't follow through, then you must contact the site AND image host, depending on how far you want this to go. You'll need a proper letter for that as well, which can be easily obtained in these articles.
Dealing with online copyright violations
How to report art theft on Photobucket
Rights for Artists Not a dA page but still very useful!

Everyone Else
1.) Locate and contact the original artist with links to both the page, the stolen image URL and any relevant links for them.

2.) It is suggested to not post or notify the offenders but a fair warning might be able to weed out those who are unknowingly ignorant from those who purposefully steal. Most of the unknowns might even thank you while the thieves will argue/block you. It's up to you, really.

Tools and Tips
StatCounter - Keeps track of anything that comes and goes on your site.
TinyEye - A reverse image look up system that will find anything that resembles it in case they re-host the image.

Keep a copy of a proper letter and reports handy if you find yourself having to report abuse frequently.


The List

I have also found a site that has a linked resource list for those who create these things. (EDIT: The owner has agreed to take down the list but I've added it here for everyone to see.)

If you are on this list, your art may have been stolen! The stars indicate confirmed reports of theft from the site. Please note me if you've found others.

Xandorras Place *
Skeleton Dust
The Doll Cavern
The Edge v. Botticelli
Four Leafed Clover
Sabraella's Garden
Sunny Serenity
Blondefolded Designs
Different Free
NaSever Dolls
The Pyro Parlour
Rhudriel's Dolls *
Rosemary's Gardens
The Dollery
The Lake Dolls
The Pixel Corners *
Angelic Sakuras *
Doll on the Hill Factory *
Fainelloth Dolls  *
Sabraelle's Garden *
Selenit Tower *
Autumn Pixels *


The Letters
Sassy Graphxs
community.livejournal.com/sass…

caelest wrote:
I would like to know what is on this page: community.livejournal.com/sass…

It has recently showed up on my site tracker and judging from the descriptions of your Sassy Graphxs group, you make dollmakers? As owner of the site I would much appreciate knowing what's on the other side of the links that come through since I have specific rules about my dolls and bases.

Thank you,
Stacy

----------

unique_thesame wrote:
The community makers make icons, blinkies, tags, profile graphics, etc. The post you linked to is a blinkie using a doll. If you believe anyone in my community is using your graphics without following your rules, or claiming them as their own creations, please join the community and take a look around. If you find any kind of problem, please contact me to handle it. We don't allow graphics theft, but we also don't allow drama in the community.

Cathy


----------

caelest wrote:
My question is how did they link it to my site. Which doll(s) are they using for an example?
Oh and secondly, with help from a friend, we did find one of your members using a doll without permission from the creator in their Terms of Use.

"2: Do not directly copy, modify, recolour etc. any of my dolls and reclaim them as your own. You may use them for inspiration, but try and be original."

Site: mywaterloo.org/rhudriel/offici…
Original: bitterkawaii.deviantart.com/ar…

Copy: s21.photobucket.com/albums/b28…

This is why I'm concerned about your group.

----------

unique_thesame wrote:
I understand your concern, and as I said, we don't condone graphics theft. Ali_cat (the photobucket link) is a member, but not a maker and I haven't seen that doll offered in my community. The one being offered now is one of your fantasy dolls - I've taken a look around your site and am right now reading your TOS and haven't found anything about editting your dolls to offer as editted blinkies, etc. The doll in question is on your fantasy dolls page, with the parasol. It's been editted to include an animation and blinkie boxes. I have already told the maker that's offering to link to your site. She's not claiming the doll as hers, only the animation and blinkie boxes.
I don't know how it's linking to your site as she's hosting it in her photobucket account.
As I said, feel free to join the community and take a look around. We do our best to make sure makers are following good ethics with crediting original creators when it's possible to do so, but we can't oversee every single thing that gets offered. If there's a problem, I'm happy to work towards a mutually exceptable resolution.


----------

caelest wrote:
It seems that I am going to have to add that to my Faq since proper art and web etiquette obviously has not been instilled in many of today's internet users. Please take down the doll and add that I do not want modifications of any of my works unless they have used my bases to doll upon themselves.
Thank you.

----------

unique_thesame wrote:
Ok look, I've tried to be friendly and work this out with you, but you obviously don't want to work it out. There is nothing in your TOS about editting. The doll is listed as a base - and yes, I've screencapped it - and you have in your TOS that base editting is fine. I have told the maker to link back to your site and to ask anyone that's requested the blinkie to do the same. I can't and won't remove her offer as she hasn't broken YOUR rules or the communities rules, except for failing to provide a link, which will be corrected as soon as she comes online.
90% of the graphics made within the community are created start to finish by the maker that's offering it. Some makers, especially those just starting out, look for freeware to edit instead. If it's posted on the internet without a legal copyright cert *yes, I have one and know the laws*, and no money is being made from it, it falls within the fair use act. The ONLY legal exception to that is if the person is claiming they made it start to finish. That's not the case here - she admits she didn't make the doll and found it as freeware. She's only requesting credit for the animation and blinkie boxes.
Again, if you're concerned, join the community. If you're not willing to see for yourself what's being done in the community, then you have no grounds to complain about it. Once you join if there's a problem, I'll work with you and the maker for a fair solution to both of you.


----------

caelest wrote:
I would like to see the screencap of this. And as for joining, by your standards I cannot and will not being that I do not use LiveJournal much, if at all.
If she has made the doll from the bases that I have under my base category, then it is fine. From what I had read or rather misread, that the doll was one of my completed fantasy dolls, which is not supposed to be edited. And as for copyrighting, my works are copyrighted in DeviantArt.

----------

unique_thesame wrote:
It says, directly under the doll on your site "my base". Therefor it can be considered a base.
Copyright falls under a government issued certificate with a legal certificate number - not a public website. Anything posted on the internet without that government issued number falls under the fair use act. I have asked the maker to link back to you on this one, and to not offer your dolls - whether it be bases or dolls - again in the community. I will enforce that request with any other makers that use your work in my community in the future.
As for joining, I have asked you to join to see for yourself. If you're unwilling to do that then there's not much else I can do to help you.


----------

caelest wrote:
Thank you for removing them.

----------

In the end the post was removed but yet countless others of stolen dolls were kept. I can not report them to LJ since the issue for my work was resolved but those who still have art in there can. Please, if you find your works in there, report them immediately!




  • Mood: Hostile
Add a Comment:
 
:iconbreebles:
Breebles Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2009  Hobbyist Artist
I did send her a message. I tried my hardest not to be a bitch and she was friendly enough about it. Apparently LJ already removed the page with the dolls.
Reply
:iconisoldel:
isoldel Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Friendly? Well, that surprises me. I'm glad to hear that the page was taken down. One less thing to worry about but here's my question for you, what about the Photobucket account that she hosts them on? They may still be uploaded there.
Reply
:iconbreebles:
Breebles Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2009  Hobbyist Artist
I tried not to be like a townfolk on a witchhunt, and tried to explain that my doll was special, and if she wanted I could make her another doll similar, specifically for her to use to make it glitter. I tried a different approach because it seemed they weren't understanding why we were upset when we'd demand they take them down. She was sarcastic, but a lot less hostile than the other one you corresponded with up in the letters.

I'm not sure about the photobucket, but she mentioned that she had been reported to them and LJ, and that LJ had taken down the page.
I also tried to explain to her that there's a lot of theft in our community and that when we learn of it, it sends us into an uproar, and that proper credit is probably the biggest problem, along with the misinterpretation of our rules and terms. She was taking dolls as bases and using them as though they were bases.
She also thought that we were going after her specifically, and mentioned there were others doing the same thing, so I asked her if she could tell me some of the sites, but that I understood if she didn't want to rat anyone else out. I'm hoping she's bitter enough to be like, 'if I went down you're comin with me'.
Reply
:iconisoldel:
isoldel Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Our dolls as bases?! XD Did you show/explain to her what a real base is? Lol, that really made me laugh.
Reply
:iconbreebles:
Breebles Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2009  Hobbyist Artist
Yes i did. I was like, I'm not trying to imply you're stupid or anything, buuuut, these are what the terms mean.. hopefully she gets it now.
Reply
:iconbreebles:
Breebles Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2009  Hobbyist Artist
The LJ where my doll was is locked. I was able to get into yesterday and saw my doll, now it's locked, I can't see it to tell her to take it down.

And she claims people are stealing her art... this is getting ridiculous.
Reply
:iconisoldel:
isoldel Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You can't note her about it?
Reply
:iconnevereice:
NevereIce Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2009  Hobbyist
I've been watching a few LJ communities as well... glad to know that I'm not alone in that. There's another doll or three that have popped up that I can't identify artists by the style, and unfortunately that's slowing down the process of having them removed.

As for the paid communities... there are a lot more than just that. It's insane. And they ARE profitting off of doll and pixel artists... especially Angy Chan.
Reply
:iconisoldel:
isoldel Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I haven't been able to find them very well since I'm not much of an active LJ user but the help would be much appreciated if you could email the artists of those you recognize to warn them. We all need to look out after each other sometimes.
Reply
:iconbreebles:
Breebles Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2009  Hobbyist Artist
So what exactly are we supposed to do to get them to take down are dolls? It seems like it's a lot of bitching between us and them... =/
They took a doll off of my Non-adoptable page... how can they loophole around that?
Reply
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