Can we please stop stealing people’s art without their consent?
Especially Japanese artists?
Because believe or not, when you take a dojinka’s art and post it somewhere else without permission, not only will you make them very sad (not to mention angry) when they find out, but you could cause them some serious legal problems as well.
I am not lying. Artists are in danger of losing everything they have if distribution of their parody work gets out of hand and the original publishing company gets wind of it (and decides to prosecute). Quite a few artists have already had their lives pretty much ruined because of the thoughtless actions of irresponsible western fans.
The reason why the dojinshi industry and sites like pixiv are even allowed to exist is because of the implicit understanding that artists who make parodies will control and limit the circulation of their digital artwork, and that printed dojinshi will only be made available to a limited audience. When you take an artist’s work and upload it somewhere else, you are taking away that control, and putting them at risk.
Re-posting art without the artist’s explicit permission is not okay. Adding a source does not get you off the hook either. Neither does not adding a source at all, or saying you don’t know the artist. You took something without permission, and that means you stole it. Reblogging and liking such posts only gives re-posters the incentive to steal even more art - making the situation worse for the artist. For the love of god, have the decency to respect the rights of other human beings.
Still not convinced? Then let me take an example of an artist I’m sure you’re all familiar with: emi (of the 10-RANKAI circle).
Thousands of western fans have constantly been stealing her art for years. As a result, not only she has changed her website url multipletimes, but has now renamed her circle in an effort to shake off the so-called fans who keep going against her wishes and stealing her work.
Unfortunately, her new url has already been found, and her gallery has been plundered of its copyrighted content. And it seems that re-posters can’t read, because they clearly don’t heed what she says on her site; in FOUR DIFFERENT LANGUAGES, including plain English:
DO NOT UPLOAD MY FANWORKS TO OTHER WEBSITES, COPY AND REPRODUCE THEM, PUBLISH THEM IN FANZINES WITHOUT PERMISSION.
There is absolutely no excuse for anyone to disrespect the wishes of artists like her in this manner. If this continues, she will no doubt block foreign servers from accessing her site, or perhaps even stop sharing her work with others altogether. I’ve seen this happen to so many other artists who couldn’t take this abuse before.
But pixiv artists don’t say they don’t allow re-uploads on their profiles.
This art theft has gotten so fucking bad, a flipping union has been formed to try and protect amateur artists’ rights. I shit you not (and by the way, emi happens to be a member).
But where will I get my fanart?
You’re free to browse artist’s galleries, save art to your hard drive, and enjoy them at your leisure. Just don’t upload the art. It’s not yours. You have no right.
But I wanna share awesome pixiv art with my friends.
Then link them to it without re-uploading the damn image. It’s not hard.
But I wanna share art on my online communities.
There are many wonderful artists with tumblr accounts. Look for them, enjoy their work, reblog from them. Your support will inspire them to create more, and encourage other artists to come in (I can’t tell you how many times a tumblr artist has said they won’t make art for this fandom because there are too many unscrupulous art thieves in it).
Quite a few Japanese artists are here too (a popular Korean narusasu artist um-mmma gets their art stolen all the time, yet they’re already on tumblr). You could always learn to draw as well. You might turn out to be good at it. It’s fulfilling to make your own fanwork (and it’ll also help you appreciate the feelings of other creators). If you can’t, you can always just ask artists if you can share their stuff.
But I don’t know Japanese!
Most pixiv artists have a basic grasp of English. Keep your sentences simple and they can manage. You can always make use of Google translate, and you could also usethesetemplates. It’s not hard, and artists really appreciate it. Why give them headaches when you can make their day?
I asked the artist and they refused/I got no reply.
If the artist hasn’t replied, then do not re-post. If they say no, do not re-post. Ever.
Can’t we be more creative as a fandom and not get by through stealing? Is that how we’re going to support our pairing? Through plagiarism? Are we gonna keep appreciating dreadful thief blogs like sasunaruyaoigirl? Are we that desperate to get notes? Are we gonna keep abusing these artist until pixiv blocks out all foreign access? Tbh, our pairing tags are a fucking eyesore, far worse than almost any other Naruto pairing I’ve ever seen. We’re better than this. It’s possible (not to mention easy) to run a fandom blog without snatching art from somebody else.