Art takes work. It takes a lot of work. For every piece of art you see, the person who made it spent hours of their life not just on that individual work, but developing the skills that went into it. For the number of hours it takes to learn skills and develop a style, artists generally get very, very little financial return. It’s one of the ways in which our society’s priorities are out of alignment with human needs. Art is a major part of who we are as a species, and in its various forms, art plays a major role in the happiness of most people.
Unfortunately, stealing art – particularly art that’s posted online – is very easy right now.
One of my fellow Freethought Bloggers, Andreas Avester, has put a lot of time and effort into developing developing his craft, and building an impressive portfolio, along with tutorials to help other people learn the same craft.
Recently, he’s been plagued by a thief who has taken his work – and admitted to doing so – for the logo of his business. Given that Andreas takes commissions, what this means that the person in question wanted Andreas’ art for his business, but didn’t feel like paying for it. So he just took it.
Fighting back against this sort of thing is hard, particularly on the kind of budget that’s available to most working artists, so Andreas is trying to raise public awareness and pressure.
Normally, a public shaming campaign is something I reserve for the last resort. I prefer to first send a polite e-mail. If an art thief refuses to stop using my art, then I send DMCA takedown notices to various websites where they have posted stolen images. Unfortunately, this time I am dealing with a person who adamantly wants to fight for their imaginary right to abuse artists. Moreover, I don’t have the patience to send dozens of DMCA takedown requests for every single image they have uploaded online (this particular art thief has been immensely proliferate, uploading dozens of stolen images on Facebook and in their personal website).
Thus I am organizing a public shaming campaign. Even thieves care about their reputation and social approval. A bit of social pressure should help even the most stubborn thief understand that their actions are illegal and won’t be tolerated by the society. Copyright infringement is a serious problem that is harming content creators, and we as a society should not tolerate it.
Check out his post on this for information about how you can help, and check out his website if you’d like to buy some of his artwork. As he says, he never misses his deadlines.
Thanks to the COVID-19 outbreak, layoffs have increased, job interviews have been indefinitely postponed, and many places aren’t hiring new workers. All of that means I really need help paying my bills and keeping a roof over my head. Patreon.com is a way for you to help with that, even if it’s just a little bit, and get some perks and extra content in return. You control how much you give, and how long you give it, and every little bit really does help. When lots of people pitch in, it can make a huge difference. Please help if you’re able, and share my work with others. Thank you!