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Author Topic: Tracing/heavily referencing  (Read 2390 times)

Offline Pocketmew

Tracing/heavily referencing
«: February 25, 2009, 06:58:00 PM»
I was always curious about this after seeing something on deviantart saying that they allow tracing of anime/real life photos. Do you think this is acceptable? And people making money off of it?


Deviantart's reason was that its been done by famous artists for years, and that its under the free use policy.

I really don't know my view on this....but as furcadian artists. If someone took a real life picture of say a cat and traced over it and made you a portrait out of it would that be all right? Or would you demand your money back?

 
        

Offline Lovedoll

Re: Tracing/heavily referencing
«Reply #1: February 25, 2009, 08:42:51 PM»
It.. depends, really. If someone went to the zoo, took a fun random picture of a tiger and put it on DA... Would you consider that something where composition, lighting, proportions etc. were taken into account? Or is it just a quick, meaningless snapshot?

In the latter case the person who took the picture is likely not to give the nearest damn what happens with the picture. It's just a photograph to remind him/herself of a day well spent at the zoo, but wasn't taken with artistic intent.

Then there's the photographer who went all the way to Asia to take a picture of a tiger. They have high quality equipment, they choose angles and lighting deliberately, pay attention to composition and background etc. etc. Their work is so good that it can be sold to magazines (National Geographic maybe?). If you took their picture and went off to make a port of it and sold it, do you think they would care? Probably, since that's likely their income and isn't just a mindless snapshot.

At the same time there are people who take pictures of themselves, of models, animals, plantlife, scenery etc. so that other artists may make use of their work. They have rules setup and maintain copyrights, but they allow people to use their work under those conditions only. Depending on the stock artist, the image may or may not be used to make profit off of it.

Before you can say it's wrong to do it, knowing the source is important because it can tell you a lot about how you are allowed to use it.

Now, as an artist towards a commissioner, I think it's absolutely mandatory you let the commissioner know you used a reference to trace or otherwise produce the work. Something small like "I used a few pictures on Google so I have an idea how this arm should look" is of course not necessary, but when you worked off an entire image and that image only... yeah, it shows of good faith and honesty.

There are a lot more things to fill this up with pertaining copyrights; it varies from photo to photo. Some works are for public use, some aren't. If you really must work off a photograph, always use images that are either sold as stock (you buy the rights to use the image and sell any derived works legally) or offered freely as stock (and the artist finds it's okay you use it to gain profits). As long as you properly credit, work off the proper source and have the commissioner's agreement, I can't find a problem that should oppose it.

Sesruc

Re: Tracing/heavily referencing
«Reply #2: February 25, 2009, 08:49:20 PM»
imo, tracing for your own personal, educational learning is ok as long as you keep it to yourself. uploading and saying 'lol i drew this all by myself w/ no help whatsoever i like it do you' is wrong. give credit. tracing another's art and uploading without crediting/getting permission is one of the most annoying of offenses. not all artists want their works traced and uploaded, credited or not. having a masterpiece between lots of shitty work is a giveaway most of the time.

tracing discreetly and then selling said traced work for profit without the purchaser knowing is dumb as hell. unless i am specifically paying for something traced, i don't want something traced.

IPGD

Re: Tracing/heavily referencing
«Reply #3: February 26, 2009, 12:19:54 AM»
imo, tracing for your own personal, educational learning is ok as long as you keep it to yourself. uploading and saying 'lol i drew this all by myself w/ no help whatsoever i like it do you' is wrong. give credit. tracing another's art and uploading without crediting/getting permission is one of the most annoying of offenses. not all artists want their works traced and uploaded, credited or not. having a masterpiece between lots of shitty work is a giveaway most of the time.

tracing discreetly and then selling said traced work for profit without the purchaser knowing is dumb as hell. unless i am specifically paying for something traced, i don't want something traced.
This.

"Heavily referencing" is fine as long as it's done from a piece that allows derivatives.

Offline Pocketmew

Re: Tracing/heavily referencing
«Reply #4: February 26, 2009, 01:16:06 AM»
Sometimes I wonder if creators of the popular anime care about people just tracing.

I've always thought tracing, heavily referencing was something to keep to myself. Then I looked at how artists did vectors, how they just outlined the picture and did it from there. I thought about it for awhile, and figured why would it be wrong to heavily reference something for another peice of art besides vector. Of course, with due credit.

The thing that always got me slightly annoyed was how people would screencap an anime then hastily scribble over it to make it "look like their character" and say (c) me everything me. When its not true....I think that this matter is alright, as long as credit is given where credit is due. I also agree with what lovedoll said about when you're doing a commission for someone and heavily referencing. It would be best to notify the commissioner to make sure they know what they're getting, and if its alright with them. Sometimes you get those commissioners who just say "I want this EXACTLY like this ref" its hard to do something with that when myself I'm heavily against tracing/heavily referencing. Just because it makes me feel insecure because I've seen SO many people called out for these things. Even though I would assuredly give credit. Just makes me feel weird. :P


and yeah I suppose DA would be going off of
Quote
dA is likely operating under the Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation Act as an OSP with safe harbor (that's a mouthful). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Online_Copyright_Infringement_Liability_Limitation_Act

What that means is dA has no way to possible way to monitor everything that is uploaded to their server and catch every single copyright violation preemptively. If they tried, they would become liable if they missed anything, and that would be bad.

It's likely that if you file a DMCA takedown notice with them (by mail), a piece would be taken down regardless of their policies on 'tracing', by lawl, they are required to do so as an OSP.

Even though personally I don't see where tracings of anime fit into an art community. Not like a lot of people enjoy seeing those. Well, I guess some do....but..still UGH


Offline Adielle

Re: Tracing/heavily referencing
«Reply #5: February 26, 2009, 06:26:46 AM»
See, DA thinks they can override international copyright law simply because they make up rules for their website.  Now of course you have to follow a websites terms of usage, but some things are not able to be completely governed by a website in and of itself, nor are they allowed to change the rules to suit this.

Fair use is most commonly use for educational purposes and the examples DA used in their argument as to why they would allow tracing was two well known names.  Andy Warhol was one of these and he DID in fact get taken to court on more then one occassion over his works and while he was not publically charged for his prints, they settled things outside of court.  The other man they used as an example was charged in court and had to pay a huge amount to the original artist/photographer.

The problem here is, DA is trying to use "famous names" to obscure the issue and make tracing seem alright so they just don't have to deal with it anymore.  Allowing tracing only opens the doors to many more issues and most likely a good deal of art thieves who are going to easily get off the hook unless the artist themselves finds the thief.  Problem is, art thieves now can steal artwork and if they don't have many pageviews, the artists themselves might never know if their work is being reproduced or even possibly sold.  DA should be condeming these acts rather then patting the people on the back and saying they can trace all they want.  Tracing might help some people learn, but if thats what you plan on doing, keep it to yourself, it should never be put onto an art website or gallery and be paraded around as your own creation, because this is completely untrue.  Anyone can trace over lines.

Another thing.  According to copyright law, only the artist is allowed to make copies or derivitive works of their own artwork unless giving permission for others to do so.  By copying an artists work or tracing if their copyright permission is not permitting others to trace or copy the work, then it is illegal for you to do so, period.  Another problem that tends to be used in the wrong way is the idea of fair use.  As I previously mentioned, fair use is in most cases used in educational purposes and in a few others it is for projects where art is used and then changed to portray some sort of idea.  The second way of use usually has to be changed enough to be truly legal and there are many court cases in which the person using the art is still charged and ordered to pay fines.  This is obviously an extremely grey area, but DA is confusing the issue rather then telling their users the truth.  The truth is, many people assume that under the line of Fair USe, if its not for profit, they are legally able to trace or use the work.  This is not true.  The first thing you have to meet for the fair use policy to even work for you is "is the artwork for educational use?  Is the artwork derivitive of the previous work and changed enough to make a different statement from the original?"  If you can not say your work is for any of these reasons, it is NOT legal to trace under the terms of fair use.  However, if you do answer yes to one of these questions, the second thing you have to answer is whether or not its non-profit or not, as well as "Will this derivitive piece cause loss of profits for the original artist?". 

Many people get this wrong, they assume that if they aren't making a profit off the work, then automatically they are allowed to use it under terms of fair use.  This is where DA is going to kill themselves in uneeded legal battles.  DA is WRONG and the more chix0r, that dumb shit, wants to bitch to people how they don't know copyright law and that her lawyer is "o so smart" the more she creates problems for the "business" that is DA.  This is of course a business afterall, and if they stop turning away tracers an art thieves they make more money in subscription and print sales.  They don't give a flipping shit about the artists that actuallu use the site and make it what it is, no they only care about it for the money.  The world is a fucking greedy place.  Its quite distressing.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2009, 06:50:36 AM by Adielle »
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Offline Cormallen

Re: Tracing/heavily referencing
«Reply #6: February 26, 2009, 03:34:40 PM»
Just so you know where I'm coming from, I'm a moderator and long-time forumite at Twisted Kaiju Theater, where Kaiju anthro girls are part of the carnival of horrors that is Shin-Goji's fumetti work. Feel free to search FurAffinity for Captain Slug and Nyuu, two of the fan favorites.

Tracing is something that we, as a community there, don't really cotton to. (If it's done really well, and I mean "I used Angel Boris as my template" well, then the Big Green Machine's fine with that one.) It harkens back to an artist that we have long since gotten over (but not forgotten,) who went by the handle of "Nicole." I won't cover details, but she and Shin-Goji had a b**ch fight over the concept of "gift art." There's a disclamer for that now, but back then it wasn't as clear. Finally he erased her art from the archives, told her to GFO, and perma-banned her. It wasn't until about two weeks later that we discovered that she was a tracer, and that soured our opinion on such practices from thereafter.

Moral of our story? Tracers can be pretty bratty once you unintentionally pump their ego. We now have a pretty strong line of criticism thanks to that bad experience, as we lost a second, actually good artist for a year just because he sided with her unintentionally.

(I did save one of her pieces, tho. I never got over the current line of Biolante K-girls--Lanni's the only plant girl for me. ;D)
Swords: A greatsword is not a one-handed weapon. A greatsword is not fast. If it is fast, it means it's made of paper mache' and will break upon striking anything.

Randomat twirls two greatswords, one in each hand.
GM: Randomat's hands fall off.


--from the Leirune RP Guide

Offline Suzy

Re: Tracing/heavily referencing
«Reply #7: June 09, 2009, 02:12:28 AM»
I admit that I heavily reference poses from places like posemaniacs, and use other references for the character's clothing and such. However, I don't draw everything EXACTLY like the reference I use. I don't have to rely on it.

Tracing = WRONG.
Heavy Referencing = BORDERLINE.

Sookan

Re: Tracing/heavily referencing
«Reply #8: June 10, 2009, 03:10:09 PM»
it's not wrong at all. you grow through practice, and if you practice by copying other people's shit then it's your prerogative.

the problem arises when you display/claim/try to sell the copied material.

Offline Sync

Re: Tracing/heavily referencing
«Reply #9: June 10, 2009, 03:15:58 PM»
i'm heavy reffing because i have no idea how human bodies work and if i just used my usual style and trial and error from there, i'd be spending weeks on a piece which doesn't help. i'm not selling or making profit off of it, just want to improve.

Offline Sdae

Re: Tracing/heavily referencing
«Reply #10: October 07, 2009, 01:51:18 PM»
i'm heavy reffing because i have no idea how human bodies work and if i just used my usual style and trial and error from there, i'd be spending weeks on a piece which doesn't help. i'm not selling or making profit off of it, just want to improve.

This.

I agree with what Sync has said. I need material to improve off of and heavy referencing is fine to me. I just don't want to completely copy it. I'm just looking into improving my artwork, I don't intend to steal and post it as my own.

Offline Suzy

Re: Tracing/heavily referencing
«Reply #11: October 24, 2009, 12:01:58 PM»
i'm heavy reffing because i have no idea how human bodies work and if i just used my usual style and trial and error from there, i'd be spending weeks on a piece which doesn't help. i'm not selling or making profit off of it, just want to improve.

This.

I agree with what Sync has said. I need material to improve off of and heavy referencing is fine to me. I just don't want to completely copy it. I'm just looking into improving my artwork, I don't intend to steal and post it as my own.

99.9% of the decent art community should agree.

Offline LSD

Re: Tracing/heavily referencing
«Reply #12: November 05, 2009, 06:27:02 PM»

 

anything