View Full Version : Question Respecting the artist - Need your help

August 28, 2011, 08:36 PM
Not sure if this is the right place, but I figured it would be best to ask the artist them selves how they feel about it and how to respect their work.

Finding a really good picture on google, and you really want to use this image/picture, would it be fine to give credit to the owner of the picture in your signature..? or do you ask them...?
Often it's a bit tricky, you can't find the artist, or they're not around anymore to be asked.

I really want to pay respect to the artist, so any experience on picture/imagine hunting when you make avatars/signatures would be awesome!

Most importantly, how do you the artist feel about this..?

August 29, 2011, 06:35 AM
I haven't been active as admin for a while and only recently came back. But we used to have the rule to not use images that you can't track back for giving credit. Not sure if that's still enforced since it's probably debatable and depends on the image.

It also depends on the law in different countries. While you have very strict countries like Germany, where you absolutely HAVE to ask before you can use something (the artist themselves can't even legally hand out a free ticket for everyone), you have other countries like the US that offer "fair use" and "public domain" laws. Even the time frame in which images are protected by copyright differs greatly per country. In the US, it is 70 years till AFTER the death of the creator. By international law, it is 50 years (25 years for photos).

Technically, you always have to credit. Not just for the law but simply out of respect. Sometimes you can't track the image back and then it's difficult. Because in some cases, the artist just didn't care to sign or watermark the pic (on purpose or didn't know better) and in other cases, someone else purposely and illegally removed the track possibility e.g. by scanning a page in, and then you find it like that. Now you can ask a bunch of artists what they recommend you to do, but I think you will get at least three different answers (hands off, use it, depends), very much depending on how protective the artists are on their own art. Some are very liberal and share generally for free with everyone since "art belongs to the world, yay", others want to live from their work and ask to respect their copyright no matter what. And there will be some who will tell you to decide it depending on the image.

For the last option, it is hard to tell you which criteria to use to decide that. If an image is old and well known allover the internet, it's usually safe for using. But not always! If it's an unknown but beautiful piece of art, I generally try to track it back - and if only because I myself am interested in more art of this kind. I want to know who is responsible for this.

So yeh, difficult question and no 42 answer for it. Just try to judge with respect for the artist and a broad view on the issue in general. You will probably come to different results all the time.

August 29, 2011, 11:05 AM
Thanks! I'll keep that in mind, your experience is much appreciated :)

Just found an awesome drawing that is really well done in a fan club gallery on another website, I'll try register to ask who the owner is and ask for permission! :tem

So yeh, difficult question and no 42 answer for it. Just try to judge with respect for the artist and a broad view on the issue in general. You will probably come to different results all the time.

Will do my best, and it's really good to hear it from an experienced user, things you didn't know/think about and it puts doubts at rest!
It has always bugged me when finding pictures on the net, in particular for sigs/avatars.
I'm not too concerned about the laws though, but I guess I'll check up on the Danish laws just in case.

What means anything to me is to pay the respect or what the artist needs, so I'll keep that in mind and try keep a broad horizont :)

August 29, 2011, 12:58 PM
Haha, yes. I'm not so much agreeing on the law here myself. But I certainly do appreciate the work someone has done, even if he's still an amateur.

It's amazing what the human mind can do. I'm a huge fan of e.g. fantasy artwork. So the least I can do, when I liked an artwork much, is credit the one who put all his mind and time on it :)

August 30, 2011, 06:27 PM
It truly is, it's amazing how it's possible and how some truly are gifted :) I realize you can get good at drawing with a lot of practice, but damn, some people just are amazing among the amazing! They all deserve the credit, too many people don't give it!

One can spend hours on deviantarc watching what people can do, it's really stunning sometimes :)

Fantasy is nice I agree, there is a lot of potential art in it. It's like reading really good fantasy books, fantasy captured in amazing made art.
It's funny how amazing fantasy art can make your mind reverse, and imagine a story from it.
Always wanted to see more books written with art, a bit like Tolkien's book Silmarillion printed by his son shown below, that I got a copy of.
Even if the art is someones else's than J. R. R. Tolkien's in this book version and a relative few pages with art, it's really awesome to read when you turn a few pages to find beautiful artwork designed to match the story and it's abit similar to manga's in a sense when art creates a story :tem

Just wish there would be more of such works, amazing art coming together with amazing books :tem