Graphics & Ethics

Contra Fates

Jill of All Trades
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Howdy, FFF.

I'm coming to you guys with a question, as when I think of a community with a lot of seasoned graphics artists, I immediately think of you guys.

That being said, I have an issue on my forum that I would like to ask for advice on.

The Situation:
A user who owns a Graphics Shop that is immensely popular on the boards has recently created a series of signatures that she made, and the alarming part is the lack of adjustments made from the original image to her 'signatures.'

Examples:
wp15-1.jpg

Original


http://img03.nijigazo.com/2012/01/09/tanpan/0109tanpan_0057.jpg
cg-girls-6_2-7.jpg

Original: http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_l71tcxnMFO1qzexmuo1_500.jpg
6442841_m.jpg

Original: http://ww3.sinaimg.cn/bmiddle/6497d556jw1dozpcc1istj.jpg

As you can see, all that's been done is color alteration and slapping on some text.

So my question to you guys is this: at what point can a graphics artist claim a graphic as their own? Are the above minor adjustments enough to warrant them being credited with 'making the signature,' or is it something closer to plagiarism?

I appreciate any responses, this is one of those gray areas that I'm unsure of.
 
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Six

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I think it really depends on how tight your rules are and how much the artist claims for it to be her/his own.

In the end, all images, (unless fully drawn/created by yourself) is a form of plagiarism, in the end, what most people look at is that they're aware that the picture isn't made by the artist most of the time, but the edited work is.

You see this kinda stuff all around, just some colour adjustments (that's alot still for some) and some slapped on text, if they're actually claiming that they also created the actual IMAGE, yeah... I think you catch my drift here. If they just want credit for 'creating the signature', (shrugs) It IS a form of art, I suppose. :hmmm:

Ps. I must add that when an artist comes to you saying that they made the original image, and they did not wish for their work to be edited, then I think it's fine for you to step in and take the work down. It's happened with my stuff on different forums, and MOST admins take you seriously and take action. =/ It just sucks to see other people use your stuff without having permission. So... Once again, it all depends on the situation.
 

The Witch

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First off, dude. The first link has a bunch of hentai on it... so yeah... you may want to remove that. :wacky:

And my personal philosophy is that if a gfx artist is using a stock, other people's renders/brushes/fonts... that's it's never really theirs in the first place. :/

That's why I don't really care when people across the net use my icons or wallpapers or signatures(happens a lot with bleach fans) so I don't really think a gfx artist can claim it as their own, since the things that are their resources are products of someone else's.

That said, if a gfx artist does it themselves completely it is solely theirs and theirs alone.

But lighting is pretty hard to do, and it's not easy either, so it's not like the above artists didn't do anything to it. If you look at icon communities on Livejournal you'll notice all people do are lighting affects mainly. :/
 

Contra Fates

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I think it really depends on how tight your rules are and how much the artist claims for it to be her/his own.

In the end, all images, (unless fully drawn/created by yourself) is a form of plagiarism, in the end, what most people look at is that they're aware that the picture isn't made by the artist most of the time, but the edited work is.

You see this kinda stuff all around, just some colour adjustments (that's alot still for some) and some slapped on text, if they're actually claiming that they also created the actual IMAGE, yeah... I think you catch my drift here. If they just want credit for 'creating the signature', (shrugs) It IS a form of art, I suppose. :hmmm:

She isn't claiming that she created the actual images, but the reason people are upset is she posts graphics like these to promote her shop, with taglines in her signature such as: "Signature Made By Me" and "Voted Best Graphics Artist." Before this, she used to at least use brushes or transparent shapes - something to show that she was putting a modicum of effort into it. But now she just uses 2-second Photoshop Actions, and since she refuses to ever show anyone the original images - they gain the impression that she's doing something marvelous.

Thank you for the quick response, btw, I appreciate it! =)
 

The Witch

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Lighting is a hard thing to do. Sometimes it's the only thing a signature needs. What's the big deal if she is just doing simple lighting and people think it's marvelous? It's no sweat off your back, is it? :huh:
 

Contra Fates

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First off, dude. The first link has a bunch of hentai on it... so yeah... you may want to remove that. :wacky:

And my personal philosophy is that if a gfx artist is using a stock, other people's renders/brushes/fonts... that's it's never really theirs in the first place. :/

That's why I don't really care when people across the net use my icons or wallpapers or signatures(happens a lot with bleach fans) so I don't really think a gfx artist can claim it as their own, since the things that are their resources are products of someone else's.

That said, if a gfx artist does it themselves completely it is solely theirs and theirs alone.

But lighting is pretty hard to do, and it's not easy either, so it's not like the above artists didn't do anything to it. If you look at icon communities on Livejournal you'll notice all people do are lighting affects mainly. :/

Oh, whoa, there was? It's just a direct link to the image, I didn't realize it led anywhere else. Sorry if it did!

The person that reported these images to me actually replicated the same effect with a few Photoshop actions she downloaded, so there really is no credit that can be given to the artist for having spent any measure of time tweaking it. I'm not much of a graphics artist, but I do post-processing for my photography, so I understand that lighting and color adjustments can definitely be time consuming. The issue here is that it's merely a Photoshop Action that had resulted in these images, and nothing more.

That being said, it does seem that the general consensus is that, so long as it's not identical, it's considered a creation of the graphic artist.


Thank you for the comment!
 

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She's just looking out for her forum too, Cali. Is a pretty normal question, specially if you aren't sure whether to step in or not, which I think was what poked you to ask the question period, right?

In my opinion, she's fine if she isn't claiming to be the artist of the pics. ;)
 

The Witch

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I don't know. I guess I'm sensitive to this sort of thing, cuz I had people tell me that I never did anything to my gfx back on another forum :lew:

It's just, saying lighting isn't hard to do might hurt a person's feelings, ye know? :blush:
 

Contra Fates

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She's just looking out for her forum too, Cali. Is a pretty normal question, specially if you aren't sure whether to step in or not, which I think was what poked you to ask the question period, right?

In my opinion, she's fine if she isn't claiming to be the artist of the pics. ;)

Thanks again for the feedback. I really appreciate it. =) And, yes, it's something that came up on the boards I run, and I was really at a loss for the legitimacy of the concerns.

I don't know. I guess I'm sensitive to this sort of thing, cuz I had people tell me that I never did anything to my gfx back on another forum :lew:

It's just, saying lighting isn't hard to do might hurt a person's feelings, ye know? :blush:

Oh, don't get me wrong, I wouldn't criticize a piece done by a graphics artist unless I knew, for a fact, that the methods that were used to create the image were instantaneous. Had the person who reported the images not produced the same exact pieces, I would have just said something akin to: "It's not up to you to assume how much time went into a graphic."

Unfortunately, that wasn't the case. Hence the need for some advice. Thanks for taking the time to hear me out. =)
 

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We had a similar discussion during one of my classes on art theories about this. :hmmm:

The example we were given was, if you take for example a log with a unique shape you found on the beach, sand it, varnish it and take it home, can you consider that art and you, the artist? After a very long discussion, it is in fact, still art, and you can claim it's yours.

I suppose the same applies here. Even if she did nothing but crop it, she changed it as she sees fit, and in a way, she made it hers. I think as long a she's not claiming that she did the original, it's not a serious issue.
 

Big Casino

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And my personal philosophy is that if a gfx artist is using a stock, other people's renders/brushes/fonts... that's it's never really theirs in the first place. :/

That more or less...in a way. I still think its yours but just be sure to credit the person you borrowed elements from.

One thing though is that its only a graphic shop on a forum board. Its just a 'pretty picture' for someone to use in theyre sig space. I dont think it matters that not alot has been done.

On a personal note the thing that annoys me is when someone takes a stock thats already been heavily editted and manipulated, something that looks fantastic then changes the colours and the lighting and enters it into a competition of some sorts. Your left unsure of what person B has done to it and alot of the time the people who vote think the entire manipulation was done by that person. Well actually no they only changed the colours.
It works backwards aswell in that you make a hard manipulation and the person voting assumes the stock was already like that and they say

hurrr well they didnt do much to that sig burrr so i wont vote for it

In the cases you posted though i dont think its a problem. Its just a sig for people to use and those pictures seem fairly common. Simplicity can be nice.

PS dont get so worked up cali :ahmed:
 
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