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The Copied Art FAQ

When art is deleted or rejected, many people ask the same questions over and over again. Here is the answer to most of the questions that get repeated.

Q. Why was my art taken down (rejected)? I didn't steal it.
Most likely your art was found to be copied or traced from a pre-existing source. When images are rejected the message you receive is a general one. You should receive another PM stating why it was rejected, whether it be traced, copied or stolen.

Q. What do you mean by "copied"? I didn't use a "xerox" machine.
Copying (aka Eyeballing) is a term used to mean duplicate. There was a single image that existed and now there are two that look almost exactly the same thanks to your pen, pencil, tablet or whatever your choice of utensil is. No xerox machines may be involved, but your pencil, pen, etc. played the part of the copy machine.

Q. What do you mean copying? I didn't trace it, I drew it myself while I was looking at a picture!
Yes, people reply with this... a lot. In answer: If you look at a picture and try to replicate it, that's called copying.

User Image

The image on the left is a copy of the image on the right. It's obviously not traced but it's still considered a copy.

Q. Why can't I copy from a photo? It takes skill, you know.
Photos, unless you took them yourself, belong to the people that take the picture. They are copyrighted. That means the person who took the image has say as to how their image is used. That would include the model's rights as well.

User Image

Could I claim this to be my own? No... the image and pose belong to the people that created Sailormoon Live Action.

Q. If I change it, can I post it?
It depends on how much you change... If the answer is "all of it so it's not recognizable as being referenced from" then that's ok. But it doesn't count as change if you just change colors or change eye shape... or change the clothes.

Q. I see other people posting it, why can't I?
It is against the rules. They too are violating the rules. They just haven't been caught yet. If you see someone else posting copies, TELL US. Bottom line is that it's NOT ok for anyone to do it and they'll probably get caught.

Q. Mine looks nothing like that... I've never even seen the series...
Coincidence does happen... But if it LOOKS like a line for line copy even if you've never even dreamed of the series, it will be taken down as a copy. That's just the way life is. People see the connection, that's the way the brain is programed. It's too close to a pre-existing image to be considered "unique."

Or you could just be trying to make an excuse to get out of it... I could lie and say I never saw the image one the right... that the way the one of the left turned out was pure coincidence... and that he's my original character... named "Bubba."

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But I would be a liar... and only I would know that for sure. It still looks the same and it still will be taken down regardless of what excuses I give.

Q: Then why do you allow fanart? Aren't they all considered copies since the people drawing them don't own the characters?
You are correct in that people drawing the fanart don't own the characters they are drawing, however everything except the idea of the character is their own work. They decide on the pose, the lighting and the style making their image of the character unique. They aren't confined to the lines drawn on the paper by the original artist. They are free to interpret the characterization and share their vision of what they think the character actually looks like. Fanart can be very unique and drastically different from the official sources, therefore it's allowed.

Q. What is the difference between "referencing" and "copying"? Aren't they the same thing?
Referencing usually comes with many sources, taking small bits from each source. See below image for example.

User Image

The image on the right is the original. The image on the left is a copy. The image in the center is referenced. What is the difference between the center image and the image on the left?

Compare the original with the copy (in fact it's a near trace). It's obviously a different character, but if you were to superimpose one on the other, they would be near identical. The only thing I changed was the hair and the clothes. It is, in fact, a copy.

With the center image I used the pose as reference. It's not exactly the same as the original, and I left in the sketch structure to show that I used the same skeleton as the original with a few changes to the angle of the arm and head. Aside from the pose there is very little to connect the referenced with the original. Then, of course, there's other bits added, referenced from other places... the character design is Ryuuichi from Gravitation and he's drawn in my own personal non-manga/anime style... and for the left hand I looked at my own hands.

The original and my reference look very different even though one was inspired by the other. With referencing you can look very different and unique because you aren't limited to what the original looks like. You are "inspired" by the original and not anchored to it.

* Please note all images are copied by myself and are taken from the official merchandise... Kumagorou (Pin) from Gravitation, Usagi (Pencilboard) from Live Action Sailormoon, Seiichiro (Pencilboard) from Yami no Matsuei, Kagome (Postcard) from Inuyasha.

Update: Remade 6/24/05 so content could be seen and edited.

Due to large amounts of spam, this thread is now locked. If you have any questions, please ask the forum moderators.
well.now im more informed.
so, no duplicating images or replicating poses? ok i got it.
thanks lol
Nice post. Very informative razz
surprised o I didnt know you couldnt do that.....I thought if you draw it its fine but i didnt know you couldnt use an image from the show (i still drew myself)
Very informative! o_o
hmmmm intresting
How do you post art...I don't have a website I post my art on so i dont have a specific website url...why can't I just add a picture I scanned in from my computer?
Ohh. I see. 3nodding
I appreciate this FAQ, however, I need help. My artwork has been in pending for more than a week. Does it usually take this long; or is there something wrong?
I appreciate this FAQ, however, I need help. My artwork has been in pending for more than a week. Does it usually take this long; or is there something wrong?
It has been known to take two months sometimes. The mods approve everything manually... one at a time. it is now summer, so some of them have better things to do.
I appreciate this FAQ, however, I need help. My artwork has been in pending for more than a week. Does it usually take this long; or is there something wrong?

We're a bit behind, however I'm working on it regularly again, as are others, and it's only a few days behind. We should be caught up completely by friday, assuming we can make the time.

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