View Full Version : Board for art theft cases

12 December 2004, 09:55 PM
With repeated cases of art theft - and I have no idea how many, but this one being the latest I've seen ( - I feel the entire CG industry (and not just CGTalk users) need a definite place to go to, regarding these matters. An archive of art theft cases, if you will.

In a way, CGTalk already has this "archive", except it's scattered all over "general news" and whatnot, but theoretically they are a category of their own.

What I am suggesting would technically be like the galleries, but a wall of shame rather than fame.

And this is where the tricky part begins, because this could very quickly turn into something unpleasent that no-one would benefit from.

Obviously, it must not be an archive for lynching. The threads will be heavily moderated, no ranting of any kind will be allowed, in fact it might only be moderators who would be allowed to post there.

The articles will not be smearing, but serious and down to the point, like Leo's breakdown of the Lady Gwindor case, as seen here (

The balance between lynching, blaming, judging, the reverse scenario of risking being plain wrong, and most importantly the purpose of CGTalk being to have a creative and supportive community for good willed artist, rather than to be an authority that exposes frauds, makes it all very tricky, and I can understand if the mods would rather not deal with it at all, instead of taking a quite large burden on their shoulders. Even the Gwyndor case gave CGTalk some beating, and that was handled in a much more discreet way.

Nevertheless, I suggest it because I've thought about it often, and thought that CGTalk would be the perfect place for it.

And these cases will be posted here anyway, and result in lynches and rants, and all I'm suggesting is a civilized way to streamline it.

I won't defend it religiously, in fact I might not even vote "yes" myself, I haven't decided yet. It's just an idea. I'm throwing the ball in the park to see what happens. Let's hear all opinions (and, in the nature of the issue, let's not rant over other's opinions. :) )

- Jonas

PS: I have my fingers crossed, hoping that I'm not posting another redundant thread - but I believe I have done my homework this time.

12 December 2004, 10:55 PM
No and in fact I think these threads need to be stopped. It's completely unprofessional, and not to mention leaves this site open to possible lawsuits even in cases where someone 100 percent positively absolutley claimed credit for someone else's work.

If you happen across someone stealing someone else's work, notify the person and that's as far as it goes. The whole gang mentality developing around here is conpletely childish.

12 December 2004, 11:00 PM
Okay, but what can a person do, then, if their art is abused, and notifying the fraud doesn't resolve the issue? Usually these frauds are in complete denial, and refuse to take down the stolen work.

The cases of art theft I've heard of, have only been resolved because they were exposed in public forums like CGTalk.

If threads like these are stopped, frauds can play as they like. Public exposure is justice's only chance in these matters.

I agree the mob mentality is childish, which is exactly why I suggest a civilized approach instead. Without a proper place to report to, I couldn't think of a better thing to do, then start a lynch thread here, if I was ever to become a victim of art theft myself.

Thanks for your input!

- Jonas

12 December 2004, 03:30 PM
I think it's a good idea, in a job market as competitive as 3D/2D CG is right now, which btw will only continue to get more and more competitive, it's so hard to find a job and keep steady employment. Due to the competitive nature of this business, stealing someone's work is a very major sin. This isn't just a small thing, people need their work to support their livelyhood. When you take someone's work and use it for yourself you are, pretty much, taking their livelyhood away. What happens next time when someone applies for a job and finds that someone else already got hired using their work? what happens in that case? It's hard to tell but it's a situation that no one wants to be in, and no one needs to be in. Without an impartial public place to discuss matters there will be very few places to turn.

That is why we need a public place to discuss these things otherwise some innocent kid right out of art school is going to get shafted for using his own work, only because someone who spent all of class looking at bukkake anime porn didn't want to have to put in the legwork themselves.

Just my opinion.


12 December 2004, 05:28 PM
All right, after another day of thinking, I've narrowed my own mind down a bit.

1. Blaming the right guy

-Is a delicate manner. The crime of art theft is serious, and the guilty should - IMHO - be punished by letting the majority of the industry know of their crimes. EDIT: the essense here is not punishment, it is redeeming their crime by showing who the work really belongs to.

BUT. Blaming - and thereby blacklisting - the wrong guy, makes 100 times more damage than regular art theft. A person who has become victim of art theft may suffer, but is not at all banned from the industry. But people wrongfully blamed for art theft, can find themselves without ever landing a good job in the industry. This must never happen.

And with the current tendency towards lynching, setting up the wrong guy should be fairly easy.

2. Who is to be the judge? CGTalk mods?!

Particularly because of the lynch threads, I feel it is absolutely essential to have the kind of site this poll is about. A non-herassing, factual presentation of art theft cases. No ranting, no lynching. Just presentation of proof.

For me, the ideal place for this would be right here at CGTalk. Because everything else I need of CG resources, is right here. Software, hardware, work in progress, galleries, general debate... I have no other CG site that I regularly visit, so why not have this board here, too. -But that's just me being selfish.

However, looking at it from an objective point of view, I must admit I don't think it belongs here, because of the spirit of CGTalk. CGTalk is a workshop and a gallery - not a courtroom.

Launching a board as mentioned would require staff dedicated to approving evidence in the individual cases, and who would want to do that? Not to mention the legal obligations involved, if someone is to object to the presented material, and the sheer responsibility of indirectly blacklisting people from the business. CGTalk mods are mods because they think CG is fun, I believe, so who would volunteer to be a judge in art theft cases? These cases are fun for none of the involved parties.


Phew. Those were the thoughts of the day. No real conclusion, though. Hopefully it's food for thought for someone. I guess this is more of me talking to myself, than an actual poll. :)

Cheers everybody,
- Jonas

12 December 2004, 12:38 AM
Particularly because of the lynch threads, I feel it is absolutely essential to have the kind of site this poll is about. A non-herassing, factual presentation of art theft cases. No ranting, no lynching. Just presentation of proof.

that has proven to be impossible. just check out every thread that touches politics, art theft, religion etcetera. No matter how many times mods warn, it always ends up negative. That is the only reason I voted no.

12 December 2004, 12:45 AM
True, very true.

But this could be a mod-only board.

Thanks for your input!

- Jonas

12 December 2004, 03:37 AM
Hi all,

Thanks for the suggestion.

After discussing this internally, we do not want to host a dedicated forum for Art Theft.

1. Practical reason - such 'art theft' threads are only posted once in a while and does not justify a whole forum dedicated to the subject.

2. Semantic reasons - Some of you have already posted good reasons why we shouldn't have a forum, and I'm not going to repeat them. Primarily, we don't want to appear to be supporting something so negative. We want to promote more positive discussions on CGTalk.

3. It is unreasonable to get CGNetworks/CGTalk involved in such cases - which we would be inherently advocating if a dedicated forum is set up. Please understand, we really don't want to get involved in these witch hunts and it is unreasonable to assume that we should be involved.

We understand that art theft is happening, it is rampant, and we do allow for discussions on art theft occurrences in the General Discussion forum. But as far as dedicating a whole forum to the subject of art theft, where accusations and potentially defamatory personal information is published - no thanks!



12 December 2004, 10:39 AM
Totally understandable.

- Jonas

Eternally Mine
01 January 2005, 02:49 PM
Please disregard the statements below as I had not noticed the thread had already been closed when writing and am sorry to have added after the fact.

I have read the above replies and I am not sure that I saw anyone write that they had contacted the person that was being ripped. In my experience it is not enough to just tell the person ripping that they are wrong for most our either ignorant of the copyright laws or just plain do not care and will only make your life despairing in the long run. I have instead decided in the past to go straight to the artist being ripped and tell them discreetly the name excetera and website url of said art in question. This has worked well and many artist will commend you for your diligence on their behalf. Watermarking is a good idea for artists and tracks the art being used but in many cases an artist cannot always afford such an expensive tool and outside help is needed. On a differant note, rememember that what may seem as a rip off, may in fact have been already granted permission from the artist to use in part or whole by the so called rip artist. We cannot know this and must decide to either contact the ripee as was mentioned earlier or just report to the artist.


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