X

Sign Up to Crafters Newsletter
for Free!

What To Do If Your Artwork Is Stolen Online

By
Tristan Daine Zinampan
June 26, 2020

Thanks to the internet, artists— no matter how old, proficient, or prolific —have been better able to share their creative works to a wide audience composed of fans, fellow artists, and even potential clients.

On the flip side, a lot of creatives also find that the internet has made it harder to trace incidents of art theft. Many also struggle with protecting their work from being stolen and reposted. Even worse are the people who, when confronted, argue that everything uploaded to the internet is fair game.

Have you seen your original artwork on a website selling merch? Or maybe you've seen art floating around reposted or even credited to a different person on Twitter?

Here's what to do if your artwork is stolen online.

Get the facts straight

Check if the offending party has, according to copyright laws, stolen your work. Read up on the term fair use.

Unfortunately, you can’t really claim ownership over “style.” Other artists may have had similar inspirations. Keep in mind that there’s getting inspired, and then there’s plagiarism.

Next, check if they’ve stolen any of your other works. To scour the web for other possible instances of theft, upload your art to reverse image services such as Google Images and TinEye. Meanwhile, copyright website Binded can keep tabs on the web for unauthorized use of your work.

Take screenshots of all posts with the stolen art. Don’t forget to note the date, URL, and — if they’re profiting off it — the price they’re selling your art for.

Assert your ownership

Contact the individual first with a cease and desist order, introducing yourself as the original artist and forwarding proof of theft. If you get no reply, escalate the issue to the website domain.

Still nada? Alert your contacts and online community about the theft. Create art or write an article to raise awareness about the issue. The more people who know about it and call the offending party out, the more likely you’ll see results. Hopefully, the offending party will also make fewer sales as people avoid buying stolen artwork.

Lastly, consider getting a lawyer if you want to be paid for damages.

Prevent it from happening again

Commercially appealing artwork will always be vulnerable to theft. If it happened before, it can happen again—unless you take precautions to make it harder for people who want to steal your work.

  1. The easiest way to do so is to add a watermark to your work. Admittedly, this isn’t exactly foolproof, as other artists can easily Photoshop or crop the watermark off.
  2. Upload only low-resolution images to your online portfolio. Posting high-quality images only makes it easier for thieves to reproduce your work.
  3. You can also block downloads from your portfolio by adding the disable right click HTML code to your page.
  4. If you have the resources, it’s a good idea to file copyright for your work. You already own the rights to your art, but copyright gives you a greater legal advantage in cases like theft.

This can be a draining experience, which leaves a lot to be said about the creation and implementation of laws that protect artists. But at the end of the day, try not to let it deter you from creating and sharing your passion.

Making art your career can be both fulfilling and lucrative. As more embrace creative professions, and as the community of artists and art appreciation grows, one can hope that so too does the knowledge about intellectual property.

For now, by educating yourself and your audience about intellectual property, you can play your part in protecting not only yourself but also other artists.


Are you looking for opportunities to connect with clients who you can work with? Visit the GetCraft Marketplace today.

Heading 1

Heading 2

Heading 3

Heading 4

Heading 5
Heading 6

Regular

Italic

Bold

  • Test
  • Test 2

  1. Test A
  2. Test B

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

What To Do If Your Artwork Is Stolen Online

By
Tristan Daine Zinampan
.
June 26, 2020

You must be a premium member to view the full content

Sorry, but the rest of this article is for our Premium Members only. To gain access to this content and many more benefits, subscribe below!

What To Do If Your Artwork Is Stolen Online

By
Tristan Daine Zinampan
This is some text inside of a div block.
.
June 26, 2020

Crafters Newsletter

Sign up to our weekly email to get:
Article Updates
Event Announcements
Webinar Announcements
Free Research
Free
Offers
Free
Tutorials

Weekly Creative Supply

Free

In-depth creative articles

-
-
-
Get it for free

Premium subscription

US$ 10 / month

8+ Free creative webinar tickets per month
All past tutorials, panels & interview recordings
Bespoke industry research & guides
Exclusive brand offers & VIP Events
In-depth creative articles

Related articles

No items found.