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December 25, 2012
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Using References/Copyright ????

:iconmrstickycomics:
MrstickyComics Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2012
As a lot of people know drawing from reference is a good way
to increase the accuracy of your drawings. But what about copyright? Unless you own the reference pics yourself or have gotten permission you are, as far I understand, committing copyright infringement. Now yes, there is stock reference. But what about for commercial use? Do commercial artists not use references when they draw? Do they use their own reference pics? Do they buy permission somehow from stock artists? Now I imagine for basic things a commercial artist would know how to draw them (to some degree at least) from scratch. But sometimes drawing from
scratch isn't always so simple--especially when the drawing
needs to look exact. For example a drawing of a specific
person, place, or thing. Do they take their own pictures?
What if that isn't really possible? For instance drawing
a picture of the late Billy Mays. You couldn't take a picture of him NOW because he had passed away. But if you
used a picture or even a drawing of him as reference you
would be using it as a derivative work and you would be
committing copyright infringement. But yet there are thousands of drawings of famous people both alive and dead
and it just doesn't make any sense that every person who's
drawn Johnny Depp has actually gotten permission from Mr. Depp or the people he works with/for. And yet you don't
hear too many of these people being sued. Now of course I'm
sure Mr. Depp has better things to do then sue thousands
of screaming fans for drawing his likeness so maybe there's
a legal grey going on. But what about morally? It seems pretty well accepted to draw Johnny Depp using a reference
and some would even suggest it to those who don't. But what makes that ok and using stock images as reference without permission not? Do understand that I am NOT advocating that
we use stock without permission or that people who draw Johnny Depp from reference are art thieves. That would be a bit silly. Rather I am trying to gain a better understanding
of the relationship between use of reference and copyright
both in the legal sense and the moral sense. By moral I simply mean what is generally accepted in the "artist community". I would really appreciate any replies from commercial artists and stock photographers and others
on this issue.
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Devious Comments

:iconmy-drawing-tutorials:
My-Drawing-Tutorials Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Yeah. Copyright laws have always confused me.
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:iconmrstickycomics:
MrstickyComics Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013
Law in general is confusing.
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:iconstarlit-sorceress:
Starlit-Sorceress Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2013  Professional Artisan Crafter
If you use a specific pose or a portion of someone else's work exactly, then that's bad. But if you're painting a tree, for example, and you go on google images to find examples of bark textures, then you don't owe those photographers anything.
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:iconmrstickycomics:
MrstickyComics Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013
So it's sorta a matter of how you use the reference?
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:icontetchist:
Tetchist Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
"Unless you own the reference pics yourself or have gotten permission you are, as far I understand, committing copyright infringement."

this is false.

the rest of your post is just as silly.
Reply
:iconmrstickycomics:
MrstickyComics Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013
Care to explain why it is false?
I don't believe I have ever claimed
myself to be an expert of any kind
so if my post is as silly as you claim then please enlighten me.

The entire point of this thread if you hadn't noticed before was to
ask questions and establish a dialogue on the issues. If you have an opposing view point that you wish to express then I welcome it.

So if you would be as so kind to explain your position I would most appreciate it. Thank you.
Reply
:icontetchist:
Tetchist Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
no thanks. I don't need to.
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:iconmrstickycomics:
MrstickyComics Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2013
Then I'll be forced to conclude
that your criticisms are baseless
and that you have only come here
to troll until I see evidence
to the contrary.
Reply
:icontetchist:
Tetchist Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
I don't really care what you conclude :roll:
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:iconmrstickycomics:
MrstickyComics Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2013
I wasn't expecting you would.
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:icone-c-h:
e-c-h Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Professional General Artist
I think it's something we all struggle with, but definitely tracing is to be avoided, as is modification without permission. Generally, when I think of referencing, I think of using multiple resources and inspiration, to create a unique composition and vision. If anything smacks of familiarity in the end, I always make sure to cite my references :D

Btw, just a tip: In the future when making your forum posts, you might want to put some spacing and paragraph separations in. It can be difficult to read a whole wall of text ;) Good topic though :D
Reply
:iconmrstickycomics:
MrstickyComics Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2013
Sounds like a good rule of thumb.

Sorry for the "wall of text"
but formatting on these things
is a pain because the margin
changes from when you're writing
and after you post so then the
text gets all screwy.

yes there is the preview button
but sorry I get lazy sometimes
and I don't feel like having to
go back and forth every time I
type something to fix the
formatting. It's extra work
that shouldn't have to be
done if the margins would
just stay the same as
before and after
I post.
Reply
:icone-c-h:
e-c-h Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2013  Professional General Artist
oh, you're typing on a diff device, I see. I thought you were actually trying to make things look like poetry :D :giggle:
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:iconmrstickycomics:
MrstickyComics Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2013
No I'm typing on my laptop.
But sometimes if I write all
the way to the end of the margin
it will read it as a new line.
Though it's not doing it now.

Anyhow it's not like I'm
TRYING to make my stuff
unreadable it just ends
up that way somehow.
Reply
:icone-c-h:
e-c-h Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2013  Professional General Artist
that is so strange :/
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:iconmrstickycomics:
MrstickyComics Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2013
I dunno maybe there's something
I'm doing that I don't realize.
Well anyhow thanks for replying.
Reply
:iconnarutokunobessed:
narutokunobessed Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013  Student General Artist
Everyone, if you want to know about copyright here you go. ITs by our own Deviantart lawyer, techgnotic. :
[link]

Frankly in a way, if you want less copyright infringments, get 10 photos instead of 1 and mixed them together. Less finding out.

For commercial use, its up to the original person themselves to determine that or the model.
Reply
:iconmrstickycomics:
MrstickyComics Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013
thank you
Reply
:iconrustyironmonger:
rustyironmonger Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
IMHO it's best to use Creative Commons-, free- or GNU-licensed images from Wikimedia Commons, purchasing stock images from a reputable source like Shutterstock, 123RF and Getty Images, or use stock from here on dA, reference the original creator, any other sites the image is found on and any licensing terms, and if the stock is found here on dA, obey any terms that the uploader sets.

I would not mess around with ANYTHING from Google Images or any other image search engine unless it comes from stock categories or derivative works-allowed Creative Commons on dA, or is from Wikimedia Commons that has free, GNU or Creative Commons licensing allowing for derivative works.
Reply
:iconmrstickycomics:
MrstickyComics Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013
Sounds like some good solid advice.
Thanks.
Reply
:iconrustyironmonger:
rustyironmonger Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Definitely, and you are welcome.

You can use any of my work (even old stuff marked as not stock, I changed my rules on that) as reference on cars and buildings if/when you need it in your work.
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:iconmrstickycomics:
MrstickyComics Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2013
Thanks! Great gallery you got there!
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:iconrustyironmonger:
rustyironmonger Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
You're welcome! Thanks for the devWATCH too!
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:iconmrstickycomics:
MrstickyComics Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013
:)
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:iconmad-shrewd:
mad-shrewd Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012
That depends on the jurisdiction and how good the attorneys are. I remember reading about a rather ridiculous suit in the UK, where any pictures taken of a bus in front of Big Ben was considered to infringe if the image made use of selective color technique.

If you're copying the composition you run the risk of creating a derivative work and all that entails legally.

Really, it's better to squash things from 3 to 2 dimensions yourself, or make your own reference. That way you don't have to worry about infringement.
Reply
:iconblackrosekane89:
Blackrosekane89 Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013  Professional General Artist
I remember that case! There was a bit more to it though then just the same composition. The issue really was that the guy had admitted to copying the man's work before. So when the big Ben/bus/selective coloring came about they didn't believe it was a coincidence since the man had admittedly copied the exact same photographer's work before.
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:iconmad-shrewd:
mad-shrewd Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013
Well, yeah, but it doesn't really change the fact that the judges gave ownership over an entire type of image to the plaintiff without properly considering whether or not it was justifiable.

Photography is a rather sensitive business in terms of copying, but the conclusions were utterly ludicrous. I saw both images and they both had buses, Big Ben and selective coloring, but compositionaly they were hardly identical.
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:iconmrstickycomics:
MrstickyComics Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012
true there are all sort of crazy cases like that. It almost makes
you feel like if you decide to
use a DVR then the FBI is gonna
bust down your door and take
you to the big house. Lol.
Reply
:iconmad-shrewd:
mad-shrewd Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2013
I live in China right now and any DVDs I buy are counterfeit. I don't think you can even buy legitimate copies anywhere. Or at least I haven't seen any. They'll often times be ripped from TV stations complete with the network logo at the bottom. The quality of the packaging is often times fantastic as well.
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:iconmrstickycomics:
MrstickyComics Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013
Your profile says you're from the U.S. So if you don't mind my asking how does living in China compare to living in the U.S?
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:iconmad-shrewd:
mad-shrewd Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013
I shouldn't derail things too much, but it's pretty much completely different in every way. Sometimes that's good, but sometimes it drives me completely nuts. I think the difference between relatively strict scheduling in the US and near complete absence of schedules in China is a good example.
Reply
:iconmrstickycomics:
MrstickyComics Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2013
What do you mean by strict scheduling or the absence thereof?

Don't worry too much about derailing the thread. My question has already been answered several times over.
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:iconmad-shrewd:
mad-shrewd Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2013
What I mean is that even for things like their National Day which is the same day every single year, they can never seem to tell me when that's going to be until a couple days before. I'll regularly show up for classes and find that I don't have to teach at all.

And trying to set up a meeting, oh my, people will generally show up at + or - 15 minutes if they show up at all without necessarily any rhyme or reason.
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:iconmrstickycomics:
MrstickyComics Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2013
Are you sure your "people" are not
just taking advantage? Is there any
risk that they'll lose their job?
Are these meeting mandatory?
What exactly do you teach?
Also what do you mean by your
"people". Do they work for you?
Reply
:iconemseesquared:
EmSeeSquared Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
a friend once told me that as long as it looks at least 20% different from the original, it's not infringement
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:iconmrstickycomics:
MrstickyComics Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2012
20% isn't much. But I guess that depends. BTW, what's up?
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:iconemseesquared:
EmSeeSquared Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
all kidding aside, this reminds me of something that occurred to me in Miiverse, on the Wii-U. i posted several doodles on there, some of which got terrific responses from players, the best of which seemed to be those that were copied from existing images, stuff like Dragon Ball and such. But then ONE little troll came along, and says "you should draw your own stuff instead of just copying"...which is funny, cuz not ALL my doodles HAVE been copies. Nevertheless the folks in the comments came to my defense, and i checked out this guy's own doodles, and while they were indeed very very good, there WAS one that was a copy of a Mario sprite, so i told him to practice what he preaches. To which he tried to justify himself by saying "that's different, cuz drawing straight lines is very difficult and time-consuming on this gamepad", which is just hiding behind an excuse. So i said "look, i put time and effort into my own 'copies', cuz it's not easy to draw ANYTHING on this thing. besides, these are just DOODLES. if i want to showcase my real art, i have a DA page for that." Not long after that, the jerk's comments were removed, i wasn't even the one who reported him.

Regardless, my copied doodles have gotten great responses, but i don't see them as infringement. They are most certainly more than 20% different because a) it's very hard to draw anything on the Wii U gamepad, the stylus has to be very precise, you hand can end up leaning on the screen which makes it thinks you're dragging the stylus, etc; and b) everything comes out pixilated on Miiverse. But the joy i get out of those is not to be able to say "hey, look what i was able to draw all by myself! i'm gooood!", but more to elict positive responses using recognizable imagery, and perhaps put a spin of humor on them by writing something next to them or something.

So if you want to copy from an existing image, which i did all the time back in high school, it helped me learn, it should be good as long as it doesn't look 100% EXACTLY like the original, if it looks like YOU drew it and not the original Artist. But there's a double-edged sword to that. This same troll from before, hiding behind his "straight lines are hard on this" excuse, said "if you were able to perfectly copy a Rembrandt, i'd have more respect for you." To which i realized, yea, there IS that. Artists CAN get some recognition and respect if they can perfectly copy something, as long as they acknowledge that it's a copy and not their original. Take a look at the ending of Monkey Business, the Marx Bros. film, the exact same thing happens.
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:iconmrstickycomics:
MrstickyComics Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2012
Just for the record I personally don't have a problem with people copying. Hell I don't even have
a problem with people tracing.
But a person should be honest.

Speaking of Dragonball did you
know they are making a full color
version of the manga?

I like to see them do that with more manga. It be nice as an option.
Reply
:iconemseesquared:
EmSeeSquared Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
that i didn't hear. i did know that the Big edition volumes, where it's like 3 volumes in one book, have color reproductions of pages that were originally in color in japan.
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:iconmrstickycomics:
MrstickyComics Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2012
[link]

Given it's Dragon Ball it shouldn't
be too long before an American release. Relatively speaking that is.

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:iconemseesquared:
EmSeeSquared Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
well here's the damned thing: it seems to applying to the Z portion of the series, which i find outrageous. Not that i don't like Z, i love it, but here's the thing: in japan the manga was always...ALWAYS...known simply as Dragon Ball. Z was a title change they came up with specifically for the anime, and i can't STAND it when people treat Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z as two separate series, with Dragon Ball being labeled as "oh, that's the EARLIER series, it wasn't as cool as Z". *middle finger to those people* By that logic, we should all treat Sailor Moon, Sailor Moon R, Sailor Moon S, Sailor Moon Super S, and Sailor Stars all as 5 separate series.....oh wait, we DON'T. cuz it's the SAME damn series. so why does Dragon Ball Z get this treatment all the damn time? ><
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:iconmrstickycomics:
MrstickyComics Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012
That's a shame. Truthfully my Dragon Ball experience is rather limited. As a kid I watched DBZ but it was right smack in the middle of things so I never quite got what was going on. However I still say the theme song is one of the sweetest theme songs ever: Rock The Dragon. Also I read some of Dragon Ball the early volumes at the library at one point so I'm slightly more familiar with
that but really I need to read the whole thing through and I like to do so by buying the volumes and reading the actual books. Though right now I don't have the budget to do so (and there's other series I want to get as well). Now I could just read it online and I'm not gonna lie and say that I'm above that. However from my experience I find that nothing beats print
and it's worth the cost.
Anyhow I'm just saying all that so you know where I'm coming from.

I see DB and DBZ as the same story.
If I'm not mistaken Dragon Ball is
about Goku's early life and then Dragon Ball Z is when Goku is older.
I see it in the same way as Naruto and Naruto Shippuden. Same story
but the main character is older.

Series where I would say it's a different story (I think) would
be Yu-Gi-Oh as you'll have the original with Yugi Mutou and then
there's Yu-Gi-Oh GX with Jaden Yuki.

Then you got stuff like JoJo's Bizarre Adventure where each part
has a new protagonist and new enemy
but all the protagonists are related
to one another and all the villains are loosely connected somehow.
However while you could read each
as separate stories...it really
helps to read in order as you
won't be like "what the heck are
they talking about?"

As someone who likes to read stuff from the beginning I too find it a shame that they are starting with DBZ. It kinda makes you feel short changed. Oh well.

While remember Sailor Moon on tv when I was little I don't remember that show (probably because I changed the channel) and I haven't
read the manga of that either.
Actually that is another I want
to try reading. Now yes it is Shojo
though as an aspiring comic book writer I think it's a good idea to read lots of different genres.
Broaden my horizons. That said don't
expect me to start reading Twilight
or watch Brokeback Mountain anytime soon. Lol. I'm not THAT open minded.

Also I got an interesting question
about Dragon Ball though I'll post it on your profile as to not derail this thread any further.
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:iconemseesquared:
EmSeeSquared Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
the ceiling :P
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:iconmrstickycomics:
MrstickyComics Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2012
lol
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:iconglori305:
Glori305 Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2012
Depends on if you can tell from the refrence that it was drawn from the original.

If you use this picture to get the arm pose right, and that to work on the hands, and the body stance is from a 3rd picture, you really are not doing anything that violates copyright.

If you are worried about it, there are stock photo sites on the net where you purchase the rights to the photo (just google stock photo's)

And the one professional illustrator I have met used photo's until he hit it big enough to start hiring models.
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:iconmrstickycomics:
MrstickyComics Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2012
I see. Thank you.

So a little mix and match
might help?
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:iconglori305:
Glori305 Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2012
The thing with copyright (and trademark as well) is if it looks like the original picture, they have a legal leg to come after you, if it looks like an original work they do not.
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:iconmrstickycomics:
MrstickyComics Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2012
But what determines "looks like"?
Because there's stuff that looks EXACTLY like the original work except for a minor tweak here or there and yet it does not violate copyright infringement and other stuff that is changed majorly but does get sued.
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:iconglori305:
Glori305 Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2012
Ah, that depends on how good your lawyer is, and how good their lawyer is. There is some technical case law definition of how much must be changed, but that is really going to boil down to what the courts say.

Legal and getting sued are two different things. People sell pokemon fanart all the time, it is illegal, but I have never heard of legal action being taken against any of them.
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:iconmrstickycomics:
MrstickyComics Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2012
thank you
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