Art thieves rampant on internet

Carlos Martinez

Many student artists have faced a situation where they took days, weeks, even months to create content only to have some troll steal it and claim it as their own.

The situation usually diffuses with the perpetrator swearing to never do it again or just vanish from the virtual social life.

Unfortunately, it can also result in legal action that will ruin the artist both financially, disrupt their creativity and can destroy the respect and branding they spent months and years building.

Therefore, stealing content from its creators and claiming it as someone else’s needs to stop. Continuing to do so will deprive them from getting the opportunity to develop their full potential.

We saw the after-school T.V. specials and kid shows that told us that we should never steal or be sly on taking the credit when we don’t deserve. So, the question is: Why aren’t people giving the artist credit?

The answer is simple, recognition and money.

When you join the online communities such as DeviantArt and Twitter, the craving for recognition begins to develop.

Recognition can be a great asset because it not only develops friendships with others in the community, but it can also create connections for artists to take the next step in their career.

In addition, many of the student artists need the recognition to generate additional income for paying for bills, supplies, school and food.

This also leads to the other possible reason of leaving victims uncredited, money.

If a style is unique or appealing in the community, the artist would gain the opportunity to make money by creating pieces of art for their followers, business owners and organizations like the clubs on campus.

It would not only inhibit student artists from making money, it would allow art thieves to scam the people who are interested into buying their art. Once money is involved, it makes it difficult for both the consumer and the artist to resolve the situation.

A colleague of mine, anonymous due to legal issues, is currently filing a lawsuit against a perpetrator in small claims court due to art theft. An impostor stole their artwork and began to scam others by recycling past commissions and poorly altered old works.

When the colleague attempted to confront the impostor about it, the impostor reported them to DeviantArt and Paypal administrators, shutting down their accounts and making it impossible for them to access the funds they accumulated from commissions.

It led to them dropping a good portion of their courses due to having insufficient funds for the semester.

Student artists should not be taken advantage of and have their art stolen from them because, taking their art away is taking their identity away.