O Capitano, mio Capitano!
Okay, this mentality is hugely fucking problematic. I put my stuff on the internet to share with people who like the stuff I like, in a space that I’m in control of. People taking it and putting it elsewhere against my wishes is not “just how the internet works”, it’s a disrespectful practice perpetuated by assholes who just want to take stuff that’s not theirs and use it to get notes or earn money or what the fuck ever. If people really liked my work and had respect for me as an artist and A PERSON they would allow me to control where my own work is displayed, and stop assuming just because you CAN download it and put it somewhere else, means you SHOULD. I don’t even understand how people could NOT understand the artists’ desire to maintain control of their work?? I’M the one who spent hours making it, just because I let people see it and have access to a digital copy doesn’t mean I suddenly wave all rights to it or should not give a shit what people do with it. If there were a way to share without allowing people to save it, believe me, I would do that.
Also, it doesn’t matter how respectfully the work is taken. Consider a scenario here: the image is taken once, and put on instagram with credit. Then three other people see it from instagram. One puts it on pinterest with the tumblr source. The second puts it on weheartit with credit to the instagram, because hey, that links back to the source, that’s good enough, right? The third person forgets to link back at all, oh well. More people take it from all of those places, crediting any of those places in between. All of the different sources of this image mess with search engine algorithms and override the actual image source, making it harder to find. Someone from etsy looking for copyright free images to use on products finds one of these unsourced images and takes it and makes a bunch of money off it, hurting the artist financially and wasting their time as they struggle to get the products removed. Some idiot who wants to print out a bunch of johnlock porn to shock the actors on a talk show finds some reposted nsfw easily on google and suddenly an artist who just wanted to share their art with a few like-minded people is being mocked in front of millions of viewers. Eventually, the image comes full circle and is reposted on Tumblr with no credit, when it could have easily just been reblogged from the artist.
This is ignoring all of the people who lie about the source and claim they made it, which DOES HAPPEN despite your claim that it does not. People claim ownership, people trace, people copy the style, people do all kinds of things when they think they’ll get away with it.
This fucking happens. To almost all of the images I post. Multiple times. A day.
How hard is it for people to just decide NOT TO BE AN ASSHOLE AND STEAL IT? Why do people always come back to the artist with this bullshit “well if you didn’t want it stolen why did you put it up??” victim blaming garbage? How does that make any sense except to people who want an excuse to steal??
I’m going to publish this in case other people had this question burning on their mind and because I’m honestly so incensed that people even still ask this question after pretty much every internet artist has had to explain it a dozen times. However I hid their name because even though I’m really pissed off by messages worded this way I have nothing against them personally and don’t want to get them flooded with hate mail or whatever. I’d like to think you are honestly asking, but considering your message is worded like the millions of other messages artists get constantly questioning their rights to control how people share their work, with the standard assumption of my ignorance when it comes to “how things work” and undertone of judgement for thinking I would ever dare try to change “how things work”, forgive me if I’m skeptical.
People who ask questions like this, YOU just don’t want to accept that you have done something the artist dislikes, so you throw the blame back on the artist. YOU don’t want to change the comfortable little way you’re spending your time online taking others’ works, so you try to convince the artist it’s their fault and it won’t change. This is YOUR problem. Ask yourself if you really want artists to stop sharing their work with you and then decide whether that’s a viable solution to this issue.
I tried to make a better version of KC Green’s sbahj comic.
EDIT:Even better version, now with TEXT, thanks to a guy on hsg.
Does anyone else go on Wikipedia to look something up and then click on a bunch of random links and then half an hour later you’re 10 articles deep into the inner workings of Vietnamese politics