19 . Sept . 2015
Every now and then I get a glimpse of the gut-wrenching feeling creators have when their work is taken and reposted without credit, without appropriate linkage, and without respect for all the time, love and effort that has gone into creating a peice of work. Sometimes it's because the offending parties simply don't realise, feel they should have some right, or just don't care that what they're doing is harming the difficult and delicate situations creators find themselves in.
Recently, comic artist, John Cullen had a run in with a Facebook page who seemed to gain followers by sharing content from creators without crediting them. While a copyright claim was successful, this didn't stop the page from being rude, offensive and disregarding in accepting that they were in the wrong.
There are also occurrences in which a piece of work may have had the name of the artist removed before it has been reposted to social media. The procedure of removing a name from an image obviously requires a lot more effort than it would to simply leave it there, so why would people do this, if not to try to claim ownership of the image themselves?
The ideal way to improve situations is to promote awareness of the importance of crediting artists, and in doing so, avoid situations which see people engaging in unknowingly harmful activity in terms of dealing with content.
While there are those who are simply not aware of the importance of the way our content is handled, and that creators are not necessarily on a salaried income, there will always be those who behave like the aforementioned, obnoxious Facebook page and will only be persuaded to act appropriately under fear of retribution.
Personally, I'm relatively just starting out at illustration, and have not, as far as I'm aware, had anyone abuse my work in this way. But on the occasion when it does occur, I want to be ready with an appropriate line of defence.
I have a Terms and Conditions page on my website, a lot of it may not be currently relevant and may relate to things I might possibly do in the future... It's a bit of a 'Frankenstein's monster' of information if I'm honest! However, my point is, in addition to these terms, I've created a specific 'Crediting Terms and Conditions' section, as well as an additional page for the intended purpose of giving it as a link to anyone who refuses to adhere to initial requests to follow copyright guidelines. It may seem like overkill if you read through it, but the intention is to give these people second thought to their actions. Hopefully I'll never have to use it, but the knowledge that its there gives me a feeling of security.
If anyone wants to create a similar page for their own website/blog etc. Please feel free to copy/paste the terms and edit accordingly. Additionally, if anyone has any suggestions or questions, please contact me!