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THE IMPORTANCE OF THE ARTIST'S KNOWLEDGE IN COPYRIGHT DISPUTES


In my previous journal I wrote about an art misuse case which has now been successfully resolved. It was not a pleasant experience but looking back I feel that it was very necessary. I learned a lot about dealing with art misuse and theft cases. I think the other party also learned something.

As unfortunate as it is, I think it is vital for an artist to experience a case in which their art has been stolen or misused. The party that is using copyrighted content without permission often tries to manipulate and scare the artist into submission. This is where the importance of knowledge comes into play. When the artist knows their own rights they can defend themselves better and “win” the case - unless the party that is against them is a complete asshole that won’t listen to reason.

A lot of the information that was uncovered in the YouTube art misuse case was new to me and I think I learned really useful things. I thought it would be useful to share this case with you since it contains so much useful information, some of which was new to me. In addition to this I have listed some important points that may come in handy or would be good to know.

THE CASE
For further insight I will explain the art misuse case to provide an example on the process of resolving such case.
The YouTube channel GamingBolt used my fanart piece “Sun and Moon” (shadeofshinon.deviantart.com/a…) without permission on their YouTube video’s thumbnail.  I was informed of this by a friend of mine, without whom I probably wouldn’t even have known about this.

They linked the image to my deviantART website, but because I didn’t give a permission for the channel to use my artwork there was a violation. Why is it a violation? My policy is that my artwork is free to use in personal noncommercial and/or educational purposes. However, a YouTube video doesn’t fulfill this criteria. GamingBolt likely makes profit on their videos so therefore they were monetizing my artwork by using it as a clickbait.

I contacted the channel via PM and a regular comment, and I believe someone else also notified them of the use. Thoroughly explained why I didn’t approve of the use of my artwork and politely asked them to change the thumbnail image. I gave them a grace period to admit their ignorance and change the thumbnail, but since I never heard back from them I had to report the video. (Note that on YouTube copyright claims are a serious thing. Each claim and each video that is taken down by a copyright claim results in a strike and three strikes results in closing the channel. This is something that the YouTubers can’t take lightly.)

The video was taken down and I INSTANTLY got an email - two emails, actually - from a representative of the channel. The first email was rather chaotic and sort of apologetic. They wanted to know why I had reported the video and assumed that it was because of my artwork. The second email had a completely different tone. It included accusations and cherry picking off of different policies as well as a lot of artist copyright misconceptions. They threatened to counter the claim if I didn’t retract my claim within 24 hours. Basically they tried to scare me to submission.

I consulted my friends and followers about the case since I was not sure what to do. Thanks to the advice I got more confident and managed to keep my head cool. 
What I did was read their message and research their claims carefully. First one was a quote from Nintendo’s fanart policy that states that by drawing fanart the fanartist has no claim over the piece of work and that Nintendo and its affiliates can use the piece as they please. Therefore my copyright claim would be false. I read the entire policy carefully and noticed that it is strictly between the fanartist and Nintendo and its affiliates. No third party mentioned. The channel representative had misinterpret the policy as “fanart is free for all of the world to use” while that is not the case.

The email also stated that since my artwork was credited and was not even in the video itself it was not right of me to make the claim. This is again false because crediting the artist does not equal permission and because the channel monetized my artwork by using it as a clickbait on the thumbnail. They also went as far as claiming that I have don’t own the artwork because it features the Pokemon Solgaleo that rightfully belongs to Nintendo and its affiliates. Here the representative confused copyright and ownership. Nintendo owns Solgaleo and I had made no claim over the character. However, despite being fanart I still have my claim over the copyright because the artwork is an individual, original creation and not a copy or edit of the official art.

I pointed out their errors and did it in a firm yet polite way and explained why they can’t use any of these arguments against me. I told them I would retract the claim if they agree to change the thumbnail image. Fortunately they understood reason and agreed to my terms. I retracted the copyright claim and the channel instantly changed the thumbnail image.

I think I am justified to say that it was a good conclusion for everyone, so at least one copyright dispute ended well.

Inspired by this case I decided to write this article to share some of my thoughts and things I learned.

Next I will present some common arguments that art thieves/misusers might use against you. Oftentimes not even the misuser knows the facts, sometimes they do cherry picking and don’t read/think about the legal paragraphs and contents of the policies carefully enough.

THE COPYRIGHT LAW
Because the internet makes it possible to share creative works with the entire world it also means that the copyright disputes can happen between people of different nationalities. Naturally two different countries have different laws and sometimes there might be significant differences that might cause obscurities. However, there is one thing that needs to be remembered: the copyright law of the country in which the piece of work has been made is applied. In my case if there is a copyright dispute the Finnish copyright law would be applied. If the other party applies the law of their country it is not legitimate.

FANART
When it comes to fanart the most common misconception is that fanart can be copied and used freely because it contains pop-culture/movie/video game etc. characters. This is wrong, however. While the characters are mostly trademarked/copyrighted to a company/other party and the artist has no claim over the characters they still have the copyright over their own piece of work as long as it fulfills the following criteria:

NOTE The following statement is based on Finnish copyright law so there might be different interpretations in the laws of other countries.
In order to get the protection of copyright the piece of work must be independent and original. Independence means that the piece has to be the creator’s own work and not a copy or edit of an existing piece. Originality means that no one else would have come to the same conclusion based on the same subject. If a character is drawn again in a way that doesn’t violate the creator’s rights, there is no encroachment. Therefore no one can claim that you are violating the copyright law by drawing a copyrighted character or that you have no claim over your independent, original fanart creation.

COPYRIGHT VS OWNERSHIP
If the stolen/misused piece of work is fanart the accused party might confuse copyright with ownership by claiming that you don’t own a piece because of the character that appears in it. This is wrong.

NOTE The following statement is based on Finnish copyright law so there might be different interpretations in the laws of other countries.
A character is not a piece of work in the same way as a painting, song or writing, per se. However, as far as I know this is different in the US and Japan, for example, where a character usually gets the copyright protection as a piece of work. What this means is that you cannot profit of fan works or claim the character to be your own piece of work when a company or a person has the ownership over the character.

It is good to note that different companies might have different policies. For example Nintendo states that you have no claim over a character against Nintendo and its affiliates but mentions no third party (www.pokemon.com/us/legal/). The policy also mentions that fanart is fine as long as it is personal artwork created for noncommercial home use.
Such policies are therefore between the fanartist and the company only. As mentioned in the previous topic, while the company owns the character(s) that appear in your fanart piece you don’t give up your own claim/copyright to a piece of work.


In the following topics I’m going to cover some general points that are important regardless the nature of the case.

ALWAYS BE POLITE
This is probably the most important thing in any case you can imagine. Knowledge is power but being polite is something that can get you very far even if your knowledge isn’t flawless. Cussing, blackmailing, any other profanities, threats or angry outbursts can severely damage the discussion and your own influence and credibility. Even if the other party does this you must under no circumstances lower yourself to their level. When you remain calm and put thought into your actions and comments you give a firm and confident impression. Being impolite can turn against you as the other party can use that into their own advantage. Also, sometimes the case might be because of pure ignorance. This is why it’s very important to politely explain why the other party has done wrong by using your art. Ignorance is unfortunate but it mustn’t be confused with assholery. Ignorant people can usually be educated and informed and in the end come across as apologetic and regretful. When you work your way through the case with firm politeness you have a high chance of succeeding AND educating someone.

DON’T ATTACK THE THIEF
It is not always just the artist and the party that misused/stole the artwork that are involved in a case. Sometimes the fans feel very strongly about their favourite artist being wronged and might act without thinking. This may result in threats, cussing and irresponsible actions that end up doing more harm and turn the situation even more difficult.
When you come across something that might appear like an art theft or art misuse case the first thing you should do is inform the artist about it. Even if you are not certain if it’s something that has the artist’s permission or not you should still make sure the artist is aware. Do not start acting on your own.
As an artist, do not send your fans and followers against the thief. This does harm to your reputation and makes the case problematic, especially if the fans aren’t behaving appropriately. I’m not saying you should be alone in the case. You can rely on the help and support of your fanbase and friends but be mindful of how you use that as an asset. If there is a case that relies on spreading awareness, collecting enough likes on something or to raise visibility, do that but give the people clear outlines so they know what to do.

DO NOT PANIC
The first feeling when you come across an art theft or misuse case is always fear, disbelief and/or anger etc. The second is probably either anger, the feeling of being powerless and eventually it might escalate into the sense of defeat. It is important to go through these emotions and to get them out of your system by writing them down, talking to a friend or consulting other artists with experience in art theft/misuse cases.
When you have gone through these emotions they’re less likely to cloud your actions and judgement as you proceed in resolving the case. It is very vital that you can think clearly and analyze what has happened, what the other party has said and what you can do about it.

ASK FOR HELP
I previously touched the subject but I think it is good to make a separate paragraph for this topic. If you are unsure about what you should do or you’re still slightly panicking, ask for help. You can write a journal, a Tumblr or other social media post, talk to your friends. You can contact me if you don’t know who to go to for help. As busy as I am I’m still willing to help you the best I can.
When you ask for help be sure to cover the case as thoroughly as possible so you can pass on the relevant information. If there is something private involved use your own discretion with it. You’re always much better off when you have some second opinions and advice from others. You can even ask people how to word/proofread your messages to the art thief/misuser.
This is useful not only because you will get a better idea of what to do and what to say but also for your own confidence.

TOOLS
There are several tools you can use to either prevent an art theft or misuse case or to offer something concrete to back up your defense.

Watermarking is a very effective way of preventing art theft or misuse. However, it isn’t ultimate and oftentimes people would rather not cover their pictures as watermarks can be distracting. They can be both effective and not distracting though, but it usually requires some planning. Sometimes art thieves are very skilled in removing and covering watermarks and signatures so watermarking isn’t waterproof. It is still useful and recommended.

If you don't want to create a very prominent watermark or want something extra to mark your image you can create an invisible watermark in Photoshop (and possibly other programs with similar features). The invisible watermark is something that doesn't draw attention but is visible to the eye when you know where to look. Here is a very simple tutorial on how to create an invisible watermark: Invisible Watermark

FAQ and art policy are usually more preventive tools that inform people who are unsure about whether or not your art can be used under certain circumstances. If you do have some kind of thoughts on your art usage it would be good to make a public FAQ/art policy. In a case where your art has been stolen or used without permission you can always refer to your public art policy to point out that you haven’t authorized the use of the piece.

The resolution of the image is an important aspect. If you upload a 300dpi picture in large resolution online it is very possible for anyone to download it and use it in several different ways and even make profit of it. Low resolution doesn’t prevent copying but it does make using the image more difficult.

It is also possible to add metadata in Photoshop to your images. This metadata can contain your contact and copyright information. Here is a handy tutorial on how to add the information into your file: www.photoshopessentials.com/es…

There is also a tool on deviantART, namely the deviantART license button. You can determine the license when you submit a piece in the submit menu. Usually the license is set to default, which prohibits the use of the piece so if you weren’t aware of this you don’t need to be worried about having accidentally permitted the use of your pieces.
Here’s more information about deviantART’s copyright policy: about.deviantart.com/policy/co…

And lastly one of the most important things is to encourage vigilance among your friends and watchers and thank them for reporting any art theft/misuse cases to you. There simply cannot be enough eyes out there. I don’t even want to think about how many copyright infringement cases there are that go unnoticed

(The Finnish copyright laws I referenced can be found in this blog post [only in Finnish]: www.jussikari.fi/tekijanoikeus…)

I hope this is useful to you! If I have made any errors or you think of something should be added/clarified write it in a comment!

Add a Comment:
 
:iconsolarpaintdragon:
SolarPaintDragon Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2016  Student Digital Artist
wow that is quite the adventure, I'm glad the channel understood what they did wrong. But I have a question though, what about all those artists who table at cons or are on redbubble who sell buttons and shirts of pokemon and steven universe characters? technically it is their art, but they're monetizing off the use of those characters. Isn't that technically illegal?
Reply
:iconshadeofshinon:
ShadeofShinon Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
That's actually another topic I'm planning to write on since it's rather complicated.
Reply
:iconsolarpaintdragon:
SolarPaintDragon Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2016  Student Digital Artist
ah, I see! I was always wondering about that so I'll be looking forward to it ^^
Reply
:iconwyvern-1:
Wyvern-1 Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2016
Yikes. That's quite a story, and I'm glad it turned out well for everyone. Good thing, too, because I learned quite a bit from this story. ^_^
Reply
:iconlugia20711:
Lugia20711 Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2016  Student Writer
Good to hear you fought back and won. I'm keeping this journal for future reference.
Reply
:iconhitodama89:
hitodama89 Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Tosi hyvä kun laitoit tällaisen kasaan! Koska yksi elämän suuria iloja on kyllä kohteliaan kylmästi läimiä faktoilla ihmisiä, jotka tietää tehneensä väärin. ='D
Reply
:icondorenna:
dorenna Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2016
Nice that you won. Well written article, it explains a lot. Thank-you.
Reply
:iconamphispiza:
Amphispiza Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you for sharing!  This is incredibly helpful and if I ever find myself in a situation I won't just flounder around all confused and scared 8D <3 
Reply
:iconkcici:
Kcici Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2016  Hobbyist
I'm glad everything was solved amicably between you two. I'm sorry you had to face that experience but good on you for doing your research and staying calm. Thank you for sharing your experience and knowledge with us!
Reply
:iconthystyn:
Thystyn Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you, and I'm glad that your episode was concluded in a manner satisfactory to you both.
Reply
:iconraineyj:
RaineyJ Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm glad things worked out for you with the youtube video. I often see fanart used in thumbnails and I wonder quite a lot if permission has been obtained. Good work on keeping your cool and getting them to rethink their argument! It's kind of amazing that a representative of the channel wouldn't know their copyright law when it's such an important issue on youtube and the channel is so heavily reliant on fanart to advertise their videos. Hopefully they ask permission from now on.
Reply
:iconshadeofshinon:
ShadeofShinon Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Yeah, I'm glad about it, too. I suppose it's all about the misconception that you are free to use whatever wherever as long as you credit. Sometimes it might be alright but those things depend from artist to artist. Some might be more lenient than others and some might be cool with it regardless but still consider asking for permission polite. I think whatever the artist's policy says it's still polite to ask since it shows that you take the thing seriously and want to make sure you're not offending the artist by accident.
But yeah, I hope they learned their lesson.
Reply
:icondestroyah17:
destroyah17 Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2016
I'm learning so much right now
Reply
:iconartheartdog:
ARTheARTdog Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you for sharing this experience and the information along with it, it is very useful and will hopefully help a lot of people in the future. :)




BadWolfRoxy89, this will help alieveiate some stress c:
Reply
:iconbadwolfroxy:
BadWolfRoxy Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanx so much for sharing this with me! :hug: 
Reply
:iconartheartdog:
ARTheARTdog Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
No prob! ^^
Reply
:iconttprince:
TTPRINCE Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2016  Student Traditional Artist
So helpful thank you so much ☺👍
Reply
:iconryua:
Ryua Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
That is some extremely useful information.
Reply
:iconhowling-wolf:
Howling-Wolf Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you for posting this. This is extremely useful information that many people need to see.

Glad to hear that that copyright dispute got settled peacefully in the end.
Reply
:iconpitchblackespresso:
PitchBlackEspresso Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
what's funny is that I would actually be flattered if anyone used my drawings for thumbnails/etc., but of course I don't make profit with my art (nor I never will) and I generally have no problem with people using my art. this doesn't mean though that I approve of art theft. at least credit me.

that said though, i'm glad that this situation has been resolved in a fairly peaceful manner. another dA artist I watch that makes original comics about sentient dogs has been through a similar thing recently. somebody leaked patreon-exclusive content and spammed it all across the internet, which forced the artist to copyright their work and track down all the places their art had been posted to (without permission or credit of course). they were very, very angry about it.
in one of the journals the artist made, another person suggested adding invisible watermarks to a picture, so maybe you might wanna add this to the TOOL section, as it is yet another useful protection. here's a tutorial for photoshop: www.youtube.com/watch?…

here's hoping this wont't happen again!
Reply
:iconshadeofshinon:
ShadeofShinon Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
That is probably up to the artist to decide what they deem appropriate. However I found this case disrespectful because I was not asked for a permission, the art was used as a clickbait and didn't get a proper feature, the artwork was used to bring money to someone else and that the common idea was that my artwork is free to use for anything. That is why I think it is important that artists define their own art usage policies because they can vary so much and there is no way other people will know whether or not they can use art unless it is explicitly addressed somewhere. Of course there are people who don't even care but those are another chapter on their own.

I have heard of that invisible watermark but I didn't remember it. Unfortunately the link you posted doesn't work. Maybe try to get the shorter link from the video options so I can add it?
Reply
:iconpitchblackespresso:
PitchBlackEspresso Featured By Owner Edited Nov 26, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
of course, that's why i said that i personally have no issue with it, but that's because art is strictly a hobby for me and me posting it online is also in the anticipation of others using it.
this WAS a disrespectful case for you, and at this day and age it is very important to define what others are and are not allowed to do with somebody's creations. it actually surprises me that a big channel like gamingbolt (which means it should be aware of copyright rules) was so naïve in this situation, especially since you clearly state in the description of your picture that people are NOT authorized to use your artwork. 

weird, i used the "add media" option, must be a dA thing or I did it wrong haha. here's the complete url: 
www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZEubR…
(and if that doesn't work either, here's the short link: watch?v=IZEubRkir60)
it's a relatively simple tutorial, but from what i saw, there are several ways of making invisible watermarks.
their primary purpose is for only you to know where they are, so that if anybody else claims ownership of your art and/or removes any visible watermarks, you can screw them over by exposing said invisible watermark.
Reply
:iconshadeofshinon:
ShadeofShinon Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Yeah, that's understandable. I actually used to be more honored when people used my art but things tend to change.
I guess in this case I can fully blame the ignorance of the people who run the channel. It was quite evident that they didn't really know about the art usage stuff, based on their actions and arguments.

Thank you! That is a very good, simple tutorial. I'll definitely add it, it seems very useful.
Reply
:iconpitchblackespresso:
PitchBlackEspresso Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
yeah, ignorance in these matters can lead to unpleasant consequences, hopefully this will be an example for them and every other person that caught wind of the event.

you're most welcome, glad it was useful!
Reply
:iconflammenfeder:
Flammenfeder Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
This was very interensting and will help many other Artists, thank you for posting this journal^^

However, I have a question about something that has been botherin me for some time. You mentioned Nintendos policy and I'd like to quote the following:
"The policy also mentions that fanart is fine as long as it is personal artwork created for noncommercial home use."

So, aren't you violating against their policy when you sell your artwork on Redbubble etc? 
Don't get me wrogn, I don't want to offend you or anything, this is just a question I've asked myself for some time now...
Reply
:iconshadeofshinon:
ShadeofShinon Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Technically you're right. I think I only had one piece put up on Redbubble and that was because one person wanted a print of a specific piece. It would've been too expensive for me to print it in Finland and mail to the US so I made it available on Redbubble. It was taken down however. I don't remember what I have on Redbubble anymore but I think the Pokemon pieces there have been put up by request because some individuals wanted prints of them and it was just an easier way for the reason mentioned above. In the end my markup on Redbubble is marginal so it can hardly be called profit because I don't make huge sales.

The topic of selling prints of fanart or making commissions that are technically fanart is something that I should probably discuss separately because there are always differences in interpretation and policies etc. and it is a very messy topic. To put it shortly, Nintendo is exceptionally lenient with fanart and selling prints. It is done very widely but I haven't heard of a single case where Nintendo would've interfered with an individual selling prints. 

When it comes to an individual selling prints of fanart the prints are usually very limited and sold exclusively. This means there is no mass production or distribution involved. If a company or an individual would try to profit of Nintendo's creations in a large scale and mass produce things that would be a serious infringement Nintendo would step into, I reckon. There has been a lot of discussion about this, especially about Pokemon and Nintendo, but I think the common consensus is that Nintendo actually indirectly profits of the promotion by fanartists. As the fanartists and people who sell prints don't make huge sums of money it doesn't affect Nintendo's sales anything but positively.

The way I see it the difference between me selling my fanart pieces and for example the YouTube video case is that I am selling my original fanworks exclusively in very limited editions and offer commissions as a service. The YouTube video in question used my artwork for a more public and commercial way. Not only did they use my art without my permission to profit but they also use official Nintendo footage in their videos. They profit off of the videos all the same and tens of thousands of people see them yet even that isn't really considered problematic. Also, the YouTube videos are heavily monetized and involve ads and a bigger engine altogether while most of the work I do is done with my own time and effort.

I am aware I am moving in a somewhat gray area but I believe there is a difference between exclusive sales and mass production and distribution and that line is where a lot of artists tread on. Nintendo hasn't officially taken a stance against artists who sell prints unlike for example Toby Fox, the creator of Undertale, who has explicitly prohibited any kind of prints sales. Commissions, one-off pieces and custom works are fine. There is of course the difference that Toby Fox is one person and Nintendo is a huge, huge company. Nintendo has not made a clear statement so it is up to everyone's interpretation I guess.
Reply
:iconaquashiram14:
aquashiram14 Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2016
Interesting point! I was actually about to make that comment but decided to see if someone else had asked already, and well, sure enough. Thank you for your insight!

However, if I may bring up an interesting case that happened...

www.geekwire.com/2015/superfan…

The synopsis is this: A small common middle class, millenial-aged Pokemon fan decides to throw a Pokemon-themed party to open PAX West (it probably got attention because it was for PAX West). Without any warning he got sued and had to pay $4,000, which he managed to crowdfund from people generous enough to give. Now this is obviously very different from fanart or your YouTube dispute but I wanted to show you that case to show that Nintendo *has* cranked the heat on (individual) people before, it's just we haven't heard of cases where they prosecuted artists for fanart (yet). What I think about this case is its own thing, but it did happen.

Anyways, if you do consider writing another article talking about fanart, fanart commissions, and selling fanart prints/buttons/other merchandise in general either privately or at large Comic Con -esque conventions, I will be very interested in seeing what you have to say! It's such a huge gray area, so many artists will allow fanart requests for commissions and will table at cons, and Japan has a huge con dedicated to doujins which often contain derivative work.

Thanks again for the article! I definitely learned something :)
Reply
:iconraineyj:
RaineyJ Featured By Owner Edited Nov 26, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
From what I remember of that case, it was because he used the official art to advertise the party and there was also the fact he was making it look like Nintendo supported a non-family friendly party with alcohol involved (and I believe there had been problems in the past with underage minors getting drunk and taken advantage of in other, similar parties in the past). 
Reply
:iconaquashiram14:
aquashiram14 Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2016
Ah, both him and the article did not bring up the possibility of alcohol being involved, that would definitely cause Gamefreak to act. (my personal opinion is that a cease and desist instead of a demand of $4,000 would have been better but meh, it's done with)

Thanks for adding that! :)
Reply
:iconraineyj:
RaineyJ Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Yeah, agreed there with the C&D. Although I wouldn't be surprised if they've warned people before and it just kept happening, causing them to step things up to get their point across.
Reply
:iconshadeofshinon:
ShadeofShinon Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm glad that this subject also interests people! It is a very important and interesting subject because it is also not very clear to people what the issues are and when things might get complicated, or who is authorized to say what is allowed and what is not.

That is a very interesting example case. I think the issue might be the fact that the party was funded with crowdfunding. If he'd paid it all by himself it would've most likely been fine, I think. But crowdfunding is a a thing of its own. It's also a subject I am not familiar with enough to discuss it. Crowdfunding has different legal aspects in Finland so that I why I have yet to look into it more thoroughly. But I think that your suspicions might be right. It got a lot of attention and that's why Nintendo took action. I wasn't living under the assumption that Nintendo HASN'T gone after individuals or wouldn't do it but it is as you said you hardly hear about such cases if they happen and mostly individuals go under the radar.

But I will definitely try to make an article on the subject since it is something that a lot of people have asked me about. I might need to find some example cases or experiences from bigger cons since my own experience is limited exclusively to Finnish conventions which can't even be compared to things like Comic Con. Or then I will just limit the article to smaller scale, I think that would touch the same issues regardless.
Reply
:iconaquashiram14:
aquashiram14 Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2016
Yeah, copyright is ridiculously nebulous. It's absolutely crazy, I almost can't fault people for misunderstanding copyright and then committing art theft because the laws themselves take a lot of time and effort to barely understand. At least in America it is that way and that is also why I don't like Disney as a corporation (but that is just an aside).

I definitely look forward to if/when you write an article on it! I have read many different articles from many different perspectives but I have yet to find one from an actual artist XD
Reply
:iconkaruuhnia:
karuuhnia Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you so much for taking the time to post all of this. I hope I'll never have to fight against an art thief, but who knows?

Anyway, I'm glad your dispute with the Youtube Channel ended in a more or less good way. I hope they've learned their lesson. X'D
Reply
:iconshadeofshinon:
ShadeofShinon Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm just happy to make this post - I feel like this kind of information isn't as readily available as it should be.

I think they learned their lesson as well. They were respectful in the end. But man did they pick the wrong person to try to scare into submission.
Reply
:iconwildtale:
Wildtale Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2016  Student Traditional Artist
Thank you very much for posting this! ^^
Reply
:iconladyfromeast:
LadyFromEast Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2016  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you very much for writing this journal entry! It clarifies a lot of things, and I'm really happy you managed to solve that situation you mentioned ended well.
Reply
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