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I just got an email from a concerned parent. Her daughter has an account on DA, and apparently she copies and traces my drawings. I looked on her profile and confirmed that, yes, she did trace and gave minimal (sometimes no) credit. The reason her mother messaged me was because a few people were apparently sending her harsh messages asking her to give credit. She even got a few death threats.

Listen...I'm going to say this all again because I guess it needs reiterating: When it comes to my art, I do not mind young artists copying or tracing my drawings in hopes of developing their skills, or because they are still learning the way of things. If you see someone posting a traced or heavily referenced drawing that does not mention the original picture, please DO NOT immediately jump to aggression.   If something like this (art theft/style theft) really gets on your nerves, then I understand why you might be angry upon seeing it, but you must find the maturity to take a breath, and politely ask the person to give credit.

Listen...I'm not mad. At either party.

People who copy and trace...I hope you learn it is something you can only do for so long before you must develop beyond it. You must give some form of credit to the original...even a simple "original by ____" or "inspired by ____" goes a LONG way.

People who become heated and accuse or threaten said copiers/tracers...I hope you realize how small the issue can be, and manage to take a step back. I understand it is a frustrating thing to see the original artist get no credit, but that does not give you any right to lash out and threaten others, especially when they are likely no older than 10-13 years old. If you see someone clearly tracing/copying and there is no credit, take a breath and tell them "hi, I see you're a fan of ____. Listen, I understand you are probably trying to learn from someone you admire, but you really must give credit to the original piece. Would you please update your description with a link to the original piece, or a mention to the original artist? Thank you!"


Now, I realize that sometimes, even though one is polite, the tracer/copier will respond angrily and say they didn't copy/trace and that the drawing is their own. This is not an invitation for more aggression. Simply, "I'm sorry if you took my words the wrong way, I wasn't trying to be rude, but you clearly referenced (link to the original piece), and I think it's only right to give the original artist recognition. This isn't an attack, it's just that when you post something online that was traced from another artist, the right thing to do is give them a mention for their work. If I were to trace your art, wouldn't you want me to say that you were originally the creator, then give a link to your profile so people could see what you've made?"

If they still respond with aggression, report the post but do not reply. If they never respond and do nothing to credit, then report the post if it really bothers you.



Overall, make sure to take a step back and check your anger. I know it can be hard on the internet, and it's easy to be lured into a pointless argument until eventually someone breaks into tears, but seriously...if you find yourself in an argument with a stranger online: pause, step away from the computer, take a breath, and think about the situation beyond yourself. Most often it is best to simply not reply, or to end the argument with, "well, we obviously don't agree, and I don't see a reason to continue this conversation if nothing constructive will come from it." Then never ever reply again unless they respond in a more polite manner.

In this world full of darkness, hate and anger, what point is there in working yourself up over something so small?


I hope you all have a great day! Let's continue living our lives, yeah? Hug 

~River

EDIT *please read: There are a few people in the comments who have brought up really great points, both in disagreement and as an addition to this post. I beg you to please take a bit of time and go through the comments. I've featured the ones that I think you all need to read, because what they say are definitely things that need to be considered.
Look for featured comments.
Add a Comment:
 
:iconraptorclaw-wolf:
Raptorclaw-wolf Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
well put. people should be able to speak more politely since they are typing and have time to acess what they are writing. death threats and agression are certainly not the way to go when dealing with an art theif.
Reply
:iconforestspirit31:
ForestSpirit31 Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
very well said, i'm going to be honest when i first started out with "art" and i never posted this anywhere but i just used ms paint to fill bucket the outlines on mlp character pictures.. and im not proud of those days believe me, but in the end i didn't have any idea what i was doing and this person might not have either. glad this got addressed though :)
Reply
:iconarooncat:
AroonCat Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2017  Student General Artist
I did the same thing xD
Reply
:iconforestspirit31:
ForestSpirit31 Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
they were sooo baaad xD
Reply
:iconfeuilledehoux:
FeuilleDeHoux Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2017  Student Traditional Artist
Can I have the link to her profile please? I would like to comfort her T^T
Reply
:iconthetoyhaunter:
Thetoyhaunter Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2017  Student Traditional Artist
SAME HERE
Reply
:iconwaifumi:
Waifumi Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2017  New Deviant Hobbyist Digital Artist
 I wish people would be more mature on this website... No, I disagree! 
If someone is tracing or coping, i would note the original artists about it, rather than in the comment section for everyone to see, and or tell them to give credit.

Sometimes reasoning and being mature about a situation can really make a change of heart.
Reply
:icondarkshine789:
DarkShine789 Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2017  Student General Artist
I find it pretty stupid when people decide that death threats and very harsh words are the way to go.
Just asking politely, with a simple and real please and thank you, is a lot better.
I mean, seriously people, calm down!
Reply
:iconlpslover2014:
lpslover2014 Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
OMG I love your art so much!
Reply
:iconthefiretailedweasel:
thefiretailedweasel Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2017  Hobbyist Writer
Truer words could not have been spoken





















































Why don't people like THIS run for president?!
Reply
:iconrphb:
rphb Featured By Owner 4 days ago
Because America already have one that is even greater. Hail Trump
Reply
:iconaaronburr-sir:
AaronBurr-Sir Featured By Owner 3 days ago  Hobbyist
*finger guns*
Reply
:iconrphb:
rphb Featured By Owner 3 days ago
sigh heil
Reply
:iconthefiretailedweasel:
thefiretailedweasel Featured By Owner 3 days ago  Hobbyist Writer
hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhWhY wOn'T yOu BuIlD oUr MaChIne WhY wOn'T yOu BuIlD oUr MaChIne WhY wOn'T yOu BuIlD oUr MaChIne WhY wOn'T yOu BuIlD oUr MaChIne WhY wOn'T yOu BuIlD oUr MaChIne WhY wOn'T yOu BuIlD oUr MaChIne WhY wOn'T yOu BuIlD oUr MaChIne WhY wOn'T yOu BuIlD oUr MaChIne WhY wOn'T yOu BuIlD oUr MaChIne WhY wOn'T yOu BuIlD oUr MaChIne WhY wOn'T yOu BuIlD oUr MaChIne WhY wOn'T yOu BuIlD oUr MaChIne WhY wOn'T yOu BuIlD oUr MaChIne WhY wOn'T yOu BuIlD oUr MaChIne WhY wOn'T yOu BuIlD oUr MaChIne WhY wOn'T yOu BuIlD oUr MaChIne WhY wOn'T yOu BuIlD oUr MaChIne WhY wOn'T yOu BuIlD oUr MaChIne 
Reply
:iconrphb:
rphb Featured By Owner 3 days ago
sigh heil
Reply
:iconthefiretailedweasel:
thefiretailedweasel Featured By Owner 3 days ago  Hobbyist Writer
BENDYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!! QwQ OwO
Reply
:icondemonetowo:
DemonetOWO Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh you have noo idea how much you inspired me tbh i copyed and traced your art but didn't post it anywhere 
Reply
:icondarkshine789:
DarkShine789 Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2017  Student General Artist
Same here! 
Reply
:iconenglivesandzero:
ENGLivesAndZERO Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
*hugs*
Reply
:iconfusion-drago020:
Fusion-Drago020 Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2017  New Deviant Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm completely agreeing.
Reply
:icondarkiedraws:
DarkieDraws Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Beautifully said *clap clap*
Reply
:iconderezzeddragon:
DerezzedDragon Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Agreed! *clap clap*
Reply
:icondarkiedraws:
DarkieDraws Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
YAS *CLAP CLAP*
Reply
:iconmeltingcaramel:
MeltingCaramel Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
What's the problem with some people....
Reply
:iconmajesticbandicoot:
MajesticBandicoot Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
death threats are excessive the person was pretty rude but you shouldn't be threatening to kill them..
it's really nice to see you're being so mature about this, most people wouldn't even care or would join in it's good to see you putting an end to it :D
Reply
:iconarthog2016:
Arthog2016 Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm spreading the journal cause dang it's got truth :00
Reply
:iconwillowxdemoris:
WillowxDemoris Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2017  New Deviant
Death threats? That's awful! Someone could be lead to suicidal, just from a single one of those death threats targeted at them. River, thank you for being so kind and forgiving her. With all my heart I hope they are ok, and soon the threats will be out of her  way.  
Reply
:iconeeveefusions:
EeveeFusions Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2017  Hobbyist Filmographer
People shouldn't send death threats if I saw stealing/copying art I would ask them to put credit for the owner...
Reply
:iconcaitkitten:
CaitKitten Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2017  Student General Artist
i once got maaaaajor hate for "tracing/copying" my own art once!! XDDDD

and jesus christ, y'all need to chill out, ok? DEATH THREATS???? ITS FUCKING ANIME CATS
Reply
:iconeeveefusions:
EeveeFusions Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2017  Hobbyist Filmographer
XD
Reply
:iconthiskitty:
ThisKitty Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Huge props to you for being so understanding. Deviantart would be a much better place if more people would be able to see this the way you do.

As Tracing - especially without giving no credit really isn't that much of a nice thing to do... People are seriously taking it too seriously especially if a young person is doing it. Just ridiculous. :/
Reply
:iconembersky22:
Embersky22 Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Ok, death threats are not ok. 
Reply
:iconecasta:
Ecasta Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2017  New Deviant Hobbyist Digital Artist
death threats lead to suicide. especially with younger people since they don't think as clearly as older people. 
i know your just being loyal in a way, but don't push it.
Reply
:iconferal-spirits:
Feral-Spirits Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I can agree with you. But it's not just young people sometimes people's minds become overwhelmed with horrifying thoughts. My best friend/sister I never had is 16. I almost lost her to suicide im just glad as hell she's still with me
Reply
:iconecasta:
Ecasta Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2017  New Deviant Hobbyist Digital Artist
indeed, but when your older you think more clearly.
And i'm glad all is good with your friend now c:
Reply
:iconferal-spirits:
Feral-Spirits Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
true and thx Huggle! 
Reply
:iconkitcatana12:
KitcatAna12 Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2017  Student General Artist
Okay so I have a question I use a drawing style similar to RiverSpirit but I've never copied her work or traced it. Will I get in trouble for having a similar style?  
Reply
:iconiceshadow0231:
Iceshadow0231 Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2017  Student Digital Artist
No ^^ Your style looks pretty much like your own right now :)
Reply
:iconkitcatana12:
KitcatAna12 Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2017  Student General Artist
okay thx just making sure...
Reply
:iconxxdaisyforeverxx:
xXDaisyForeverXx Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2017
Poor girl... Death threats and threats and anger are really overboard..... Honestly just be nice people 
Reply
:iconrainpoppy824:
Rainpoppy824 Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2017  Student Artist
I agree, people need to know when some battles aren't worth fighting. I mean, it's okay to use your idol's art so that you can improve, as long as you give credit. When someone I watch has their art traced, I try to reason, not roast or snap at them. If people really go as far as death threats and decide to spend their time picking on some kid, they obviously have nothing better to do with their lives
Reply
:iconkissedbythedevill:
kissedbythedevill Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2017  Student Traditional Artist
i think giving death threats is a bit much, no?
Reply
:iconsilvermoon4401:
SilverMoon4401 Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
For some reason, this seems to be something that a lot of people don't understand on the internet. This is why I like you a lot, River
Reply
:icondahuskypup:
DaHuskyPup Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I traced your art when I was young ;W;
Reply
:iconderpymuffinartist:
DerpymuffinArtist Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This post is really neccessary. Thanks for making it, River.
Reply
:iconfinnasingheart:
finnasingheart Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank YOU so much! <3
Reply
:icondarkumbreon92:
Darkumbreon92 Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank. YOU!
Reply
:iconnightsouls15:
NightSouls15 Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Wise mature words c: Really an example many artists should follow. 
Reply
:iconjacksowo:
JacksOwO Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I was lucky. A year ago I was tracing Fuyus art. I credited her yes. But it still was tracing and stealing. And lucky for me. Fuyus confronted me before anyone of her fans noticed. I felt so ashamed when she confronted me. And after that I started drawing on my own. And now I have improved so much
Reply
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