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Submitted on
March 15, 2012
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STOP, THIEF!!

Thu Mar 15, 2012, 9:10 PM


(Edit: Over 160,000 people have read this Journal entry already, so don't miss it!)

Ha ha ha, best headline ever.

Good, you opened this journal. Don't worry, no art theft shenanigans have transpired that triggered this entry. I merely want to share my thoughts on "ripping off" and "originality" with you, both as an artist and novelist who's been on the Internet for 12 years.
This is not a rant - it's strictly comical, but also educational. I'm known for my laid-back, funny and matter-of-fact attitude :)

I'll give you a different point of view today, because if there is something I despise more than art theft, it's people accusing others of it. Anti art theft ninjas, also known as: people who have likely not had enough science in school. They often have no compelling evidence. They often have wrong evidence (even worse). They often do it on a whim, a feeling. And they rarely do it silently, rampaging publicly instead, thus driving a witch hunt.

First of all, let me tell you something that any proper writing class tells you right in the beginning: Nothing artistic in this world is original anymore.
Everything has been done in some way. You can whistle a tune to yourself you just make up on the spot, but rest assured that someone has used it in music before. If you actively play the flute or ocarina, or any other easily transportable instrument, you should know this. The ocarina is the oldest instrument of mankind, over 10,000 years old. It typically plays 1 octave, so yes, rest assured any melody conceivable has been played on it before, at least similarly. You take your instrument with you to the park and feel the need to play, so you sit down and play a melody you made up. Quite unexpectedly, someone says what you are playing is this-or-that song or a melody from some classical music piece you never heard of. When you get home you check it out and indeed, there it is - at least very similar. I know so many musicians who write their own music who have experienced this. Did you know? Composers in the 17th century ran into problems because they couldn't think of new melodies/music that hadn't been done before. And that was centuries ago! It's even worse today.

Do you think the popular fiction you love the most is original? What, you think Star Wars (Ahahahaha!!: www.youtube.com/watch?v=--BVUT… ) or Harry Potter are original? Like, the Horcruxes, which are actually just the One Ring, and the One Ring is actually inspired from the Andvarinaut ( en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andvarin… ). But wait, there are meant to be seven Horcruxes, just as many as the Dragon Balls.
When the Harry Potter franchise became successful, publishers re-released similar, but older books from decades before in hopes of selling them now that the theme was popular again. Raging Harry Potter fans accused these older books of being blatantly ripping off their beloved wizard stories, which are actually so unoriginal that it hurts, once you know a lot of stories. If you know enough, you can see parallels in any story - you see them everywhere! And I promise you, I have such a geeky knowledge of popular media, I see thousands of parallels between any stuff I consume nowadays.

I have developed my own science-fantasy world all my life, as large and rich in detail as the big players out there. I have species, peoples, worlds, customs, even a properly created language you can actually speak. Now, as someone who has done this, let me tell you: It is impossible, and I mean impossible, to do something like this without grazing any and all other stories ever conceived by other people. Not just in ideas, but even words, names and places can be similar - and it is a total coincidence. Like, how is this: In Star Wars, there is a forest moon by the name of Endor. In The Lord of the Rings, Endor is the elvish word for Middle Earth. In my own created language, Endor literally means "Middle Land", which  is exactly what the elvish word means. That's because "En" means middle and "dor" means land in both languages. In elvish, it means "Middle Land" too. Coincidence, I made my version up when I was like seven years old.
Another example from the Lord of the Rings is the name "Isengard". If I had a place called Isengard in my stories (I once had before I knew The Lord of the Rings), a lot of people would say its ripped off. In reality, Isengard is a German surname, and it is middle high German for "Iron Fortress", where the word Isen, which is now spelled Eisen, means Iron.
I could go on like this forever. And it's why I have no problem with things being similar in popular media. I know there is no way not to have similarities, even unbelievable similarities. Also, a rip-off is something born from laziness. Nowadays, people seem to have no concept of "inspiration" as a reason for similarity. If something is similar because it was inspired by something, like the Lord of the Rings by Germanic folk tales, then that's fine. Not everything similar is immediately a rip-off; it may very well just be inspired.

That said, I think the fantasy genre suffers from idea-homeopathy. You know, orcs, elves, MANA. Mana, the worst invention in the long, sad history of bad inventions. When I read "elves" in the title, I want to yell at the author: Come up with your own ideas and something new! Idea-homeopathy. Homeopathy is the practice of creating "medicine" without actual medicine in it. A lot of people buy, believe and take it, but there is nothing in it. Nothing at all.

But back to art theft and why I despise the anti-art theft people. The reason is that many people get pestered by them, especially if you have a wide audience, like me. You have no concept of how much fire I get over nothing, and how much fire I've got over the years. Nowadays, I get one of these people every few days, even on pictures where I clearly state in the description that a reference was used and the reference is even properly linked. Somehow people manage to find the reference (usually the wrong one) on the Internet, but at the same time fail to just read the description.
I've had pictures deleted thanks to people who reported my original paintings, and I had public disputes and public witch hunts to endure, with people banning me from their pages without any compelling evidence whatsoever. At the end of the day, you do not sit next to the artist and you do not know their creation process. If I take the time, I'm fully capable of taking of photograph and making a painting of it so realistic that it's virtually indistinguishable from a photo. I even paint in photographic flaws, such as overexposure and chromatic aberration. Yeah, it's an ability. Let's call it "visual badassery" :D
My visual badassery can be off the charts if I actually want it to be. But then I get people accusing me of manipulating a photo, using the presence of chromatic aberration in the picture as evidence. Some evidence, my friends. Like I said, not enough science in school :).  (See my proof: darksilverflame.deviantart.com… )
Social proof, meaning many people rampaging about the same thing, is not above actual evidence. The court of public opinion is a kangaroo court. General agreement does not protect everyone from being utterly wrong.

I once had a person accusing the sky in a speed painting of mine to be ripped off of something another popular artist had painted, because supposedly only that artist could do that style. You should facepalm right now, mate.  When I proved them wrong by uploading the photo - my own photo - which I had used as reference, there was no apology. It's been my experience that the kind of people who rampage about this, or the people who vote down even the greatest video on youtube, and the people who are generally butt-hurt about everything, are all the very same people. And it's been my experience that, usually, these people are losers who have never achieved anything and have never been a somebody. They let it out on other people as soon as they see an opening for attack - a normal psychological reaction.

I assure you, the number of accusations in any online art community has always exceeded the number of true cases by far. Most of the time, the true cases are done by children who have no idea of copyright and innocently take a picture they like. Everybody else who copies are the losers who want to show off how great they are. They are also the kind of people who write fan fiction, put themselves into the story and are a perfect character without flaws, usually dating one of the main characters (you know who you are).

In conclusion, don't take yourself so seriously. Next time you feel angry, just do...or actually, you can do this as an experiment right now: stand up straight, look up at the ceiling as though there was something interesting there and grin like an idiot, as widely as you can. For added effect, you can also move your upper body and head a little. Now, try to feel depressed. No, don't forget to grin like an idiot! Try again to feel depressed. Or angry. Keep grinning. Doesn't work, does it? It's impossible, because of how the human brain works. Motion creates emotion. You can't do this and feel depressed or angry at the same time. So there you go, your personal instant feel-better technique :)

Stop being butt-hurt, stop being angry, stop being untruthful, stop being unfriendly. Being good and helping people leads to greatness! :aww:

Alright, thought process complete. Now, anybody want some cake?

It's kinda weird looking to end this so abruptly, so I just put a random subliminal message here as a filler:
DarkSilverflame is awesome WOW, YEAH!

Add a Comment:
 
:iconrosebfischer:
rosebfischer Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Hi, so I have finally written up that blog post where I mention this journal. I asked you if I could months ago, but you probably don't remember. The relevant parts are about 2/3 down, after a bunch of informational content about how Creative Commons works. [link]
Reply
:icondarksilverflame:
DarkSilverflame Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I do remember; thanks :)
Reply
:iconrosebfischer:
rosebfischer Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
You're welcome. Thank you again.
Reply
:iconlaroku1:
laroku1 Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
(I don't have to much time right now, so I will make it short) I agree with you, that's why I hate fan fiction (END)
Reply
:iconrhealesia:
rhealesia Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I think for those who are interested, they should look at everythingisaremix.info
There is a 4 part video series there where he explains ideas being reused from music to images to cinema in order to create something new. He also mentions the creative process and how we have to go through this in order to make something new, even in inventions and technology.
Reply
:iconphoenixoflife:
PhoenixofLife Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
holy balls I completely know what you mean about nothing being original anymore. Even the new stuff is just a different spin off of separate elements. It's a matter of if the story is well written, interesting, and not a full blown copy. As an author, I have the flaw of writing something, then saying "Damn it, this section is similar to _______" Adventure stories are difficult in that aspect. Ahh..... Nanowrimo starts soon. I've been thinking about this for a while XD
Reply
:icondarksilverflame:
DarkSilverflame Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Being an author myself, I know exactly what you mean :I
Reply
:iconebonsong:
Ebonsong Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2012
This is so true, yeah. Copyright is to stop people from claiming your actual art, physically, prints or whatnot as their own. Copyright in this case I'm okay with. However, ideas cannot be copyrighted no matter how much people think otherwise. It has all been done before somewhere or some time else.

In a silly way, when I see people complain about ideas being stolen I imagine aliens coming to this world telling humans we've been violating their 'copyright' over hundreds of thousands of years now...for stealing their idea of the wheel - which was -clearly- designed by them 13.6 million years earlier. :S

In this case, invasion is the only logical recourse.^^
Reply
:iconkaihartj:
Kaihartj Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Amen to this
Reply
:iconryyathi:
Ryyathi Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I wholeheartedly agree! So refreshing to see a well-written point of view like this.
This is a topic my partner and I have discussed on several occasions; also one I chat about with my fellow art students.
Thank-you!
Reply
:iconhellzeine:
Hellzeine Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Nice entry, nice personality, hope you'll make some interesting discoveries about the marine life. Love your Twitter! Have a nice life. )
Reply
:iconlovecraftthebrony:
LovecraftTheBrony Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
All i have to say is thank you. So thank you.
Reply
:iconcontradictingcats:
ContradictingCats Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2012  Student Artist
They are also the kind of people who write fan fiction, put themselves into the story and are a perfect character without flaws, usually dating one of the main characters (you know who you are).

I gotta say that's the best part of this ;D

Anyhow, thank you for this! You'll probably never respond to this, but this is amazing! Now if everyone actually read this, the world could maybe be so much simpler.

Also, is this cake free? If so, Bring the cake! :3
Reply
:icondarksilverflame:
DarkSilverflame Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'd say people should simply be more polite and realize that everything will always be similar to everything else, and not immediately suspect ill intent on the side of the artist :)
Reply
:iconcontradictingcats:
ContradictingCats Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2012  Student Artist
Haha Very much so. Just like an incident that happened recently between artists, which literally became a tiny hate war it seemed. :/ I rather have artists go on drawing then start a fight about some art being "copied" or whatever.

Thank you for taking time to reply ^-^
Reply
:iconimdiffrentsowhat:
ImDiffrentSoWhat Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
...What is this? Is it...could it be? Logic? OH LOGIC!!!! How I have missed you!

Hehehe, okay now that the tearful reuinon is over I must agree with you. Art theft has become a witch hunt and unfortently though it can be a real issue in some cases it is often blown out of poportion and often is done by people who are "scream and accuse first, ask qustions later, and never investigate further." types. Though when it is truly a theft it should be delt with, in a responsible mature way. If only, huh?

I have to agree with almost all you say except one thing. The cake is a lie.

But with inspiration there is a theory that all humans have a collective concious, so it'd make sense inspiration from the concious could only go so far. I hate when people say something is a rip off, and honestly I found Potter fans do it more often then others (I am a Potter fan to though but I'd like to believe I don't do that) "They ripped off of Harry Potter!" "This book was published twenty years before Harry Potter" Real conversation I once had with a girl once.
Reply
:iconthesneakygypsy:
TheSneakyGypsy Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
I want some cake :)
Reply
:iconetherealopolis:
Etherealopolis Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2012
This is such a breath of fresh air!

You know, with our erotic work we try to find the source photos we use in our manipulations. With the recent exception of something that I did of Bee Armitage, we've not found a single source who replied to our inquiries. Funny thing is, she (Bee Armitage) has a website and we contacted them for permission to use one of her pictures a week ago with no response yet forthcoming. I'm not holding my breath, either.

Personally while I've witnessed the occasional art rip off, none of it was IMHO opinion of Picasso or Rembrandt grade material; I think it's good to bear in mind that most of us are ASPIRING artists, you know, we're all on the road here!
Reply
:iconwhitewolfanaiyu:
WhiteWolfAnaiyu Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2012   Traditional Artist
Has to be the best journal entry I've ever read...a lot of truth to what you say and I totally agree it! Well said! I too have had my fair share of people accusing me just of stealing my name(username anyways) from Balto when in fact I made it up a long time ago...it's not even spelled the same! So aggrivating...thank the Lord though I don't get that dreck too often any more! I guess because I'm more established on the internet than I was when I first started! Anyways rant over now sorry about that :D!
Reply
:iconsamyukthak:
samyukthak Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2012  Professional General Artist
Lol, YEAH you're awesome! Loved the post and agree with it.
Just came to see your gallery and noticed the intriguing Journal title :)
Which reminds me - Thanks for the fav! Am honored :)
Reply
:iconhuntertallonian:
Huntertallonian Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks for the Fav! :dummy:
Reply
:iconsylvania:
sylvania Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2012  Professional General Artist
i'm late to the party, but:
you, sir, are my hero.
Reply
:icondaughter-of-wolves:
Daughter-Of-Wolves Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I just may have to referance people to this in the back of my novel in progress.

I had something similar happen to me, the Inheritance Series had yet to become popular in my town. A earlier version of my novel in progress, was entirely my own brainchild, but do to the theory of Collective Conscience and archetypes (and their effect on fantasy writing) someone accused me of mimincing Eragon.
Reply
:icondarksilverflame:
DarkSilverflame Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Eragon is itself inspired by other works, especially Lord of the Rings. And if someone speaks up about Eragon, they are likely too you to know better :)
Reply
:iconprotocross:
ProtoCross Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
i have scientific and common sense proof that gay is a natural thing that happens so it aint possible to be a choice
Common sense should say it makes no sense anyway for it to be a choice.
science says it aint a choice too. case closed. lol

people say transgender is a choice or something like that.
I'm proof it aint.
I can counter any religious claimes on these matters with logic how sad is that I say people use that noodly thing in your head it will all make sense if ya use it. no offense to anyone who believes in other things that i do not.
Reply
:iconprotocross:
ProtoCross Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I created a language too it follows a series of symbols (similar to the alphabet so it aint complicated but it would be placed backwards
so a name goes at the end or at the front if in the alphabet it is in the back and it is a bit hard to remember

nothing is original "she flies" yeah I have ten that can do similar things "hes a demon" so is akuma from street fighter he fits the description of an akuma
Reply
:iconwhimseystock:
Whimseystock Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2012   General Artist
There is nothing new under the sun. Solomon said that thousands of years in the book of Ecclesiastes. He was a wise man.

I agree with you--by the way, your writing skills are amazing. I've had both things happen--someone actually stole one of my daughter's photo manips (it was a sample herself with a wing brush she'd invented). The guy (from India as I recall) actually called it "Kendra's wing samples" and was selling her image on cigarette boxes through ebay and etsy! Tch tch tch

But on the other hand, years ago, when I used to put my art up on DA, someone actually accused me of using one of her photos and not crediting her--when in actuality my reference photo was my own daughter.

You are right--these days there isn't much which hasn't been thought up already. Some of those authors from way back would be astonished that what they'd imagined has actually (at least in technology) come to pass.
Reply
:iconkimie-babe:
KimiE-Babe Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2012
God, I actually made a journal entry that was like this! Only, in my entry, I was paranoid cause I saw some people on here with characters that looked like mine and so I thought "oh shit they're gonna think I stole their idea!" I made my characters 2 years ago and love them more than anything. People (especially in the AT groups) keep accusing other of stealings their "ideas" and "creativity". It's so irritating! Im sometimes afraid to submit something cause I keep thinking they're gonna try to get their friends to report me or stalk me. Thank you, I bow down to you. *bows* Finally, someone who can see both sides of the story.
Reply
:iconviolet4ever241:
Violet4ever241 Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks for the fave!
Reply
:iconaichobitz:
Aichobitz Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2012  Student Writer
I wish people were as open minded as you.
Reply
:icontatsuyabocchan:
tatsuyabocchan Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2012  Professional General Artist
actually, what i called art theft is the person who take , use, even ripping watermark, and some indicated tell the others that it is their work.
yes, idea could be the same, but art work never the same.
Reply
:iconrosethorn-mage:
Rosethorn-Mage Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2012  Student General Artist
This was AWESOME! I'm going to have to agree; "DarkSilverflame is awesome".

This was so true. I mean, yeah, there are people who try to steal and profit from other people's work, but most of the time people are creating similar stuff so it's just inspiration, not art theft.

Oh! And I LOVED the paragraph about the "personal instant feel-better technique" Granted, I wasn't feeling sad, but I just had to try it and it was AWESOME. ^^ So funny. It's like walking up to a friend with an evil grin and watching their reaction. Sometimes you just have to be silly for the sake of being silly and "grin like an idiot."
Reply
:icondarksilverflame:
DarkSilverflame Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks, I'm glad you liked it :D
Reply
:icondixicorn:
dixicorn Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2012  Student Writer
This was so deep. I came just to thank you for your fav, but ended up reading this compelling artical. So beutifal.
Reply
:iconalistersangelsong:
AlistersAngelsong Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
You're a funny one XD I thoroughly enjoyed this piece, WOW, hahahaha

You have many valid points, and you have addressed many fears of mine as an avid writer...fortunately, I've never been accused of such things. I mean, you have 610 or so comments on this journal, counting mine at the moment. Someone is bound to be butthurt. XD It's like the trolls on YouTube or Yahoo, you know, the people who just can't stand the fact that someone is...well...anything, really.

Ah the world. How I love you.
Reply
:icondarksilverflame:
DarkSilverflame Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yeah, some people are simply unhappy with themselves and feel the need to lash out. Ah well, glad you enjoyed it :)
Reply
:iconalistersangelsong:
AlistersAngelsong Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
I enjoyed it immensely. You should write more often.
Reply
:icontempestasventus:
TempestasVentus Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
i love this. an amazing entry, i particularly liked the part with similarities. except we called them...monomyths, or something like that. it's really amazing, to notice the patterns throughout history of stories. i love it, took a class on it once. :) it was awesome.
Reply
:icondarksilverflame:
DarkSilverflame Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yeah, it's always fascinating to me to discover a new pattern like that :)
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:icontempestasventus:
TempestasVentus Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
:D
Reply
:iconlocationcreator:
LocationCreator Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2012  Professional Interface Designer
Well said, *DarkSilverflame!
Reply
:iconrosebfischer:
rosebfischer Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
May I reblog this? It's awesome.
Reply
:icondarksilverflame:
DarkSilverflame Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You may link to this entry if you like, but please don't copy the text itself.
Reply
:iconrosebfischer:
rosebfischer Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks. I have a blog series entitled "100 Things I Learned By Writing Fanfiction". I think this would be a fantastic entry to link to when I talk about internet culture and anonymity leading to the kind of thing you address here. I'd basically just make my point and then add a link to your (awesome) entry as further reading for anyone who wanted.
Reply
:iconpanda-snowflake:
panda-snowflake Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2012
That was truly beautiful. I love that! You've made my day.
Other than, you know, the premiere of Doctor Who on later...:3
Reply
:iconnickherbert:
NickHerbert Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2012   Digital Artist
best read i've had in a while lol
Reply
:iconmidnightiris77:
MidnightIris77 Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
That journal entry has inspired me. Thanks for sharing :thanks:
Reply
:iconjustbella92:
JustBella92 Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2012
thanks for fav! :)
Reply
:iconphantom-firefly:
Phantom-Firefly Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2012
THE PHOTOS IN YOUR GALLERY ARE PAINTINGS NOT PHOTOS?? amazing : D
Reply
:iconlonesamuraifox:
LoneSamuraiFox Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Tolkien didn't said he completly created Middle-Earth. He said, that the biggest base for his universe was Kalavala (Finnish folk stories) and whole Norse and Old-English mythology. Even the Middle-Earth is a English name for a Midgard.
Reply
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