Aw, the more you know by browsing DA just from time to time...
Ladies and gentlemen... I just stumbled in a journal (thanks to a friend of mine) which describes what to me looks like the most "bizarre" art theft I've ever witnessed to so far!
Here the whole text, copy-pasted from DarlingMionette
's journal entry
; stay tuned, because I have also my lil' two cents to add after this. BEFORE COMMENTING: Trust me guys, I feel your anger - but please refrain from leaving "me too!" messages. I posted this yesterday and it's already gotten 371 comments on it. It's not that I don't understand your frustration, but all the anger you feel towards this guy is running circles through my inbox, and I have to read it in order to sort out the few comments that have questions or new information. Read the information, come to your own conclusions, and if you feel so inclined, send out some DMCA takedown notices to him and his hosting company. That's all there is to it.
YAY. My artwork is being posted on a website without my permission. Yours probably is too. I was notified today by *SquirrelGirl15 and *AJ333 that this website: [link] is farming links from people's deviantART galleries and posting our artwork up without crediting anyone. Go ahead, run a search for your username. On the upside, I was able to find the whois lookup information on the guy that runs this site. You may send your complaints and angry rants to:
REGISTRANT CONTACT INFO: whois.domaintools.com/dramakor…
Name: PT.Belawan Sendiri
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
I already have :3 You can also complain to his hosting company:
Softlayer Technologies Inc.
Let's get this guy shut down -__-
<-a sample Formal DMCA Notice to Service Providers you may use. Thanks to iLantiis .
What this is, and why it's a problem...
From what I understand, it seems this guy is using some sort of "bot" or script to search out artwork on DeviantART. From there, the script automatically generates pages with our artwork on it, and a snippet of the original title. The artwork is still hosted here on DeviantART (putting a greater load on deviantart's servers... FU hotlinking). Now you may say "at least my username is attatched to the artwork" and, true, sometimes it is. The problem is, if you have a long username or your image titles are long, your username will be clipped off the artwork title and not posted. The website does NOT link to our deviantart profiles or deviation pages. It does not display our contact info. It doesn't even display our whole usernames some of the time. So here's the question for you.... how is a random internet user who doesn't know who we are contact us or find more of our artwork if all they see is a tourniquet-ed username on this random korean portal? The answer? They don't - and therein lies the problem. Along with a brief (c) Copyright blah blah blah statement at the bottom of the page that says NOTHING about our copyrights, it is clear to any artist worth a grain of salt, that we are not being given due credit here. Users can also leave comments on our artwork directly on this website... but we won't see it here on DeviantART. So not okay.
Note: It's been pointed out to me now that this site also has been crawling places other than DeviantART, including but not limited to: IMVU, The Endless Forest, Nabyn, Tumblr, Youtube, Photobucket, The Lion King Fan Art Archive etc. So if you go by other usernames, check those too!
Be forwarned it's been reported that -some- pages on this domain may have malware/virus'. There's been a small handful of reports. It's best not to click too far in past the initial search. If you see your art listed, send in the DMCA takedown notices, and stay away from the inner workings to be safe :3
Also, for those of you questioning whether this is just a search engine: A search engine (like google) finds internet pages, and links them for you. That is not what this site is doing... it doesn't link back to the original page, it only displays your images and adds a comment box / advertising. It seems to sometimes crop off watermarks as well. The general consensus seems to be that the site owner is using our art as a way to boost his domain traffic and earn sales off advertising placed within the pages - essentially making money off our work being posted there.
As that entry also points out, that is NOT a search engine. As explained towards the end: "A search engine (like google) finds internet pages, and links them for
you. That is not what this site is doing... it doesn't link back to the
original page, it only displays your images and adds a comment box /
advertising. It seems to sometimes crop off watermarks as well."
Now, here my personal two cents about all this.
First thing: keep calm & don't freak out!
It's normal to be upset, because this may've been like a bolt out of the blue to some of you, but a nervous breakdown won't take the site down, let alone the images in there.
Secondly, some people who commented in DarlingMionette
's entry said that the site may contain a malaware
which shows the images in that site only AFTER you type your own nickname and, the more you try, the more images it will snatch from your accounts.
Personally, I don't know if this is true or not; I tried the last day even two or three times in a row, and it always showed me the same (few, fortunately) images, included the one I have as profile image.DarlingMionette
herself answered to another user, saying that "only a small group of people have been infected (two that I know of) I believe the virus was in the ads on the page - if you have a pop up blocker you're probably safe, but it's best not to click to deep into the site just to be sure."
Anyway, it's always better be safe than sorry. If you have already run a search on that site to see if your works are in there, it's strongly recommended that you should run a scan on your own computer with every program you have on your own PC.
Thirdly, the last evening I also read a comment of someone who asked which laws are applied in this case (wish I could link it, but it got buried under TONS of other comments, sorry!
), because she's from Italy, her works are on DA (so, an American site), and the site appears to be Korean.
According to what I learned in those years spent on DA, the laws to be applied on websites and such should be the ones of the country in which the servers are hosted in. For example, no matter if you are from Italy, Brazil, Egypt, China, etc... If you have an account here on Deviantart, you and your works are subjected to US laws, as this site explains in FAQ #250: The laws of my country differ from those of the United States- which ones apply?
So, I guess the same goes for every site in the world wide web, this "Drama Korea" one included. In this case, don't be fooled by the name; according to Geotool (a Mozilla Firefox addon), the servers of this site are located in USA. Dallas, Texas, to be more precise. So, even for this site (and their owner) American laws may be applied to solve this matter. That's why into DarlingMionette
's journal it's said that you can send your "regards" to that "Softlayer Technologies" hosting company.
As last thing, this "sonofaBOT" doesn't pick images just from DA, but even from Tumblr, Photobucket, apparently Pixiv... Basically, ALL the sites which may host images. One reason more to send your complains to that hosting company, don't you think?