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August 9, 2013
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www.cherylsinvitations.com/Pag… -- (DO NOT worry about getting a virus, this website IS safe to use)




EXAMPLE(S):
Stolen: www.cherylsinvitations.com/Pag…
Original image by Katikut : www.deviantart.com/art/Sarabi-…

Here's a page of their 'Lion King' invitations -- www.cherylsinvitations.com/Pag… 
Their baby shower invites -- www.cherylsinvitations.com/Pag…


That would be the site...
I've only been made aware of their stealing 'The Lion King' fan art thus far but I'm planning to have a gander through the whole site asap to see if there's other work from other artists of other things on there as well. 

I'm going to assume this lady(ies)/girl(s) has/have no idea what copyright law is and it allows her to do and what she cannot do. This would fall under the categories of 'actually illegal' and 'punishable by law on so many levels is ridiculous'. 
She's not only taking people's artwork (fan art mostly) as well as copyrighted work...she's selling it for profit and no doubt getting business in the chosen market as well.
This of course is a huge no-no. 
You're allowed to make fan art but you cannot sell it or make profit from using copyrighted (actually copyrighted) characters without direct written permission from the original copyright holders. Simba, Bambi, Shrek, Jack Skellington, and all the other more famous characters are copyrighted.
Duh. 

So... I have no idea how to report the site as a whole just yet, I have to find the server/web host for this website first. Still looking into that... For now here is a contact page -- www.cherylsinvitations.com/Pag… for anyone who wants to contact the site and such.
Not sure what good contacting the site will do as they probably won't comply and remove the copyrighted work. Considering 99.8% of the work they're selling is copyright and NOT stock/clip art. They do use some clip art which IS often free use work... however, Disney and all other animation companies are often not too fond of their artwork being used without their say so. More so if it's being used to make money...

This wouldn't be much of a concern enough to post a journal here on dA, however there is artwork of dA artists up there.
I'm pretty sure these people just use a search engine to find the artwork they use, typing in keywords such as 'The Lion King' or 'Bambi' and picking whatever images they think will work; not caring where the image actually comes from or who owns it. 
Bad poker my friends... bad bad poker. You can get in a lot of trouble doing that. 
Anyway, if you have the time and feel like being helpful you can scour the site for other dA artist's artwork. So far I'm pretty sure a lot of TLK fan artist's artwork is up there in some fashion... but I'm not sure about whose exactly. The only one I've been made aware of is Katikut so...
I don't see any official permission slip from Disney on their page saying there's allowance to use their work for profit so we can safely bet they're just doing it because they think they can. 
Disney may not have the time or resources to actually care about this right now but dA artists whose work is being used might :I We don't make millions on our artwork XD 

IF you can find the web host for the site that would be key. Let me know so I can send them a report and it would be a good idea if you did as well, if you're so inclined that is. 
We hate to see this kind of thing happen to people who may not understand but they NEED to understand that selling people's work is wrong unless you have the right paperwork. This isn't just some dinky page run by some unawares 8 year old (it's far too advanced for that XD) so we can be sure it's run by adults. Adults who should know better...
So please, do what you can to help. Report if you can, get evidence, and spread the word so others and help as well. Maybe we can teach these peeps a little lesson about copyright.  


Hope all is well, 
-Kato

__________________________________________________________________________________________
UPDATE: I was also JUST made aware of another virtual pet site which has been using artwork as well -- www.rescreatu.com/ I think you have to sign up to report but... apparently my artwork was used as well -___-;;; 
I'm not sure the manner in which the work is being used exactly, but I'm looking into it right now to see. Either way, I for one do not allow my work to be used without permission no matter what because I know people can be sneaky about things =/ Not to mention my characters are mine and I use them myself. 
I don't even know WHERE to begin or even HOW to search this site for artwork being used =/ I'm told it's in the RP forums and here is how you can contact the site to have it removed -- www.rescreatu.com/rmail/toadmi… but as I said... you'd have to like scour the whole RP forms (all 9,000 of them) to find your artwork -__-;; 


When someone emailed them about the theft their reply was as follows: 
"You're going to need to clarify what you mean, because no, we are not aware of any theft situation going on. Is someone claiming another's art as their own? Or are they merely linking to it/displaying it? The FAIR USE act is something you might want to read before making an accusation of outright theft."

Hmmmn... 
Well, for one there's the aspect that you can't take artwork without permission :I
So that in and of itself is 'theft'. I don't see how they don't understand that... It's just them playing stupid. 

Fair use doesn't entitle you to just take something and use it.
You do have to have permission from the original artist/creator to use it first.
Then if you are found out or asked to remove the stolen works you DO have to comply otherwise the site will be shut down. 

I'm NOT attacking the admins of the site here as I'm pretty sure a vast majority (if not all) of them don't know what was going on. 
Who I am peeved at are the people that take images that even say "Do Not Use for anything" right on the image and use them for RP's, characters, banners, etc. without asking the artist first. 
Almost everyone includes a watermark on their image somewhere so... you should be able to find out who did the image you want to use and see if they allow usage or not. 
If you choose not to then you should kind of be prepared to take the consequences when you get caught using something someone doesn't want you to. 

-____- People act like they don't know anything piss me off. They do. 
"I didn't know that by it saying 'NOT TO BE USED FOR ANYTHING' meant I couldn't use it!" 
Facepalm 
SO, if you can sign up or want to check and see if YOUR artwork is up there being used go ahead =/ *sigh* 
What is wrong with this world today...? Honestly... are people going insane with power over the internet? Good grief! 
Add a Comment:
 
:iconkatikut:
Katikut Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
I think this is the right place, here's the answer:

"Thank you for your correspondence. We want you to know that we appreciate the time you took to bring this matter to our attention. We protect our intellectual property rights vigorously and we take reports of suspected infringement seriously. However, as you can appreciate, investigations are confidential.We neither reveal our sources nor generally correspond further with them about any investigations.


Please feel free to use our email address tips@disneyantipiracy.com or our Antipiracy voice mail hotline, 818-560-3300, if you want to provide more information about the suspected infringement or to report a suspected infringement in the future.


Very truly yours,


Antipiracy Group, Corporate Legal


The Walt Disney Company
500 South Buena Vista Street
Burbank, CA 91521-0527"
Reply
:iconkatikut:
Katikut Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Do you think that it would be a good adress to contact? thewaltdisneycompany.com/conte…
As I'm french, it's hard to understand everything :(
Reply
:icontwilightzonegirl13:
Twilightzonegirl13 Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2013  Student Digital Artist
I found out they are using Thomas Kinkade's Lion King painting for one of the invitations.
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:iconkaylimepie:
Kaylimepie Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Ive been searching the Rescreat site and so far ive found nothing from you or anyone else on DA
As for the other site this s kinda getting exasperating all these sites popping up all of a sudden
Reply
:iconcurly-scarl3t:
Curly-Scarl3t Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Hnng I'mma go look into the site and the other one to help m'k? 'cause i wanna help :'D *flies to the website*
Reply
:iconsemperferus:
SemperFerus Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2013   Digital Artist
I'm just going to repost what I found on the U.S. Copyright office as it pertains to "visual art" which this is. And the so called "fair use" act they are referring to. Because, correct me if I'm reading this wrong, the only exceptions that would consider them fair use  would be "for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. " And given the nature of the site I HIGHLY doubt that any of those components of the fair use is justifiable by any parties. So I'm going to come out and say that maybe THEY should give it a read. 

And it is also recommended by the government.. basically that in the event that permission is "impractical" (aka, not bothered to ask at all, cause you're sure they'll say no) you basically shouldn't risk it. As exemplified by: 

The distinction between what is fair use and what is infringement in a particular case will not always be clear or easily defined. There is no specific number of words, lines, or notes that may safely be taken without permission. Acknowledging the source of the copyrighted material does not substitute for obtaining permission.

When it is impracticable to obtain permission, you should consider avoiding the use of copyrighted material unless you are confident that the doctrine of fair use would apply to the situation. The Copyright Office can neither determine whether a particular use may be considered fair nor advise on possible copyright violations. If there is any doubt, it is advisable to consult an attorney.


§ 106A . Rights of certain authors to attribution and integrity39

    (a) Rights of Attribution and Integrity.—Subject to section 107 and independent of the exclusive rights provided in section 106, the author of a work of visual art— 

    (1) shall have the right— 

    (A) to claim authorship of that work, and

    (B) to prevent the use of his or her name as the author of any work of visual art which he or she did not create;

    (2) shall have the right to prevent the use of his or her name as the author of the work of visual art in the event of a distortion, mutilation, or other modification of the work which would be prejudicial to his or her honor or reputation; and

    (3) subject to the limitations set forth in section 113(d), shall have the right— 

    (A) to prevent any intentional distortion, mutilation, or other modification of that work which would be prejudicial to his or her honor or reputation, and any intentional distortion, mutilation, or modification of that work is a violation of that right, and

    (B) to prevent any destruction of a work of recognized stature, and any intentional or grossly negligent destruction of that work is a violation of that right.

 (b) Scope and Exercise of Rights.—Only the author of a work of visual art has the rights conferred by subsection (a) in that work, whether or not the author is the copyright owner. The authors of a joint work of visual art are coowners of the rights conferred by subsection (a) in that work.

    (c) Exceptions.—(1) The modification of a work of visual art which is the result of the passage of time or the inherent nature of the materials is not a distortion, mutilation, or other modification described in subsection (a)(3)(A).

    (2) The modification of a work of visual art which is the result of conservation, or of the public presentation, including lighting and placement, of the work is not a destruction, distortion, mutilation, or other modification described in subsection (a)(3) unless the modification is caused by gross negligence.

    (3) The rights described in paragraphs (1) and (2) of subsection (a) shall not apply to any reproduction, depiction, portrayal, or other use of a work in, upon, or in any connection with any item described in subparagraph (A) or (B) of the definition of “work of visual art” insection 101, and any such reproduction, depiction, portrayal, or other use of a work is not a destruction, distortion, mutilation, or other modification described in paragraph (3) of subsection (a).

    (d) Duration of Rights.—(1) With respect to works of visual art created on or after the effective date set forth in section 610(a) of the Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990, the rights conferred by subsection (a) shall endure for a term consisting of the life of the author.

    (2) With respect to works of visual art created before the effective date set forth in section 610(a) of the Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990, but title to which has not, as of such effective date, been transferred from the author, the rights conferred by subsection (a) shall be coextensive with, and shall expire at the same time as, the rights conferred bysection 106.

    (3) In the case of a joint work prepared by two or more authors, the rights conferred by subsection (a) shall endure for a term consisting of the life of the last surviving author.

    (4) All terms of the rights conferred by subsection (a) run to the end of the calendar year in which they would otherwise expire.

    (e) Transfer and Waiver.—(1) The rights conferred by subsection (a) may not be transferred, but those rights may be waived if the author expressly agrees to such waiver in a written instrument signed by the author. Such instrument shall specifically identify the work, and uses of that work, to which the waiver applies, and the waiver shall apply only to the work and uses so identified. In the case of a joint work prepared by two or more authors, a waiver of rights under this paragraph made by one such author waives such rights for all such authors.

    (2) Ownership of the rights conferred by subsection (a) with respect to a work of visual art is distinct from ownership of any copy of that work, or of a copyright or any exclusive right under a copyright in that work. Transfer of ownership of any copy of a work of visual art, or of a copyright or any exclusive right under a copyright, shall not constitute a waiver of the rights conferred by subsection (a). Except as may otherwise be agreed by the author in a written instrument signed by the author, a waiver of the rights conferred by subsection (a) with respect to a work of visual art shall not constitute a transfer of ownership of any copy of that work, or of ownership of a copyright or of any exclusive right under a copyright in that work.

§ 107 . Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use40

    Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include— 

    (1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;

    (2) the nature of the copyrighted work;

    (3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and

    (4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

    The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.


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:iconhylian-at-heart:
Hylian-At-Heart Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2013  Student Digital Artist
What a shame there isn't a 'no save no copy' option for your artwork on here. That way people couldn't copy and paste or save your art, it could just be a big white square. I can't believe there are so many ignorant people out there just 'borrowing' your art, and I am sure countless others as well.
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:iconnothingbutjournals:
NothingButJournals Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2013
If dA had that option, people could just screenshot the art then crop it later :\
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:iconhylian-at-heart:
Hylian-At-Heart Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2013  Student Digital Artist
It would still probably lower the amount of stolen art I would think. Considering a lot of laptops and computer and things don't have the easy-access one-click screenshot button on the keyboard. Plus a lot of people are lazy. I know it wouldn't solve the problem but it could potentially lower the number of stolen art works.
 
It would lower the number of 'accidentally stolen' art anyway for sure. Like, people who see it and want to use it for a rp and don't understand what they are doing or whatever. 

It was just a thought anyway:P
Reply
:iconnothingbutjournals:
NothingButJournals Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2013
Yeah, it would definitely lower the amount of stolen art for sure. I have no doubt about that. It would be annoying too, since I like to save my favorite artist's art to my laptop so I can go through it later. But I'd be able to deal with it if it would lower art thievery, because that's something that I can't stand, even if it isn't my art. It just annoys the hell out of me, especially when you say, "Can you please credit the artist on this?" in the nicest way possible and they ignore you/block you/say they "don't have to" -_-' all three of which have happened to me

Anyway, yeah, it's a good idea but I also think that's why dA puts the artist's URL in the watermark so just in case it does get stolen it can be easily tracked down to the original artist
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