So I write to you guys today with an important issue. I recently got a new phone after my old one broke and refused to turn on. Last night I was looking into customizing my new one and decided to search for free wallpapers in the app store. This is the first result I got:
Seems great, right? A super amazing rating and a whopping 100,000 free images to choose from. What I expected to find within the app was just that...free images. I expected free to use stock photos, simple graphics, custom designs by the company itself, official, public images from tv shows and movies maybe? Perhaps that was naive of me to think, given the sheer magnitude of HQ images this app boasted to have. What I did NOT expect was that not only did it have those things, it also had stolen art pieces being offered for download with no credit or permission from artists whatsoever!
I immediately recognized several popular artists from deviantart, their images purposely cropped so as to cut out any watermark, signature, or other indicator that it belonged to someone other than this app company. They are basically making revenue from stolen images that do not belong to them. It doesn't matter if you get the free version of this app, because they are still making money off of the obscene amount of ads spammed throughout. They also offer a pro version for $1.99. Not only is it unfair to the artist to not have their rightly deserved dues be paid to them for the commercial use of their images, any promotion that could have been gained from such a popular app is almost made impossible, as any signature directing to their personal sites is cropped from sight. Even if an artist does offer their work as free wallpapers or downloads, saving it to your computer for personal use is FAR different than stealing it and using it for monetary gain. It is because of things like this that artists shrink back from the online art community and are forced to become so protective of their own artistic rights.
I took some screenshots of images and artists I recognized from deviantart and did my best to track down as many usernames as possible. From what I saw, Apofiss
seemed to get the worst of it. I have posted a collage of snapshots to my stash showing the images within the app, as well as the full (cropped) image being offered with no credits to the artists at all:
Other artists I was able to track down include: yuumei
, BOMBATTACK Artgerm
, and svet-svet
If there are any other artists that you recognize from these screencaps that I didnt mention, please tell me or direct them here.
I have barely scratched the surface when it comes to all the art on this app. There are thousands of photos. For all I know, yours (if you werent mentioned) is on there as well. I urge people who can access this app to check for other artist images on there and warn their creators if you recognize them, and please, please say something in a review or a letter to the app company that this is NOT ok.
To the artists I mentioned, it is up to you what you do with this information, but i feel you have the right to know if you dont already and at least have a chance to try and do something about this. It may not be a big deal to you, or it may be a huge deal. I just know that if this happened to me, I'd be upset and would want someone to tell me if they saw my art being used for commercial purposes without my consent.
If you can, spread this around!