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Submitted on
November 6, 2013
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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:

App by StarshipSorceress

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 and sakimichan 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:

Sakiexample by StarshipSorceress Apofissexample by StarshipSorceress

Examples1 by StarshipSorceress Examples2 by StarshipSorceress

Other artists I was able to track down include: yuumei, sanguisGelidus, Leonidafremov, Arsenal21, Dianae, alicexz, wanhsienwei, J-Scott-Campbell, sscindyss, BOMBATTACK Artgerm, priteeboy, jiuge, verucasalt82, sandara, uildrim, 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! 

Thanks guys,

Brooke




 


Add a Comment:
 
:iconcookiesncreamez:
Cookiesncreamez Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Wow! This is so not cool.
I just hate it how some people do this. Not leaving their Signature or Watermark!
That just isn't right.
My bajesus this app should get taken down for all the art theft.
Reply
:iconstarshipsorceress:
StarshipSorceress Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2014
Yeah, it really is quite a shame! one of the many reasons i get paranoid about art theft :(
Reply
:icondaimyosensei:
DaimyoSensei Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This app is also available on Android phones. Sad. :/
Reply
:iconstarshipsorceress:
StarshipSorceress Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2013
Wow, lame :////// This is ridiculous 
Reply
:iconapofiss:
Apofiss Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2013   Digital Artist
I will look into this! thanks for all the info!
Reply
:iconstarshipsorceress:
StarshipSorceress Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2013
No problem, I'm sorry this had to happen to you! D:
Reply
:iconcreepyschoolgirl:
Creepyschoolgirl Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
I noice that a lot in this app I have has :iconmrfarts: art in it I was I am watching person who made those pics these apps can get big troubled for copyright
Reply
:iconmrfarts:
MrFarts Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2013
which of my pics? i dont have an iphone.so its not possible for me to report it may be :iconapofiss: can help..
Reply
:iconcreepyschoolgirl:
Creepyschoolgirl Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
The little robot guy
Reply
:iconstrawberrydinotart:
StrawberryDinotart Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2013   Digital Artist
I think if you were to write to the company and threaten to take legal action they should take all the art down. They get scared off by any implication of losing money. But I would STRONGLY suggest you tell them that and maybe if it gets bad enough, gather up all the artists [that are okay with doing so] and file one huge complaint or whatever against the company. they can silence one voice but not the voices of all the artists they wronged. 

I think you all deserve credit for everything you do just as I would expect the same when I have a modelling or acting job. To take that away is jus scummy and makes me mad for you all :c I wish some people were't so money hungry... 
Reply
:iconstarshipsorceress:
StarshipSorceress Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2013
I hope they would, but it's unfortunately highly unlikely considering justice takes so much time and money D: The least I can do is notify people of it and hope for enough complaints and demands for art to be taken down will help people/the company realize this is not ok. Art doesnt just poof into existence, it's created by people who deserve credit for their hard work. 
Reply
:iconkhzunara:
Khzunara Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2013
holy crap that sucks. What an asshole company D:<
Reply
:iconstarshipsorceress:
StarshipSorceress Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2013
It really does suck D: Makes me super paranoid
Reply
:iconkhzunara:
Khzunara Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2013
Well hopefully no idiot has stolen your lovely art :\
Reply
:iconkametenshi:
KameTenshi Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2013  Student General Artist
They managed to steal that mutch....damn
Reply
:iconstarshipsorceress:
StarshipSorceress Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2013
yeah, it's pretty sad D:
Reply
:iconarahiriel:
Arahiriel Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2013  Professional General Artist
Wow, that is intense and mad. :( I cannot understand why such „companies“ can do that without getting punished for this.
Copyright it seems is an issue where nobody really knows what it means – so everybody thinks to have the right to just use things on the internet.

I think it is great you brought this up. Hopefully this app gets lot of bad response ...
Reply
:iconstarshipsorceress:
StarshipSorceress Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2013
It happens everywhere, and its really sad. I hate how little respect there is to the artists that work so hard to produce such nice work, only to have it stolen and used for profit.
Reply
:iconarahiriel:
Arahiriel Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2013  Professional General Artist
Mhm, I am totally with you in this point. Especially because they make PROFIT from it.
Reply
:iconkikuhonda64:
KikuHonda64 Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
D:
I have this app
I just never bothered to check it out
I need to delete this next time I go on my I pad
They could have asked permission from the artists
Or even just gave them credit DDD:

Reply
:iconstarshipsorceress:
StarshipSorceress Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2013
Sigh, I know. But they purposely cropped watermarks because they knew the majority of artists would probably not agree to this.
Reply
:iconkikuhonda64:
KikuHonda64 Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
That's so stupid!
I feel so mad when things like this happen!
Even though they know full well that it would be against the author's wishes to have them there, they use them anyway >.<
Reply
:iconbenjamillion:
Benjamillion Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
shameful :/ now it seems that art theft will go global if this app gets enough attention
Reply
:iconstarshipsorceress:
StarshipSorceress Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2013
Unfortunately D: Makes me think i need to come up with better watermarks/signatures
Reply
:iconsweetmonstar:
SweetMonstar Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2013  Student General Artist
there are alot of apps like that, that have da art
Reply
:iconstarshipsorceress:
StarshipSorceress Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2013
Yeah but that's the thing that sucks. It shouldnt be allowed to happen and yet it's everywhere, and no one does anything about it because it's so hard to bring justice to it, but that only adds to the problem because the companies can continue to get away with it.
Reply
:iconsweetmonstar:
SweetMonstar Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2013  Student General Artist

yes i agree with you 100% but they know that ower stuff is not copyrighted so that why they do it all the time. i

i mean its okay when you get permision. but this is the 3 time ive seen a journal like this maybe we should do something about it?

Reply
:iconstarshipsorceress:
StarshipSorceress Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2013
what do you mean not copyrighted?

Well yeah, permission is one thing, but this was most definitely not the case here at all. 
That's what I'm hoping the journal will do D: Something has to be done or else it will never change. I'd hate to see my art in something like this.
Reply
:iconsweetmonstar:
SweetMonstar Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2013  Student General Artist

yes esplessaly without giving credit. but yeah i posted a jounal hopefuly some of my friends will mention it.

but  i think its because there no....erm rule i guess for taking art or they just dont read disscriptions

Reply
:iconstarshipsorceress:
StarshipSorceress Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2013
thanks for posting a journal :)
Reply
:iconsweetmonstar:
SweetMonstar Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2013  Student General Artist
no problem Hug 
Reply
:iconpriteeboy:
priteeboy Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Ahh the hypocrisy of Apple, they flip out about how you shouldn't pirate songs and shit for free but they don't bother checking the sources of the material some (well, many) people use in their apps :no:

Though I don't know what to do about it :confused:
Reply
:iconstarshipsorceress:
StarshipSorceress Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2013
That's so true :/ It's a shame.

It sucks that things like this are so hard to bring to justice. I guess the most we can do is write to the app company about this and/or write reviews about what's happening. At the very least you could request the company take down your images. They should face way more consequences than that, though. Sigh.
Reply
:iconflameoffawks:
FlameofFawks Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
that is terrrible!
Reply
:iconstarshipsorceress:
StarshipSorceress Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2013
Terrible indeed :(
Reply
:iconspeakthroughfingers:
SpeakThroughFingers Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Ugh. I hate it when people do that. It's horrible. :( Artists have rights. Using their stuff commercially is despicable.
Reply
:iconstarshipsorceress:
StarshipSorceress Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2013
I hate it too. I get so paranoid about this sort of thing, I hate seeing it happen to other artists :( There are literally hundreds of art pieces on that app and I have no way of possibly being able to track everyone down and I dont know how I could convince the app company what they're doing is wrong since things like this are so prevalent and so good at making money.
Reply
:iconspeakthroughfingers:
SpeakThroughFingers Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Things like this make me glad I'm maybe a mediocre artist at best.  I feel so horrible for these people who have their art stolen for commercial use. I mean, I don't have anything against people using other's art as wall papers, that's not hurting anyone. But someone making money by providing them to people is just so wrong. :( I really hope the artists take legal action against the app company if they can afford to. The part that I think is the worst is that really who has time to go through the whole app to see if their art is being used? Some pop out right away, but it's possible some artists' stuff are being used and no one will notice because they aren't "famous" enough or no one sees it.
Reply
:iconempressboa:
empressboa Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2013
wow that is really terrible. those scumbag app companies! making money off art they dont own
Reply
:iconstarshipsorceress:
StarshipSorceress Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2013
It really is terrible D: I wish it wasnt so hard to stop stuff like this!
Reply
:iconaeriberri:
Aeriberri Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I hate it when I see art theft...good catch. Hope something is done about this.
Reply
:iconstarshipsorceress:
StarshipSorceress Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2013
I hate it as well. I really hope something can be done. Perhaps if enough people band together we can get through to them. Wishful thinking maybe, but it kills me to see this become so common and have no consequence. 
Reply
:iconclock--heart:
Clock--Heart Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
this is unbelievable! i hope something is done about this, all the hard work of these artists is stolen and turned into revenue

shit like this keeps me awake at night
Reply
:iconstarshipsorceress:
StarshipSorceress Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2013
I really hope so too. I get really paranoid about stuff like this so I hate seeing it in action. D:
Reply
:iconbloodxjester:
BloodxJester Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
what ericap said :\
Reply
:iconstarshipsorceress:
StarshipSorceress Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2013
Indeed..makes me wonder where the pictures I dont recognize came from.
Reply
:iconkisaraelelementum:
KisaraelElementum Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
this is simply getting SICK!
Reply
:iconstarshipsorceress:
StarshipSorceress Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2013
It is! :( There really needs to be stricter laws on this sort of thing.
Reply
:iconericap1127:
ericap1127 Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2013
its basically any app on the iphone for backgrounds are stolen images.
The only ones i feel like that could even actually be made by the people are the ones with the icon boarders around them other than that its all stolen.
Reply
:iconstarshipsorceress:
StarshipSorceress Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2013
That's probably true. All the photography, graphics, fractals, etc are probably from un-credited non-stock sources as well :/ 
Reply
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