Please read this - $realitysquared
's journal. [link]
And read this [link]
See y'all somewhere else.
After I was shown the latest response from the HelpDesk about the current issues concerning the Fractal Art community, I decided to send my own enquiry in, which I'm pasting below. It's long (brevity never was my strong point) but please do read it.
Anyone who uses a fractal program knows that if you "put in the same numbers" you get the same result. That is the whole point why parameters are so important: because it enables someone to reproduce the fruits of another person's hard work & creative vision. What you are overlooking, is that - certainly in a program such as UltraFractal which allows multi-layered images - by the time you have taken into account all the possible variations of formula, colouring algorithm, transformation, location, magnification, angle etc, there are literally BILLIONS of possible combinations of these numbers (many of which will have 6 or 8 decimal places).
The chances of one person producing the exact same fractal as another without the precious parameters, of course - is so small as to be non-existent. One fractal artist, who is also a mathematician, has likened it to the same chance you would have of producing the Mona Lisa if you randomly threw paint at a canvas.
Some people generously share some of their parameters with others for learning purposes, and learning purposes only, such as the ones that were misused in the case which began this discussion. In order to access those parameters, a person has to be a member of the UltraFractal mailing list. When they join the list they are sent a copy of the lists rules and every week they remain on the list they are sent a reminder of these rules. The relevant sections are:Posting parameters to the list does NOT mean you are relinquishing
copyright; the copyright for images you create remains with you, if
you created the images from scratch. However, if you started with
someone else's parameters, what you've done is probably a tweak. See
the section below for an explanation and guidance on what to do with
A "tweak" is when you take someone's parameters that they posted to
the list and modify them. Sometimes this is OK, sometimes not. It
depends on how the original artist feels about tweaks.
When parameters are posted to the list, it's expected that you'll
pick them apart and figure out how they're built. They're posted as
learning tools as well as to share beautiful images. But just because
the parameters were posted doesn't mean you can do anything you like
with them. They still belong to the artist. As such, the artist may
include with the image a request that the image NOT be tweaked. If
they do, you can still pick the image apart for your own edification,
but you shouldn't post any changes you make back to the list.
On the other hand, if the artist says "tweaks welcome", then they are
specifically inviting tweaks. You may take the image, alter it, and
post it back to the list. Sometimes this is done as a sort of game;
sometimes it's done to help someone who is stuck with an image and
wants suggestions for how to make it better or to do something to it
that they can't figure out; sometimes it's just done for the pure
enjoyment of it.
If you see parameters posted without a clear indication of whether
tweaks are allowed or not, please ask the artist (privately) whether
they want tweaks. Artists are encouraged to avoid confusion by stating
explicitly whether or not they want tweaks.
If you do post a tweak, it's best to rename the fractal to include
your initials on the end; that way everyone knows who modified it and
who made the original image. This is especially important when the
parameter is added to the parameter database.
What it boils down to is this: see whether the original poster wants
tweaks or not, and abide by their decision.
Registered members of this mailing list can apply for a password to access an online database of parameters that have been posted to the list over the years. This is where the miscreant in this case took them from.
On the log-in page for the UF Parameter database is this message:The access for this site is only for member of Ultrafractal and Apophisys Mail Lists. By accessing and using this page you agree and understand that any of the parameters and images on this web is owned by his author and you agree to respect the ownership and the copyrights of the images created by the parameters. The parameters can be use only for study and learning techniques using fractal programs. The owner of this web cannot give any permission to any parameter or image and is not responsible of your actions.
This person was clearly aware that he had no right whatsoever to use those parameters to render fractal images and then claim them as his own. You may attempt to claim contributory negligence in that the parameters were available at all, no matter the restrictions, but as the parameters are
the image a similar relationship that a .psd file has to a piece of finished artwork - his actions were no different to someone downloading an image from a website, posting it somewhere else and claiming it as their own work. Everyone who posts an image on the net is guilty of contributory negligence in instances of art theft if that were the case.
I am, however, even more concerned about your overtly dismissive attitude to fractal art in general.
Your remark that there is "no creative effort involved beyond setting the actual values is immensely insulting to every fractal artist. You obviously do not know - nor, it appears, do you care to learn - that very many fractal artists knowingly use the maths behind the program very sparingly or only in certain instances. Some dont use the maths in any conscious way whatsoever. Of course all fractal artists need to learn the mechanics of how to use their program(s) of choice just like a photographer learns to use their camera and a photoediting program and a sculptor learns how to handle clay - and then their visual creativity takes precedence and determines the end result.
Finally, I'll refer you to the Benoit Mandelbrot Fractal ART
exhibition held at the International Congress of Mathematicians in Spain last year (and which will be repeated this year) I am certain that Professor Mandelbrot - and there are few people who know more about fractals than that venerable gentleman - has a significantly different view of the creative effort involved in fractal art than your own dismissive one.[link]
This quote is pertinent:
The exhibition is formed by a collection of computer generated images by a group of artists and/or scientists specialized in fractal art. The mathematical expressions and the parameters used confer a unique and distinctive colour and aesthetics to every image. Much like painters and sculptors transmit their personality and sensibility to their works by means of their technique,
The authors of this exhibition express themselves by means of formulae and algorithms, modifying them progressively until the desired goal is obtained; reaching the frontiers between Art and Mathematics. The synthetic computer generation of every picture may look cold and mechanical, but behind every picture there are hundreds of hours of work in the formulae, algorithms and parameters generating the picture. These artists use computer and fractals (and mathematics, in general) like a painter uses canvas and paintbrushes: creating a piece of art allowing us to capture sensibility and emotions; just like any artwork.
Please extend the fractal art community on dA the courtesy of listening to what we say and not dismissing our points in such an off-hand manner when you patently do not understand how we do what we do.