Art theft. Touchy subject, eh?
I've been involved in discussions all over the place recently and decided to put my thoughts together in one place because it seems that some people are conflating theft of art from
dA, with the separate issue of fractal art stolen from parameters elsewhere being displayed on
dA and claimed as the deviant's own work. The underlying issue in the latter case is that dA is saying that using someone else's parameters for a fractal cannot be considered theft because the fractal could be reproduced by someone else "punching in the same numbers".
True in theory
but come on! Just what are the chances of even an experienced fractal artist managing to accurately and faithfully reproduce someone else's work? Take a multi-layered UF image for example: the possible combinations of parameters for the layers run into billions when you take into account the choices available for formulas, colouring algorithms, transforms and
the changes that are made to each of these.
Without the specific
parameters, that image does not exist. The parameters are
In the circumstances which lie at the bottom of all this, the deviant concerned took parameters available only to members of the UltraFractal mailing list and which were made available only for study or tweaking & posting the parameters back to the list
dA does not accept that parameters are copyrighted. I disagree. So do many other people. We all know that if you post parameters anywhere on the net you either specifically, willingly and deliberately forfeit your claim to them ... or you do not. You take a risk that they will be abused by a.n.other but just because you go out & forget to lock your front door behind you, doesn't mean that it's OK for someone to walk in and help themselves to your possessions. Theft is theft.
All fractal artists - whatever your program(s) of choice - should be rightly angered by the attitude dA has taken towards parameters. EDIT - Still on the subject of art theft: check out this journal too [link]
I've seen the view expressed that fractal art is a 'new' art form and that the public need to be educated about it, and that's been put forward as a reason why dA doesn't understand the parameter issue. I don't disagree with that as far as the public are concerned, but this is an ART
site, we're not talking about 'the general public', and after 3+ years of fractals being on the site, I really would have expected better from the staff.Edit: ~mintyfresh confirms that fractals have been on this site since 2002, ie 5 years
Wallpaper rip sites. Someone said, in effect, "I put it up to be used as a wallpaper, so what if it's downloaded from somewhere else". Well, for some people the credit is important - and not just for reasons of personal vanity. Their images could be part of their portfolio and they need people to know who created it. Secondly, most of the big wallpaper sites aren't doing this for the love of it. They are making money from the site - clickthroughs, referrals, advertising etc - and they are doing it on the back of your hard work, for which they paid you sweet FA.
I happen to agree with the view that it's not dA's responsibility to act on your behalf if your art is stolen but that does not mean that I condone the practise or will sit back and do nothing.
's News article is here [link]
When someone joins the UltraFractal Mailing List, they're sent the list's rules and etiquette. the relevant parts 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.
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.