Art Style Theft

HexMozart88

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This has been a question that has bugged me for quite a while now. I've seen it quite a lot online, especially sites like DeviantArt, where someone would make a drawing, and then they'd get picked on by other members because they apparently "stole someone else's art style". I think it doesn't make any sense, because no one on this entire planet has the exact same art style, and they never can. Everyone sees things differently, so just because they do the skin, or the eyes, in a similar way, does not mean the entire thing's going to be the same. However, if you have it where there is a parody of a picture that's been done in a similar style with different characters in the same pose, then it's a wee bit iffy, because you're copying practically the whole image. The reason I brought this topic up in the first place is because upon seeing the sheer amounts of harassment people have gotten for making artwork in a similar style as another person got me a little concerned as to whether or not my game will get taken down upon release because of "copyright infringement". You see, my game's art style is heavily based on a music video that I rather enjoyed. Mine, I think, is a bit more cartoony, with thicker lines and simpler eyes, but could it still be argued that it is still too similar?
I don't feel like going to jail.
 

MRHAPPYFACEMAN

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I highly doubt you will get sent to jail. And I don't think it's an issue. I believe the real concern comes when you are making the same character from somewhere and using it as your own art.
 

ashikai

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To be perfectly honest, I would have never made the comparison between your style and the one you based it off of. While they're both kinda using the same pallet, yours is much simpler with cleaner, rounded lines and different proportions. I think they're both cute, but not similar enough for me to even begin to think "this was copied."
 

HexMozart88

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@just1witness Yeah. I've read that one before, but I was trying to be sure.
@MRHAPPYFACEMAN OK, good. Thankfully I haven't been doing that. If I make fan art, I make sure to let people know it's fan art, and not my original work.
@ashikai You'd be surprised that some people have actually thought they looked really similar. Like, my music teacher saw the original music video and she'd seen my work previously so she thought the video was done by me (which is actually kind of a compliment, LOL).
 

AskaRay

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Does your music teacher watch a lot of anime though? I know my parents think all anime looks the same regardless of the style differences that seem clear to, say, me or you.

But no you can't copywrite a style.
 

HexMozart88

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No, she doesn't watch anime a whole lot, so that probably makes sense as to why she can't really tell the difference.
 

Vanessa

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It's different.
even the feelings are same, they're fine.
 

Silenity

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Every anime artist is out of business if that was the case lol
 

dragoonwys

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It looks different enough, on top of that, using minimal or simple colors is a universal concept not a style belonging to someone in particular.
And I'll have to echo whats been said here already. No one can copywrite a style, unless you're baliantly taking other people's characters and claiming them as your own, you're safe. If people could copywrite styles, technically all the hyper realistic CGI artist would have been sued for using the 'realism' style. XD
 

Vanessa

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what we can considering as similiar is only when the composition, proportion and colors are fit when being overlayed each others. outside of it, don't even bother to think,
 

Rhino

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Isn't that Daughter of Evil- Kagamine Rin? I'd know a Vocaloid anywhere :guffaw:
I don't think they're similar at all, I wouldn't even have noticed any similarities had you not pointed it out, and even then I think it's only really the front hair.

As artists, we all build our style by taking pieces from every other style we make. Sometimes, that leads to styles being very similar- so similar that you can hardly recognise who made what anymore unless you look closely, but the artist developed that style by themselves in their own time, no other person has any right to say 'hey, that's my style, hands off!'
 

HexMozart88

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Isn't that Daughter of Evil- Kagamine Rin? I'd know a Vocaloid anywhere :guffaw:
XD Why, yes it is. This particular picture is from Servant on Evil, however.

Yeah, I see what you all mean. We do copy a lot of other artists and their styles. OK, I guess I'm good then. I shall continue to make this stuff for my game. :kaojoy:
 

CleanWater

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The reason I brought this topic up in the first place is because upon seeing the sheer amounts of harassment people have gotten for making artwork in a similar style as another person
You really shouldn't worry about it. If people don't harass you because of the artstyle, they will harass you because of the soundtrack, or the map design, or the battle design, or whatever. People that harass others don't really care about what they say, they are there just to... harass.

You should take a deep look at negative reviews on Steam on a lot of games, no matter if it's AAA or indie, you will notice people complain and harass developers because of the slightest and petty things in the game (i.e.: Review of someone who played the game by just 0.1 hours: "This game is just a @#%@%@# Dragon Quest clone, because there are those @##$@#$#@# slimes in the beginning of the game).

0.1 hours is about 25 minutes, how can someone say the game is just a clone of something else if they probably even reached the first boss? Is this review really significant? It really represents what the game is all about?

If someone harass you because of your artstyle, you can be sure these persons didn't even paid some attention to what is drawn in front of their screen.
 
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Celianna

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Copying someone's style is fine - you can't hold copyright on an art style after all. Artists are always stealing from each other when it comes to style anyway. Eventually you steal enough bits and pieces from other people's styles until they develop their own.

That said, your sample looks nothing like the original. I see no similarities.

A big example is Fairy Tail, who copied One Piece (the creator is a One Piece fan), but then slowly changed art style over the years. And then Yamada-kun to 7-nin no majo copied Fairy Tail, mostly because the editor/assistant of Fairy Tail is the creator of Yamada-kun.

And you know what basically all of them have in common? They copied Dragonball first haha.
 

HexMozart88

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@CleanWater True enough. I've seen people who say everyone who doesn't draw photo-realism 100% of the time is lazy.
@Celianna There are some similarities, such as the way I do my noses from the front. As well, the eyes are somewhat similar to the way they do those of the children. Still, looking at it again, I can see the differences much more clearly now.
 

CleanWater

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Still talking about Art Style Theft... SEGA killed an important playable female character twice in their RPGs
(Nei - Phantasy Star II and Alis - Phantasy Star IV)
much before Squaresoft and they didn't sued them because of Aeris death.
 

gstv87

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they're not at all similar.
the original is layered, with 3 colors.
yours, is as plain as it can be, with 2 colors.

every anime fanboy out there who thinks there's an anime out there that has a character that perfectly represents their personality, pain, personal goals, struggles or inmediate environment, will go out of their way to defend said anime when they think that somebody else, anime producer or otherwise, is trying to copy the icon that represents their reason to be, without being the character that represents their reason to be.
and, don't even get me started on what happens when the alledged copying artist admits their creation to be a direct reference to the discussed character, artist or franchise.

If somebody presents you the case of "you're copying xxxxxxx" your answer must always be "then the only one entitled to file a complaint is xxxxxxx, should xxxxxx decide this work of art is a violation of their copyrighted intellectual property"
Bam. Dee-nied!
 

Gamefall Team

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I'm not an artist at all, but I'm a student at law and I'm very interested in topics about intellectual properties and copyright violations. Law is a very big mix of opinions and ideas, depending on the interpretation and the sensibility of judges or doctrine discussions, but in general It depends on the experiences of each law system. In my personal opinion and in general, It's not possible to hold copyright on art styles, because It would create a monopoly on a natural need of each artist. It's different If we are talking about ideas, but this is another story. There is an interesting and recent judgment about artstyle from USA (Havuk Vs. Starbucks), where the district court of New York expresses the non-compatibility between the protection of an artstyle and the copyright law.
Well, no one is allowed to say "you're copying xxxx", because the idea of "copy" in this case is wrong itself.
No jail for you :kaojoy:
 
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You can not be sued for copying the style of a work. Styles are stepping stones people use communicate an overall medium's
message.

For example if 2 artists (let's call them Ben and Mark) had the ability to draw perfect realistic looking people of someone then are they going to claim that either is copying their style known as realism? That is not possible by logic standards because both possess the ability to simply
paint or draw things realistically.

However should Ben not possess the ability to use this style and always takes a glance at Mark's work and basically copies it exactly proportion by
proportion then he is not someone who is using the style but rather copying it's pose and Mark's work.

Using style to create your medium is legal, for the simple fact that you're still capable of expanding the style beyond what you saw, however copying poses and simply doing the exact same image someone else has made is considered stealing since you aren't adding anything new.

This can be used in other mediums such as music copying styles of riffs or sculptors using similar techniques in their designs. Styles are like brushes for artists. Copying is just tracing, doesn't matter the brush.

Next would be characters. While making a homage or parody to a character is not illegal, what is illegal is claiming that the character is your creation when it is in fact not.

For example if I claimed Naruto was my character design and I just start using him in my advertisements even if he was in different poses created
by me. It is still illegal to claim you have created a character that clearly wasn't made by you.
 

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