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Plagiarism and Copyright


Advanced Trainer
Staff Emeritus
Join Date
Oct 29, 2018
Hello! This is a very important topic for everyone in the Creative Boards, so please be sure to read through carefully. While this is especially important in the Creative Boards, this also applies almost everywhere else in life.

Plagiarism is a serious offence which involves claiming the work of someone else and failing to give credit to the particular source. The situation can be as black and white as art theft, which is someone taking an art piece and claiming it as their own work. Plagiarism can also take place in the form of modifying someone else’s work, which is just as dangerous.

However, not everything is considered plagiarism. For example, using a photo anatomy reference for your own artwork is not plagiarising as you are using it for its intended purpose. Additionally, general concepts and ideas are not considered plagiarism if executed differently.

It is important to understand that plagiarism is a moral issue, taking the product of someone else’s hard work and disregarding their effort is unfair and disrespectful. The time and effort one spends creating artwork is irreplaceable, and should be valued as such.

How to avoid it
If you enjoy someone else’s piece, don’t copy it exactly, but take inspiration from it instead. Nothing is completely original in this world, everything has been inspired by a creation before it. Ideas are not plagiarism, it depends on how you execute the idea.

If you’re unsure if you’re plagiarising, give credit where credit is due. If you used a reference to draw your picture, cite the reference you used. If your idea was inspired by another artwork, cite the original artists.

However, if you are handling another artist’s work in a more specific way, be sure to ask for permission and understand how they feel about it. Never redraw, repost, modify or claim another artist’s artwork without asking for permission.

GFX Resources
In GFX, it is crucial to be even more aware of what you are downloading and dragging onto your canvas. Almost every single graphic is created by combining backgrounds, PNGs, renders.. most of which likely don’t belong to you. Make note of everything you’re downloading, so you can give credit when you share it.

Plagiarism is dealt with differently depending on the severity of the case. Minor cases of plagiarism such as the inclusion of someone else’s work without credit will likely be given a friendly warning. More serious cases such as entire works will be locked. Continuous disregard will lead to an official warning.

Final words
Embrace your own creativity, you will find that is much more rewarding than plagiarising. Creativity is unlimited, create something that is unique to yourself. I hope you will keep all of this in mind, as it will help keep the Creative Boards as a thriving environment where all artists will feel safe and respected.

Thank you very much for reading!
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Join Date
Nov 1, 2018
I’d like to add something to this.

Tracing and copying others’ works as practice and to learn exactly how they draw certain things is helpful and a good learning tool. We do that in animation in order to become familiar with proportions and details of a character.

It’s only plagiarism when you make no mention of the original work you used. As a general rule I wouldn’t recommend posting works like that and just using them for practice and learning purposes. However if you’d really like to share them, you have to include a source to the original work and if you can contact the artist, I highly recommend asking them if they’re ok with you posting it.

Tracing and referencing are helpful tools, just use them wisely.
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