A couple of weeks ago I shared some thoughts on getting spam on Instagram. As irritating as that is, it's nowhere near as bad as being plagiarised. This morning I awoke to find a message on Instagram from a fellow pixel bead artist (the community is strong there), saying an account called crafty_since_1982 had stolen some of my photos and passed them off as his own work. I tried to have a look at his account, but it seems he's blocked me (funny that). Ever the industrious detective, I decided to have a look on my computer at his account, while logged out. This simple technique bypassed the block and let me see the evidence for myself.
So, ladies and gents, I present the pictures of mine that crafty_since_1982 has ripped off, next to the originals!
The asshole got 195 likes for my work! And he claimed to have sold it for $20! What an idiot, the beads alone cost more than that, not to mention the frame and the many hours I spent making it. So at least he made a loss on his fictional transaction!
So, what can be done about this kind of behaviour? I've decided to be more stingent with my watermarking. Clearly, having my name where it can be cropped out has been taken advantage of by a shady individual, so I'm going to have to put the watermark over the actual art. It's a shame, as I think this detracts from the visual effect, but it looks like it will have to be done.
It doesn't bother me when someone makes their own versions of art that I've done. I'll happily share designs with others, even if the design is 100% my own. The designs above aren't even my original work, they're all freely available on the Internet. I would never claim to have designed, or made something that I hadn't. What annoys me is the laziness of just stealing someone else's photos and taking credit for the hours of work I put into creating them.
I've reported and blocked this account, and posted on Instagram to raise awareness among other beaders. Already, others have found their work on his account, and are also taking action. As sad as I am that this has happened, I'm glad it's been brought to my attention, and that I've been able to bring it to others' attention.
And by the way, I've been referring to crafty_since_1982 as a "he" for ease of writing, but I'm fully aware it could be a "she" :-)
My name is Iain and my addiction is making pixel bead art. My main inspirations are comics, video games and movies.