We’ve all done it. It’s late, you’ve got internetsomnia, and you’re scrolling through pages and pages of limitless information. You stumble upon something that you really like: a video, a painting, an animated short. A poem. Anything, really, that someone else put time and effort into for your viewing pleasure. But there’s a problem – there’s no credit to be found.
Even as an artist, I was once pretty stupid when it came to things like this. You try to think if you’ve seen something like this before. Where? Who made it? But you’re coming up blank, and you really want to share this cool shit you found in the cobwebbed corners of the web with your friends. So you do the one thing that really pisses every artist off, like, a lot*. And you repost their hard work with a caption something like, “Credz to whomever made this shit, man! Wicked!”, or whatever you are saying these days.
The problem with this is that, when you found and reposted that piece of art/writing/work that someone else already failed to credit, you began (or continued) a chain reaction of failure to communicate information properly. This sucks for artists online because we are all very poor and very proud, a horrible combination. We want credit for our work because it was WORK, and we want people to like it so that they will pay us to make it for them. It is honorable to post someone’s work and show it off to the people you know, but with no credit it’s pretty much pointless for the person who actually created the piece.
It is very easy to avoid this situation, as most of you are probably already aware. The point of this “guide” (with mostly one tip), mainly, is to remind everyone that this is a pretty uncool thing to do seeing how easy it is to remedy. So here we go, off into the world of Googling that shit.
If the thing you found is a piece of visual art, such as a photograph or a painting, finding the artist is very simple. Google has developed a search engine for images where you can just *DRAG* images into and it will find similar (or the same) image. WOW AMAZING COOL MAN GREAT EASY. This is a great way to find an artist, because someone somewhere has given proper credit, and the artist was probably who posted it originally anyway (or at least their website and whomever is in charge of posting their work wherever they are trying to sell it, etc.).
Pretty much anything you find that someone else made or wrote can be found simply by Google searching the image or a chunk of the writing or the title of the video, and this can prevent a lot of shitty misconceptions and grouchy, proud-ass artists. You never want to be the person who doesn’t give credit where credit is due, and even if you’re doing it with the best of intentions, there’s no excuse for not trying to find the person who poured their time and passion into something. It’s just common courtesy, but I see silly things happen a lot in this area due to laziness. But that’s just my two cents.
In addition the main topic of this post, there ARE people out there who are much too violent in their quest for credit for their work. *Most* people who repost a person’s work are doing it because they like it. Most people aren’t just trying to be scumbags. There are good people who just don’t know what they’re doing, and that being said, I’m not trying to be cruel in posting this guide. I think it’s pretty stellar when my work gets reposted. When I notice it has no credit, I try to contact the poster and politely ask for credit to be posted.
Generally, people who like your art and are posting it for others to see are not trying to stab you in the back. Sure, there are soulless jerkwads who like to claim that they created your work. The work that you slaved over, possibly for hours, from an idea (or several) that you came up with and then carefully compiled as a project. That’s something entirely different. People who pretend to have created something that someone else put their soul into are the actual worst. Those are the people to look out for.
To end this, I will add a TL;DR – Don’t be an asshole pretty much whenever possible, credit things ALWAYS if you can (and use Google when you don’t know how!) and as an artist, if your work is posted without credit, don’t be a fuck about it. It’s probably just an accident, or a silly unskilled computer-ist. Just ask them nicely to include credit to you, and then if they refuse to post your credit, feel free to slash their tires or something.
P.S. I guess I really like parentheses.
Anyway, being a dick, it’s easy! But being nice is like, easier, and sometimes people give you free stuff. Like food.