View Full Version : A dilemma

06-05-2010, 04:55 AM
My fellow cartographers, I have a problem.

I was searching our group on deviantArt when I found a map that looked very familiar, the first map posted below. As you can see it has a very distinct landmass, almost too distinct. In fact it looks a bit too much like my map The Evelandias - Adallia, the second map posted below, some of the islands are even in the same place! I ask you, am I being paranoid or do you think he ripped off my map. I just find it a little hard to believe, the land mass is just a bit too distinct and my map came out about half year before his; this is really perplexing me as this is the first map I ever really did and I'm kind of protective over it. Should I report it? Ignore it? Or do something else?


06-05-2010, 05:06 AM
I think you should better something else as to my believe you are ripped! :(

06-05-2010, 05:15 AM
There is no doubt as the the "inspiration" from your map - they are too alike for it to be a coincidence. I'm guessing he liked the shapes you got going, and took what he needed, and then changed things to separate the look of the map from yours, and perhaps fit his own campaign better.
Artist take inspiration from other artist all the time, heck how else could we come up with something "new" so often (yeah yeah, we also get inspiration from other stuff), but it is always a thin line between getting inspired and "ripping something of". For the right thing to have done would to have given you credit for inspiring him for his continent- in which case you probably would have been glad and proud instead of disapointed. Now that ship has sailed and I'm not sure what advice to give you - but I'll tell you what I might do (concidering its non-commercial) ... I'd comment on his picture on DA something about "nice to see my maps have inspired your work" or such :) or you could write a mail saying "I wish you would have asked..." ... or if you're non-confrontational - let it go, at least now 1 person knows it other than you :)
And please concider, that he probably didn't even think he did anything wrong. :)

06-05-2010, 05:19 AM
You make sense Tilt but I'm still very annoyed. He didn't acknowledge me, he's claiming it to be his and he even has it up on his website as "his" work. I know I sound childish right now, I'll come back when I stop fuming...


06-05-2010, 09:59 AM
Send him a private message expressing your concerns. He's certainly used it as inspiration, but it's not a direct lift as much of the coastline is different. But you should definitely contact him and note the similarity and the lack of any attribution.

06-05-2010, 10:05 AM
I dropped him a subtle hint about it but one of my friends says they've already reported the post to the powers-that-be. I don't want it gone, just a little acknowledgement, a selfish thought I know but it would be nice. I'll just have to see what happens.


06-05-2010, 10:06 AM
It's not selfish, it's standing up for yourself. That's your work and credit needs to go where it's due.

06-05-2010, 11:45 AM
I would say that there is a close resemblance in several areas in the shape and layout of the map landmass but the map is an original rendering. It's like stealing a few riffs and making a new song - it happens and I think to some extent you gotta expect it. Microsoft lifted almost all their OS from Xerox and everyones lifting elements of the Apple interfaces. Some things in art too have been endlessly recycled.

I think he should own up and say "based on a map by" or even loosely based on or whatever. I mean at the end of the day he has ability and presumably could have drawn a different shape. The problem here is that he either forgot or does not think its right to attribute it. Its the wholesale cloning and passing off that I think is where its out of order as there is no injection of new talent at all. I assume in all of this that you didn't use a program to create the shape and it might be worth seeing if there are other maps he has done with same lifting of ideas and if so is there any attribution to them. Is your map CC licensed too - if it is and has SA share alike property then you have some leverage to ensure his is CC (SA) also.

06-05-2010, 11:48 AM
My Creative Commons license does allow for the modification of my maps and I did not use a program to make my landmasses, they were hand drawn.


06-05-2010, 11:51 AM
What CC did you use ? BY ? NC ? SA ? etc

06-05-2010, 11:57 AM
I think it was by-nc-nd, i chose my creative commons to make sure people don't use my maps.


06-05-2010, 11:58 AM
I think it was by-nc-nd, i chose my creative commons to make sure people don't use my maps.


06-05-2010, 12:05 PM
Well if SA then he is if ND then he isn't. I went on the Deviant page but I could not see the license. In the absence of one he would not be able to use a clone of your map. In this case or the ND case it comes down to how close the maps are. I would advise tho if going for a CC license then putting the CC logo and SA/ND tags actually on the map so that you have some proof of how it was licensed at the time it was uploaded. He would then have less grounds to complain if confronted.

You might try to do a google similar images on both yours and his map image and see if it crops up on other forums and places just to get some idea of the guy your opposing. He might be very reasonable about it.

Thats about as much advice as I can give - you need a lawyer for taking it any further.

06-05-2010, 12:07 PM
He has it on his own website, thats what really annoys me about it. Like I said before I dropped him a subtle hint, lets see if he gets it.


06-05-2010, 10:09 PM
Got a response from the artist and he does acknowledge that my map was an "inspiration", I'm willing to let it go but I did ask that I get some acknowledgment when he posts it around, whether he does that is yet to be seen.


06-06-2010, 03:01 AM
good - at least you've got communications going :)

06-06-2010, 03:38 AM
Hmm. I remember your original map from months back, LWD, and I liked it. I also liked this new one, and honestly didn't even think of yours when I first saw this one. Looking at them side by side, there's some similarity, but not to the extent where I'd think "Hey, he ripped off LWD!" ...But since the guy has acknowledged that that's pretty much what he's done, well...

Kind of makes me sad that I commented on it at his DA site.

06-06-2010, 05:34 AM
he probably didn't even think of it - just used the form to build his own, he made a nice map too... And we see so many maps, its difficult to remember the shapes - its only all the hours on your own maps that makes you remember them *lol*

06-06-2010, 07:58 AM
I would say that your map is not the only one he drew inspiration from. He has used both Ilshakefest (S adjusted) and Dali fonts the same as I used on Vaniya, along with blocks of text over the sea commenting on things. There is a vague similarity also with the mountains, hills, trees and location markers. His legend is very similar to the one I included in mine. I would say with absolute conviction he has been influenced by Vaniya as well as your Everlandias map. Does it bother me? Not in the slightest. Imitation is, as they say, the sincerest form of flattery.
Although I can see that the landmass bears a resemblance to your map, LonewandererD, it is by no means a straight copy and as has already been pointed out, artists draw inspiration from others all the time and I personally feel that he has done enough obvious work to not be accused of outright theft. Still, I guess a mention of your map being inspiration would be fitting.

06-06-2010, 08:12 AM
I agree, he had some skill and I would have been flattered to have inspired someone, I too am guilty of being "inspired" but I'm always careful to cite my inspirtations. Just a little acknowledgement is all I wanted, just a few words. That said it is pretty much sorted now.


06-06-2010, 03:13 PM
I would just repeat Ramah on this. 'Frankensteining' comes in many shapes and forms and if it is sufficiently distant to make a new work, then, it's a new work. None of us make anything absolutely new or original. Yeah, the landmass shape looks similar, but apart from that the style is quite differerent. If it were me, I'd just let it ride and be flattered.

06-07-2010, 10:18 AM
but your is much better. so I wouldn't worry too much, I'm pretty sure he'll be sure to update the maps and give credit...
most people aren't assholes when it comes to art and such ;)

06-07-2010, 10:55 AM
Actually, now that I've had to time to reflect on it I've come to realise that I may have overreacted. I'm proud of my work and while I am protective of it if someone is inspired by it I should be prouder. I apologise to the artist and hope no one harbours any ill towards him or me about this needless incident.


06-07-2010, 11:28 AM
cool... and good form :) ... and we all care about our works, and therefor understand your dilemma - just good you've come to a "karmalishious" decision :)

06-08-2010, 07:48 AM
I woulda been ****ed, too. That top continent looks so damn close and the lower one is so reminiscent. But it'll serve as a lesson to us all to start putting that lil logo thing on our maps for copyright.

06-09-2010, 11:03 AM
Glad this seems to have worked out. This is why I always try to use my own stuff. I'm totally concerned that I will forget to attribute someone and they will call me on it. Not that I am super prolific right now but I hope to someday be able to pound out a lot more maps and stuff. I worry about brushes I have added to Gimp and stuff like that. I would just feel terrible to have a finished work and be all happy about it only to have someone come along and say, "Hey, that's my bushes you have there. How come you didn't give me any credit?"

As far as the CC logo I would like to see an example of this on a map so I can figure out what I need to do for myself. I'm still pretty new to the whole copyright stuff.

Finally, LonewandererD, I think you reacted as a typical person would. It took a little while for the sting to wear off and put it in perspective but you seem to have found your peace with it at this point. At least the guy sounds like he wasn't trying to be a jerk about it. Hopefully he will add a comment on it and make everyone feel good about it. If not, it is still pretty cool that someone fell in love with your art enough to emulate it.

06-09-2010, 05:24 PM
I would say they are similar but disimilar. I have seen tons of maps that come through here that bear a lot of resemblance to my old Campaign World. So much of a resemblance that they seem almost 'copied' but I know they are not. Some shapes just seem very similar.