View Full Version : Possible art theft

02-02-2013, 06:09 PM
I can't remember who drew these originally, Torstan possibly? But someone seems to have stolen the art, made brushes of them, and is selling them for $5 a pop here:

Add-ons - Old Map Elements 2 | GraphicRiver (http://graphicriver.net/item/old-map-elements-2/3707703)

Whoever did these mountains originally might want to have a word or three with the poster and the Graphicriver site...

On the other hand, if the person who posted the brushes there IS Torstan or whoever originally drew those mountains, then never mind. :D

02-05-2013, 10:47 AM
Those aren't mine - but you're right they look very familiar. Djekspek perhaps?

02-05-2013, 11:16 AM
Hi, I think it's Schwarzkreuz's work (and called "torstan style by the way :D).
Here's the link :

Really hope it's not a theft !

02-05-2013, 11:27 AM
I might be looking at the wrong ones, but although the ones being sold are similar to Schwarzkreuz's brushes, I think they are not identical?

- Max -
02-05-2013, 11:37 AM
I think Ilanthar is right. Those are the Schwarzkreuz "torstan's style" brushes. the guy just mixed them into blocks if you look at it carefully. Other brushes (rift, trees are from some other people I can't remember who made them though)

02-05-2013, 12:15 PM
Wtf???? They are my brushes indeed! And also some which i wanted to out in a commercial Set myself. They should not Be available in my hight res format. Any Tips how to handle this?

02-05-2013, 12:17 PM
The mountain ones are def. built using Schwarzkreuz's brushes. Case in point = Look at the sold set, at the group of mountains directly above the compass, specifically the two peaks. Now compare the left peak to Schwarzkreuz's set first wow 7th brush and the right peak to the 10th on the first row. One placed behind the other and darkened a bit.....The rift looks like something someone made using one of DJ's tuts.

Has anyone dropped Schwarzkreuz a line so he would be aware, if he isn't already?

Sorry to hear that Schwarzkreuz, unfortunately I have no clue how to proceed.. :(

02-05-2013, 12:19 PM
I just compared them quick and you can see the person has just mashed some together. I wouldn't be surprised if the other brush sets are stolen. Selling other people's work is just wrong.

02-05-2013, 12:20 PM
Ahh, Schwarz has already seen!

First thing I would do is contact the site owners and let them know someone is selling your work on their site without permission. After that, I am not sure.

02-05-2013, 12:39 PM
Firstly I'd email the person who put the brushes up. They're listed on the site as sarthony@gmail.com Take it gently - they've only sold 6 copies - and the easiest way this is resolved is that they apologise, take them down and maybe send you $20 via paypal :)

If they dispute your ownership, contact the people behind the site and point them to your thread where you create the brushes. The joy of forum posts is that they're dated :) At that point the user should get the message and have them taken down.

On the plus side - sarthony has shown that people are willing to pay for your brushes!

02-05-2013, 12:49 PM
If they don't take em down and / or resolve your issue per larb / torstan's suggestion you could --- contact PayPal and let them know of the theft, I don't have an account on that site, but if they are using PayPal,

02-05-2013, 01:10 PM
I don't understand people who do this kind of thing, it's not like they'll make any big bucks out of it? I mean stealing brushes, there has to be some better things to steal if you're going to steal anything.

02-05-2013, 05:16 PM
Its the small bricks building a house, that Person sold over 600 items with her account. I dont say that the other items are stolen As well, but this is a possibility. Considering most items are Sold for about 4$ and having the Site take 50% that would still Be an income of over 2000$ of page income. I try Not to Be a bitchy person, but this is agitating me, considering that i have been in a series of extreme bad luck the past two weeks, which crashed my sources of income, i feel realy angree. Ah and there have been also Elements of Chashio in it.

02-05-2013, 05:40 PM
It is because it is low-effort theft with little to no risk. Even if the brushes are taken down, that person has still made $30 up to this point (minus whatever the site takes). If the other brushes have been stolen from else where too, then over several dozen items, it quickly adds up. I don't know how reputable the site is but there's a chance they'll take a somewhat laissez-faire approach to that sort of stuff if they're getting a cut (I am not saying they are though) which also makes this kind of thing more attractive to such people.

And you can tell it's not some ignorant mistake because they have tried to obfuscate the origin of the brushes by altering them slightly.

It makes me angry because not only is it profiting off of the work of others, it's scamming the customer as people can find those brushes here.

Anyway, I would follow the gentle approach Torstan suggested. That would be best I think.

02-05-2013, 06:12 PM
With gentle you can always escalate. If you start out at full throttle it's hard to go back.

02-05-2013, 06:22 PM
The page has been taken down, sorry to hear you've been having problems Schwarzkreuz.

02-05-2013, 07:05 PM
Wow, I can see now with Larb's diagram how obvious the rip-off was! Great detective work, Diamond!

02-05-2013, 07:22 PM
Yeah lets keep this up!! If we find em, we post em!! I don't do this for a living, just a fun thing for me, but this p...... me off!! You guys who have the talent deserve the rewards, but then again rl requires one to be ever vigilant. Thanks for the heads up Diamond, good job!

- Max -
02-05-2013, 07:45 PM
Yep, good job Diamond!

02-05-2013, 10:47 PM
Thanks. It was just a random fluke, really, that I even saw that page in the first place. I was Googling something completely different, that was one of the image results, and I was like "Wow, that looks familiar..."

It's not the first time I've busted someone doing **** like that. A couple of months ago, someone on DeviantArt had posted brushes made from John Ross's 'hill country' font and claimed credit for the design. I alerted John and he created such a sh!tstorm on that person's DA page that not only are the brushes gone, but both of us have been banned from posting on her page. :D

02-06-2013, 06:10 AM
One thing that bothers me is that those Images were never been turn to brushes. The only images of them circulating were in WIP and an example in the Brushthread. I also had not alarmed the website, yet. So the culprit is either a Guildmember/member of the FB Cartographer&Fantasyartist Group to recognized this been discussed, or someone else noticed the website. Well i will have a Close view in that account.

02-06-2013, 06:53 AM
I have been watching this thread all day, wondering if I should mention my suspicions or if it would sound paranoid/melodramatic. I thought that some images on the forum were not visible to people who had not registered as members, and therefore the culprit in this instance might be a member. Schwarzkreuz has now mentioned this possibility too, which I think makes it seem even more likely. So many people seem to join, and then never post again.

I still regard myself as fairly new, so I don't know if that's been a long-term trend here, but is there any way to find out? Has anyone registered with the name 'Sarthony' on the Cartographers Guild? I don't know how frequently this stuff happens, but, like Vellum, the possibility of it happening ****es me off. Is there anything that the CG can do about these matters?

Sorry to hear about your bad luck, Schwarz. Hope things pick up soon for you.

02-06-2013, 08:32 AM
Such a behaviour is simply not acceptable. This here is such a great community, always friendly, always helpfull... one of the best places on the web I have ever found (and of course the mappiest). So many people post their works of art here, and many are freely sharing their stuff.

To steal it, claim it as your own and sell it is not only a crime - it is a grave insult to the artist and the whole community.

- Max -
02-06-2013, 10:36 AM
I think what happened should make CG think about what can be done about the pictures we post and share. I'm scared that some of us would stop to share their works regarding some stupid and unkindly behaviours like we just saw :/

02-06-2013, 10:54 AM
LOL Diamond -
he created such a sh!tstorm on that person's DA page

Now there's something to map!

Glad you did catch this guy though. There isn't much that makes me as angry as does a thief.

02-06-2013, 11:09 AM
Hey if your a member here and the one that stole Schwarzkreuz' brushes you are truly incredibly stupid to think we wouldn't recognize each other's work. I think I'll go steal torstan's iconic island maps and sell them on that site, no one will notice for sure as our work is sooooo much alike (real sarcasm here!!). Personaly I think Arcana should publicly expose the member here if there is positive proof it was a member.

02-06-2013, 11:17 AM
I think what happened should make CG think about what can be done about the pictures we post and share. I'm scared that some of us would stop to share their works regarding some stupid and unkindly behaviors like we just saw :/

While frustrating that someone attempts to make a dime off of one of us it could be thought of as a kind of advertising expense.
I was very concerned about this type of thing when I started posting stuff on the internet myself. (Not that I'm making stuff that's easily stolen or arguably worth stealing but...)

I decided I had a choice to either draw for myself and keep it to myself and those few of my friends who cared to look at it or I could expose my work to the universe knowing there would be some folks who might steal it on occasion. Now, I have no way of knowing if anything has been stolen but I'm sure it'll happen sooner or later and I'll probably be right hacked off about it. I saw a guy shoplift right in front of me the other day at a store and I wanted to rip his head off. What I do know is that due to my posting stuff I have received several commissions that have been from paying customers. Commissions that would never have happened otherwise. I also feel like my best work is yet to come so basically, I have chosen to look at it as an advertising expense and that helps to soften the pain.

Now, in regards to this guy we are posting about, what a jackwagon! Obviously Schwarzkreuz deserves compensation if only for the principle of it. Maybe the website who allowed this to be posted would be willing to post a link to his website or else here for a period of time equivalent to the amount lost which might bring in some benefit to Schwarzkreuz? I certainly hope they banned the guy who was selling stuff from there but I imagine (especially if they were getting a cut) they are only sorry they got caught.

02-06-2013, 11:33 AM
I think what happened should make CG think about what can be done about the pictures we post and share. I'm scared that some of us would stop to share their works regarding some stupid and unkindly behaviours like we just saw :/

I don't know. If I post something on the Internet it's with the full knowledge that it might be taken and used in a way I don't care for without my permission. If I catch somebody doing it then I'll certainly be mad and try to do something about it. BUT...this isn't my major line of work. I might make a couple of grand each year from making maps, and that's being paid for complete maps. If I was making brushes and textures or something like that and I wanted to sell them I would never release hi-res versions of them onto the broader Internet. They will almost certainly be taken!

02-06-2013, 11:46 AM
An advert for these brushes by Sarthony remains up at Deviant Art: sarthony on deviantART (http://sarthony.deviantart.com/#/d5quthq)

02-06-2013, 02:13 PM
I expect she's ripping off everyone and making brushes from everyone's work. So stupid.

- Max -
02-06-2013, 02:24 PM
@Jaxilon and Mearrin. You both have good points. I post my stuff with full knowledge of what could happen on the internet and since I can prove I'm the creator and legit owner of this stuff I'm ok. I was thinking in a global way about that cartographer's guild community which is really friendly and enjoyable. Maybe CG can put some warnings on the front page or simple things like to prevent those behaviours. At least those people wouldn't say they didn't know....

02-06-2013, 02:45 PM
Agree with that idea. A warning would at least remove the ignorance plea...even though it shouldn't be necessary.

02-06-2013, 03:39 PM
Agree with that idea. A warning would at least remove the ignorance plea...even though it shouldn't be necessary.

I don't think that's really necessary - even children know they must not take things they don't own. Intellectual property rights are valid for maps and map brushes, too.

- Max -
02-06-2013, 03:47 PM
I know right. but well....some people is still acting like childrens....

02-06-2013, 11:50 PM
An advert for these brushes by Sarthony remains up at Deviant Art: sarthony on deviantART (http://sarthony.deviantart.com/#/d5quthq)

Thanks for that link. Just reported her to the DA powers-that-be.

02-07-2013, 12:14 AM
You know what's really tooth-grinding is that at the bottom of the image it says, "Don't forget to rate me please" <--- UN-Freakin Believable!!

Who wants a rating on things they didn't do? That's gotta be some kind of sickness.

02-07-2013, 03:31 AM
thats some bull****, Id be heated... Ive had it happen to me once over music and dude ended up settling out of court for like 2k.

contact the user, then advise him that you will be starting legal action if the proper actions are not taken.

02-07-2013, 06:51 AM
I have left my message of dissatisfaction on her DA comments page.

- Max -
02-07-2013, 07:29 AM
I did it aswell.

02-08-2013, 11:12 AM
Unless you posted it on her front page it is gone. The link for those brushes has been removed but I bet if the other brushes she's posted where to be investigated they are probably ripped off as well.

02-10-2013, 05:28 PM
I did a little experiment to see if i can dig up maps posted here without being a member (logged in). Made me wonder if an account is necessary to access content. I don't talk hacking, just...

cartographers guild site: (http://www.google.de/search?hl=de&tbo=d&biw=768&bih=929&tbm=isch&sa=1&q=cartographers+guild+site%3Awww.cartographersguil d.com&oq=cartographers+guild+site%3Awww.cartographersgui ld.com&gs_l=img.3...1231197.1253614.0.1254744. . )www.cartographersguild.com (http://www.cartographersguild.com) - Google-Suche

Are you aware of this? Or are these maps just those accessible through the front page. I have not dug any deeper.

update: knowing a name one can dig up everything, google seems to index deep links bypassing user identification.

02-10-2013, 05:43 PM
Simply doing a google image search for "Fantasy Maps" yeilds results from this website, along with others. Theft could certainly be an issue, maybe this site could be able to do something about requiring people to sign in.

edit - But yes, even some of the most secure websites have their systems bypassed by google. Not much we can do really except hope theft doesn't happen.

02-26-2013, 04:31 AM
only came across this now - such a shame :(

most of the deviantart links are broken, though the sarthony acount still seems to be active, though i havent found anything map-related (yet).

such a shame this stuff goes on. I hate looking at my fave artist's work with watermarks spashled all over it but sometimes that's the only options artists have to stop people ripping them off. one of my favourite artists Aly Fell (also known as poshspice) had one of his seminal images (Port Out, Starboard Home: The Absinthe Fairy (http://alyfell.blogspot.com/2013/02/the-absinthe-fairy.html)) was stolen and being sold by someone else. really sad, as i'd hate to have to post pictures with watermarks.

02-26-2013, 06:33 AM
Would it be an idea to have some sort of option to imprint a discrete watermark when uploading an image here? For stuff you want to share but not give away?

02-26-2013, 01:50 PM
I don't think it would be worthwhile to create a server-side watermarking system. If an artist is concerned about possible theft, it's easy enough to add a watermark prior to export.