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I know I had promised a Kapow! Comic Convention review, but there are things which need to be said first...

    "(Cosplay) Fotografien sind kein Freiwild."
    = „(Cosplay) Photographies are no unprotected game."


This is a remarkable quote Amapola – a great cosplayer and photographer I really admire – puts into every comment and every caption below all photographs or galleries she publishes. And she is right. (Cosplay) Photographies are no unprotected game.

I finished my Stephanie Brown Batgirl costume in September 2011 and have been featured on various websites and in various forums since then.
Some features, reviews and comments truly honored me, but in 99% of cases there was always one aspect that irked me. Nobody had ever asked for my permission. And that's only the tip of the iceberg.
Today I even found a forum which had shamelessly added its own watermark to my cosplay pictures.  You cannot imagine how angry I was when I saw it.

I know that the majority of people who shares cosplay pictures on forums, etc. has no ill intend, but posting a picture without the cosplayer's permission is just like stealing a fan artist's painting.

    :bulletred: Cosplayers are artists too!

Cosplayers are artists too and you cannot simply upload their work on any website you like. You wouldn't want a holiday snap of yourself to get posted in various forums without your permission either, would you?

     :bulletred: I want my (and any other cosplayer's) work to be treated with respect.

TO CUT  A LONG STORY SHORT:
- Ask COSPLAYERS for PERMISSION before posting their pictures ANYWHERE!
- In case that they give you the permission to post their work ADD a SOURCE. CREDIT the COSPLAYER AND the PHOTOGRAPHER!
- NEVER REMOVE their WATERMARK or simply add YOUR WATERMARK to THEIR WORK!

I am serious about this. If I ever find pictures of me in a forum again which has not asked for my permission I will make them remove my pictures immediately – no matter how nice the feature, review or comment might be. I will also add watermarks to all of my cosplay pictures in future.
  • Reading: Ernest Hemingway - A Moveable Feast
Add a Comment:
 
:iconmangosirene:
MangoSirene Featured By Owner May 28, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
I definitely agree with you, girl! I stopped adding watermarks to my photos for a year or so, but I think I'm going to start adding them again. It's just so frustrating seeing things reposted without sources. I'm all for people wanting to share artwork, but if they're not crediting the artist... what's the point? @_@
Reply
:iconaigue-marine:
Aigue-Marine Featured By Owner May 29, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
I know, right?
What makes me really angry is the fact that everybody aknowledges a fanartist as a "real" artist and that everybody gets angry if artwork of a fanartist gets stolen. Nobody cares about a stolen cosplay picture though. Why does nobody get the fact that cosplayers are artists too and that cosplayers put just as much effort into their work as fanartists do? Aaargh! >_<
Reply
:iconmangosirene:
MangoSirene Featured By Owner May 30, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Exactly!! Ugh, it's so frustrating! That happens a lot at school, too, being a fashion major - some of the more "artistic" majors like film and illustration act like we're not artists... even though what we create is art! It just happens to be in "real life" - just like a sculpture! And more than that, photography is an art, so stealing photographs... that's just as bad as stealing paintings, if you ask me.
Reply
:iconaigue-marine:
Aigue-Marine Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Absolutely! Photographers put just as much effort into their pictures as painters do.
Reply
:iconakiradreams:
akiradreams Featured By Owner May 25, 2012  Professional General Artist
Totally agree with you. People think just because something is on the internet that they can freely
use it for their own purposes. :( Yes, it is too bad that people aren't honest or ask permission
first when it comes to artwork, photography, and cosplays. Guess that's the downside of
being good at what you do. Aside from that, all your cosplays are truly amazing!! :heart:
Reply
:iconaigue-marine:
Aigue-Marine Featured By Owner May 31, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
I know, right? The worst point I cannot understand is, that every website I publish my work on is connected to other websites through these small 'social media buttons'. In case that they HAVE to share my art no matter what - why can't they just simply use the social media buttons which add the source of the picture automatically? Why do they always download my work and post it again without a proper source? I really don't get this!

Thanks a lot! I really appreciate it!
Reply
:iconakiradreams:
akiradreams Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2012  Professional General Artist
That's true. I guess they want to pretend it's
them or profit from your pics. Hope it doesn't keep
you from continuing to do great cosplays! :heart:

Your welcome! :huggle:
Reply
:iconaigue-marine:
Aigue-Marine Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
I don't know. I really don't know.
Of course it won't keep me from cosplaying... but it's an aspect which really annoys me. Guess like I'll just have to add watermarks to my pictures in future and disable the "download" function on deviantArt. :/
Reply
:iconakiradreams:
akiradreams Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2012  Professional General Artist
Yeah, it's unfortunate. You prob. have to do that
and only choose to have big versions available for
close friends that you know won't upload. Or if they
do, you'll know it was them. :D ;-)
Reply
:iconaigue-marine:
Aigue-Marine Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Haha. I wish deviantArt had such kind of functions...
Reply
:iconmoi-rin:
Moi-rin Featured By Owner May 25, 2012
Das regt mich auch immer tierisch auf und manchmal sind es websites, auf denen meine Models oder ich, ganz besonders nicht landen wollen... Ich frage mich, ob manche keine Erziehung genossen haben oder allgm einfach assozial sind *RAGE*
Wäre schön, wenn mal jmd etwas programmieren könnte, damit man Bilder nicht speichern kann UND auch keine Sreenshots machen kann, oder wenn man es verlink auch immer auf das Orginal zurückgreifen muss und i-wie benachrichtigt wird T_T
Reply
:iconaigue-marine:
Aigue-Marine Featured By Owner May 31, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Ja. Ich kenn es. Ich weiß nicht ob du davon auch betroffen warst, aber vor einer Weile sind ja von ziemlich vielen deutschen Cosplayerinnen Cosplay-Bilder auf einer Cosplay-Porno/Erotik-Seite aufgetaucht. Da dachte ich auch, ich spinne. Nachdem wir dann den Host der Website angeschrieben hatten, wurden die Bilder sofort entfernt, aber es geht um's Prinzip. Ich meine, haben die Leute den Arsch offen? Man kann doch nicht einfach Bilder von irgendwelchen Leuten ohne deren Erlaubnis auf Pornoseiten stellen. Hallo!?
Naja... das einzige, was wir uns vllt. alle in Zukunft angewöhnen müssen, sind Wasserzeichen. Und am besten die Art von Wasserzeichen, die schwierig rauszuretuschieren ist. (Ich hab da ein Tutorial hier auf deviantArt gefunden...)
Das mit der Programmierung funktioniert leider nur auf eigenen Homepages. Oder wir müssen hier auf deviantArt eben alle Bilder immer nur mit Wasserzeichen anzeigen lassen und nicht zum Download freigeben.. :/
Reply
:iconbinks2001:
binks2001 Featured By Owner May 25, 2012
Well, to take the tongue in cheek view... I have already added some of your Stephanie Brown cosplay photos to my deviantart favorites. I am here to ask permission to add more pictures when new ones come out. And am asking your permission to keep the ones I already have in my favorites. Just taking this to the extreme other side for example.
Reply
:iconbinks2001:
binks2001 Featured By Owner May 30, 2012
I understand both of the points that you are making. I was just trying to take this view to the extreme to provoke discussion.
Reply
:iconaigue-marine:
Aigue-Marine Featured By Owner May 30, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
It's just like Sirene said. Favouriting pictures on a website like deviantArt is a complete different story. My text was about reposting pictures in comic and game forums and on other social media websites such as tumblr, etc. without my permission. I don't want to find my work on some kind of porno/fetish website again, you know?
Reply
:iconmangosirene:
MangoSirene Featured By Owner May 28, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Favoriting a picture on an art site is a completely different situation. It doesn't involve reposting the picture without permission, or reposting it at all, so it can't be used as a comparison to this argument.
Reply
:iconprosperouscheat:
prosperouscheat Featured By Owner May 24, 2012
I see a lot of cosplayer's pictures appear on [link] and it really annoys me when they don't list the source. Even if the poster didn't just take it from someone's deviantart or cosplay.com profile it takes all of 10 seconds to find the original with google image search and link to it. I've seen your pictures up there a few times - once with source, a couple of times without - people are lazy (or just plain dishonest).
You should add a signature to your picture postings - I see many use these icons :icondonotuseplz::iconmyartplz: (icondonotuseplz and iconmyartplz) with some text about asking for permission before using or posting elsewhere.
Reply
:iconaigue-marine:
Aigue-Marine Featured By Owner May 31, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Thanks a lot for your comment. I absolutely know what you mean. Friends always informed me when they found a picture of me on this website. :/
You know, the point I don't understand... all cosplay/art websites are connected to social media platforms through these tiny social media buttons on the right or left side. Why do people not use these buttons to share art in the first place? It's so much easier and adds a source automatically! :/

Thanks a lot! I'll add it to my deviations in future!
Reply
:iconeiledon:
eiledon Featured By Owner May 24, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
As long as you post something to this effect on the main page of your da site (or in each deviation description) then you are then perfectly within your rights to ask anyone using your image without permission to remove the image. if they don't do so then the next step would be to contact their web host re infringment of intellectual property rights and ask for removal of said images. after that it can get messy if they still don't respond - unless of course you have the backing of a big corporation or industry body behind you.
Reply
:iconaigue-marine:
Aigue-Marine Featured By Owner May 30, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Thanks a lot for your comment. I'm familiar with the process.
I'm happy the website which published pictures of me with their watermark on them understood my point of view and promised me to delete the picture as soon as possible.
Reply
:iconthebooradlus:
thebooradlus Featured By Owner May 24, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
So I take an interest in this as a cosplay photographer myself. What exactly is the boundary between sharing and misuse in your eyes? Personally, I'd be okay with a photo of mine being linked to on reddit, for instance (linked to my DA or flickr page), because I still retain control of distribution and the cosplayer is credited. If the image was just ripped, though, I might be miffed.
Reply
:iconaigue-marine:
Aigue-Marine Featured By Owner May 29, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
In my opinion the term "misues" starts to apply as soon as pictures of a cosplayer are posted on a website without their permission. A lacking source makes the situation even worse.
I might come across as oversensitive, but asking for my permission is really important for me. I have found pictures of me on porno/fetish websites twice already. :/
Reply
:iconroydraven777:
roydraven777 Featured By Owner May 24, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I 100% agree well said its totally wrong to post photo's of a cosplayer without there permission it only takes a few minutes to ask them >.< the worst that I have seen was a friend of mines photo had been stolen and a women posted her face on her body weirdest thing I've ever seen >.<
Reply
:iconaigue-marine:
Aigue-Marine Featured By Owner May 29, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
I know. Such a thing has happened to one of my friends as well.
Sometimes I wonder what people are thinking... it's unbelievable.
Reply
:iconmfleury75:
mfleury75 Featured By Owner May 24, 2012
Conserning photographs - Personality rights, is the right of an individual to control the commercial use of his or her name, image, likeness, or other unequivocal aspects of one's identity; and USC 17 (copyrights).

Conserning "cosplay is an art form" - cosplay conserns a person with an incredible ability to create a costume about a character or original work. It is not a pageant competition or an outlet to some grown up geek with a fetish (I have a sister and had my share of brawls).
Reply
:iconaigue-marine:
Aigue-Marine Featured By Owner May 29, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
I get your point. In my opinion "a person with an incredible ability to create" is an artist. Therefore cosplayers are artists as well. :)
Reply
:iconmfleury75:
mfleury75 Featured By Owner May 29, 2012
Exactly...my point.
Reply
:iconalesaenz:
alesaenz Featured By Owner May 24, 2012
I totally agree with you!

It's unbelievable that they even put a watermark of their own on your photos!

Certainly they should ask permission and even then, they should to keep in mind that they still are your pictures and they can't do whatever they want, the pictures should be treated with respect and giving all the proper credit.
Reply
:iconaigue-marine:
Aigue-Marine Featured By Owner May 29, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
I contacted them and they told me the page created watermarks authomatically every time a picture was uploaded. They might not claim their picture as theirs, but there might as well be people who download the pictures from their site and post them somewhere else. And whoops! Watermark of their site on my picture. I'm still not happy about the way things turned out...

Absolutely! I mean, people wouldn't simply put pictures into printed magazines, would they?
Reply
:iconalesaenz:
alesaenz Featured By Owner May 29, 2012
Yeah, you shouldn't be too happy with the explanation, since I'm pretty sure that they won't be their first pictures to upload on that site, so they knew what would happen with your pictures if they choose to upload them there.

Without a doubt you have rights on your pics, specially if they have your own image on them, definitely they shouldn't be able to print them on any magazine without your consent or at least a money compensation, I know that it's not what you looking for but at least something to compensate a bit an awful situation.
Reply
:iconaigue-marine:
Aigue-Marine Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Absolutely! I'm glad they accepted my terms and deleted the picture from their site completely.

I know.
Reply
:iconalesaenz:
alesaenz Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2012
They deleted the picture? Oh, that´s great!

I´m glad that it could resolved before a greater damage.
Reply
:iconaigue-marine:
Aigue-Marine Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Yes, they did.
Me too! Thanks for your support!
Reply
:iconalesaenz:
alesaenz Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2012
Sure, anytime ;)
Reply
:iconjarrak:
Jarrak Featured By Owner May 24, 2012
Great words, I agree, well said! :)
Reply
:iconaigue-marine:
Aigue-Marine Featured By Owner May 29, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Thank you!
Reply
:iconalysael:
alysael Featured By Owner May 24, 2012
I agree with you on this, but sometimes there's not a lot we can do about it ;A; We share our photos on the internet, so it's so simple for someone just pick it up and repost it somewhere else without asking for permission (sometimes they might even know who the actual cosplayer/source is) :/

My huge irk is when I see cosplay photos being used without permission for commercial gain/profit (eg. your cosplay photos being used to sell some random's wigs on ebay) same goes for adding watermarks to your photos, this is not on :/ But yeah, nowadays no one really bothers about asking for permission, but the least they can do is add the source to your dA or something ;A; Best we can do is tell them off if we see it being done TAT
Reply
:iconaigue-marine:
Aigue-Marine Featured By Owner May 29, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
I know that it's easy to share our pictures without our permission, but that doesn't mean we should get other people get through with it. :/

That's one of my biggest irks as well. It makes me incredibly angry. The situation about sellers from China using cosplayer's photographs without permission happened to me today. Sometimes I wonder if these sellers know that I can sue them for using my picture without permission...
But you're right. I could easier choose to overlook a feature posted without my permission if it's at least properly sourced.
Reply
:iconcoppololi:
Coppololi Featured By Owner May 24, 2012
I slightly disagree.. I think there's a difference between sharing photographs and pictures of your cosplay and, for example, someone taking posting a picture and taking credit for it. In the internet everything spreads and sharing is like a second nature, it's completely understandable. Once it goes online, things like that are bound to happen. most people probably didn't even think about asking for permission since it wasn't hidden or something like that anyway. I assume some of them put on credit or something like that so they thought it'll be okay. I still respect your will but I wanted to point that out.
Reply
:iconaigue-marine:
Aigue-Marine Featured By Owner May 24, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Thanks a lot for your comment! First of all I'd like to point out that I understand what you mean. And you're right! Sharing is a second nature of the internet which makes the internet to the place it is.
However using other people's pictures without their permission is still legally forbidden.
I'm not a person of contemporary history/public interest and have therefore the right to decide on which websites and forums (also in which print magazines, etc.) and in which context I would like to appear or not. And that's something only a small couple of people is aware of. :)
Reply
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