Artist: Ixy. Funny caption goes here?
I appreciated the posts, because I do care about attribution. I know how much work goes into creating a good picture and I don’t want to unfairly take credit for someone else’s work, nor do I want to post something that they don’t want posted. I want people to be proud of their work when they see it – not frustrated or angry. When I started out, I actually set out to make sure everything was well attributed, I even checked for the header images I use on this site, although I ended up just linking to Sankaku since I didn’t see a source. I was naive then, and it’s something that’s slipped in my mind as time’s gone by. So the posts above were a very good reminder.
But I question the tactic of RAEGing at anibloggers and making meaningless ultimatums. For one, raging at anibloggers sort of feels like a situation where you’re mad and you take it out on the closest person to you, just because they’re there and will listen. I mean, there’s like what, a couple hundred anibloggers, who may post a couple fanart images a week? Versus the thousands of image posts that happen daily on sites like 4chan, and all the other anime message boards?
If there’s one thing I’ve noticed about the aniblogging community, it’s that people are really, really mindful about attributing quotes and links to other bloggers. (I’m just going to refer to non-artist anibloggers as "we" and fanartists as "you" from now on – not that I’m trying to draw any battle lines. But pronouns make it so much easier.) So it’s clear we understand the value of attribution, and aren’t out to misappropriate anyone’s work unfairly. And generally we’re a pretty reasonable bunch who’re willing to talk things out and give credit where credits due. But speaking down to us, insulting or chastising us, doesn’t exactly make me want to help anyone out. Yeah, it gets more attention, but ultimately isn’t compliance the goal? I think a level-headed post would be just as effective.
And tips are even better. For example, I don’t use fanart too much, but when I have, I’ve pulled them from Sankaku or Photobucket, which generally don’t have any attribution info. But I had no clue that danbooru often does include attribution (I assumed it was just a mirror of Sankaku’s image database). Any images I use in the future, I’ll be getting from there. The pixiv tip is helpful, but I’m going to be honest: I’m not getting paid for this, I’m just doing this for fun. I’m not going to learn a new language just to find pictures once in a while, that’s just not a realistic expectation.
The thing is, if you really care about people properly crediting you, make it easy for them to do so. This is a general rule. Bloggers quote other bloggers, because the name of the author is right in front of our face. We don’t need to google a guide for how to register to pixiv, we don’t need to post a twitter waiting to see if anyone knows who the author is, it’s all right in front of us. Additionally, those words are typically more integral to our posts, so attribution becomes a natural action, for example, "blah blah blah, but blogger X said blah blah blah, but actually I think blah blah blah." Whereas I tend to consider the image as a garnish on top, which makes it more likely that I’ll forget about properly crediting the author.
Like I mentioned above. We care. I care. I’d never steal words from another blogger and claim it as my own, and it’s extremely mortifying to think that’s what fanartists think I’m intending when I use an image without attribution. It’s certainly not my intention. But after spending an hour or two writing a post, and searching for a suitable image to put in place, a lot of times I just plum forget. I hate to admit it, but it’s just the simple truth. But I will be more mindful of it in the future.
But if you really, really care about attribution, I, blogger, have a request of my own. Help us, help you. Sign your art or even watermark it. I know it can be unobtrusive. I know it can even be done creatively. There’s no shame in it, the greats have done it. It’s really the only way to make sure your art doesn’t lose its identity. If that image above said Ixy, a.) now it’s automagically credited and b.) I’d probably be more likely to call it out anyway.
Old habits die hard. In a few weeks, many will have forgotten about this post and the posts above, and all the attribution that’s going on now will die down somewhat. New anibloggers will join the fray and be unaware of the rules. But a signature on a picture lives forever and keeps the thought forever alive.