I'm actually ok with Deviant Art's stance on this one;
The Art Theft Discussion
Art Theft DiscussionTopicsStealingTakingCopyrightPermissionFan ArtMoral RightsProtectionResolving Disputes
Now, I'm not minimizing your concerns at all given DA's choice of words on this one, but I'll try to give more context regarding this.
I agree that it isn't theft in the strict sense of the word, the reason why is that only what is legally and materially owned can be stolen. To own something you need a legal right claiming PROPERTY. Property can be meaningfully defined only if the owner can enforce the right to exclude others from consumption/use like material objects.And here I go to the point. People often conflate copying or plagiarizing ideas with theft, in this case and context; digital art theft. Now, this line of reasoning contains a key mistake, and which is made only because of the mistaken presumption that ideas (or digital art being conflated with ideas and physical property) can be subject to the same economic laws as material objects. Ideas are non-material "objects" that do not get destroyed when consumed (as opposed to any material object) and whose "production" does not require direct consumption of material inputs (as what economists call "services" do). Therefore, the economic concept of "trade" on which all arguments about the efficiency of "markets" based on well defined property rights, simply cannot be meaningfully applied to ideas, it makes no sense to "steal" an idea, much less stealing digital art in the literal sense.Of course, recognizing the originator of an idea or a piece of art is a decent thing to do, and taking attribution of another's work is something objectionable at minimum, but by no means can it defined as theft since the original work isn't lost, only copied.
Now here comes the part I disagree about DA's choice of words. It could have been more prudent on their part to differentiate between copying/plagiarizing and theft as the usage of the word implies a loss of property, which doesn't happen when someone copies something else. It was indeed a very poor choice of words as it may sound demeaning given the lack of proper context, which could have been a thousand times better explained, IMO, and of course the purpose of this journal is not to aggravate people, far from it, I understand the concerns derived by their ill-redacted journal, and such concerns are not unwarranted, I don't believe that's the case.
Will I remain here?
Yes, I know I've been on a long hiatus, but I have not forgotten you, I'll be back eventually when my personal issues have been dealt with, hopefully soon. Again, thanks for all your support in these 5 years, I appreciate it.Cheers.