AITA for not quickly crediting an artist cause he was being a jerk?
TL, DR at the bottom.Some time ago I saw a clever image being shared on Facebook. I'll keep the details vague but it was basically a PSA poster for outdoor events, advice on how to make things more enjoyable for everyone. It had no signature or watermark identifying who made it. But I noticed that it had a glaring error. Something like "Open the window" when it should said "Open the door", as a window wouldn't affect the issue.
So I fired up Photoshop & fixed the mistake. I also made some other changes: font more readable, cleaned up the images, condensed the writing, etc. I post the new image, saying that it was some of my own work but specifically stating I didn't make it from scratch.
Then an angry fellow shows up. Saying he's the original artist, he starts demanding to know why I was "stealing" his work. I explained that I had no idea it was his work, I'd already said it wasn't my OC, & seriously... all I did was share it on Facebook. I'm not making any money off it, nor will I ever. I even empathized with him, saying that I'd once found a meme I made being passed around with no credit to me... but that's the internet, you know? You have to protect your work if you want any credit. Note this wasn't a commercial work, he made it in his spare time & posted it on FB for free. I even noted that someone had since altered my version & didn't give me any credit either. Yet none of this seemed to placate the guy. He demanded total control; wanted me to credit him, tag him on FB and link to his original. I told him I would.
Then a friend told me to check this guy's wall. Even after publicly agreeing to give him credit, he was openly bitching about how I'm "stealing" his work. Ironically, his only response was from one guy asking why it was such a big deal.
So I decide to sleep on it, & wake up to more angry messages. Complaining about how I was up to all of 300 shares (eyeroll) but still no credit, he was tired of being "reasonable" & was going to take it up with Facebook.
Fed up I said I actually WAS still going to give him credit, but TBH I wasn't in a rush because I don't feel he'd been "reasonable" at all. How he could have started the convo with "Hey I made this, I'd like some credit" but instead was rude & demanding from the start. I also pointed out that he was a dumbass for screwing up door & window, which was a mistake that made the whole pic useless.
He didn't respond to that, but the next day my pic was gone. The guy had actually filed a DMCA takedown against me!
TL,DR: I fixed a rando image from Facebook. Admit it's not my OC. Original artist calls me a thief, demands I credit him. I agree. He KEEPS calling me a thief. I give him a piece of my mind for IMHO being a total dick. He gets my pic deleted by DMCA takedown.
*EDIT* A few clarifications. First off: if I had known who the creator was, I wouldn't have done anything to the picture. I would have just let him know about the mistake and let him fix it himself. Then I'd have happily shared it from him as is. I actually DID do a reverse image search on Google, that come up with nothing. I also did one since posting this, and Google still can't find it on Facebook. (it's still there though) It did come up with a few reposts of it on other forums, including here on Reddit. By all appearances none of these reposts were by him. They certainly don't credit him or mention his name.
But I will admit, I'm honestly a bit surprised by the response here. People seem to hold the hard line that one should never alter any work of any kind ever without the explicit permission of the creator. Now if it's your opinion that's the way it should be I'd agree; but does it really need to be said that's NOT the way it is at all?
I mean... we live in a world where the creators of Family Guy openly stole a YouTube video to use in an episode, without the knowledge or consent of (and certainly no compensation to) its creator; and then Fox even had the video pulled from YouTube as if he somehow stole from them. Angry Birds was created by blatantly ripping off someone else's free flash game and re-skinning it to look cute. Angry Birds is now a multi "billion with a B" dollar franchise, the creators of Crush the Castle got jack and shit. There are more websites and YouTube channels than you could possibly count that do literally nothing but regurgitate content ripped straight from Reddit, and they make truckloads of money doing it. A massive portion of the internet is devoted to blatant theft.
When I changed this pic I never had any expectation that the original creator would see it, much less that he would contact me about it. Yet despite that I never took credit for his work. The reason I changed it was so it would actually have the affect the creator clearly intended. Now if I could do it again, I'd have just immediately credited him and moved on regardless of how he acted. But I admit was I confused and taken aback by not just how pissed off he was, but the fact that nothing I said to him made a difference. Apologizing didn't matter. Explaining that I didn't know WHO to credit didn't matter. The fact I didn't actually take credit for his work in the first place didn't matter. Agreeing to credit him at the beginning of the conversation didn't matter. I can't fathom how someone could possibly be so passionate about keeping control of their work, while simultaneously expending zero effort to protect it. Sure people shouldn't steal, but holy shit yes they totally do. If this guy's going to flip out and stay flipped out on me who didn't actually mean to steal his stuff, god help him if he creates anything that might actually make money.
Anyway if you actually got through all that; thanks for coming to my TED talk, and let me know if you still think I'm TA.
submitted by -KingAdrock-
The superior game. Crush the Castle 2