Graphics Guide
#2

Copyright, Image Usage, Art Theft

Souls has many talented members -- some are skilled at photomanipulation and making graphics and others are illustrators or cartoonists. We take art theft and copyright infringement very seriously and make every effort to protect creator rights.

Copyright infringement is the usage of materials without the permission of rights holder -- in our case, it is the use of art or photography without the permission of the artist or photographer.

Contrary to popular belief, one cannot simply find an image on Google and use it as an avatar. All images uploaded to the Internet are not public domain; indeed, a majority of the content on the Internet is protected under copyright law. The fact that drawings and photos are easily saved, shared, changed, and re-purposed, doesn't mean that anyone has that right.

All images used and posted to 'Souls should be done so with permission and with credit.

Free-Use Photography & Template/Base Art

These days, it's a lot easier to find royalty-free stock photography, Creative Commons work, and free-use template artwork for use.

Sites like Pixabay and Unsplash make beautiful photography a lot easier to source. Many artists also offer up free lineart and art templates that others can color and use to depict personal characters. Many 'Soulsters have contributed to our own repository of free art templates over the years, and we also have a list of other image-related resources on the Wiki.

We encourage players to take advantage of these resources, but please remember that you still must credit your sources. Most free-use art and photography require it as part of their terms ("Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike" is the most common CC license!), but regardless, 'Souls requires the credit in all cases for purposes of clarity and transparency.

Original Artwork

All instances of a player using art they did not create, commission, receive as a gift, or otherwise have permission to use will be investigated by the administration.

If you are using someone else's art, in addition to crediting, please make sure that:
  • The artist allows use of their work. Some artists are okay with roleplayers and other netizens using their images for whatever, with no restrictions. Some artists never want their art used anywhere without their permission. Look for an artist Terms of Use or Frequently Asked Questions list. Failing all else, contact the artist and ask. If they grant permission for usage, save or screenshot the correspondence and be ready to give it to the 'Souls Assemblage.
  • You adhere to terms set forth by the artist. For example, if the artist asks for a link back to their gallery where you use their art, include the link. If the artist requires that their copyright notice remains intact on the art itself, leave it alone.
  • Remember that all art you did not create must at least include text credit to the artist. The only exception is if the artist explicitly requests that they are not credited.
  • If you do not know whether an artist allows general usage or not, assume that they don't and don't use the art.
If you made the art you're using, please remember to credit yourself! You deserve the credit, and again, this helps a lot with clarity and transparency from a staff perspective.


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