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We have made great strides to support visual artists as much as we can. We believe in the work they do and we give attribution (or credit to the artist) as much as we can. But what we will NOT do is respond to hateful, snarky trolling comments by unknown individuals who scroll through our feeds to dominate and destroy the work we are doing. Why? Because we don’t have to give attribution. There is no law protecting fan art.

Fan art is taking previously licensed material owned by someone else, and COPYING it into a new form, called a derivative. The fan artist is at the privilege of the original licensed owner. The fan artist is at the owner’s mercy to not be sued for creating a derivative. The owner can do that because of copyright. If fan artist doesn’t own the license or is NOT licensed for the artwork, others cannot be forced to give attribution. That’s life.

If a fan artist creates fan art as PARODY according to the United States law and if it is “Fair Use” and if it is a “household name”, then it is possible the new derivative work can be considered an “original creation” and have its own copyright, but those do not naturally happen. One has to apply for the copyright.

Disney Lucasfilm defends their copyrights. Professional artists who are paid for their work do not mind if others create non-commercial fan art of their work. The artists are already getting paid for their work. That is business. It’s NON-COMMERCIAL – meaning no T-shirts or plaques or billboards of another artists work. But there are NO protections for the FAN ARTISTS, even for profit.

DEMANDING attribution is being fascist about work that when there is no ownership. It can be requested, but no one has to GIVE it and proof of ownership can be tested on Google Image.

What can new budding artists do? WATERMARK the work. Put something on it that no one can take off of Google Images and use indiscriminately.

SWAG 77 wants to give attribution because we are nice people and we like to develop good relations with people. But we will not respond to shrill superfluous arguments and libelous comments of being called “art thieves” and “stolen work” that is fan art. It’s immature harassment and the shakedown demands are illegal.

But we will commission art…