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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. Fan art uses objects from a book, videogame, television, or movie where each element and object has a TRADEMARK by the production company that produced the content. For example, in our case, Disney Lucasfilm owns ALL ASPECTS of each character in its catalog. A fan creating a picture as art can say it is derivative, but they cannot say they own those characters in the art. A fan artist paid for the costs of creating and labor of the art. But selling the art as equivalent to an official Disney Lucasfilm contract is ILLEGAL due to TRADEMARK. Therefore, DEMANDS attribution from a fan artist in an arrogant accusatory manner does not require the target to respond. THE FAN ARTIST DOES NOT OWN THE TRADEMARK! 

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 production company’s mercy as they can sue the fan artist for TRADEMARK INFRINGEMENT. If fan artists do not own the license or are not explicitly contracted for a commission by the company for artwork, a fan artist cannot enforce art attribution. 

According to United States law, if fan art is a PARODY, it is under “Fair Use”. There is also a “household name”, then it is an “original creation” with copyright, but not TRADEMARK. However, those do not happen frequently. A fan artist has to apply for copyright and TRADEMARK, but a review occurs at the US National Library Of Congress.

Disney Lucasfilm defends their copyrights and TRADEMARKS. Disney Lucasfilm commissions and selects their artists for the work under a contract, and then the artist gets paid. Professional artists do not mind if others create non-commercial fan art of their work. Those 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 artist’s 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 TRADEMARK. Attribution can be requested, but no one has to GIVE attribution to fan artwork because TRADEMARK cannot be proven.

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.

SWAG77 wants to give attribution because we are friendly people and like to develop good relations with fans. But we will not respond to shrill superfluous arguments and libelous comments, such as being called “art thieves” and “stealing artwork” that is fan art. It is a stereotypical attack on a marginalized group of people constantly labeled by others and law enforcement as thieves. In essence, it is racist, immature, and it reeks of harassment. The shakedown demands are illegal, and it must stop. 

Here is SWAG77’s main issue: If we were George Lucas, and he shared artwork from a FAN without attribution, he would not be called an “art thief” or “stealing artwork” by belligerent artists. So the rules of these fan artist are selective. They are applied differentially. It is good for a famous person to share without attribution, but not good for other fans to share. Asinine fan artists HATE SWAG77, thus, like a melee Sith battle accusations and aspersions are flung online. That by itself is fascist.

These individuals feel they can push around SWAG77. But sorry, it does not work like that. The business of SWAG77 may be small and never of the significance of Disney Lucasfilm or George Lucas, but 1) fans do not know SWAG77’s business contacts; 2) SWAG77 is under no legal obligations to Disney Lucasfilm or George Lucas, and therefore, SWAG77 is freer to handle fan atrocities, appropriately; 3) Normally SWAG77 plays fair and will attribute when asked nicely and not accused of stealing artwork; 4) Because SWAG77 can pay for fan artwork, and has done so several times, and lastly 5) Accusations are lies and lies do catch up to jealous individuals who are greedy.

“Attachment (Avarice) leads to jealousy. The shadow of greed, that is.” ~Yoda

It is all derived from what an individuals fears: “Fears leads to anger…anger leads to hate…and hate leads to suffering.” ~Yoda

What is that in service of when a fan artist is hateful to another fan who is eager to shares artwork to their larger social media audience in Star Wars? What do fan artists really want to do? Get a Disney Lucasfilm art contract? Is this the best way to go about it, then? Attack a fan group that is eager to share fan art and because this art lacks watermarks or bar or QR codes?

–may change without notice–

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