Bots vs Artists: How Some Artists Are Fighting Bot Theft

With the rise of the internet as an art sharing platform, it has become very difficult for small artists to protect their work from being stolen and used to generate profit, often by bots. Commonly this occurs via bots searching for keywords, such as the phrase “I want this on a shirt” in the caption or comments of artwork, and then stealing that work and instantaneously start selling it on a shirt without consent or knowledge of the artist, on sites that may be a scam anyway.

Even if artists find out about this stealing, it can be difficult to do anything about it. In response, some artists have been using the ferocity with which corporations such as Disney protect their work to bring more attention to the issue. Artists will create work that is an obvious copyright infringement and then comment about wanting said artwork on a shirt so that the bots will pick it up, knowing the large corporations will be more likely to have the platform to do something about it. Considering how copyright law tends to benefit the large corporations over smaller artists, it is interesting to see those smaller artists working to use it to their advantage. Another tactic is to make artwork indicating that any store selling it is selling stolen work in an effort to at least inform possible customers, but that is more to discourage buying than an attempt to get the website shut down for good over legal matters.
As technology continues to develop, the world of art will do so with it, and with the rise of algorithms, bots, and AI, smaller artists will continue to face difficulties with maintaining any sort of ownership over what they create

(Visited 89 times, 1 visits today)
Sarah Vest

9 thoughts on “Bots vs Artists: How Some Artists Are Fighting Bot Theft

  1. I found this post to be really interesting and informative. It is disappointing, but unfortunately not surprising, to learn that scam companies are ripping off small businesses. With the current age and day and all the advancements in technology, reproducing online artwork does not seem hard at all. It is sad that small businesses/ individual artists are the main victims of this tactic but I liked the point that they are fighting back by utilizing big companies’ resources. I hope stricter copyright laws or greater regulation are put into effect because it doesn’t seem possible to just trust that everyone respects one another’s right to own their work.

  2. I agree that it suck to create something and someone just steals it and uses it to make profit. The only way to counter this would be to safe guard you work from even entering the online space unless you have some confirmed buyer of the art

  3. The burden on smaller artists to preserve authority and ownership over the art that they create has been a longstanding issue, however, with the advent and recent challenges to copyright with AI-generated art, ownership has become an entirely new struggle. AI-generated artwork essentially works with user interface in which a user inputs a prompt for the AI to generate and AI accomplishes this request by stealing and combining the publically accessible artwork and images of other artists. This makes AI the greatest thief and there needs to be greater restrictions on the abilities of AI to take even licensed work without approval.

  4. small artists have always had a tough time protecting their art, and i love this idea for them to try and get back at people trying to steal their art. copyright infringement has always worked to protect big organizations, and hurts small artists the most in the process. scammers always find a way around it, while small artists are targeted the most. AI art, while is good in its own way, has a lot of drawbacks. new “artists” are coming up that create AI generated art, but it’s not original. small artists using what they can to try and get back at bots is great.

  5. Small artists seem to always have to be fighting to protect their artwork, from more than one source. I think it’s interesting to see that they are attempting to use big corporations to their advantage to fight against bots. There should be regulations in place for bot creators to be unable to steal someone else’s work and then profit off of it. Hopefully this new wave of technology and art theft doesn’t deter artists from creating and following their passions.

  6. This is an interesting post! The AI revolution that we are seeing is very interesting, and I am very interested in seeing what artists do to combat this use of AI stealing their art. Copywrite laws must begin adapting to the changing technology to protect the rights of artists.

  7. Smaller artists arguably face many more challenges especially within the world of copyright we live in now. It is much harder to protect their work, as many of them do not have disposable income to spend fighting literal bots who exploit their work for profit. The internet has made it so easy to share and copyright art and with the emergence of bots this problem is only worsened. The copyright law often favors big corporations over small artists which undermines the intent behind it. The copyright law should be in place to protect artists like these from crimes like this.

  8. Hey Sarah!

    The challenge with arts being stolen has always been a major issue. The trend started years back, but it has gotten even more worse given now that we have access to advanced technology. For more popular artists, they afford to hire themselves a lawyer to get any such crimes settled, but for the smaller artists, like you mentioned, have limited ability to defend and protect their original work. Unfortunately, obtaining new benefits means more sacrifices need to be made. We cannot deny the fact that we do enjoy the convenience of technological assistance. However, at the same time, I wished there’s a better solution that had a two way benefit. Sometimes it may also be difficult to determine whether or not you’ve stolen someone else’s creativity when everything is being publicly shared amongst the internet. Nonetheless, no one starts easy and I strongly believe that some of our artists are being hurt. I would say that they should start increasing labelings or putting watermarks on every artwork they generate, that way it lowers the possibility of copyright infringement.

  9. Hi, I really enjoyed this post. The post highlights a concerning issue that many small artists face in the digital age, where their work can be easily stolen and used for profit by bots. The tactics that some artists are using to bring attention to this problem are creative, albeit potentially risky. As technology continues to evolve, it will be important for copyright laws and regulations to keep pace and protect the rights of artists, particularly those who may not have the resources to fight against large corporations. Keep up the good work!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *