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This thought kind of occurred to me while I was scrolling through Society6 and seeing all the fan artwork that gets posted on there for sale. The strange thing though is that Society6 has certain rules regarding copyright, and if we do not have the permission to sell something that is not entirely ours we shouldn't do it. However, there are so many people on that site (most of them artists whose artworks I love) ignoring this.

Considering how hard it is to get permission from the owners of certain creative works (I know I haven't heard back from some people for posting the book covers of WoT books on here, hence the 'deviation in storage' storm in one of our gallery folders), I'm doubting that some of these people have that permission.

I'm wondering what everyone on here thinks - I personally am interested to hear everyone's thoughts, since I am currently trying to sell prints on Society6 but I do more fan art than I do original work (sad to say)
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:iconjonkiser:
jonkiser Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
No, not only is it a blatant use of copyright infringement toward the original origin of what you Fan but it just breaks the code of being a Fan.  The whole idea is to show appreciation and thankfulness or wonder over the hard work that went into the subject matter...it is like charging people for your "Thank You's".
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:iconjaedanedhel:
JaedanEdhel Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2013
A well-meaning artist drew a picture for a story I had written several years ago. Although he had obviously worked hard and done his best, I didn't like the style of his work, which was very anime and he had drawn what I felt were very ugly SD images of characters I had grown to love. While I appreciated the sentiment, I wouldn't want this endorsed as I simply didn't like the pictures. So - no. Fanart that is sold should be endorsed by those who inspired it (if the artist is making money having been inspired by another's work). This is what licensing is for. I have nothing against fanart that is freely displayed on the internet, though.
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:icondreamer-adrift:
Dreamer-Adrift Featured By Owner Apr 17, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
My take on it is kinda murky. It seems like it would be fair if fanartists could sell their work if the original author got a percentage of it.
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:iconhannaclay:
HannaClay Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2013
I've learned the hard way about fan art: I wanted to commission Barid Bel as "Bao the Wyld" from Ariel Burgess (the glorious creator of the WoT cards sold by Ta'veren Tees, especially since she listened to me when I suggested Goran Visnjic as the inspiration for his image!) I was sadly informed that, while she can do commissions of real life people as WoT archetypes (like one picture she did of a woman's baby as a Maiden, or a couple as an Aes Sedai and her Warder, and even one woman in a Nynaeve-style (you know, dress, braid, ki'sain, etc.), she can not actually do any other images of canon characters without permission (except for her own private use.)

My suggestion (after watching the step by step process Ariel had to go through before she was even permitted by Team Jordan/the Bandersnatch group to create her cards for sale) is that you begin courting them as soon, and as often, as possible. One thing that helped Ariel was the fact that a portion of the sales of each deck of the cards is donated to Mayo Clinic's research on Amyloidosis in the name of James Oliver Rigney, Jr. So sure, she may make a little money off it (as do the publishers, etc.), but a portion is going to try to help destroy the very thing that took James from us.

Keep that in mind while trying to get permission: come up with a percentage that will be donated to the funding for research to destroy the disease.
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:iconvd-art:
VD-Art Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
That's a good point, and one of the other things I liked about Ariel's card deck was that part of the profits would go to a good cause while the artist herself gains well-deserved recognition for her work.
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:iconhannaclay:
HannaClay Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2013
Yeah, if you've seen her picture of Sookie Stackhouse, it's jaw-dropping:

[link]

I was going to have her design a tattoo for me (I swore I would never get one, but I wanted to get one in honor of aMoL, because they didn't let me down), but after what my ex said about me having to have sex with him if I did, I'm not getting one.
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:iconhannaclay:
HannaClay Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2013
And to help you out with that part of it:

Memorial donations may be made in the name of James Rigney to Mayo Clinic Department of Hematology -- Amyloidosis research, 200 1st St. SW, Rochester, MN 55905.
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:icontnsabregirl:
TnSabregirl Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2013
Great comments here, folks.

We have to deal with this a lot in the JordanCon Art Show - we have a close relationship with the Jordan estate/Bandersnatch Group, as well as Tor. We definitely don't want to upset them! So, while we love having artists like ~EdselArnold display their brilliant depictions of Wheel of Time charcaters, we can't let them sell them unless they become an officially licensed artist. Luckily, that can be achieved if you work through one of the licensing channels and take their suggestions/edits to heart, but it's still a bit stressful for me. I hate telling an artist their hard work can't be sold because it isn't officially licensed. But sometimes that's what we have to do.
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:icontoranekostudios:
ToranekoStudios Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2013   Digital Artist
It's such a grey area. I don't know where I stand, and if someone were to commission me for a piece of art within a series I love, I wouldn't turn it down. I get to draw characters and scenarios I love, and I get paid for it to boot, what's not to love? I think that if someone commissions a piece of fanart it just means that they have this idea that they just have to see visualized, and I can't say no to that. Also, you look at artists in Japan who do nothing but make doujinshi for a living, they're technically not allowed to sell artwork with copyright characters but they turn a blind eye to it because it's been so ingrained into their culture.

And then you have the people who became really popular from drawing nothing but fanart. (eg. doubleleaf) The way she works I believe is that she will only accept commissions of original characters in an existing series' universe. So she has drawn say someone's OC having a sword fight with the series' main character. Is it still against copyright in a case like this?
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:iconalsdale:
Alsdale Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Good fan art takes a lot of effort and originality. Because it is much more than just a copy of the original work, there is a good argument to be made that it should be legal to sell it. However, the bottom line is that it isn't legal. And so I get offended when others try to sell their fan art online simply because I have had to turn down offers to buy my fan art; to my mind, selling fan art undermines the efforts of other fan artists who try to do the noble (at least, legal) thing by working for free.

That said, the overall caliber of fan art would I think be greatly improved if great artists could make a profit on it. It could also improve social perceptions of fan art, which is I think often viewed as less impressive or valuable than illustration (to my dismay :( )
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:iconvd-art:
VD-Art Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Same here. The fact that so many people sell their fan artworks is what confused me for a bit whether it was legal or not, because a lot of professional artists do it too.

That being said, some companies or owners of certain creative works actually encourage fan artwork so it is quite a confusing and messy predicament in the end.
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:iconalsdale:
Alsdale Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I know!! It's a mess. I guess people can get away with it because, at the end of the day, no one is going to waste their time or money suing a fan artist over copyright infringement. dA supposedly checks before printing and will not print fan art, though I don't know how good their filters are. I'm certainly not going to try!
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:iconjaredthedragon:
JaredTheDragon Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2013
I think it really depends. I myself did some fan-art, uncomissioned, and entirely unofficial, based on Stephen R. Donaldson's "The Gap Cycle" series. Just an alien spaceship, you can see it in my gallery.

([link])

And then a year or two later, someone saw it here on dA and asked if he could purchase a print of that piece. Alas, I had rendered it far too small for print. So I reworked it, rerendered it, and added some more detail and action, and he just loved it!

([link])

So the question of selling non-intellectual property for ME comes down to the work involved. This piece took a lot of work, many hours, and then several days for the 3D-rendered base layers. Should I be compensated for my work, even though it was inspired by an author?

Hell yes, I should! And every piece of art is inspired by something or someone. So it depends on the purpose of the artwork, to me. I wouldn't do a book cover for free. I did however do the Wheel of Time calendar cover for free, but that was very much my pleasure. :)
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:iconkalietha:
Kalietha Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Here we have an interesting conundrum. In general, I agree; you shouldn't be selling fanart as a usual thing. However, at anime conventions, one of the main reasons people go is to get fanart prints. So where does one draw the line?
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:iconjonkiser:
jonkiser Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
However these Conventions are funded by the Anime Companies and Artists and they make revenue (percentage of what is sold and it requires a written agreement and a bond of trust)...this isn't what happens on a local level of selling "unauthorized" depictions of Fan Art.  It isn't as complex as you are making it out to be.  It is NOT right to sell Fan Art unless you make an express agreement with whomever owns the Copyright of the subject matter whatever it may be. 
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:iconvd-art:
VD-Art Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
That is an interesting point. It kind of defeats the purpose of having great artists at the convention and not have fan art. The fact that some owners encourage fan art and others don't makes the subject rather ambiguous for everyone but technically us fan artists are probably doing a favour for the owners by promoting their work to the public (and for free)
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:iconangiepureheart:
Angiepureheart Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
i think not :( but if it is something based on i think yes! Of course because of permissions but manly because it is someone else work :)
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:iconbloodredfullmoon:
BloodRedFullMoon Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
My honest opinion: No. No it shouldn't.

First of all there is of course that permission issue, but that aside I think that selling something that is not completely your own work, your own idea, concept, whatever (even if the painting process itself is something that IS your own) is wrong.
That aside ... it's fan art. By definition, it's something you create because you are a fan of something. I know money is in short supply these days, for some more than others, but there are other ways, I don't think fan art is something that should be used to make money. It feels ... I dunno ... cheap.
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:iconvd-art:
VD-Art Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Yeah, I know that feeling. I mean, I love fan art but I find it saddens me when fan art gets more recognition than original work. I think it happens to any artist who does either - their fan artworks tend to be more popular than their original work despite that maybe their original work required a whole lot more effort and time to create.

That being said, I also don't feel that good about selling something that is not entirely mine - I would be more proud of myself if I was the sole creator of some brilliant art piece rather than using an idea that belonged to someone else.
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