Concern about risk of copyright theft of our designs on forum

Hi Wouter,
I’m reposting this here because I noticed I had posted in the wrong thread earlier. I don’t usually post my designs when they show up so large like this on the internet. Makes it easy for people to screenshot, copy, and steal our designs. Had this happen to me before, unfortunately. Is there any way our designs could show in smaller sizes and in 72 or less dpi? So many unethical people out there; it’s sad.

Also, if you click on the images that people share in the posts, I noticed at the bottom there’s a download link so that other’s can download your designs. Not too cool in my book, especially if the designs are based off of our own photos or artworks. You may want to consider changing this and try to implement some security features to protect your users’ designs. Just a suggestion. Until that happens, I’m afraid I won’t be sharing any designs here, sorry.

There’s too much stealing on the internet as it is. I’d rather share in a video on Youtube and social media where I can control the size and resolution of my images.

Maybe just something to consider.

Hi Donna, thanks for sharing your concerns! Here are my thoughts:

Short version
You should definitely only share your designs in a way you feel comfortable about. I think by exporting and posting designs in a practically “unstealable” (not practically re-usable) format, the risk of copyright theft become negligible.

Long version
Images shared on the forum are currently reduced to 1920px, so if you upload anything larger than that, it will automatically be downscaled. Doing some tests, I also noticed images were compressed to reduce file size, meaning reduced quality, but that may not be a noticed or of concern for anyone trying to steal imagery.

As with sharing your copyrighted images anywhere online, you need to consider the risk of stealing and how to mitigate it. Even on e.g. Instagram, people can get reasonably high resolution screenshots of your images with today’s devices.

If you are concerned about online theft of your pattern designs, here are some things you can do:

  • Display your pattern as a surface rather than a tile (it typically gives a better impression of the pattern too)
    • This makes it hard and impractical to derive a repeating tile from
    • Repeating the tile a few times at 1920px (or less, you choose during export) means the pattern will typically be too small to realistically use for any kind of printing or selling.
  • Export the pattern (as a surface, tile, 3D preview, or own creation) at a resolution you are comfortable sharing it in
  • If absolutely necessary, add a watermark (but realise subtle watermarks can quite easily be removed these days by AI)

I full appreciate your concern. I think with the current website presets and every user having full control over the images they share, we can have a place where we can discuss great pattern design without worrying about people stealing our work!

Regarding the forum option to view the “original” image: this naming is a bit misleading, as it is in fact a compressed version of the original, limited to 1920 pixels. I will consider whether we disable this feature or not. I can see the benefit of disabling for those worried about copyright theft, but it also be limiting if you share an intricate image and you want people to be able to see the detail in it?

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Thanks for the info, Wouter … appreciate it. I just noticed that some people posted their designs on mockups and I like that idea much better so I think that’s the way I’ll do it then.

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Hello Wouter,
I think design stealing is a given these days on the web but as this is a closed forum, then surely only the forum members could be doing the stealing. Is there a way to check whose online when a design is downloaded? Personally I think it is sad if someone has to steal a design to be able to call themselves a designer. There are so many ways that are free to create designs, why would anyone bother to steal one?

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@dpdesigns, indeed, putting designs on products is a good way of avoiding stealing, at it looks good too! I think exporting at 1200x800 with 3 or so repeats will also avoid stealing (almost no patterns are printable at 400px per tile, right?).

@peaches1001 This forum is not closed, meaning anyone online can read it. You do need an account to post or reply. I think to problem is mitigated altogether by posting patterns in a format not worth stealing, which it will be in many cases even if you weren’t specifically considering it: at a smaller size (say 1200 pixels wide) surface with a few repeats or shown on a 3D product. Posting a full resolution pattern as a single tile is rarely the best way to show off a design :blush:

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dpdesigns, it’s a little bit naiive to expect things not to happen to an image of yours when posted publicly, anywhere. If an image of mine leaves my desktop I absolutely expect it to be downloaded, copied, upscaled. Hell, I do it myself. Not copy wholsesale but I might find a nice mandala somewhere and I screen-grab it and then bring it into Repper and create something new and original. So what. No harm done as long as my work is not recognisable as being made by someone else nor resembles someone else’s work. So, if something leaves my desktop it’s either destined for a commercial upload or I’m giving it away for anyone and everyone to do what they will with it. Beacause - I know the probability is very very very high that people will. Let’s say I wasn’t sure about somehting inb my own Repper designs. So I get the idea to purchase a book with Repper designs, I scan one into my PC. Now I know what the correct line thickness is, what colors work etc. etc. So I bringh a published Repper image into Repper, my chances of producing publishable Repper designs using Repper designs just went 100x. In fact, Repper could have a repository of designs for people to use, right? Or is there something like this already in Repper?

@Bernardus, it’s indeed commonplace these days that visual material is taken online and used without permission. The fact that it’s common doesn’t mean it’s not unlawful :slight_smile:

As I mentioned, it’s fairly simple to avoid your pattern designs being stolen: don’t share them online in a way that makes them reusable. Lower resolution, placed on a 3D model or with some text on top of it will do the job. It’s the production-ready exports you want to keep close.

Repper does come with a large image library from Unsplash that you can use free of charge and for commerical use. That’s because Unsplash images come with a very permissive license that includes there right to remix, use for commercial purposes, and no need to attribute the original artist.

Note that your example of using a mandala you’ve found online to make a pattern of in Repper may not be allowed. To be more precise: You will need to determine whether you have the right to use the source image the way you wish to. If you are just using the source image privately for personal use, that’s typically fine. If you wish to use the resulting pattern as or in a product, you need the creator’s right to remix/make a derivative of the work and use it commercially. This could be allowed if you get explicit permission in writing, if the image comes with the right kind of Creative Commons license, or is an image in the public domain (though the latter has exceptions and may depend on geography). Note that just the fact that it’s hard to recognise the original source image in the pattern does not change much, only that it’s hard for people to spot.

(note that this post is not legal advice, just some broad strokes of how these copyright rules tend to work)

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I was exaggerating to make the point. I’ve personally only ever downloaded mandalas to use as source images for designs from my accounts on stock sites like Envato Elements, Creative Fabrica and free sites like Unsplash.

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Thanks for clarifying, @Bernardus, it can be hard to judge tone of voice when meeting new people on a forum :slight_smile: When it comes to legal or license questions, I always err on the safe side and answer precisely and literally (with the caveat that none of my advice is legal advice, unless it deals with Repper’s own Terms of Use)

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Donna (@dpdesigns):

Just reduce the size of the image you share online and put a watermark across it diagonally or in the center. My eCards have a BIG copyright symbol in the middle of each image, UNLESS that eCard is free, then the watermark is not on the display! The watermark is at a low opacity, but it is clear it’s there, but the image can be seen clearly enough! ~Roz

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Sorry, I haven’t been on here in ages; forgot my password. Just saw Wouter’s post in FB, got a password reset link, and signed in to take a look. This time I saved my password.
I do realize that there are people out there who are going to steal regardless, but my point is (or was) why make it easy for them? Lots of good suggestions here. I also know that watermarks can easily be removed, but they can help to deter the lazy person, and I really do like the “using mockups” idea.

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ive had my art stolen and reproduced, also used as acid blotter without my acknowledgement lol
anything online is stealable, watermark or not. if you have something truly remarkable , dont share it
thats my advice
save the real goodies for the gallery walls, and render way bigger than anyone could ever steal from a jpg at 72.
good luck there be pirates !

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@Wouter - Photoshop is better these days than it’s ever been in sizing up images.

20-ish years ago when I first did my eCard site I created everything brand new. In those days we did not have the large screens we have today and/or mobile devices. So I designed in 400x400x72. In today’s times that is unheard of.

So here I am with thousands of images in PSD format and layers and I wanted to enlarge them some years ago. It was a dilemma that never got resolved - at least for me on that particular project. Yes, I could have used a plugin, which I have, but never used as of yet.

In today’s times with all the newer versions and improvement of Photoshop, in most cases I can/and have scaled some of them up to 1080x1080x300 and it looks very good! So resizing can be done much easier these days, depending on how large you are trying to upscale the images.

In my case I was working with eCard size. Today IF I wanted to make those same images Social Media size I CAN do it in most cases very easily. Sure it’s good for me, as I am working with my own images, but for the image thief (LOL), it makes it easier for them to steal! ;( NOT SO GOOD!

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@RozFruchtman Indeed, upscaling is much easier and better these days, which can be both a blessing and a curse!

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@Wouter This is true. For those that are legitimately using the upscaling for good… It truly is a blessing.

The latest version of Photoshop now has AI. :wink: Who would have thought… All those years ago, who knew from AI :wink:

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AI? artistically important? automatic impressions as i already imagine artificial intelligence

is just accumulated information , as such our own intelligence advances incrimentally as isolated aggregates increase , activating inherent awareness inside active interests appropriately. ideas are interconnected and independent although in abundance , intensity arranges intricately. alright? i’m already irrelevant. :slight_smile: take that , stupid computers.

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That’s very cleverly written, ai-ai-ai-ai-ai-ai-ai :slight_smile:

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