Hello ♥ I know these topics are a little heavy, but this is a very important thing to cover, so bear with me and I'll try to make it quick!
If you're here in the Creative Boards, I'm assuming you appreciate creative works in some capacity, whether you create it yourself or not. Art is such a beautiful thing, being a reflection of the creator's mind, heart, and soul. As such, it must be treated with respect—not just on Azurilland, but anywhere you go in life.
What exactly is plagiarism?
Plagiarism is simply the act of claiming someone else's work and passing it off as your own. This isn't always as obvious as posting someone else's drawing and saying you drew it. It can also come in more subtle forms, such as taking someone's work and modifying it. This may feel like it now belongs to you, but it doesn't! Someone worked very hard on that original product. For example, modifying someone's story and claiming it entirely as your own would still be considered plagiarism.
Can ideas be plagiarized?
We've all been there, you had this amazing idea for a story, drawing, etc. but someone else swooped in and did it first. This can be incredibly frustrating, I understand, but no, we do not consider this plagiarism. Execution is what makes art, and everyone will execute it differently. If you find that your idea has been 'taken' or otherwise already done, don't let this discourage you! Create it with your own personal touch.
So now that we know what plagiarism is, how can we avoid it? After all, using other people's work is not always a bad thing; in fact, bringing multiple talents together can be a powerful way to create something wonderful.
Ask permission, and give credit where credit is due.
It's as simple as this. If you want to use someone's work, the first step is to ask them. Sometimes, artists will have a note along with their artwork that already answers the question, such as "Feel free to use if you credit me." In this case, you may not need to ask at all, but the important thing is that you know exactly how they feel about you handling their work. Never assume they're alright with it if they haven't specifically said so.
Then, regardless of whether they ask for it, it's a good idea to provide specific credit to them. "Credit to the original artist" is a less respectful way to do this, but it's better than nothing. If you can, definitely try to give the name the person who created it. If you're feeling extra generous, consider even linking to their page on DeviantART/Pixiv/wherever the piece was posted! This goes a long way and means the world to artists, trust me.
This also applies to signature graphics.
A lot of people don't seem to think about it when they make them, but signature graphics are often compiled of a bunch of things that other people made, combined to look pretty. Even in this instance, it is important to make sure that all of the resources you used are, well, alright to use!
This is especially an issue when it comes to renders. It's not uncommon for people to grab a cute drawing from DeviantART, for example, and use that as the render image in their signature graphic. Please remember to respect the creator in this instance as well and make sure they are okay with you using it.
This isn't only because DeviantART and other sites have strict rules with copyright and the like, it is also simply out of respect.
What if someone is caught plagiarizing?
We will take plagiarism very seriously, but it is also handled on a case-by-case basis depending on the severity and other context. If the staff determines that a creator has used a large enough portion of someone else's work without permission, a staff member will give a friendly reminder to the creator to change the section in question. In the case of an entire written work, roleplay, or portfolio being copied, the offending thread will be locked. Multiple offenses and/or failure to change the plagiarized content will result in an official warning. Keep in mind that minimal wording changes to a copied post is still plagiarism and will be handled as such.
Finally, thank you for caring enough about this issue to read through this topic. In a perfect world, plagiarism would not exist, but hopefully this topic can at least sheds some light on the situation and help make the Creative Boards an even brighter place for everyone.
That's all I have to say for now. Never stop creating, my friends