Discussion A case of stolen Animations? Or just a salty artist?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by MilesThatch, Feb 23, 2018.

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  1. MilesThatch

    MilesThatch Member

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    So this tweet caught my attention:
    https://twitter.com/Kekeflipnote/status/967067347864440835

    The animator claims the game developers stole his animations. His argument is that they blatantly plagiarized his animations and that the game should be taken down.

    From my perspective. I actually thought that the developer actually did an even better job than the "original" artist. and one of the animations (still head with body moving around it) wouldn't even qualify for it... :/ it's a similar motion but, honestly.

    If the developer would have just blatantly copied the animation and inserted it into the game, then YES. I'd say it deserves a take-down but in this case it's clearly just someone doing a much superior version of what you were doing.
     
  2. zendraw

    zendraw Member

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    hahaha, so from what i see, they stole like 2 animations? is this guy for real...
     
  3. MilesThatch

    MilesThatch Member

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    Last edited: Feb 23, 2018
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  4. MilesThatch

    MilesThatch Member

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    So even IF they'd say this was stolen. Animations in question are about what... 6 - 12 frames in total length? The original work is a compilation of many different animation snippets that spans through a few minutes (from what I saw).

    So even IF they "stole" the basic movement. It's seems to be me like a source of stylistic inspiration than a blatant rip off.

    When does a work stop being plagiarism and starts being a derivative work from a source of inspiration?

    It does look like the game animation was re-animated frame by frame, BUT I don't know if the original artist has slowed it down to sync it to their own?
     
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  5. GMWolf

    GMWolf aka fel666

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    that'a the question isn't it?
    its why we have a judicial system after all.

    I'm not too sure myself wit this one. It does look like a rip off the animation and style of two different artists, but i'm still split between saying This is plagiarism, and iit being original enough.
    But that could be because i really like keke's work.
     
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  6. MilesThatch

    MilesThatch Member

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    Yeah, this really would have to be looked at without a bias of fandom. A lot of people in the comments of that tweet would be raging because they follow and support the artist, where I have never heard of the artist so I'd have a clear slate perspective on this.

    I honestly thought that the animations in the game were done by the arguing artist and that the Nintendo DS animated clips were done by the offender. As I posted on the tween. Many industry veterans (and this was re-iterated by my college instructors) "It's only plagiarism if it doesn't add anything or improve upon the original artwork" and in my opinion, the animator of the game did a far better job.
     
  7. JackTurbo

    JackTurbo Member

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    With the timings being so in synch I can't help but wonder if they did in fact rotorscope his animations. If that is the case then it's pretty ****ty behaviour regardless of the difference in polish between the art styles...

    As for if it's actually infringing on copyright, like so many things relating to IP law the only way to find out for sure is for it to go to court. Which I seriously doubt will happen.
     
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  8. MilesThatch

    MilesThatch Member

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    To be honest. How many indie devs would you say would use the same method to create their own animations. It's how they learn, how they improve. I think there's a clear line here that the game developer did not step over to consider to be plagarism. But they bucled under pressure and took the game and page down.

    The animator seems to be much better at being a drama queen than animating.
     
  9. Guest User

    Guest User Guest

    The pigeon was poorly designed but the animation is so smooth. Okay, to the point, I don't think it is "plagiarism" since the developer, evidently, did a great job with the pigeon. The animation makes more sense when it combined with the game title "Pigeon Pop" and I believe the "artist" lost his chance when he didn't make anything out of those animations, the first one to success, obviously wins.

    I just remembered a same situation a month ago, I was listening to a song on soundcload [ https://soundcloud.com/kvdence/slap-it-like-that ] and then I noticed how similar it is to "Chainsmokers - Closer", I really thought he stole the rhythm, but I was surprised to learn the opposite. This song was released before "Closer" which made it even worse, did "Chainsmokers" stole the beat? I don't know. I don't think so. Coincidences happen. Back to the developer and artist debate, I don't claim it was a coincidence but just saying *shrug*!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 24, 2018
  10. GMWolf

    GMWolf aka fel666

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    look at the rest of his work. he has some very smooth and slick animations!
    He is in fact a professional animator. These smaller animations he does in his spare time with a nintendo ds.
    still falls under IP infringement.
    Its allowed to practice that way, but not to release commercial content made that way.
     
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  11. Detective Pixel

    Detective Pixel Member

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    It was also brought up that the pigeon looks oddly similar to SydWeiler's stuff (who themselves has been ripped off multiple times).
     
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  12. cidwel

    cidwel Member

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    It is easily to improve a copied work. Since you have the animation, you just focus in the graphics... Any copied product can be perfectly better than the original.
    Everything is a remix
     
  13. hogwater

    hogwater Member

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    Try animating a single thing as well as this guy, then come back and talk ****.
     
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  14. Tthecreator

    Tthecreator Your Creator!

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    I don't mind them copying the work really.
    What bugs me is how they just completely ignore the artist instead of being reasonable about it.
    If his work was used as inspiration or basis, some credit would be nice should the artist want that.
     
  15. RichHopefulComposer

    RichHopefulComposer Member

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    Holy ****, a lot of plagiarism apologists on a development forum. A lot of people showing their ignorance by saying his work looks like ****, too. It's not my bag, but he knows what he's doing more than most amateur animators. Even if he did suck, that doesn't give other pieces of **** the right to trace his work for their crappy mobile game.

    @BiTrunade: This "artist" artist has one hundred and forty thousand fans on Twitter. I have a feeling he's doing alright. :p

    Come on, guys. Plagiarists are trash. Don't side with trash.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2018
  16. Ampersand

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    Last I checked, taking someones academic paper and rewording it is plagiarism. This, in my opinion, is the artistic version of doing just that. And to say it's not plagiarism because he "made it better" is entirely untrue. I sure hope for the second "artist" that the first doesn't have the money to file suit, because the original author certainly has what looks to be an open shut case of creative copyright infringement.

    It's surprising how many people here that are "in the creative industry" don't realize that neither their opinion of what is or is not plagirarism nor their opinion of the original artists quality of work affects whether or not it is plagiarism. Taking someone's creative property without permission is illegal, and that is a fact.

    It's kind of sad to see the responses here really, almost as depressing as the fact that OP thinks that there's some debate to be had about whether or not it is (and it is) plagiarism...

    This sort of laissez-faire attitude about plagiarism is something that's growing both in culture and society, and it's kind of sad. It would be one thing if there was any creative differences between the animations, but there are none. The plagiarist can take no creative credit for those animations as far as I can see. The courts have ruled copyright infringement for things that could be considered far more coincidental -- this guy literally took someone's animations and reskinned them. And judging by the palettes, he did so with little creative foresight...
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2018
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  17. Thunder Lion

    Thunder Lion Member

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    Its obvious plagiarism, had they presented credit or dues per the artist they took their "inspiration" from then they would be able to use it.
     
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  18. MilesThatch

    MilesThatch Member

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    Ok So I've checked with someone who actually knows their share about multimedia content and the verdict is:

    "You cannot copyright a motion and you cannot copyright a style. You also cannot copyright generic characters" So there you go.
    Is it plagarism - I'd say yes. Is the developer well within his right to create something that drew inspiration from this piece. Yes.

    Now I see people on Twitter and Facebook who cannot decide whether they want to talk about the morality or the legality of the issue. If they see they start losing the argument in one, the flip to the other.

    What pisses me the most is that the mob of morons that they've assembled who decided that for those 6 frames of animation (which does not constitute any IP or otherwise copyrighted artwork) they went and down voted the entire game experiences. Like the entire game was about stolen animations. I do hope the Google Play Developer tools offer countermeasures to this sort of mindless mob behavior.

    Ok let's be honest here. Aside your clear bias for the artist.

    [​IMG]

    The animation of the app developer is FAR better than the mediocre animation of the guy crying victim. We live in a world where it doesn't matter that you came up with an idea first, if there's someone who can do it better, they take the cake. I've never head of this animator and regardless of what he can do, that tiny DS animation has nothing on the bird animation in the game. Also I see a lot of Bias from fans as opposed to valid arguments. it's this point where they just get into a mob mentality and lose all their f*cking minds. It's not good. I don't know about the artist and from my first impression he seems like a little b*tch crying over a stellar animation that the developer managed to create from his 6 frames of mediocrity regardless of the art he is capable of creating (I know it's made on a DS, but that doesn't change the fact that the animation is nothing to write home about).

    Also you say plagiarists are trash, then I guess we can go ahead and every single developer working on a rouge like game right now? Or any platformer?

    Copyrighted (be it legally or via poor mans copyright) and Trademark Content requires credit. Using materials as inspiration does not. I'd have to credit a lot of real life models for a lot of my drawings inf that was the case. Again Legality and Morality are two different things. It may be immoral but far from illegal.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2018
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  19. Nocturne

    Nocturne Friendly Tyrant Forum Staff Admin

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    It seems like people are talking about 2 different things in this topic:

    Reference/Inspiration - using something to INSPIRE you, learning more by STUDYING the movements of a reference clip

    and:

    Rotoscoping - taking a source file (whether it be your own reference or someones previously animated shot) and frame by frame copying it

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with reference/inspiration - in fact its vital to the animation (and every other creative) process. As for rotoscoping, if you are copying someone else's work frame by frame then that is wrong and you probably shouldn't be doing it. If you openly admit that it's not your animation, and state that its purely an educational/learning test and give the other artist credit for their work, then that's one thing, but if you're trying to pass it off for your own or using it to generate financial gain... then that is not ok.
     
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  20. Guest User

    Guest User Guest

    Didn't know that he was an artist, apologies for that.
     
  21. Ampersand

    Ampersand Member

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    Calling out others for bias when you're saying his legal rights aren't as important because of the subjective quality of the animation? It's funny to me that you think that your subjective judgement of quality somehow discredits the original artist from having protection from IP theft laws.

    If you can't see the fact that he literally rotoscoped or traced those animations, and didn't take inspiration but instead took frame for frame posing, then you're blind. But the nice thing is none of our opinions matter -- should the artist file suit, this is a clear cut case. There is plenty of precedent set regarding this exact situation, and the judge will easily side with the original artist.

    Moreso, the points you're making shows you don't know much about creative infringement of an IP. Any decent lawyer would jump at this case, it's an easy payday.

    I guess this discussion is being held by a group of programmers and that makes a large difference. I showed this to several of my friends that are in school for animation and they got pretty flustered about this.

    It's still really funny that anyone thinks there's any discussion to be had.

    edit: Oh geez, there's even people saying it's okay to steal animations as long as you credit the original artist. That's not how this works. That's not how any of this works. You can't take IP and use it for financial gain regardless of whether or not you credit the artist. You need express permission of the artist. It sure sounds like a lot of people might want to freshen up on copyright law before they accidentally publish something that bites them in the ass.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2018
  22. Guest User

    Guest User Guest

    ehhhhh this is saying all "Furry Art" is copying of each other.

    i think the comparison you are looking for is more like Pokemon ROMhacks. using the same framework and resources to create something different over it, oftentimes better.

    - - -

    hey tho.

    from the looks of it in the twitter discussion the dev apparently starts developer companies all the time that put out games like this. low-cost, simple, using ripped artwork.
    i'm wondering...are their games kinda like sea turtles? you just put many, many little games out under a variety of names and it doesn't matter how well they do. with enough, you'll make money through pure attrition? ? ?

    just trying to make sense of it.
     
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  23. GMWolf

    GMWolf aka fel666

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    The issue here isn't about style.
    It's about the blatant frame by frame tracing of the animation.
     
  24. JackTurbo

    JackTurbo Member

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    There are some pretty dubious takes on IP law being thrown around in this thread.
     
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  25. Nocturne

    Nocturne Friendly Tyrant Forum Staff Admin

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    [​IMG]
     
  26. Widget

    Widget Member

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    [​IMG]
    I think copying poses is fine because you only have so many to choose from, but that can be achieved without tracing, which is what's happened here. Same shapes, same lines.
    We have here an artist putting out their work online for all to view, then an app developer traces over their art and puts in-app purchases in it. What that boils down to is someone making money on someone else's work. And this is fine because you think the tracer did a "better job"? You do know that most of the work was done for them, so of course the traced asset would be "superior".

    How would you feel if you animated a player character, I ripped it from you, placed it in my game and traced over it to make it look better? Would you be okay if I sold my game?

    Also the devs of Pigeon Pop has made their Facebook page unavailable to view. Clearly they themselves knew they did something wrong.

    Edit: It was actually reported and blocked. Whoops.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2018
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  27. GMWolf

    GMWolf aka fel666

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    actually It was reported and blocked.
     
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  28. Widget

    Widget Member

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    Ah, my mistake. Hope Google Play and iTunes does something too.
     
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  29. MilesThatch

    MilesThatch Member

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    So far I've seen people extensively use words: Intellectual Proper and Frame By Frame Copying (RotoScoping)

    1) This generic bird is NOT intellectual property. It's a generic character that appears for 6 frames of mediocre animation, doing a generic motion. It cannot be copyrighted or trademarked. So tough luck but not everything you create is legally declared as intellectual property. For example when drawing a crowd of people in an animated scene, the generic characters in the background are NOT intellectual property. The physical frames or drawn images are, the concept of a standing or a walking person is NOT. Your misconception of what makes something an intellectual property is not a valid argument.

    2) There are in fact two animation clips in question and only one of them may look like it's been copied frame by frame. And even IF it was, both animation have been improved upon in the game. If the artists just traced overt their work, the animation would have looked just as mediocre. But when I saw them, without a bias towards the artist as so many of you seem to have, I thought that the game app animation was the one being stolen by this ds animated clip. All of you make it sound like "trace over the animation" is all that is happening here. There has been more work put into polish and improvement of that animation to just be generalized as "traced over and copied".

    I've had a chat with the developer, they said it's just not worth it even though the know they're in the right, it would be easier to replace the animations with something else. It's sad because the pretensions brat gets his way and it's not making it any easier for any us in the future. They've not taken the game down because they're wrong, they're done if because the angry mob of morons that has take int upon themselves to harass the developer for the artist in question.

    There's a reason why the animator sent a MOB of Social Justice Warriors to deal with it instead of Filing and DMCA or a Court Appeal. he knows that Legally nothing is being infringed there. And he also knows that IF he tries to take the developer to court then the developer will easily file a counter measure for Defamation, Harassment and Exploitative use of the review system to artificially demonetize the game.

    You should probably do your own research instead of reading comments of biased followers. I've taken a look at the devs, the game in question is called Pigeon Pop. It's got a 4.7 Rating and a crap ton of reviews. I've also tried the game out and it's got quick a bit of good work put into it. Quality wise certainly better than a lot of the apps I've seen made here.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2018
  30. GMWolf

    GMWolf aka fel666

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    irrelevant.
    also irrelevant.
    still irrelevant..
     
  31. MilesThatch

    MilesThatch Member

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    Would you mind explaining that one or are we out of valid arguments?
    If I do something and someone else does that same thing... but a whole lot better. Guess what. I lose, they win. They deserve it. It's how the world works. That's why don't have only Apple making phones, someone does some tings better and takes the share of the market, deal with it.
     
  32. GMWolf

    GMWolf aka fel666

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    its not abut if the animations where made better,its about the animation rip.
    It sure does seem like a lot of the animations where rotoscoped from keke's work.
    That is the issue here. whether or not either of the works are good/bad better or worse has nothing to do with it.
     
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  33. MilesThatch

    MilesThatch Member

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    There's a famous saying. And whether your own morals validate or discredit it is irrelevant.
    "It's only plagiarism if the artist does it worse than you."
    Every arts veteran will say this. That's how this field works. Everything is a derivative of a past work. Whether it's considered a plagiarism or a derivative work of inspiration is a matter of how good of an artist you are. And I'm sure anyone who is not a follower of this animator / did not know about him as I did, would have said the same. It doesn't matter what you think is moral. This is how the industry is and has been since the dawn of "Gertie the Dinosaur".

    Even if rotoscoping happened, that's only 10% of the work put into that game animation loop, the rest is unique content.
     
  34. Carnivius

    Carnivius Member

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    Animation definitely looks traced/copied/ripped/whatever except the movement is WORSE than in the original. It lacks a lot of the bounce and stretch of the shapes which gave the original an appealing sense of energy. The redone versions on that game just look sorta mechanical and stiff in comparison especially on the pecking animation where the redone version comes across as just far simpler just moving various pieces around rather than the redrawn frame by frame appearance of the original. It's almost like like watching cheap Flash compared to a classic 2D Disney film.
    Seems like the folks who made the game didn't have a clue how to animate it so they just stole the very distinctive kinetic style almost frame by frame from a popular animator (and their works are very impressive considering they're all done on a limited Nintendo DS program rather than some kinda hardcore PC/Mac graphics app).
     
  35. MilesThatch

    MilesThatch Member

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    That's because it's a flash / vector animation. There's only so much bounce you can get away with in vector animation before you have to re-draw a frame. Flash animation has it's own appeal. The question is stiffness is... questionable..
     
  36. GMWolf

    GMWolf aka fel666

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    only because rotoscoping doesn't take much time => Making the animation would be 40%.
    Also still irrelevant.
    Pretty sure no legal documents mention the quality of the art.
    If you dont care about legals: then my opinion does matter.

    yes, but not every work is a rip off other works.
    I hope the animations in RTAG where not rotoscoped from another asset.


    So legal talk:
    Rotoscoping will lead to what is know as a 'derivative work'.
    Under, i believe, both UK and US copyright law, explicit permission must be given for derivative work to be use commercially.
    The whole thing falls under article 2 of the Berne convention.
    [edit] - hmmm. I got that backwards: Derivative work is treated as new original work.
    So legally, it would seem this is alright, provided that rotoscoping falls under derivative work.

    [re-edit]
    Ok so looking at more things, seems like the right to create derivative work is reserved to the copyright holder. Meaning that the derivative work may be considered a new original work, but you are not allowed to create it unless you yourself own the copyright of the source


    Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, seek professional advice yada yada.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2018
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  37. MilesThatch

    MilesThatch Member

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    You know. this is not even plagiarism by definition.
    [​IMG]

    The animation of the developer looks nothing like the infringed animation. The general movement is the same and as I said: Motion / Movement, generic characters cannot be copyrighted. So not only is it not illegal, it's also not plagiarism by definition.
     
  38. GMWolf

    GMWolf aka fel666

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    Never mind my reading of legal documents, you googled the word plagiarism!
     
  39. MilesThatch

    MilesThatch Member

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    Plagiarism is about morality. Copyright infringement is about Legality. Pick a subject and stick to it.
     
  40. Nocturne

    Nocturne Friendly Tyrant Forum Staff Admin

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    I don't think the animator sent anybody... People did it voluntarily because they think it's wrong what the game maker did. I've been following Keke for some time now and personally I think they do some absolutely AMAZING work using the nintendo DS. The quality of his animations are sublime given the limits with which they are made and to see them ripped off like this is just sad. Keep in mind we are NOT just talking about this animator, we are also talking about the artist of Trash Doves who has also been ripped off here as the art is obviously stolen from them too. Also, it is rather odd that the developer has released a number of games under a different name, but only this one under the current name, which makes me think they knew that they were copying other people's work and wanted to keep it seperate from what they've done previously "just in case".

    Anyway, this is all besides the point. It's obvious that you @MilesThatch have come to a conclusion that this is fine and not anything to get upset about. Fair enough, and I hope you're never in a position where something you do to make ends meet gets taken from you and used by others instead...

    Oh, and my own PERSONAL opinion on all this is, is that what the person that made the game did is wrong - both morally and legally - and Keke was right to call them out for it if they didn't respond to his attempts at contact (which it appears that they didn't). However I also disagree with the way that people have reacted en-masse to take "justice" into their hands and trash the developer. That's up to the justice system to do, if possible, and if not then it's something that should just be chalked up to experience. Sadly plagiarism of artistic designs is somewhat accepted in the modern world and many big companies (for example Zara) do it all the time. :(
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2018
  41. GMWolf

    GMWolf aka fel666

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    I speek of morality, you point it out as irrelevant.
    I speek of legality, and you call me out on that as well.

    I believe it is both wrong on a moral stand point, and of dubious legal standing.
     
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  42. MilesThatch

    MilesThatch Member

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    That's because i'm talking about your opinions.
    Morality: Your own morals are not the absolute of all morals. There's as many people defending the developer as there are contesting his actions.
    Legality: Your rotoscoping argument falls flat because IF the developer was only doing frame by frame copying and nothing else, then he'd be in the wrong. However he's not and the referenced animation is but a small portion of the final artwork being put under scrutiny.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2018
  43. GMWolf

    GMWolf aka fel666

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    this is such a flawed argument.

    Say I decided to rotoscope the animations from RTAG and put them into my own game? Even if my own game had a lot of other work put in, would you be ok for me to essentially use your work in my product?
     
  44. MilesThatch

    MilesThatch Member

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    Yes, I'd be fine with it. You can rotoscope my characters to your own characters, add and take away a whole lot to make it your own, like, I don't know, THE developer did. And then it would count as your own work. it's done everywhere all the time and I'd be fine with it. Heck if you'd manage to do a better job, I'd me intrigued if anything.

    It depends on how good of an artist you are. If you can use the data given to create something of your own then you're plagiarizing the right way.

    https://www.benshoemate.com/2012/08/02/what-does-it-mean-good-artists-copy-great-artists-steal/
     
  45. GMWolf

    GMWolf aka fel666

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    well that's incredibly kind of you. But you must respect the fact that not everyone feels the same way about their work.
    You have to understand that some people may feel cheated, when their work has been used without their knowledge, let alone their permission.
     
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  46. Guest User

    Guest User Guest

    sure thing. though i don't get what it's rating, perceived quality, etc. have anything to do with it. kind of random, but ok.

    i don't think this has anything to do with social justice btw...
     
  47. RichHopefulComposer

    RichHopefulComposer Member

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    @MilesThatch:
    You keep saying "the original work looks like **** compared to the new one" - yeah, the originals are animation roughs. Animation roughs have no polish to them, so they're going to look like **** to half the people out there who know absolutely nothing about animation. They also happen to be THE HARDEST PART OF AN ANIMATION. They're the part the veterans do. Clean up is a monkey's job by comparison, and it's a fraction of the work that actually coming up with and executing a good rough animation is.

    Even if the roughs were ****ty work (they're not!), copying them is still wrong and illegal, because again, animation roughs are THE MEAT OF THE ANIMATION. A huge portion of an animation's time and budget goes into these stolen sketches.
    And stop going "you guys are so biased in favor of this b*tch sjw artist, so you're just siding with him," because it has nothing to do with it. I've seen this artist's work about three times over the last five years, and I don't care for it much. I'm siding with him because I don't like thieves. I have respect for people who create their own work, as do most people on this forum, judging by the replies and likes here.

    Hey, great quote that totally proves all of our points. These assholes you're in love with got caught for their bull**** in about thirty seconds, because they're blatantly copying from other artists. They didn't change enough to make their work unrecognizable from their inspirations, so they're common thieves, not artists. Being inspired by other works is okay and unavoidable. Tracing like a five year old isn't the same thing. You should learn the difference, or you're going to end up getting raked over the coals and/or sued, too.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2018
    Ninety and Nocturne like this.
  48. GMWolf

    GMWolf aka fel666

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2016
    Posts:
    3,440
    There is a reason why so much of it is offloaded to 3d animation or posing software.
     
    RichHopefulComposer likes this.
  49. RichHopefulComposer

    RichHopefulComposer Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2016
    Posts:
    1,380
    Yep. Could also say "there is a reason they're often stolen by unscrupulous assholes." X'D
     
  50. GMWolf

    GMWolf aka fel666

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2016
    Posts:
    3,440
    yes i think i pointed that out already:

    I'm also not trying to condemn the App developer. At the moment, It is unclear whether he merely copiedthe animation style, or flat out rotoscoped the animations.
     
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