Dimmu Borgir – “The Voice from the Dark Side”

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This is an example of a digital collage artist most likely plagiarizing copyrighted photography.

There is a myth in design than you can just grab whatever you want off of Google and use it for your own needs. When an artist steals artwork, it is very easy to say that something has been plagiarized because it almost goes without saying that the original artist did not give permission to use their artwork for re-use.

With photography, there certainly is a possibility that this artist paid for the rights for the photos used. But to give an example, the wolf image highlighted in red would cost between 145.00 and 500.00 (according to National Geographic’s policy on licensing their images). It is doubtful that an album cover designer for a heavy metal band is going to pay that much to license an image of a wolf  to casually hide it into the background. If you are going to license something from National Geographic, you are likely going to have it front and center and composed much differently. That part combined with the fact that the other wolves in the picture were found on random wallpaper sites suggests that this artist just did a search for “wolves” in Google, took them, and re-used them for his own use without regard to copyright.

To be absolutely clear, there is nothing wrong with using photos in digital art provided that you either own the photos used or  you properly secured the rights to use the image (either by asking permission of the photography or paying for the license in some way).

If this artist paid for all of these photos and sends this blog proof that he did so, I will absolutely take it down. Until then, I will stick with my suspicions that they were simply Googled without regard for ownership.

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