I watch a couple of icon communities, and I sometimes see something that puzzles me (like here, for example): A person posts a bunch of LJ icons that consist entirely of resizing and cropping someone else’s copyrighted stuff, then they turn around and insist that the icons can only be used under certain conditions.

Requesting to be credited makes at least a modicum of sense to me, even for a simple crop job like these; someone’s looking to promote their own journal, or even just looking for some recognition, fine. But the part about how they “are not bases” — and I assume what that means is that they don’t want folks to take one of these images and add text or modify it in some other way, then promote it as their own creation — is that not just the height of hypocrisy?

It bugs me a little every time I see it. I never bring it up, because it would undoubtedly generate some flames in response, and seem like I was picking on the individual and singling them out of the crowd. But I really just don’t understand how they rationalize this in their mind, I’m curious about that. I mean there are only two possibilities I can see: they’re oblivious, or they lack integrity. Am I missing some magical third explanation?

7 thoughts on “All Your LJ Icon Base Are Belong to Us

  1. That’s exactly how I feel. And I really hate the people who add a stupid lighting filter and some unreadable loopy text and call it their “art”.

    Whatever reasoning you’re missing, I’m missing too.

    • There are a lot of people who just have an inflated and entitled opinion of themselves. I was in an icon tutorial community for a short while but quit because more than 90% of the tutorials were nothing more than “I used a filter with X Y Z settings.” It wasn’t stuff you could even transfer to anything but their sample image.

      So yeah, people who are just cropping an icon? Not really a transformative art work there.

  2. meh, i think the whole OMG U MUST CREDIT ME IF U USE MY ICON KTHXBYE is retarded egoist bullshit. it’s a 100×100 image. who cares? like there’s some kind of icon laws or icon police. personally, i just assume someone’s icon is either of their own making, someone else’s making or, wouldn’t you know it, i just don’t care.

  3. I used to run an icon community (above icon hasn’t been used in over a year!), and I totally feel your pain. Drove me batty to see people posting a cropped pic and claiming they “made an icon,” especially when they demanded credit. It’s definitely a lack of integrity, mixed with a sad amount of naivety, perhaps with a dash of lowered standards.

    Hell, we ran a drama-free zone, and the first and foremost rule was “no demanding credit.” You wanna beg, go somewhere else. As for posting a shit-ton of bases? Again, go somewhere else. I was all about actually doing work to make icons…and I don’t mean slapped a filter or a PhotoShop brush on it.

    Cropping a pic or a screencap is not an art. Even if you feel like you found the perfect square to crop, it’s not your art, and thus, you didn’t “make” it. You go get permission from the author to do it and use it, and you give credit for that, then we’ll see about giving you “cropping credit.”

    It’s craperoo like this that not only helped me choose to not only stop modding the community, but to get out of making icons at all, for any but people I know. When I put time in, carefully animating an icon, tweaking it to get within that file size limit, and get no better response than someone that cropped off 50 pix they Googled of some anime…well, that’s not worth my time.

    • Cropping a pic or a screencap is not an art.


      And, I mean, I thought this went without saying (being that I have never visited an icon-making community before – I’ve made all mine via the method quoted above and never thought the tiniest thing of it). I suppose everyone wants to feel like an artiste on tEh interwebz, though . . . sigh . . .

  4. I know when I made icons, I didn’t care much about rules or credit. I didn’t know if I should care or not and I only asked for credit. Some icons took time & effort to make and some people might want to know the source.
    But seriously, asking for a comment and rules rules rules?

    People do some weird things over the internet.