I’m actually in a rather bemused state of mind as I write this. You see, I recently got some arts(which I’ll post at the end of this) and I usually make a habit of backtracking on people who fav or watch me on FA to see if they have anything favorited or submitted that I might want to fav and save. Especially recently, when I was looking for chakat artists, and found not very many that had an artstyle I liked.
To digress, a good way I’ve found to find artists of a particular subject matter is find notable furries(or popufurs I guess is the slang) of that type and see who they commissioned. That’s one of the reasons I don’t think it’s a bad thing that some artists give “popufurs” free art – it acts as free advertising!
Anyways, as I was about to close out, I saw a porn piece with a very familiar-looking chakat in it, so I followed it up. On closer examination, it looked almost exactly like my chakat character, but the name was different! There was no link to any account however, but now I was wondering if someone had taken my arts and rebranded them as theirs; especially since that chakat’s name was fairly close in nomenclature to mine.
This actually happens more of then than you might think in the furry world, though more often it’s someone claiming to be an artist that drew such rather than stealing the character, but character theft has been known to happen before. Let me finish the story though before I get into what I want to say on that.
I tried a search on FA and found a couple other pics, but again no account, so as a last resort I tried google. That led me to another DA pic that had been removed at some point. Now the pic I had stumbled on was a very recent upload, so the chakat in question had to still be active somewhere, but I was running out of links. Finally, I found a reddit post from a few months ago that explained it all.
Basically, the guy got in on a free art thread but didn’t have a ref sheet, so he pointed the artist at an old pic of mine and listed a few changes that were different about his. It was just a case of the artist not catching everything(which is understandable on freebie art) and that just getting propogated.
That old pic he referred to was a bit off(though close enough and good enough at the time!) and since then I’ve made another small change myself; more an emphasizing of a trait on that character that I hadn’t before(and I don’t mean breast size!).
End result is there are two snow leopard ‘kats out there with purple hair and wind-based names – just one(mine) ties hirs up sometimes and has blue eyes and a stripe along hir back, while the other has a darker purple, purple eyes, and no stripe. It just that at least one or two of the artists shi’s commissioned have missed that(mostly the eyes) and at first blush the ‘kat int eh picture could be mistaken for my character.
To be fair though, I haven’t been active much in the chakat online community for years; not since I woke to my inner dragon. I only recently decided to revive and revamp my chakat character as an actual separate character, rather than as a ‘sona/identity at my internal muse’s prodding, hence the couple recent pieces of art. That was aprt fo teh reason I thought shi might have been appropriated.
Anyways, like I said it left me slightly bemused. It could have been coincidence, but in this case it was more inspiration I think, and not that far off from what a lot of fan characters do: take some traits and file off the serial numbers. And I’m fairly sure this chakat isn’t a helmsman on a Stellar Federation cruiser, and shi definitely doesn’t have a Starwalker stellar foxtaur mate, both of which apply to mine – once I can get the story written!
It’s just a bit of a strange feeling to be looking through pictures and find porn that looks 95% like you(or my character in this point), with a different name. Not quite Rule 34 territory, but edging there.
It also brings to mind other issues, such as the fact some doppelgangers could end up out there by chance! With how many red foxes are out there for example, it’d be fairly easy to describe one decently and end up matching at least a half-dozen. If it wasn’t for the purple hair(which isn’t too common in and of itself) and the chakat community being so small, I probably wouldn’t have thought anything of it, or at least enough to track down why shi looked like my chakat.
Sadly though, I’ve heard stories of more popular folks having their characters or ‘sonas copied wholesale. Usually this results in the actual owner posting something which gets the word out, and approaching the admin on the site of the copy.
I’ve also heard at least one story of someone trying to “buy” someone else’s ‘sona. That didn’t even used to be a thing way back when, but then the idea of “adoptables” went big i.e. buying pre-made characters. I never got that anyways, but there are some folks I guess who see a character design and jsut fall in love with it.
But as someone else pointed out, in regular society you get told who you are, while in furry you tell everyone else. In a world where identity is that fluid, where does identity theft, as such, fall? Just something to think about.
And now, I leave you with chakat arts!