Dear friends and fellow artists on Deviantart.
I will be removing some of the icon sets I've posted and shared here on DeviantArt.
My work has been "stolen" and is being used and SOLD COMMERCIALLY on websites in China, India, and elsewhere. This is being done without my knowledge or permission, without any acknowledgement or attribution, with no financial benefit to me (not that I needed it), and in violation of the Creative Commons copyright. I'm aware that some countries don't recognize copyrights and the Creative Commons isn't universally accepted, but I'd hoped the intent and spirit would prevail...lesson learned.
The first time I found my icon sets made available on a large icon warehouse site, I was both irritated and excited. Irritated that someone would take and distribute my work and leave me without any control over my creations. I realized this truth... once you post and share work like this online, it's already out of your control. At least I was acknowledged as the artist, the copyright was posted, and site users were linked back to my DeviantArt profile. At the same time excited; thrilled that people that work with icons daily thought my work was that good.
If that trend had continued, I wouldn't be bothered by the continued disbursement of those works. But now with websites and "thieves" selling my work and claiming it as their own, I'm angered. I have little to no recourse (I researched). As I continue to work towards a goal of working more professionally in this field, I will be keeping future works private. Anything of mine that is already "out of my control" I will leave posted and continue to share...damage is done.
So, I'm disheartened and disillusioned, and have learned another lesson. If any other amateur or professional artists have stories to share, or experiences with this these art websites; please share them as well as any advice you care to offer. Thank You!