Alright, so, I’m a little behind on this journalism assignment. I think it was the assignment for last week? Maybe two weeks ago? Oh jeez, I can’t remember. But for those of you fearing how this will affect my grade, never fear! As long as I post it before the grading period is up I think I should be okay.

Anyway, this week (technically last week, or two weeks ago) the assignment was to write a “what if” post. So I present to you, this question: What if people stopped stealing art?

I’m not sure how aware of this my (few) readers are, but stealing art on the Internet is something that happens far too often and often goes without punishment or consequences. Stealing art isn’t physically taking the artwork and running away with it, like some bad guys in an old movie who break into an art museum to cart off the priceless pieces; instead, it’s taking the art of another artist and claiming it’s your own. Now obviously, that’s more than a little problematic. You’re taking credit for all the hard work, creativity, and love that went into a piece someone might be very proud of, and that’s not cool at all. Not only does it hurt the true artist, but it also hinders the thief, because instead of trying to learn and get better at something, they’re putting in very little effort and taking the credit from the more deserving artist.

Nowadays, with social media and the Internet both playing such a significant role in our lives and the world around us, art theft is easier than ever. It can be as innocent as posting a piece on your account without crediting the artist, or as malicious as actively seeking out pieces of art (usually from one specific artist) and passing them off as your own original work. It’s a problem that, due to its widespread scale and misleading nature, is hard to effectively police and deal with. So again, I ask the question, what if people stopped stealing art?

The original artists would get the credit that they deserve on pieces they worked very hard on. The would-be thieves would be able to work and develop their art skills in a productive way, instead of just stealing from someone else. The issue would disappear, and the community of internet artists would have a significant decrease in drama because of it.

So PSA, guys: Don’t steal art!!! Trust me, it’s not worth it. And if someone isn’t willing to put in the time and effort to actually learn how to do something, then they don’t deserve to be praised for it.

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