Is ASCII Art Open Source?

Some people get peeved because I don’t offer my art in a plain text file. I don’t like having my ASCII ripped off, as it so often and easily is. So, for the past few years, I only post an image file (a .png screen capture from NotePad usually). It still gets ripped off because people like to assume any ASCII art is free, like free software in price and availability. One person even claimed, “no one owns ASCII art”.

I don’t want people to assume it is free. Not free in price. Not free in value and not freely available to be copied or taken. Each person is different in this way. I do not see my ASCII art as free software. I’m not that generous. Mostly, I don’t like feeling taken advantage of when someone else is using my art and it makes me angry when it is being sold, or given away in a product without any consideration to myself. Financial consideration yes, also at the very least, an artist credit. How stingy is someone who takes something offered to them, claims it as their own and sells it at a profit to themselves only?

I would rather ASCII art was open source (the image file which at least still has my artist initials rather than the text file so easily “edited”). Any image online is pretty much open source, whether the artist likes it or not. Watermarks can be removed with software or scissors.
If it were possible, I wouldn’t have ASCII Art as open source either. Respect the ASCII artist, any artist, don’t steal art! You may want to think it is all open source, the person who created the art probably does not see it that way.

Respect ASCII Artists Campaign

Respect ASCII Artists Campaign
Most ASCII artists will tag their ASCII creation with their initials. This is not just about signing your art, it shows who created the art – the original artist. If someone else colours the art, or modifies it in any other way, the artist initials need to be kept with it. Anyone modifying art can add their initials and a note about what they had done to the original art. Include a link to where you found the art, if not a link to the original artist themselves.

This is what the Respect ASCII Artist’s Campaign is about. The ASCII art is available to be enjoyed, used and shared. But, give respect to the original artist and leave their initials on the work.

From the Original Respect ASCII Artists Campaign Page

From the Original Respect ASCII Artists Campaign Page

Plain text version (below) for those who can’t see small print very well, like myself. The above screenshot comes from what’s left of the site on the Wayback Machine with the Internet Archive.

What is the “Respect ASCII Artists Campaign”? Well, it’s something that I decided to do not long after a few things happened that I didn’t agree with. When an ascii artist draws any art, that art is rightfully theirs. No other person has a right to claim the art. Most ascii artists will tag their art in some for or another. Such as…
Link With This Ribbon
Yeah! I got the SnowGlobe back up! LoL This SnowGlobe for instance, was made by Joan Stark. Her tag is the jgs. This is how people know that the ascii was drawn by her. When an artist colors it, for example how I colored it. The tag must always stay with that ascii art. Even if hidden within the color, the art is still tagged and people will know what artist drew it.
Not only does the respect go towards the ascii art. We can go a bit further with their popup files. Anything really, not belonging to you should not be changed without prior consent of that particular artist or creator. It’s just common sense and respect towards others.
Many people get confused about copyright laws and what they mean, I’ve included a few links below to let you know exactly what they are. They are important not only to the ASCII artists, but to any artist who creates. Such as…an artist who creates graphics for you to use on your websites. Give all artists the respect of a simple link back to their pages. All it takes is one or two lines of code. That’s all. Just like the tag on any ASCII art, link back to a graphic artist as well. They will thank you for it. If you don’t know who the graphic or ascii was made by….then kindly state that somewhere in the ascii art or on the website. If that artist sees it, they will be able to let you know. But in the mean time, just make sure that you give due credit.

Internet copyright Information
Intellectual Property Law Primer

Now… Hopefully, I have explain myself well enough for you to understand what point I am trying to make. It’s just important to give credit where the credit is due…just do the right thing. If you wish to support this cause, please download the ribbon to your own server and upload it with a link back to this page. Let’s let others know what this is all about. Thanks, and feel free to email me if you wish and I’ll put you on the list of supporters. Let’s do if for the artists as well as ourselves. We owe that to them.