Lesson #3

2005 - 2012 by Cru aka Tori Beveridge All Rights Reserved

Author's Note:  Hopefully this Lesson about tube identification is outdated and not needed anymore.  I wrote these before Tube Licensing Stores existed.  However, there are always new people taking up the tagging hobby and some of them may not know about copyright compliance.  This does not make them a bad person.  They are simply uneducated.  Please help them, treat them kindly and politely, teach them the proper way to do things, and direct them to these lessons.


We have covered what copyright is and why we should credit the artists, now we have to find out who the artists of those great tubes we have in our collections, are.
While we are hunting for them, we need to put our unknown tubes away in a to be identified folder or up in an album on Fotki to be identified. We should not use them, because we do not know if we would be breaking the artists' terms of use, or even if the artists want their art used in the manner we would be using it.

When you put your tubes and tags up for id, please make sure that you put some sort of watermark across them, such as SAMPLE or ID REQUIRED, so that no one will take the image and use it unidentified.

How can I find out who the artist is?

Start by looking through artists' websites. Use the artist permission lists in the groups you belong to and depending on your time, browse a site a day or a week, whatever is good for you. It is amazing what you will find by doing this. You can also use the identification services at Zonegroups.com, or in another group such as Copyright Corner. There are many knowledgeable people in these groups who will help you find the artists of your tubes and tags. Make sure you follow the rules regarding the posting of unidentified images in these groups. Some will allow you to post individual images, some want you to upload the image to their photo albums, others want you to have your own album containing your images to be identified.

Wow! Your work has paid off and you have identified a tube!

As you identify your tubes, add the artists copyright to it and make a new filing system. Filing by Artist. The old system of filing by subject of type of picture will not work anymore. You will be much more organized if you put all your Barbara Jensen tubes together in one folder, your Garv girls in another and your Tori Beveridge tubes in another.

Add the artist's name with the copyright symbol in front of it, on a new layer on the tube and save it. You can also add the url of the artists site if you know it.

Now stop! Next question. Can you use this tube?

How can we find out if we can use the tube?

If you belong to one of the many tagging groups, you can go to their Artists Permission list and see if they have that artist's permission to use the art in that group. If they do, you may use the tube in that group, providing the artist has put no restriction on the use of any of their art. Always read carefully.

If you are not a member of a group and/or wish to use the art outside of a group, you can go to the artist's website and see if they have permissions and terms of use posted on their site. More and more artists are doing this, as more and more copyright conscious people are emailing them for permission. If they have their terms of site, they will have a special page for it, or it will be under their FAQ.

If you do not find a permission in the group that you belong to's permission list or on the artist's site, then you may do one of two things. You may ask the group's managers to email the artist for permission, so you may use the art in the group, or you may email the artist yourself for permission.

One thing to keep in mind, if you only use the art in groups, then chances are you do not need to write for personal permission, as a group permission will cover you and the entire group you belong to.

It is a good idea to keep the amount of mail sent to the artists to a minimum, as it can get very annoying to receive hundreds of emails from graphics enthusiasts with good intentions. If you do not need to email the artist, don't.. or if you are for a group, you can ask for personal permission and group permission in one email.

How To Write a Letter Requesting Permission:

Subject Line: It should state that you are seeking permission to use their artwork.

Like any letter, find out their name and use it. Try to avoid their nickname, unless you can not find their real name.

Identify yourself and where you are from and why you are writing them. Use your real name. The letter of permission is a legal document and needs your real name, not your online nickname, although you may include it as well.

You should tell them where you will be using the artwork and what the finished product will be: tags, stationery, tubes, websets, etc. Include everything you might make. If you are asking for permission for yourself and blanket permission for a group, do it all in one letter. It's always a good idea to get permission for yourself at the same time as asking for a group, just in case that group isn't around tomorrow.. it happens..

Include everything that you want to be allowed to do with the art in your letter... such as tubing, animations, noise, sparkles etc. Some artists will allow noise and sparkles but not cutting of the image for animations such as leg and arm movements.. so you need to specify. It is a good idea to include a sample of a tag made with a tube and a tag made without tubing. Or if you do the type of animations which include cutting body parts for movement, include a finished tag. Remember, be specific and thorough.

Make sure you emphasize that the use is NOT FOR PROFIT. This is very important and one of the things, they, the artists want to know before they will grant you permission.

Of course, let them know you like their art and that you will always put their copyright information on the finished product and that you will follow their TOU.

Sign the email with your real name and any other pertinent information, such as your group name and address and your position in the group.

Mail the letter off and wait for a reply. Replies can take any where from a few minutes to weeks to a couple of months.

If you do not hear from an artist, you cannot use their art until you do. (unless you belong to a group which has their permission for the group.. then you may use it in that group only. Always remember that a group permission is only for within the walls of that particular group and is null and void anywhere else) After a month or so, if you do not hear from an artist, you may email them again if you choose. Could be they did not receive the first email. Do not say you emailed them prior, just send them the email as if it were the first time.

When the artist replies to you, the artist will tell you whether you may or may not use their art for the purposes you asked in your letter and will give you their terms of use. Please make sure that you follow their terms of use, because their permission depends on this. If you do not follow their terms of use then that will in effect make their permission null and void. Different artists will have different terms of use. Read them carefully and make note of them and make sure you follow them. The permission letter you receive from them is in effect a legal contract and a type of license. Make sure you save it in a safe place. Back it up, burn it to disk. If you lose it, you will have to write them again.

If the artist denies permission, then put all images you have with art by that artist in your DO NOT USE folder, or trash it. Always remember for every artist that says no, there are usually 4 or more that say yes. Also remember you may purchase licences to use the art of many artists through the many Tube Licensing Stores... There are thousands of artists out there and plenty of art for you to use.

Steps to Go Through and Things To Think About and Remember

  • 1. Identify or try to identify a tube or tag. If you do not or can not identify one of your own, look through other people's albums and try to identify one of theirs. No worries if you can't identify any yet, as you become more familiar with various artists, you will be able to.
  • 2. Question: Now I know who the artist is, I can add the credit and use the tag etc., right?
  • 3. Look through an Artists Permission List on one of the groups you belong to. Pick out a new artist that you have never heard of before and visit their site. You might be able to identify some of your tubes by doing this. If you like the art, and do not have permission in your group, let the managers know, so they can email the artist for permission, so you may use the art in the group. If they do have permission, make a tag with with the tube and share it with the group.
  • 4. Question: What are terms of use? Can't I just use the art any way I like now that I have permission?
  • 5. I don't know the artist of this tag someone made me, but I want to use it. Can I put Copyright Unknown on it? I've seen some people do it, so I can too, right?
  • 6. Draft your own permission letter, using the steps above email an artist for permission.

2005 - 2012 by Cru aka Tori Beveridge All Rights Reserved