Artists on Twitter expose bootleg bots that constantly steal artworks from them

December 05th, 2019

Artists don’t work arduously just to let their creative outputs be stolen by thieves or art-nappers online. And for an up-and-coming artist like Nana, it’s time to put a stop to this illegal act by giving them a taste of their own medicine. On Tuesday, the artist conducted an experiment to test whether her “hypothesis” was true or false.

hey can y'all do me a favor and quote tweet/reply to this with something along the lines of 'I want this on a shirt', thank you pic.twitter.com/UhuGRQgU6b

— Nana (@Hannahdouken) December 3, 2019

In the caption, she asked her followers if they could reply to the thread saying “I want this in a shirt” just to see if these sleazy bots on Twitter would pick this up and make it a shirt without permission.

In an article published by Medium, there are bot accounts that vigorously search for specific keywords and phrases like “I want this on a shirt” or “This needs to be a t-shirt”. When an artist uploads their works online and a lot of fans comment on them, these bots will hastily “copy-paste” the quotes, turn them into shirts and put them on sale.

After a few hours, the shirt was seen being sold on several online marketplaces such as AmazonA&H MerchToucan StyleMoteefe and many more.

they have variations too! pic.twitter.com/dWJSyjSFaZ

— Heated Burglar Moment (@SeskaXIV) December 4, 2019

While the shirt is no longer available on the above-mentioned websites, some artists rode on the “challenge” and even created their own design. And just like that, the bots picked them up.

wE DID IT EVERYONE https://t.co/DjvOmV7TdN

— Jolitero (@_Jolitero) December 4, 2019

#piratebusters We have an artists Facebook group fighting online piracy. Come join us if you need any help with DMCA copyright infringement take downs. We are friendly and free. https://t.co/7oBrFilyNO Credit to @Hannahdouken for her idea. Here's my contribution. pic.twitter.com/GD5ZNwrszb

— Millicent Peters (@goplayershop) December 4, 2019


Although bootlegging can’t be stopped now–especially on space as limitless as the internet–online users have found an easy way on how to expose them. According to the Medium, bots can easily be hijacked and all it took was a “collective effort from concerned Twitter users.”


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