12/08/2016

And they lived happily Everfilter

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In the quest for the perfect Instagram photo, everyone seems to be on the lookout for the best combination of apps to do the job. Within 72 hours (or at least on our radar), we have seen the birth and the quick downfall of the photo editing app called Everfilter.

The process is simple: upload the photo, let it process, and within seconds you have your own Makoto Shinkai-inspired visual — talk about 5 Centimeters Per Second in a second. Needless to say, everyone started riding on the trend and quickly led their Everfilter-filled lives.  Now with 87,360 posts and counting on Instagram, questions are starting to arise regarding the application’s credibility.

In order to successfully transform our images to those of its alternate anime universe, Everfilter supposedly steals from anime artists. Ever since word got around regarding copyright and privacy issues, users have decided to delete the application from their phones. Today, creators of Everfilter have pulled out their app from both Google Play and the App store, creating quite a stir again.

No word yet as to whether or not they really steal from artists, however this allows us to doubt the authenticity of apps nowadays.

This isn’t the first time that an app was questioned with where they get their art. Snapchat encountered a hurdle of their own earlier this year when a user pointed out that some of their face filters were taken from an artist. According to various reports from Buzzfeed News and Business Insider, fans of Russian artist and photographer, Alexander Khokhlov, were quick to point out the similarities of Snapchat’s filter to his work with makeup artist, Valeriya Kutsan.

The fashion world doesn’t stray far from this either. Major retailers like Zara have also been under fire over using artworks by independent artist Tuesday Bassen to create their merch.

Although Snapchat may have resolved their issue by releasing a statement back in June saying that they do not tolerate such behavior and have taken action, that doesn’t mean all is well and good with the online world again. Sad to say, there are still people who cannot distinguish between inspiration and plagiarism. In recent news from Cosmopolitan UKBusiness Insider, and Daily Mail; a rather disturbing incident circled the Internet when a fan of travel blogger Lauren Bullen (Gypsea Lust), copied every detail of her Instagram travel posts, down to the outfit, location, and even the caption.

With the advancement in technology now, it’s easy to copy-and-paste as we please. But in retrospect, it’s also just as easy for people to discover what you did or what you are doing wrong. Imitation isn’t always the best form of flattery, especially if it crosses the line between inspiration and copyright infringement. With all these issues coming up, it’s safe to say that vigilance should still be continuously practiced, not just for yourself  but for everyone else online as well.

The thinking that most people can get away with plagiarism because they’re either part of a big (and seemingly untouchable) company or that they’re part of a company that’s too small that nobody will care, should change. One cannot simply act bigger or lesser than the other, but rather as an equal. Rule of thumb: Give credit where credit is due; it goes a long way.

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