And I always wondered about pulling someone else's artwork and using it for an avatar....without citing the artist, you are taking away any marketing benefit they might have otherwise acquired by uploading it to the net.
In a sense, yes... But we could take so many different positions out of that.
As has been mentioned, it isn't always true that recognition or
market attention ends when no name is typed in there. It really depends how you define benefit.
I've looked up a good few images and found larger versions or sometimes, original artist names online. I've also chosen to buy books from some artists whose names I didn't previously know -- but whose style I did
recognize on the shelf because I saw some samples online earlier. If I had not known what to expect in more of their work (without even knowing their name), then I might never have even looked inside those books. I didn't track them directly from online to their cash registers, but I would never have given them cash if I didn't know more about them for free.
It also helps for artists with more erotic work, that I could happen upon samples of their work in a place where I could happen upon the erotic parts quite comfortably. As the rest of society stands, those are often places that are not
too closely monitored for transparent trails of ownership.
The key question really becomes have they released it to public domaine or do they have the intention of owning it exclusively.
This is a fine question, but if they actually planned on owning it exclusively, then it's sort of confusing matters to emphasize that scenario in the same thread as above.
I think this could be better phrased otherwise... What was their original intent for this work? Was it that the material should be widely viewed? Perhaps that certain premium forms would become desirable for, and be purchased by a set of consumers? Was it copied from a private collection without any permission?
I could add: Are there situations where labeling every derivative work with a source name can be considered contrary to the public interest? If not, then when exactly
has a work been modified beyond recognition such that the issue becomes moot? I suspect there is going to be a substantial grey area there. Otherwise, any other piece of art with the vaguest
resemblance might come under scrutiny as potentially being just a veiled copy. Finally, the more producers rely on copyright suits, the more it becomes a question not of which artist was first, but who has the most money to spend in court.