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About Deviant Artist Senior Member Marcus J Ranum51/Male/United States Recent Activity
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Marcus J Ranum
United States
Current Residence: Morrisdale, Pennsylvania
Favourite genre of music: Operatic goth
Favourite photographer: Erwin Olaf / Helmut Newton / David Hamilton
Favourite style of art: sexy
Operating System: OpenBSD 2.6
MP3 player of choice: iPod 80 ("video porn" model)
Shell of choice: /bin/ksh
Wallpaper of choice: Black
Skin of choice: female
Favourite cartoon character: Marv from Sin City / Druuna / Honey
Personal Quote: If life gives you lemons - kick its ass.
I post stuff here, on fetlife, and on tumblr. Well, I used to - now I hardly do at all.

Not because of copyright. I understand that when you post something on the internet, you're posting it for everyone to look at, and it's going to get shared around. But the comped-up piece of shit you see above (minus my commentary) is all over the internet - it's far more widely distributed than my original version. Back when I used to read my messages here and on Fetlife, I had 12-20 messages per day about stuff like this. Mostly it was people trying to be helpful and telling me "HEY! Look over here, there's another person who smeared shit all over your art!"  And it used to take me an hour every morning to cut and paste URLs into DMCA requests to get this kind of crap taken down.

Welcome to the Internet - 1 by mjranum

But that's really only the tip of the emotional iceberg for me. About 1 in 10 times that I post a DMCA I'd get a message from the person who had posted it. So not only would my inbox be filled with woe from all the copyright violations, I'd get a breakdown approximately as follows:
10% You #*!@&^!ing @#*&!@! I hope your !&*!&^# falls off and you die of cancer!!!
30% By posting an image on the internet it's in the public domain (followed by 3 pages of complete wrongness about copyright)
30% You can't make me stop! Nyaa nyaa nyaa fuck you nyaa nyaa!
20% A lecture about how mean and rude I am
5% A genuine apology
5% Well, I like it anyway, so in spite of your having complained to me and explained why you don't like it, is it OK if I keep it up? (completely clueless in other words)

Understand, as I do, that that's a small percentage of a small percentage of all the people who share my images around. But with the size of the population on the internet, it's a large number in total. On a site like Fetlife, that equates to about 100 threatening or angry emails a year. Yeah, it really makes me feel appreciated.

I set that against the times when someone comes up to me at a conference and says "dude, I love your photography!" or I get an email from someone asking please please please for a high resolution version of the file because they want to make a big print of it and frame it for their sweetie. Or, the occasional emails where someone thanks me for my stock photography helping them get a cover gig for their first book cover. Those are great. I love those moments. But they sure as hell aren't as often as the angry, petulant, bratty, or downright snotty lectures I get from ignoramuses who want to hide behind their personal interpretation of copyright law (which, by the way, is universally wrong) or who are incapable of saying "I'm sorry."

Welcome to the Internet - 2 by mjranum

Let me tell you a true story: one of the better online friends I made on Deviantart is someone I got to know because they ripped off one of my artworks and photoshopped on it (brilliantly) to turn it into a photocomposite. I told them they couldn't do that, and they said they loved my stuff, and I suggested they use a different image - here - ... and we were off to the races. We've been swapping ideas and I've been shooting custom stock for them ever since; It's a positive and nurturing creative collaboration.

You see, I'm not some ogre. I want to get my art on just like you. But I am increasingly feeling backed into a corner. I got into doing the wet plates because a) it's cool  b) I get to work with nasty dangerous stuff  c) it looks awesome   d) you cannot duplicate a plate; it's a unique artwork. I started doing wet plates in order to protect myself emotionally and to protect my art. Oh, want to know how that turned out? Some cheese-brain was taking the scans I post of my wet plates and removing my art from them, so he could use the edges in his images because, yeah, they look cool!! He. Threw. My. Art. Away. Because. The. Only. Part. That. Was. Useable. Was. The. Edges. I almost offered him a wet plate so I could get his address and go talk to him about it face to face.

These are the emotional trade-offs I'm up against. I've finally had to confront the fact that if I want to keep posting stuff on the internet, I'm going to have to utterly concede to the faceless horde out there. I will have to either stop altogether or give it all away. Not just give it away technically, give it away emotionally. And that's the problem: if I don't care, it's not going to be any good.

Submission - 1 by mjranum

If I didn't give a shit how my photography looked, I wouldn't give a shit about someone photoshopping their bad high school poetry over top of it. I wouldn't argue with them. I'd just have to lie there and take it, and I know that eventually it's going to mean creative death for me. Perhaps where I am headed is toward making photos just for myself, and not sharing them with anyone. That's sort of where I am, already. I have boxes and boxes of wet plates on a shelf over at my studio. There, they sit. I have tens of thousands of digital images on my hard drive(s). There, they sit. I am frozen at the perfect apex between anger, disgust, and the desire to quit.
  • Mood: Torment
  • Listening to: My computer fan
  • Watching: my laptop
  • Playing: at being human
  • Eating: as little as possible
  • Drinking: tea

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Who wins: Zombies -VS- Necrophiliacs -VS- Cannibals? 

498 deviants said Zombies
492 deviants said Bruce Campbell (a late entry)
220 deviants said Necrophiliacs
166 deviants said Cannibals

Journal History


Add a Comment:
festar Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2014
Hey. I used your stock photo here.…
XpatJohn Featured By Owner May 31, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
Again, I want to thank you for your stock photography.  I really need to visit your gallery daily to keep up with the stock rotations.  :)

Anyway, I used one of your files "Desert Dancer" here:…

I hope that you like it.  And again, sincerely, thank you.
GypsyHeartDesign Featured By Owner May 25, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Used a few of your stock images in this: Thanx so much for providing awesome stock!!PORTRAITS by GypsyHeartDesign  
XpatJohn Featured By Owner May 22, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you for your awesome photography.  Your images are fun, dark, erotic and some of my absolute favorites.

I used a couple of your stock images here:…

Unfortunately, the images don't seem to be in your gallery anymore for me to link to.  If this means they are not allow to be used anymore, please let me know and I will take it down immediately.

Again, thank you for your artistic work.
Jon-Wyatt Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I referenced one of your wonderful pictures here. Without your art I would not be inspired so. Thank you.
MCerickson Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
hello sir... i used your stock model here... thank you... :)
beyonceboy Featured By Owner Apr 17, 2014
Hey guy!! Your stocks are AMAZING!! I would like to ask you, to make a stock with nude pregant women. I've been searching for a long time, but I've never find THE you know what I mean? I'd like to make a cyber pregnant. If you could do it, I'll be very gratefull!! Thanks!!!
EQU1N0X72 Featured By Owner Apr 17, 2014
Used your stock again! (brilliant stuff) Hope you like the finished picture, and thankyou! :D
EQU1N0X72 Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2014
Used your stock here. hope you like. :D
xwagame Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Hey, I draw another one again.…

Thanks so much for your stock.
I had fun drawing them
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