Yep, it happens... and it happened to me recently. It can be really annoying and a major concern, especially with the "digital age" we live in. I want to kindly remind everyone to be careful when posting art online! It's so easy for people to download our pieces, use them without credit or even sell them! I've reported so many people online who have been selling Tomb Raider fan art pieces from dA, without consent from the artist.
As a precaution, I've made some changes to the way my art is viewable. Now, all my art is only viewable to dA members,. I've removed all the share buttons, downloads, and added a watermark. I know it's a bit of a downgrade, but as long as the piece is still viewable, enough to appreciate it, there really isn't any problem; it's only a safety buffer. I naively assumed that no one would want to steal my art, but I was wrong and to see someone steal a piece I spent so much time into really made me upset. dA's a friendly place, but there are people outside dA who use this site as a stock image site, which is wrong!
I may be going a little extreme, but for now, I want to remain cautious. Anything we initially post, without any safety settings, is available for all to view online and we have to be mindful of that. I'd hate to have the same thing happen to anyone of you. So, be careful!
Sadly, Google Images picks up all of our pieces when searched, allowing anyone to take our art pieces straight from Google without even considering where the image came from. With that being said, dA needs to work on this because it demotivates artists from uploading and sharing their art. On the other hand, we need to remember that our art is vulnerable and we need to protect it.
Just some food for thought. Please be careful, everyone!ExpeditionEndurance