WG wallpaper – copyright fail

Source: Dom1n, Polish community

Hello everyone,

remember that nice “screwup” with the Leopard and the sheep on the last wallpaper? That was actually pretty funny, wasn’t it :) Well, this isn’t.

Wargaming artists are using copyrighted material for their wallpapers without author’s consent, apparently.

In this thread, someone bothered to take a closer look at the High Five wallpaper and discovered that a part of it actually has a blurred copyright writing in lower right corner:


The owner of the part of picture used has been identified as Werner Amann, German photographer and artist. Werner Amann also works for companies, which he advertises, but Wargaming is not on his clients’ list, leading the people, who discovered it to the conclusion that someone at WG used Mr.Amann’s pictures illegally.

This has been basically confirmed by Wargaming, since:

- the old wallpaper was replaced with a new one where the “copyright” is deleted (for example here)
- a Polish community organizer informed the players that the info has been forwarded for clarification

Another great job, guys…

104 thoughts on “WG wallpaper – copyright fail

    • it’s a german artist, they Nerfed him good!

      the shameless whores

      • God i wish i could like comments here like in facebook. lol

        Using copyrighted material is more common than what you would think.

        • By random people of course, for i.e. their silly memes, ans then no one gives a fuck. But when a company, large and rich company does so – it is a valid subject.

  1. cant say im too suprised.
    WG isnt exactly good when it comes to public relations

  2. Isn’t it funny that WG has grown into a big player in the gaming industry pretty fast, yet continues to produce fails like only a two-men backyard workshop would :D
    Maybe the are paying so badly that they only get really retarded employees not only, as we all know by now, for the PR, but also in every other department.

  3. at the other hand it’s probably NOT illegal – they used someone “part”, but made their own graph with it. Problem is when someone take whole picture or big part of it.

    • your knowledge about copyright is probably from china.

      without the permission of the author you may not do anything with it when you do publish it.

      you can download it and do anything on your on computer, but when you publish it (even only modified parts) you are breaking the law.

      • bullshit. All depends how much are you taking from the original source, it’s normal practice in UE. Even if there is copyright sign it affect to the whole picture, not every small part. We don’t know how much WG artist take from the original source. Probably rock or smth and he didn’t notice the watermark. Tbh, I’m 100% sure that without it noone would ever notice it was ‘steal’, even same Werner Amann

      • Yes.

        But if you find exactly same sources the picture maker has made and modify them exactly to look the same, it may be passed in court as separate job which coexisted… but if you can find blurred watermarking, trademarkings… that is plain ass copyright infringement .

          • Like one gives a damn after getting home and just buzzing around… And yes, the system is tad hard to notice if just cruising thru several sites and not notice differences between 1 or 2 lines. ;) But surely is my bad!

      • yes, and its the same as music. if someone copyright a song where he used guitar for example, then he copyrighted every single accord in that song played by that guitar. Should one pay him fee even if he uses any of those single accords? no, only if he uses many, and in the same order. (aka same sequence, an exact and larger part of the song)

        • It doesn’t have to be that large part. One accord is obviously not enough, but I think 3 is enought to be considered for infringement.

          • compare Queen “C-lebrity” and Tenacious D “Metal”. Same damn riff but noone heard about any legal action. Fun part is, Tenacious was first.

  4. they steal and dont remove the water mark … thats typical russian. thats why the MG of 50B still looks in the air.

  5. WG ever finds new ways to make me laught. GG guys, don’t let them get away with this BS.

  6. The author is obviously a fan of the game to create such art why could they not simply go half way and offer them some goodies for their time?

    Typical russians they bootleg everything

    • Because they are cheap asses (lazy too) and come from a region, where not many people care about copyrights… Something far from Western standards, still not so radical as China, so as in on a map – something in between.

  7. Amazing finding GJ for finding it out, the artist should sue their asses!

    and also this is a good indication with high chance of probability that they are installing illegal copies of productivity Software on their designers/developers/office machines.

    Photoshop and adobe products
    development products and IDE’s
    Office products
    even Operating systems and such…

    maybe it’s a practice in Belorussian culture to steal SW but for a serious company it’s a No No and they should be fined.

    I have issue a request for BSA The Software Alliance to check them up.

    • >maybe it’s a practice in Belorussian culture to steal
      >Belorussian culture

      No such thing exists.

    • What the Hell their website does not cover Australia and New Zealand but the rest of the Pacific and Asia my god the south pacific does not exist for the BSA

  8. Most likely they just used part of a picture for texture. That is extremely common when working with CGI.

  9. Russians and copyrights :D

    This is just another prime example how russians, or that matter eastern european countries in general handle things. If its there, if I have a need, its mine! Simple as that. I cant honestly say, I had met honest eastern european/russian in my life. For me, you all are like gypsies.

    • A tad racist here, aren’t we? On the same plane I could also say that all westerners are kiddie fiddlers, or mass murderers.

      • Racist? Is stating facts being racism nowadays?

        Have you been in Russia ever? Whole country is walling up their homes, since everyone are too scared someone will come to steal their stuff. And its not fear without a cause you know.

        Its not like that elsewhere in the world. I see daily eastern europeans coming to western countries, now that the borders are gone, and fkign stealing everything. Taking children carriages from the balconies even. Spit on them I say.

      • Statistically speaking, there’s more pedophiles and murderers in Russia than in the West. Russians are subhuman scum, deal with it.

      • Get your head form your ass. The man spoke the truth. I live in the Eastern Europe, spend also some time in Russia, and can tell you one thing. Russia (and so probably Belarus, as they are not too different) is the worst country when you take into account copyrights in the region. At work, we had almost no licensed software for example…. And it wasn’t a small company, but a firm that cooperated with major Western brands. They simply don’t care.

        • I know it’s cool to be racist against Russians (they’re the new “negroes” on the plantation sorta), but it won’t be cool for long, I assure you.

          Spare me your stories from the early 1800′s, I have tons like yours where that’s not the case.

          • wtf is this racism taken into this discussion?! No one is being racist here, and look for the fking definiton of racism if you are unsure what it means.

            Stating facts is not racism.

            And if you deny facts here, with one prime example of proof on sight at this very blogpost, then you are living in denial and you really need to check your head.

    • Sorry to disturb your picture, but I have seen that elsewhere in the world as well. And frankly, people that more often just walk over rules and regulations that are bothersome, are quite sucessfull. It’s not pretty, it’s not nice but it works. I have seen it so many times. The people that painstakenly make sure they follow all the rules and do things right are either too late with the product, way too expensive or mental wrecks.

      That does not mean that I applaud what WG is doing here, but judging from experience, it is probably fair to assume that even amonst the few that read and write in teh forum, the shitstorm of a late calender picture or missing artwork would have been bigger than the shitstorm over this.

    • Here’s a shocker for you: Detroit. Hint: not in Russia. Would you live in Detroit or in Russia?

    • Well, I – an eastern european gypsi/mongoloid/subhuman(noticed the word Hitler used on every non-German?) am now honestly telling you: Go fuck yourself. And take your racism with you. And for those saying what can be read in comments here – Before you send someone to read the definition of racism, do so yourself. You people disgust me, one would think that in 21. century, people would have different opinions than in medieval era…

      • Unfortunately you never got off from medieval era, so your point invalid. But you just dig your hole deeper by denial, anyone who knows eatern europeans/russian know how they are, you just see yourself differently. Tho there is really a conflict with that, and rest of the world has right for their own opinion as well. And as we make our opinion from what we see, and how we experience you, we dont currently keep you high regard.

        This is not about racism, its how you show yourself to rest of the world. Look into mirror and maybe give it generation or two, it will get better eventually. (I hope)

        • Yes, because judging someone for the actions of someone other who shares their nationality, etc. is really a proof of how superior you are. Just to let you know: nobody chose when and where they were born. But, sure, live in your own little world…

          • Hmmm, judging? Im not judging anyone, I just told how Ive seen (like this copyrightshitstorm here) and experienced every single eastern european/russian acting.

            Ive never told Im in any way superior than them, and it certainly is not my fault how you present yourself to the rest of us.

            And to add, it really isnt your fault where you born and live, its your action how others see you. And at the case at hand, some poor bastard used copyrighted material, probably witout any permissions, for use, which is prohibited in most of the world. And in general, from my point of view, this totally reflects the idealogy of eastern europeans/russians in general.

            Had I had any positive experiences in past, Ive would gladly bring it up, but unfortunately you keep acting like gypsies in general, where ever you are found.

            And one thing to add also, you yourself telling others to “go fuck yourself” – Just adds the animosity which most of the people feel towards you.

          • On one hand you say you don’t judge and on the other you say all eastern europeans are thieves, etc. basically saying that several millions of people are criminals – that is judging.

            As for the animosity, you seem to forget you are one of the people who started this.

            Jews can’t be bashed and hated openly now, so you just moved on next target to prove how better you are and justified it all by calling us all a bunch of criminals. GJ defending ze Reich’s ideals.

            Right hand up!
            “Sieg Heil!”

          • Well, arent you?

            But please, quote me where I say millions of eastern europeans are thieves? I bet you a single honest eastern european, that you cannot find it from this thread. (And you know what, this is no risk bet.)

            And leave the sieg heil -remarks to those who really care. No one really from this century anymore cares what happened 70 years ago. Least no one I know of. You are a buffoon, have all sorts of opinions and cant really base them on anything. Other than that if someone has bad experiences from eastern european, you immediately run to the hill and raise up a racist card.

            If you really read all this carefully and understand what you read (which I really doubt), you should see, that these kind of stories build up only because what kind image you have and give to the others. I dont see anyone bashing dannish peole here, or hungarian (which is in my opinion already grown up to meet rest of the world, while so many of you still linger on that soviet bullshit).

            So question yourself rather, why there are nations which are more tolerated, and which are not. If your is on the later, perhaps you should look to that mirror, as suggested.

  10. Bialorussian copyright sense: we can use your work without asking for permission. But try to use our work without it – we will sue you.

      • No moron. There is a difference between personal, and proffesional usage. Most of the time Western firms, but also majority of companies from the EU countries in the Eastern Europe do use legitimate software for their work, as well as try more or less to cover the issue of copyrighted materials for their work. At home they may be downloading whole seasons of House i.e., but using something like that at work – that is different.

        • No, retard, the same rules apply. I was talking about software stealing mechanisms, guess where they came from? Piracy is piracy whether it’s at home, or at work.

  11. I hope WG doesn’t need to be dragged in front of a judge to give this man fair compensation for using his work in promoting their multi-million dollar revenue game.

  12. It’s all a storm in a cup of tea. So they used a picture from some German photographer’s crappy work. Who’s interested may pursue this, but other companies have had failures even bigger than this one.

    • No, it is not. It shows how lazy they are, as it would be enough (most likely) to write to the guy and ask his permission to use his work, and then give him some sort of a credit… This isn’t somethig major i.e. cover art for a DVD release. Just some random wallpaper, but does show WG attitude – they simply don’t care and are using shortcuts everywhere.

  13. Good old Bilerussians at it again, thinking they can shit on the Germans any way they choose. The thing that’s interesting is that if this was the other way around, WG would be outraged and suing the hell out of whoever did this to their material. I’ve emailed the rightful owner of this work to notify them of the situation at hand and hopefully he can get some money off of these scumbags.

  14. WG would be foolish if they didn’t do the right thing and compensate this guy… and not in ingame “gold”.

  15. Did also notice when I went to checkout the latest picture put up, that both pictures on the right tank has the back of its tracks and rear track wheel cut through to display the mountain edge :/ Sure thats something they should have noticed as they were removing it 0o

  16. Just another very sad PR story brought to us by our beloved Wargaming. I wonder how Mr. Amman reacts on almigty übermensch SerB’s “How terrible”.

    • I would guess that the tanks have been put there by WG and the rest of the picture is by the german artist.

  17. I already wrote a comment like this.

    SS, i know posts like these will get you more likes, shares, clicks and whatnot’s, buuuuut it really has nothing to do with the nature of the blog. Primarily its about q&a and articles on tanks (btw both of that is superb in quality and info)
    . I know that a voice of one reader is nothing, but i really dont care how evil, wrong or sinister WG is, i just play their game (imagine if your blog was about EA, or Blizard etc). I’m not going to be all like: “I will stop reading this blog if you dont meet my xyz demands” cause that will be a big lie, but i know that this post will not make WG even blink, on the other hand FTR will look more like how wot forums do, place full of petty people waiting to find a screw up by WG so they can gloat over it and pat each other on the back how well they formulated their last joke/insult.
    Its obvious that that kind of tone is present through out the entire blog, and i dont care when you scold WG a bit for weird historical choice or illogical balancing (and i like it), but this is just trivial and unimportant.

    There, a bit of critique.


    • It does have something in common with the nature of the blog, as it covers the nature of Wargaming…

      • No, and no… not in the nature of the blog, and no-one cares about nature of huge game companies. They are all more or less the same, trying to get money from their product and doing range of immoral moves… nothing new and nothing to write about.

    • It has something to do with the game and it’s company you fanboy trash. This is just yet another black eye for WG, yet they don’t flinch. You know why? Because they don’t give a fuck. Soon as WoT starts to die out when WT releases their tanks, they won’t try to save WoT. They’re in it as a smash and grab. Basically get in cheaply as possibly, maintain as cheaply as possible, and at first sign of competition outclassing pull the plug and start work on the next cheap smash and grab game.

      This is common business practice by russians, who are also cheats, liars, and thieves. Look at the pictures sent out from there by civilians living there. Bars and boards on everything in most cities and towns. Look at mini-marts that you have motes with ramps from windows to get the product you paid for, not just bulletproof glass lol. It’s a shithole country, with shitty politics, and even more shitty people than the rest of the world.

      • Yes, they dont give a fuck, i wouldnt ether.

        -mr. serb, one of our wallpapers has CR still on it
        -… should we do something about it?
        -… do we have to, can it be done easily?
        -well, yes and we ca…
        -just do it, before someone notices so we dont get the whiners all worked up
        -yes sir

        “Russians are cheats, liars and thieves”… aren’t you a racist prick…

        • It’s not racist when it’s the truth. How about when YOUR GODS AT WG said that all Germans are liars? Where were you then, tough guy? You’re still around, so that means you’re cool with it, which means, you’re a racist yourself.

          • wut?
            I couldnt care less if they called the entire continent inbred manure shufflers. You know why? because there are 6 billion people who can express their own opinion. So why the fuck would i care what a game designer siting somewhere in his chair hates the Sun in the sky or anything else…

            and no, all people are not the same, so it is not the truth, and you are still a racist…

          • You make no sense, you have an invalid retort. Why don’t you call WG racist then as they’ve proven as much towards the Germans in both gameplay, and in comments. Then why do you care about “my” opinion if you don’t care? Or is it ok to hate on Germans still? I forget.

          • I’m afraid you seem to believe that all the German tanks in the game are portrayed poorly and are worse off than their real-life counterparts, all due to WG being biased against Germans. As, you know, the Tiger could easily do 30 km/h and the Panther was TOTALLY not forced to drive at very low speeds due to weak gears in the drive-train….

            As of yet, I don’t see many German tanks that I believe are simply nerfed for bias, most seem to perform relatively close to real-life. Hell, some of them even have, I believe the information was, ~2x the armor than the blue-prints dictated.

            And Gino, while some racism is based on truth, it’s very telling of your personality, to base your entire argument on racism being okay.

            I’m also not sure on how you view another company “outclassing” WG. I’ve played the beta of the competition, once, for ~12 hours (I guess I need a life :P). Wasn’t all that impressed by the game at all. Will re-evaluate the game when it fully releases, but thus far, I prefer my tanks by WG. As if I wanted a game for simply the realism, I’d play Steel Beasts. This is an arcade game based on real things, but it’s still arcade, which is what makes it WoT.

          • @Gino Tusconi
            You’re a retard.

            It’s not an insult if it’s true and I believe my statement is true. What now?

    • Agreed. While the article itself is fine, this kind of post will be swarmed with circlejerk and racist comments in no time, not constructive at all.

        • And like this paste eating Paaranoja, who never adds anything constructive because they’re not mentally fit to do so?

          • Mr. Paaranoja is acutally a well trained troll. His primary strategy is to get attention with a long comment and then find someone who react and call them something they are bound to react.

          • Ofc i dont make sense to you, how could someone who writes this: ” they’ve proven as much towards the Germans in both gameplay, and in comments. ” can even remotely have capability to understand anything

            1. Gameplay wise german are just fine, its very sad you blame others for your shortcomings while playing tanks, I on the other hand am doing quite good with germanas and see your point as BS
            2. Its obvious WG are equally disrespecting everyone who asks dumb questions, germans are not an exception.
            - so no, not calling them anything but decent trolls.

            also, i dont care about your opinion, but i will not miss a chance to make a racist look dumb and let him “express” his thoughts for my amusement. Im always amazed how low can a human being go…

            I always thought you are just a buthurt player who is not satisfied by how his wet dream tanks preform in the game, now its obvious. You are no justice fighter or moral cop, just a sad, little, petty hater. You and anon below me could use your ingame nick, i bet it would be hilarious to see some things :D

  18. Gino,

    sorry to upset you but Gaijin Entertainment, the company that makes WarThunder (that i play more then WoT) is a….
    a Russian Based Company -> http://gaijinent.com/en/about/

    so what is going to happen now to all Russians are bla bla bla?

    anyhow i hate racists and Belorussians.

    • They are a “lesser evil” as of this moment, thus I support them more so. Plus their game looks only a few years old, not like WoT which looks like a PS2 game at best.

      • Cool story bro. That’s inspiring.
        Hey, I have an idea. Why don’t you just swarm WT blogs and forums and stay out from this evil russian game with it’s ps 2 level graphics at best?

        • Cool retort bro. How about I do what you say if you do what I say and drink bleach? Deal?

          • Really, he has a point, as you sound like one of the many people who play WoT, but constantly bitch about the game and overall seem to have a terrible time. Other than either being a masochist or trying to be “buddy-buddy” with another company and try to recruit customers of competition, I have no idea why they play the game at all.

            And besides, bleach is a poor mans drink, I prefer to snort whole Grizzly. Keeps ya feeling young/lumberjacky.

          • So you like wasting time on game you hate and devs you loathe? When was the last time you seen the sun man?

  19. Haha. Typical russian thieves. I remember when the big games publishers and devs stated that russians pirate the most of their software. This is why the debs are rolling more for f2p games in that region. Fucking thieves at it again.

  20. Did anyone actually bother to check the guy’s blog before ripping WG? Werner’s work, at least as published on his blog, is entirely photography, while the wallpaper is quite clearly digital art. I also fail to see any picture that contains a watermark and its surrounding area that even vaguely resembles the one in the wallpaper, let alone a photograph that even vaguely resembles WG’s. Where is the plagiarized image in question that the watermark originally belonged to?

  21. The copyrighted photograph in question is Werner Amann’s “Fireplace” from his “Doing nothing” series.

    The WG artist has used the lower right corner of the photograph, the actual fireplace seen in the background (and the hand and sticks obviously left out), and then (poorly) edited out the copy-right text.

    Copyright-laws in EU protects against using “significant” parts of photographs. The WG artis has used about 25% of Amann’s picture. Then again, the WG wallpaper is fully based on the picture, with just a couple tanks and some flying debris slapped on the picture. I guess wether copyright is broken or not would be a case for a court to settle. As a layman I would say WG would lose the case if it went to court, but I am not 100% sure.

    Personally I would bet WG and Amann will come to some sort of understanding. For WG this is just bad publicity, even if in court the infriction wouldn’t cause any juridical consequenses. For Werner Amann this is good PR, no matter how the case ends (just like in show-business, in art-business too all publicity is good publicity).

    • Well, besides some ashes in the middle, I dont see any mutuality in the pics. On the other hand, Apple has a patent on rounded corners, so copyright ftw!

      thank god nobody is biased

    • Why is the watermark in WG’s background white, yet black in “Fireplace,” if that’s the plagiarized photo?

  22. I really like this blog, but hey, are we waging war against WG or what? I pretty much seems to me.

  23. why did you even bring this topic to post look at all the inconvenient comments about Eastern Europeans and Russians like America isn’t Screwed up as well so everyone just STFU and if your going to comment might as well comment on the photo which should have never even had been brought up in the first place.