IP confusionIt's sad to see people fighting about intellectual property rights when they apparently have no clue what those are, how they work and what is allowed (and not).IP confusion by marhaus
Prime example: http://boltstrueno1fanever.deviantart.com/art/Onyx-Forepaw-Feb-2012-Ref-286737985 vs. http://yasuoxingxing.deviantart.com/gallery/#/d4vcima
Obviously the latter is similar to the first.
The question is: is this allowed?
To answer that question, it is important to understand what rules apply and what intellectual property (IP) is.
There are three different kinds of IP that can apply here:
As the name hints this is the right to make copies of a work. It does not protect ideas, only the actual recorded work - artwork, documents, music etc.
This means that if someone copies your art (by directly copying it, by tracing it or otherwise adapting your work) you can certainly take action, but there is little you can do to prevent someone else creating their own