Unfortunately, the Psdtuts+ staff have had to remove a recently published tutorial due to copyright issues. Claims of plagiarism are taken very seriously and thoroughly investigated. After looking into the matter we decided the only appropriate course of action was to remove the the tutorial in question and withhold payment from its author.
Why was the tutorial removed?
Unfortunately this tutorial closely resembled an existing tut. It's virtually impossible for us to know this before publishing, but once it is brought to our attention, we research the issue. If determined that a tutorial either closely resembles or copies an existing tut, then we remove the tutorial, as we have done here. Sorry I didn't act on this sooner everybody, as I've just recently got back from vacation. We're usually on top of these issues quicker.
We hope that potential contributors will remember to:
Always credit your sources
When you credit your sources, it's clear that you aren't trying to hide something. For tutorial submissions it also lets our editors check that the tutorial is acceptable. Although Sean and I are pretty on the ball, it's impossible to know every image, artist, magazine, so things can slip by. But if you credit your sources we'll be able to make sure you're in the clear.
Use common sense
There are no hard and fast rules about copyright. Beware of "rules" like "copying 40% is OK". There's no such thing. And remember that even aside from exact words or images, it can be the idea or principle. In this case, the images of the tutorial and wording were all original, but it was still apparent that it was not an original tutorial in itself.
Err to the side of caution
I'm no lawyer, but whenever I've dealt with lawyers, I've learned that they are always more cautious than I would be. If you think something might not be OK, then trust your gut and don't do it.
We understand that there are only so many images that can be created with Photoshop, and similarities are bound to occur. However, when a tutorial appears to have been overly influenced by or copied from another tutorial then we must respect the creative work of the original author, as we would want the creative work of our own authors and community members to be respected.
We hope you enjoy the creativity displayed by the authors of the other 150+ original tutorials at Psdtuts+! And the many more that will come in the future!
Sean is the Psdtuts+ Editor.