KenSPT wrote:What amazes me is that people actually seeked out the page with the sandcastle, that was the crux of my comment.
Don't people have better things to do with their time than search the web for images that may or may not be improperly used in shirt derby designs?
Eh, I've found similar stuff like this before (the gears sub, which looked familiar the first time I saw it) and it really isn't time consuming- the one I found was the first result on google images for the first set of search terms I tried. I pretty much feel like if I know something is a rip, it's my job to report it (I don't want Woot printing copyrighted stuff, and I don't want other entries ranking lower than unoriginal work).
If your stuff looks livetraced, people will probably look. Maybe even if it doesn't look livetraced and it's scoring well. Maybe even if they just plain don't like you.
The best way to protect yourself is to draw things by hand and make sure you aren't relying too heavily on a source image. It seems like common enough sense to me, so I'm more amazed that people don't bother to do that than I am that people sometimes look for similar images.