Recently, I came across a comment thread that concerns deviantART's way of dealing with art theft. I'm not sure if you have to be a member or not to view it.
A basic summary: Lately, many people who have been reporting submissions for art theft have gotten back messages stating their reports are invalid because they are not the original artist, just a concerned third party. I have never had a problem reporting obvious theft as a concerned third party until recently. deviantART now requires a DMCA notice from the original copyright holder to remove any act of plagiarism, it seems. I'm pretty sure it's legal, the bare minimum needed so dA staff doesn't have to overexert themselves. Please correct me, and dA, if I'm wrong, though!
Although dA states in it's copyright policy that they will delete any instance of copyright infringement as soon as it comes to the attention of moderators, this is not true.
Here is an example of what kind of copypaste response you will get if you report theft of someone else's work:
"Your Art theft (General) Violation Report on blahblahblah was reviewed by a member of the staff and action was taken, marking the report as Invalid.
Additionally, the following comment was provided:
A member of staff has reviewed this report and has found that while there may be cause for some type of concern no actual administrative action will be taken because this report was made by an interested third party rather than someone directly involved in the issue.
We would prefer to hear directly from the owner of the work so that any doubts may be eliminated.
Please click here for more information.
This message was generated automatically.
-- deviantART Staff"
Unfortunately, many "interested third party" people have stopped reporting art theft on deviantART because of the frustration in this lacking response.
So, if you see stolen work on dA, the original artist/copyright holder needs to be informed so they can do something about it. If you're concerned about theft of your own work, keep an eye on the galleries and ask your friends to let you know if they see anything of yours.
DMCA notices need to be sent to this address:
attn. Daniel Sowers Jr
7095 Hollywood Blvd #788
Hollywood, CA 90028