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Art theft on deviantART


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:
DMCA Complaints
deviantART, Inc.
attn. Daniel Sowers Jr
7095 Hollywood Blvd #788
Hollywood, CA 90028
Fax: 323.645.6001
Email: violations@deviantart.com
Artist's beware has moved!
Do NOT repost your old bewares. They are being archived.


( 103 comments — Leave a comment )
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Feb. 6th, 2010 03:11 am (UTC)
And I discovered that yes, you have to be logged in to DeviantArt in order to see the comment thread linked above.
Feb. 6th, 2010 05:17 am (UTC)
Yeah. If you're not logged in, it won't show the "threaded" version of the comments. It will show the most recent comment on chix0r's page after the initial comment in the conversation.

Also, sorry. I think I misinterpreted your PM regarding this issue.
(no subject) - kerstin_orion - Feb. 6th, 2010 05:23 am (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 6th, 2010 03:32 am (UTC)
I still don't know why chixor is still a mod or admin or whatever she is. DA seemed to have started going downhill after the whole jark fiasco. I think it's in that very thread where she contradicts herself.

If the art theft is obvious, mods will usually take it down. But for this like traces of manga scans, you'll have better luck linking to the page it's from, and there ar eplenty of websites where you can find the Naruto, Bleach, One Piece, and Soul Eater scans (these are the manga most traced). Demotivators using art not belonging to the artist are always taken down, in my experience.
Feb. 6th, 2010 04:40 am (UTC)
Mine usually get responded to as invalid, and the deviation moved to scraps. :(
(no subject) - malik_chan - Feb. 6th, 2010 04:49 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sarla23 - Feb. 6th, 2010 05:09 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kuwaizair - Feb. 6th, 2010 02:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
Feb. 6th, 2010 04:43 am (UTC)
Yes, the mods are all over the place in terms of what they do. It's crazy. They need to sit down and have a meeting or something.

The reporting stuff has changed twice, then. I didn't notice the second change, which you mentioned, because I stopped reporting stuff. First it was Art Theft (General) and Theft of My Work. So that's gone altogether now?
(no subject) - lilenth - Feb. 6th, 2010 10:40 am (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 6th, 2010 05:00 am (UTC)
So sad that just after I read this, I found a trace of my work. Oh blarhg.
Feb. 6th, 2010 05:15 am (UTC)
I hope it's promptly dealt with. I haven't had much of a problem reporting my own work, granted it's only happened once.
Feb. 6th, 2010 05:02 am (UTC)
I'm not sure about the actual circumstances here, but I have noticed they've become less active about this. A few weeks ago I reported a theft from someone who is not on deviantart, and they replied that unless I was the original artist, they didn't care what I had to report, even though I linked the original artist's website and original copy. In the past they used best judgement to see if it was truly theft or copyright violation.
Feb. 6th, 2010 05:11 am (UTC)
This has been my experience, too.
Feb. 6th, 2010 05:05 am (UTC)
Ugh, Deviantart staff.

That's all I have to say about that.
Feb. 6th, 2010 05:11 am (UTC)
what bugs me the most is that the staff seems to think plagiarism is only plagiarism if you're stealing from another DA member, but if you're stealing from naruto or something then oh whatever that's fine
Feb. 6th, 2010 05:14 am (UTC)
This reminds me of the huge fanart thing where RealitySquared basically called all fanartists slobbering, unoriginal idiots.
But yeah. Tracing celeb photos, tv and movie screenshots, and anime is a-ok! >
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - sarla23 - Feb. 6th, 2010 05:47 am (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - mpd_84 - Feb. 6th, 2010 11:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kuwaizair - Feb. 6th, 2010 02:10 pm (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 6th, 2010 05:18 am (UTC)
Seems to me that the only time the mods care if if the thief in question is selling the stolen work as a print. I've managed to report those and get them taken down, but it only seems to happen with the "Buy This Print" pieces. The rest seems to be taking the attitude of "Is this a famous/popular/obviously-stolen-because-its-widely-known (aka posters and things)? Yes? Okay, we'll remove it. No? Well, its not our business. Screw you."

I'm tired of the pissy attitudes I've caught from mods. Excuse me if I'm pointing out they're not doing their jobs. It's not fair that most artists' rights get ignored when other larger-named artists get the cushy treatment and whatever they ask is granted them.

Thbbt. I'm not ever posting anything to DA again.
Feb. 6th, 2010 05:21 am (UTC)
Yeah. I don't really think dA is a good place for artists to be. For one, people seem to stagnate (especially when they get popular) and two because of the moderators and their attitudes.
(no subject) - bladespark - Feb. 6th, 2010 05:49 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - animehoneybee - Feb. 6th, 2010 05:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 6th, 2010 05:47 am (UTC)
DA fucking blows.
Feb. 6th, 2010 05:56 am (UTC)
my thoughts can be summed up thusly:

uuuugggghhhh deviantart.

I just. ugh. been thinking lately of applying to be a volunteer or something (better than just sitting back and watching this shit go on, after all) but I doubt they would accept me seeing as I have, you know, opinions, and a desire to have integrity and whatnot.
Feb. 6th, 2010 05:59 am (UTC)
Who needs all those things when you can bask in the glory of being hosted there?
(no subject) - lovegonnadrown - Feb. 6th, 2010 06:01 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sagakure - Feb. 13th, 2010 05:54 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - lovegonnadrown - Feb. 13th, 2010 07:16 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sagakure - Feb. 13th, 2010 09:12 am (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 6th, 2010 06:11 am (UTC)

well this would explain why I never got any notes back from the dozens of fanart reposts and tracings I reported. :<

It`s really not fair to artists from sites like Pixiv. People are always reposting their works under their own dA account. I included the original link in all my reports and never heard back from the admins ever.
Feb. 6th, 2010 02:12 pm (UTC)
ah i need to log into my Pixvi. maybe i can have a team of people and a kind translator who'll do it for free.

(you know, Translate my english to Japanese and stuff. I have my profile say beasicly "I am also here to help if people took your art"
Feb. 6th, 2010 06:49 am (UTC)
I've seriously begun to wonder what's the matter with dA's staff. Hardly six months ago I reported an entire gallery of stolen work and it was taken down within a week. Since then I've filed a lot more art theft reports and none have been even looked at yet. It makes me seriously question if there's even a point to caring about trying to keep dA clean. There hasn't been any changes to the TOS regarding stolen images as far as I've seen as of yet.
Feb. 6th, 2010 06:52 am (UTC)
The staff in general has gone down hill. I reported a blatant porn image, where the poster even mentioned that they're trying to become a porn star and the title had the word porn in it, and the staff told me that it wasn't porn, but "artistic nude." I know what artistic nude is. This had no artistic elements in it. It was even grainy!

There are also cases of obvious harassment and death threats on pages, and the response is "so what just block them?" It's sad.
Feb. 6th, 2010 07:42 am (UTC)
Hate to say it, but what's art to you may not be art to them. Potato potatoe, and so on. >_>
(no subject) - celestinaketzia - Feb. 6th, 2010 07:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - foxhack - Feb. 6th, 2010 07:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - lastres0rt - Feb. 6th, 2010 07:43 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - fiercereaper - Feb. 6th, 2010 11:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - msmanuscript - Feb. 7th, 2010 02:35 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - foxhack - Feb. 7th, 2010 03:33 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - foxhack - Feb. 7th, 2010 03:36 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - oceandezignz - Feb. 6th, 2010 08:57 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - lilenth - Feb. 6th, 2010 10:41 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - animehoneybee - Feb. 6th, 2010 05:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - the_lest - Feb. 7th, 2010 03:18 am (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 6th, 2010 07:16 am (UTC)

I'm of two minds about all of this. To be honest, I am sick to death of the way the dA community can have such nazis when it comes to copyright. For example, a pal of mine on dA is currently being harassed by someone accusing her of copyright theft. The person uses references entirely appropriately and cites her sources as well. There is so much misunderstanding about copyright and how it works, and some of the community is becoming absolutely ridiculous. I suspect that if I were administering a large community like dA, I'd get sick of all of the wild accusations with no basis. That's not to say that copyright should be ignored, ever, but truly? I'm so sick of the misinformation out there.

I've recently (within the last two weeks) reported deviations using other peoples art from offsite. I linked to the original work in question and to the artists' statement about copyright. The image was removed. I think it can be about ensuring that sufficient evidence is provided.
Feb. 6th, 2010 07:57 am (UTC)
I've provided layovers in the case of tracing, linked to the original image in the case of direct theft and have had most of my reports come back as invalid.

Like someone above said, it may be dependent on what moderator sees your reports.
(no subject) - snippetchick - Feb. 6th, 2010 01:51 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kuwaizair - Feb. 6th, 2010 02:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - megumi_kitten - Feb. 7th, 2010 01:32 am (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 6th, 2010 07:57 am (UTC)
Why to people continue to even use deviant? I left because a friend's art got blatantly ripped off and those who tried getting it down got banned for a week or more. I later returned and well... I don't use it or go there anymore because of issues like this. It's such a gray area on what is accepted as a "learning tool" and what is a no no.
Feb. 6th, 2010 07:59 am (UTC)
I still have my account to follow people whose art I can't easily find elsewhere. But I don't post. I honestly don't understand why people still use dA, either. For exposure, I guess, since it's so popular.
(no subject) - bladespark - Feb. 6th, 2010 08:57 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - gypsywitch - Feb. 6th, 2010 09:55 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - thaily - Feb. 6th, 2010 10:09 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - bladespark - Feb. 6th, 2010 12:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - thaily - Feb. 7th, 2010 12:02 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - bladespark - Feb. 7th, 2010 12:37 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - foxhack - Feb. 7th, 2010 03:35 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - bladespark - Feb. 7th, 2010 03:54 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - thaily - Feb. 7th, 2010 09:57 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - lilenth - Feb. 6th, 2010 10:43 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sarla23 - Feb. 6th, 2010 06:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - lilenth - Feb. 8th, 2010 10:12 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - felonykat - Feb. 6th, 2010 05:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - the_lest - Feb. 7th, 2010 03:29 am (UTC) - Expand
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( 103 comments — Leave a comment )


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