WARNING TO ALL DEVIANTART USERS
Sorry followers, this will be the only post I have for this incident!
As if you needed another reason to avoid this site, despite their supposed copyright policy, DeviantArt may not protect your art from copyright infringement.
While most blatant reposts of your work will be taken down without worry, alterations, edits, traces, and references are becoming regarded as acceptable by DA.
I have been hearing an alarming amount of users complain about inconsiderate or lazy admins, as well as reports of infringing work not being properly dealt with. It’s starting to become the norm to see an artist’s work blatantly traced or altered without any consequence to the art thief. Apparently that copyright policy is just for show - and since the TOS says DA can’t be held responsible for damages (IE copyright infringement), you can’t force them legally to uphold their policy, even if you’re a paying customer.
The past year or so I’ve been hearing these stories, I’ve erred on the side of caution, figuring each case must have something irregular in the details. That an art site couldn’t possibly have a nearly airtight policy and not uphold it. And then it happened to me.
PLEASE DO NOT CONTACT THE USER RESPONSIBLE FOR TRACING IN THESE IMAGES. If you know who this is, do not flame or send hate; I purposely did not contact her myself because I figured it was DA’s job to do that. She ended up taking it down herself without any word from my end, upon asking if it was alright to trace or make bases from my work (to which I respectfully declined). She was extremely courteous.
Link to my artwork |
Link to the infringing work [taken down]
I filed a DMCA takedown request form, as per the policy. Nine times out of ten in my personal experience, asking the artist to take something down myself results in absolutely nothing but rude retorts sent my way; so I went straight to the admins. I was met however, with an extremely unprofessional string of responses - even when I offered an image like the one directly above to show this wasn’t just referenced or a source of inspiration, it was line-for-line tracing.
If you want to see the copyright policy for yourself, you can find it here.
Even after pointing out excerpts of the copyright policy myself, admin realitysquared refused that what he saw was against DA’s copyright policy.
The key point here being that regardless of tracing, the characters depicted were not “the same”. That’s right kids, if someone traces your work or even alters existing work slightly to represent a “different” character, this is apparently acceptable at DA.
I’m posting this to warn other artists about this site. Yes, art thieves can yank any art piece they want to rip off just about anywhere on the ‘net - that’s a give-in, and not using DA won’t keep that from happening. But I urge artists who value their rights to not give this website any money or traffic.
Regardless of what truly happened with my case, whether or not their copyright policy was truly broken (I have yet to find anything in the policy that states what has transpired should be condoned) I know for a fact that no artist will want this to happen to them.
What DeviantArt proved with this treatment is that it has next to no regard for their users, as artists or as customers. I will only be sparsely using this site to uphold a few current client lists for a while, but hopefully soon I will no longer be there. If anyone currently has an account there, I urge you to consider what has happened to me, and ask yourself if (A) you want to support a site that has such blatant disregard for artists and their work, and (B) you want this or something similar to happen to you.