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Nine years ago when deviantART first opened its doors to artists all over the world it was with the hope that it would prove to be a place where people could express themselves, to be creative and different and original.

If anyone appreciates unique and original works it’s all of us here in CEA, so for deviantART’s ninth birthday celebration we in CEA invited artists to help us send a reminder of that original mission to the community and the world with the Dare to Deviate contest.

Contest entrants needed to combine the slogan Dare to Deviate into an original visual work as creatively and uniquely as possible. We wanted artworks which sent the message that artists should stand out from the crowd and explore uncharted and original territory and dare to deviate from what is considered normal and routine.

We thank everyone who entered the contest and who helped to send our message of creativity to the deviantART community.

Today we announce the winning entries;

First Prize
dare to be different by kimonoitec
Dare to be Different
By kimonoitec

Sometimes simple designs can send the most complex of messages and we thought that kimonoitec
did precisely that with her entry Dare to be Different. While simple and clean in execution the judges believed that her entry best communicated the message embodied in the contest and for that she has been awarded with the First Prize of $50 deviantDOLLARS and the choice of one piece of devWEAR or a Fella Plushie!

Second Prize
The Deviant Book by GanHOPE326
The Deviant Book
By GanHOPE326

While only a deviant for one month his entry The Deviant Book demonstrated what it means to be unique and to stand out from the crowd through creativity. For this he has been awarded the Second Prize of $25 deviantDOLLARS and one tube of Emoticon Stress Balls!

Third Prize
Let your inner light out by Anton42
Let Your Inner light Out
By Anton42

We were immediately struck by the attractive use of the Dare to Deviate which we saw in Anton42s entry Let Your Inner Light Out.The clean design and the unique manner in which the contest slogan was integrated into the work has earned him the Third Prize of $15 deviantDOLLARS and the choice of a deviantART keychain or Emoticon Buttons!

Congratulations to our winners!

deviantART Allowing Porn?

Journal Entry: Wed Jul 29, 2009, 9:50 AM


The official definition of “ pornography ” has been modified at several points over the lifetime of deviantART, I know this because I'm the guy who does it each time, and it is done in an attempt to bring greater clarity in the wording used. The publicly posted definition needs to get the point across without delving into a lot of excessive detail, it's a FAQ entry which needs to be simple and easy to read and not a set of stereo instructions but in being somewhat easy in its language portions of the community not only have had a tendency to be confused on the exact definition but also expand upon what's written to include things which fit their own personal viewpoints, not to mention reports coming from people who don't even know an official definition exists.

The official policy for deviantART prohibits the submission of pornographic works. Just about everyone except for some of the people submitting the porn agrees that this policy is required but we get a wide range of people with an equally wide range of what they think is pornography.

This misunderstanding leads to a lot of reports being marked as invalid due to the deviation not being officially considered to be pornography.

Just to give you an idea of exactly how many; last week the number was about a thousand reports, give or take a couple of hundred. The overall ratio is absurdly high.

I've seen photographs of swimsuit models reported as pornography, pictures of people kissing, photos of same sex couples hugging, nude people just standing there, all sorts of subjects and themes reported which seem just darn crazy until you factor in that we have people from all sorts of cultures and that those cultures have a lot of their own taboos and social rules- and that is before you consider all the individual viewpoints, religious viewpoints and so forth.

With all these different factors and influences it is impossible to drawn the line of policy in an area which will please everyone. Draw it too far to the right and you get accused of undue censorship and the removal of valid artistic works, too far to the left and you get accused of allowing pornography.

No matter the official stance dissatisfaction is going to happen and that dissatisfaction tends to lead to some community members into maligning the staff or speculating that deviantART policies are not actually enforced or not enforced consistently.

I've lost track of how many times I've seen people accuse "staff" of not understanding the rules. I've stopped being offended at those types of statements; the people making them simply don't realize that the "staff" they are busy accusing of ignorance is me and my team and they obviously don't know that I am the person who has crafted those original policies nor that I've been personally involved in every modification as well as the training of everyone who has to enforce those policies or that those people enforcing the policies can get a near instant response from me if they need some sort of clarification.

So rest assured that the staff fully understands each policy; if anyone is confused it's the person claiming that they understand the policy better than the staff employed to enforce it.

The dissatisfaction over the resolution of certain reports isn't anything new; people have been making the same mistakes for years but recently we've been seeing more disinformation being put out into the community than usual; things like claims that the rules don't really apply, the staff are stupid, people with subscriptions get exempted, and so on.

To help counter this I've addressed the situation in the news so hopefully that will help diffuse the rumors for a few months until someone new pops up to make the same claims all over again.

I'll be devoting some of my time this week to addressing any concerns so if anyone needs further clarification they can be directed to this journal where I can reply to anyone who can manage to act like a civilized human being.

So whether you are happy or unhappy with the way things stand, the clarifying information is out there.

The official definition of " pornography " has been modified at several points over the lifetime of deviantART in an attempt to bring greater clarity in the wording used however portions of the community have demonstrated a tendency to be confused on the exact definition and continue to report things which fit their own personal viewpoints; today we attempt to clarify things.

The official policy for deviantART prohibits the submission of pornographic works. While the community as a whole, with few exceptions, agrees that this policy is required there are many who demonstrate a marked misunderstanding of exactly what is and is not defined as " pornographic " under the current policy. This misunderstanding often leads to many reports being marked as invalid due to the deviation not being officially considered to be pornography and dissatisfaction tends to lead to some community members attempting to explain the outcome by maligning the staff or speculating that deviantART policies are not actually enforced or not enforced consistently.

We will be attempting to dispel these myths today by explaining exactly how official policy can differ from individual opinion.

Over the years we've attempted to bring clarity by modifying the official definition of " pornography " to use wording which is more specific about what is not allowed, but unfortunately some have demonstrated a tendency to expand upon those definitions to encompass situations and themes which fit their own personal viewpoints.

At one point in time the definition of pornographic content was more restrictive but beginning in 2006 deviantART policy was gradually modified and relaxed so that a wider amount of erotic artwork and sexual themes could be accepted into the galleries. While some of you may disagree with this official stance of acceptance, policy will continue to be accepting of erotica which remains within certain defined boundaries.

Policy and Definition vs. Community Viewpoint
Official policy and definition differ from community viewpoint in several key areas and these differences are responsible for the disproportionately large number of invalid reports; up to fifty percent (50%) of reports involving pornographic content are marked as being invalid each week.

The primary difference between official policy and your own personal viewpoint or standards is the fact that as a member of the community you are personally able to subjectively judge the intent of the photographer or artist or guess at how they intended the work to be viewed.

Official policy does not, and cannot be allowed this luxury.

While the community is free to attempt to divine intent and attempt to second guess the reasoning behind a particular work policy cannot be allowed to do this and must limit itself to the judgment of the actual content visible in the work itself. This primary difference of community members viewing a work subjectively and policy judging the same work objectively is an issue which will most likely never be resolved regardless of any educational effort which we staff members may embark upon because everyone is entitled to their own opinion and obviously most will not share the same stance embodied in official policy and we cannot expect everyone to change their views to match it.

This means that if you report works for having "No Artistic Intent", you should expect that the report will be marked invalid by staff because "intent" is not part of the judgment process and in the absence of any other circumstance this is not a reason for removing a work. You are personally entitled to view a work however you wish, including holding the viewpoint that a nude is pointless and without any redeeming artistry at all but official policy does not consider this to be a reason for removal.

There are several other areas where official policy differs radically enough from a personal viewpoint to cause some dissatisfaction if one is not aware of the criteria being used.

Many have noticed that reporting a work for the reasoning of "masturbation" will tend to see a large number of reports marked "invalid" by staff. The main reason for this is that official policy judges "masturbation" based upon what is specifically visible and how the various elements in the scene appear to interact. What is not considered is what might be suggested. This allows for erotic and sexually themed works to display hands and other objects coming into contact with the genital region in certain ways and under circumstances and still be allowable under policy. We have found that the average community viewpoint maintains that anything which comes into contact with the genital region in any manner at all should be ruled automatically as masturbation regardless of what may or may not be clearly visible.

This difference means that only those works which clearly show an act of masturbation will be removed while works which use camera angle, shadow, props and other circumstances to suggest something sexual will not be removed unless the staff can find some visible element which suggests that masturbation is actually occurring.

We realize that many in the community may be upset with this completely objective judging of what is plainly visible in the work but as I have already stated, policy will not venture into the realm of assigning "intent" to an image.

On the subject of images depicting "sexual intercourse" a similar difference occurs. While official policy prohibits any depictions of actual sexual intercourse it does allow for models, same sex or opposite sex, to be posed in various ways which include bodily contact which may in fact be sexually suggestive to a certain degree. As a member of the community you are free to dislike such posing and bodily contact or personally classify it as sexual intercourse regardless of the presentation or circumstances but official policy will remain primarily focused on depictions of actual sexual penetration and other cases of clear sexual contact. Again, we realize that many may be dissatisfied by this official stance but unless a work contains a visible indication that sexual penetration is occurring or the work is judged to be too graphic in its level of sexual suggestiveness it will most likely not be removed by the staff.

Another subject which seems to cause a large amount of confusion is the depiction of "erections".  The average report of an "erection" tends to involve any penis which is not in a clearly flat and flaccid state and any depiction of a penis which is of larger than average size regardless of whether any sign of arousal is present. Official policy reviews images for a certain level of arousal, which takes into account the actual tissue structure of the penis, while recognizing that the human penis comes in many shapes and sizes and that they may "hang" at certain angles dependent upon size and the strength of the suspensory ligaments.
While this might sound somewhat technical these standards ensure a consistent application of the rules which is not as certain using the subjectivity exercised on a personal level.

The last subject which seems to have the greatest amount of confusion by community members involves the prohibition against images displaying "Vaginal or Anal Spreading". Members of the community commonly misinterpret this restriction to include any case where the model's legs are spread apart and any case where the vagina or anus is visible. Official policy is only concerned with whether the labia or anus has been physically pulled open using the hands or some form of instrument or object; the simple spreading of the legs, the act of bending over, or showing of the vagina or anus is not sufficient by themselves to meet this definition and is the cause of most invalid reporting.

Given the subject matter and the vastly different personal viewpoints which could be held by the millions of people who make up the deviantART community it is impossible to craft a policy which would possibly address every possible definition of " pornography " but we of the deviantART staff have worked and refined a policy over several years which is able to address the most serious concerns while still avoiding undue censorship.

We do not expect that this explanation of the differences in official standards and personal viewpoints will please everyone but we do hope that we have helped to dispel the misinformation which is making its way through the community and that you come away from this article with a better understanding of how the review process works and what may cause certain reports to be marked "invalid" by staff.

Relevant Links
FAQ #565: You prohibit the submission of 'pornographic imagery'; what do you consider this to be?

A Discussion About Statistics and Other Stuff

Journal Entry: Fri Jul 17, 2009, 8:07 AM

A Brief Foreword

Okay, so I've noticed for awhile that the last time I wrote anything in this space was February. That's a bit too long between informational entries, especially if you compare with my track record for last year.

The truth of the matter is that a good journal entry typically takes me a couple of hours to put together and the first half of 2009 had me and my entire department pretty much nose-to-the-grindstone and while I really do enjoy writing these entries after an eight or ten hour workday I rarely want to sit in front of the computer for another couple of hours to write about whatever issues are crossing my desk.

I'm going to try to reform a bit and start producing more regular articles again, both here and in the News for the rest of the year, although I won't be promising any particular schedule; CEA news tends to get repetitive very quickly since it's pretty much always the same stuff so that'll stay spaced out a bit but I will try to do journals with a bit more regularity.

CEA Workload

Generally speaking I think the deviantART has primarily one of two views of the CEA workload; people either think CEA staff are sitting on their asses doing nothing and ignoring them or they think the staff is being crushed under a mountain of work.

In the interests of transparency I think I'll share some statistics with the community a little farther down but I do want to address the backlog of reports and the manner in which we prioritize them.


Essentially there are five different types of reports that can be filed and we prioritize them by category into one of three levels of priority which determines what the order in which we review them and those categories are further prioritized by the very community which files them through the use of the severity slider which is present on the report form.

This double set of prioritizing means that reports are not necessarily handled in the order in which they are made and the fact that new reports are made every day means that lower priorities can tend to stay on the bottom of the pile.

Perfect system? No, of course not but it guarantees that we always look what we consider to be the most important reports first and that those reports are sorted by community input.

Let's talk a bit about each report type and each level of priority.

***Top Priority***
Theft of MY Work

This report type is fairly self explanatory; it's your work and somebody else is using it without your permission.

This category is pretty much our internal version of the DMCA compliant take down notice and we made it available because so many people are either unaware of the DMCA rules for filing a complaint or they either misinterpret or are intimidated by the way they are written.
It's not an actual DMCA complaint but we try to treat these reports in a similar fashion.

**Moderate Priority**
Art theft (General)
Prohibited Content
Mature Tag Needed

These report categories tie for mid-level priority and get more-or-less the same level of attention in second place.

Art Theft (General) is a report category we technically do not have to offer at all; we could take the route of a lot of communities and ignore you unless you are the owner of the work being used without permission but I personally think that providing this category, open for use by anyone, helps promote an atmosphere of respect for your fellow artist and luckily deviantART as a company agrees with me.
The Art Theft (General) category is responsible for a large portion of the backlog or reports and we do treat it as a "second class" citizen after Theft of MY Work and DMCA complaints which come in via email. This means that these third party reports will sit and wait longer, they may receive more requests for more information, be marked "Invalid" more often and we may even reject your report and tell you to get the actual owner to contact us- none of this means that we are somehow "soft" or permissive when it comes to copyright issues, the very fact that we don't ignore you completely if you aren't the owner actually shows that we take things more seriously than other communities.

Prohibited Content and Mature Content Needed are both fairly self-explanatory. They both also collect the largest number of Invalid reports, usually because members of the community have a poor understanding of what we classify as pornography and what we do not classify as pornography; the same goes for Mature Content Needed.
Both of these categories are strongly influenced by the severity assigned by the community so some reports will sit longer than others.

*Low Priority*
Misplaced Deviations

Reports of deviations in the wrong gallery come in at the lowest priority and as a result get the least amount of attention each day and they make up the majority of the backlogged reports.
As serious as some people consider the issue to be the plain fact of the matter is that misplacement are simply not as important as the other issues as far as the allocation of staff time is concerned.
We are working on a better system to handle this issue but I can't promise when it will be delivered but it should provide a better, or at least different, solution to this issue and make it a bit less frustrating for the community.

So that is the brief run down on how staff attention is divided amongst the various types of reports.

Reports and emails also represent the primary way deviations come to the attention of the staff.

That's an important thing to remember because we do not scan through every single submission as it happens; it's pretty much an impossibility at this point in the life cycle of deviantART.

Every single day somebody tries to justify or defend themselves by pointing to violations of policy which might still be posted somewhere in the galleries and asking "Why Me But Not Them?"

The quick answer is, "Because You Got Caught First".

It's not some huge conspiracy, it isn't one guy being singled out, it isn't some inconsistency in policy or policy enforcement.

It's just the fact that one thing got noticed before the other. Period. End of explanation.

CEA Statistics
Monday, July 6, 2009 to Sunday, July 12, 2009

A total of 7,238 moderation cases were handled this week with 6,089 cases having action taken, 1,004 being marked as Invalid and 145 having additional information requested.

In addition 2,105 deviations were reviewed and addressed which were reported outside of the official moderation system.

64 Spammers reported and banned.

The Policy on Copying (tl,dr warning)

Journal Entry: Fri Feb 6, 2009, 4:44 AM

Once Again....

I'm writing a new journal prompted by a reaction to a policy, which is a semi-regular feature here and which is the main reason I think so many people actually watch my account (since I'm fairly inactive with the Art as of late). I'd like to thank those people who actually watch my journal space and who actually read my news and updates because I do try to disseminate very important bits of information and provide some sort of view about why CEA functions the way it does.

Those of you who take the time to be educated and informed make it all worthwhile, not to mention the fact that you provide a stunning contrast to those who snap off based on rumor and misinformation and who speak without first actually digesting the situation properly.

And, due to those people who don't bother to read we've once again watched a wave of misinformation and drama sweep across the community and tick off a whole bunch of people for no reason whatsoever.

Firstly, I want to state that I'm not going to be pigeonholed into simply addressing tracing because the policy addresses copying in general and tracing is one method among many which involve copying.

Secondly I will clarify that the policy on copying as currently written and as it's been written for at least two years now clearly states that if someone copies your work in a substantial way and you file a complaint the deviantART staff will enforce your wishes and remove the copied work.

The news article clarifying our policy on this said that, nice and clearly too, but most of the people screaming and yelling and flinging aggressive commentary around never bothered to get that far and if they did they read selectively or deliberately added the Evil to what was written there.

I really shouldn't be surprised. I don't really want to insult anyone's intelligence by writing CEA updates in a simplistic "See-Spot-Run" format, but sometimes I wonder how far some people get into an update before they come to a conclusion and set their minds on it.

I do appreciate those of you who did successfully read through it and who successfully absorbed the entire thing as opposed to selective pieces of it.

So once again, for those who are just skimming and probably missed what I've said before, if someone substantially copies your work and you complain to us about it we'll be on your side and not the side of the copier more often than not.

It may surprise some of you but that's the way it's always been, and the sheer number of people who missed the portion of the news where we talk about that saddens me because it shows exactly how many people didn't bother to really read the entire article.

But enough about my disappointment in the low level of reading comprehension demonstrated by many, let's talk about the article a little bit.

A lot of people are focused, to the point of being blinded, on the subject of tracing but what the article actually addresses is copying in general. That is because tracing is just one form of copying and I've seen plenty of comments and even had a few notes where the writer denounces tracing as some sort of supreme evil and then in the next breath extols upon the virtues of "Referencing" or "Eyeballing" or some other word which essentially means "redrawing what somebody else drew first".

Now tracing is a method of creation and doesn't have much to do with the way the final image is presented and you can say the same about "referencing" and "eyeballing" and all those other words that mean "copy" and as far as official policy is concerned it doesn't matter how you copied your material it only matters that you copied it so policy and the way we react to reports will not differentiate between the methods and it is why I refuse to limit this discussion to the method of tracing only.

You can say whatever you want about the individual methods of copying; you can say that they are short cuts, promote laziness, are unoriginal, cause stagnation, that most artists who copy routinely aren't really serious or will never really develop, and I guarantee you that I will personally agree with many of those statements and more but we have to bear in mind that those statements are striking more towards the believed motivation and seriousness of the artist and if we're going to do that then we can lump in a whole bunch of other works and techniques.

There are tons of amateurish artworks posted on the site where you could easily look at the work, the artists comments, their expressed attitude and apply those same labels; Lazy, Unoriginal, No Future, Not Serious, Not Art.

Let's talk about that last label; "Not Art".

A lot of people like to throw around a lot of the "Not Art" labels in regards to this subject but seriously whose standards are we using to determine the Art or Not Art argument?

Is it my standard? Because my standard is incredibly high and maybe as much as three quarters of the galleries wouldn't meet the standard I might set if we did that sort of thing.

Is it the standard of some fourteen year old kid who just spent fourteen straight hours playing Sonic Unleashed or the sixteen year old girl whose entire deviantART comment history is filled with "kWAIII!!! So kyoot!"?

Deciding what is "Art" and what is "Not Art" is truly a decision that cannot be agreed upon when we have a community of millions.

Method of creation is not a determining factor either, for those of you who want to pursue that route.

I've seen passionate arguments attacking photography as "Not Art" because the act of creation is limited to placing a small device against your face and pressing a button. I've seen thousands of breathtaking photographs in my lifetime and yet I've also seen people completely dismiss them as Not Art because it didn't involve much more than point-and-click in their opinion.

I've even seen digital art itself dismissed as Not Art because it didn't involve paints, or pencils, or paper, or canvas, or any of those other traditional items with which artists have gotten their hands dirty over the centuries.

deviantART was founded to be a place where all artists were welcome, and since I've been around I've seen a few discussions about whether or not we needed to start defining the Art or Not Art question; whether we should decide whether something belonged in a gallery or in a scrapbook away from the "Good Stuff"; moderate for quality, begin moderating for specific content.

Regardless of the discussion deviantART was founded to be an open and inclusive place where all types of artists were welcome regardless of how serious they were about their art, regardless of how talented or imaginative they were and a place where they would be welcomed without any judgments as to the quality of the work they produced and a place where we would keep the restrictions on content as minimal as possible.

This decision has ticked off people; I see crude and amateurish works reported as "Ugly" or "Garbage"; "Not Good Enough" so we should delete it. We see nude photographs reported because they are "Not Artistic Enough". And now of course people are carrying on with much drama about "Tracing".

The thing that sets copied art apart from those other "Not Art" subjects is the fact that a lot of people are flinging about copyright laws and breaking them; and quite a few are revealing that they have only a basic grasp of this at the same time.

No, I'm not a lawyer but I could be considered well read on the subject as a layman since 2002 and while I cannot give out any sort of valid legal advice I have spent quality time with a very talented and experienced copyright attorney who works for deviantART and who is extremely knowledgeable.

People love to wield copyright law as if it's a sword to be used to strike people down; hell just check out a few of the comments on my last news article if you don't believe me, I'm surprised somebody's eye hasn't been poked out by now.

A lot of people have also become a bit panicked by the heated discussions lately, running around in the proverbial circle loudly wondering whether or not their work is " protected " here on deviantART, proclaiming that our policy is somehow completely and totally incorrect and without any valid basis.

I am fairly proud of the community here because we have cultivated something of a unique environment where people are very aware of artist's rights and an artist's control over their own work; this is incredibly rare on the Internet where a culture of unauthorized use, infringement, and blatant theft is more the norm.

We are, in fact, such a tightly woven and supportive community on this subject that the pendulum has probably swung a bit too far towards being too restrictive   with people's views on copyright tending towards the extreme; that copyright law is a mighty sword which is to be used by glorious knight protectors to hack down bandits wherever they should be found.

But  copyright law isn't a law defining state intervention; there isn't a "copyright police" who will sweep in and enforce copyright law on the behalf of an injured artist. Copyright defines personal rights that are enforced personally.
The law was written with the idea of providing rights and protections for creative individuals but it was also written at the same time for the benefit of the public and other artists. Some wise person a very long time ago realized that the public benefits from the output of creative individuals; artwork, literature, inventions, all of this stuff benefits and enriches everyone. They also realized that creative people might be reluctant to actually create and share their creations if they thought their rights as creator would be trampled the moment their creation became public.  The idea is to give authors a chance to make money so that they have a reason, not just a pure passion, to create.  If artists were going to feed the culture then artists should be able to feed themselves and copyright is the mechanism for this. So copyright protection laws and other legislation came into being which helped reinforce creator's rights and give them means to assert their rights as owners so that, ultimately, the public culture could benefit because creators would have the confidence and incentive to release their creations.

Because the purpose of copyright law is  both to benefit the public as well as the creative individual it is specifically designed to shoot itself in the foot, so to speak; exceptions were built in specifically to benefit the public and limit the control of the owner under certain circumstances.

The first thing which you could consider to be an exception is the fact that only the owner or their authorized representative can enforce their copyright. This means essentially there is no general purpose "copyright police" cruising through the Internet looking for infringements and protecting everybody altruistically, the closest thing to that is limited to teams of employees working on behalf of specific companies.

This restriction that only the owner or an authorized representative is able to act to protect his or her copyright has carried through every change to copyright law; the current DMCA notification process includes a requirement that you state, under penalty of perjury, that you are either the owner or authorized to act on behalf of the owner.

Now, if you've been paying attention you'll notice that every single website which hosts content except for deviantART won't even acknowledge you if you aren't the owner or their legal representative. A prime example; if you want to flag something for copyright infringement on YouTube you have to click the link that says "This violates MY copyright". Go check it out and check out any other website for their takedown procedure.

deviantART is different. We're a community of artists created by artists and I enjoy knowing that we respond to a wider range of complaints if they come from members of deviantART. Restricting reports solely to copyright owners about actual infringements of technical copyright laws would drastically reduce the number of reports ,so it would be a huge benefit from a time and efficiency standpoint alone, but I think doing only that would be a disservice to a community of artists who are so supportive of one another.  When an artist wants to call anything to the attention of deviantART's administrators, they just can.

Unfortunately we seem to have really spoiled the deviantART community; not only spoiled in that people are shocked and surprised how difficult it is to file a complaint or even be heard on other websites but also that people react very, very badly when they think we've moved in a direction which doesn't completely support them.

And that brings us to another of those restrictions built directly into copyright law; Fair Use.

The law of copyright, while written to protect the work of artists, also has protections built in for the public, including other artists, when they use, borrow or incorporate the copyrighted works of others.  Some of these protections are called Fair Use.

The Fair Use exception is actually hugely complicated and is written deliberately to be rather nonspecific; sort of a "grey " or "fuzzy" area. Fair use is necessarily fuzzy because it balances the conflict between the protection of your copyrighted works and the use of your copyrighted works in ways necessary for the free or at least open exchange of culture.

Fair Use is actually far too complicated and nuanced for me to attempt to explain here so we'll limit it to the subject at hand; copying.

Fair use permits Jeff Koons, , to make and sell much of his sculpture which is largely derivative of cultural icons, many of which are copyrighted in their original states.  Fair use permitted Andy Warhol to do silkscreen works incorporating famous, copyrighted photographs.…;, I would think that most people who claim to know their copyright law will remember his paintings of the Campbell's Soup can and the fracas that it caused at the time.

At a more basic level we could even call what these artists did a sort of Fan Art. It may not be the most accurate way to describe it but it allows me to transition to my next point.

When I personally talk about copied work you'll notice I tend to lump all Fan Art into that category; this pisses some people off but when you look at it objectively whether you've drawn the character Inuyasha, from the animated series of the same name, from scratch or copied an animation cell from the series at the root level you've copied somebody elses work so forgive me if I refuse to split hairs on this subject.

People have decided to have major problems with the fact that official policy tolerates copied animation cells as a form of fan art as long as we receive no official complaints from the rights holder.

Now, copyright law doesn't require that an owner enforce their rights, they are not required to police or attempt to stop infringements in any way , in fact they can be extremely selective in where and when they press their rights and their level of protection under copyright doesn't suffer one bit.

The fact of the matter is that many entertainment corporations freely and openly encourage and support the use of their properties and some others deliberately but quietly turn a blind eye to it. While I cannot speculate on their exact reasons I can say with some certainty that many of these companies have weighed the benefit of the free promotion and fan attachment and loyalty represented by fan art against the need to sternly protect their copyright by crushing the life out of fan art. Those that tolerate it have obviously decided that the negative impact associated with suppressing fan art, the time, effort, expense and damage to fan loyalty, simply outweighs the need to strictly control their copyrighted property.

This is why official policy is tolerant of this type of copied fan art to a certain point and it is why we classify it differently from a situation where your own personal work has been substantially copied.  The owners of copyright in works that reach the level of fan art obsession in some way induced the obsession themselves (and typically make big money from it) and because of that it can be said that the use of the work in fan art to express the exact obsessive response the copyright owner wants includes a sort of implied license.

Outside of the context of fan art, even if you poll our own community here at deviantART you'll find a range of opinions in regards to the subject; some people won't care if they are copied, some do, and some are so restrictive that they report things which hardly resemble their own works.

The bottom line is that we cannot read the minds of the thousands of owners whose works are routinely copied through fan art; it is why we place so much more weight on reports from actual owners in these cases rather than those of unrelated people. But at all times we try our best to keep ourselves on the side of the independent artist and to act when we should act.

We know that the big corporations have the resources to police and protect their copyright if they choose to do so and we also realize that many have chosen to ignore it providing the fan art remains non-commercial in nature. We don't allow Fan Art to be sold through our print store because obviously fan art is full of copyrighted characters and we won't be involved in any commercial exploitation of those characters.

For the independent artist who makes up the vast majority of our community here at deviantART, we will continue to be supportive of your wishes when it comes to situations where your work has been copied, but please bear in mind that we will always be trying to strike a delicate balance so that the works you create can inspire other artists to move in new directions.

For those people who have persevered and once again managed to read another one of my "Too Long; Didn't Read" journals in its entirety I thank you. Regardless of whether or not you agree you've presumably digested what I had to say and therefore informed yourself and made my task here worthwhile and as always your intelligent and informed commentary is welcome on the subject.

Tracing, Copying and Other Issues Involving Duplication of Existing Works

The Copyright & Etiquette Administration here at deviantART is often presented with challenges, one of the most basic and important of which involves helping artists enforce their rights over their own original work. While this may seem to be a very clear and easy to understand directive it is complicated almost daily by the simple fact that artists copy one another.

It is inescapable that when you gather millions of artists together into a central location which is filled to the brim with their individual ideas and creativity several things are going to happen; separate artists will submit similar things without ever having heard of the other, artists will inspire other artists who will then make similar looking works, and some artists will blatantly copy other artists.

The last situation is one which causes many in the community some concern.

Deliberate copying can take many forms; direct tracing, painting over, “referencing”, redrawing, using similar scenes in photography, making a similar skin, using the same stock resources to produce a similar work.

Regardless of how it’s done copying is looked down upon by many here on deviantART as unoriginal, a cheap shortcut, as “cheating”, as a form of theft, and when it involves a fandom it tends to be viewed as a cheap and guaranteed way to get popular with little actual effort.

While all of this is true to a certain extent it is also true that the various forms of copying are a completely valid learning tool which is practiced primarily by beginning artists and, quite frankly, those artists who lack the experience and training to compose completely original scenes and themes from scratch.

It is the task of CEA to balance these two concerns without condemning or defending one side or the other.

We understand that some segments of the community will always condemn the behavior while others who practice it will refuse to give it up and while the middle ground which we seek to hold will most likely not make everyone happy we believe that it is the best position available which will allow us to assist artists in enforcing their creative rights while not having to turn away those who are not able to meet some arbitrary test of originality.

To this end current deviantART policy attempts to strike a balance between tolerating a certain level of duplication while making certain that the rights of original artists are supported.

The current policy is as follows;

Reproduction of Existing Works by Any Method
Situations listed under the heading of Not Tolerated will override the situations listed under Usually Tolerated

  • Not Tolerated

• Reproduction is misrepresented as being something other than a copy of an existing work.
• The reproduction exactly duplicates an original work and the owner of the original work files a complaint.
• The reproduction targets a stock resource and violates one or more of the Terms and Conditions for use.
• The reproduction actually contains elements of the original (i.e. photo showing through paintover).

  • Usually Tolerated

• The reproduction has been posted into a Fan Art Gallery.
• The reproduction has been posted into the Scrapbook area.
• The reproduction targets an element of pop culture (i.e. Anime screenshots or official video game content).
• The reproduction properly credits the original.

  • Normally Tolerated

• The reproduction obviously copies an existing work but possesses noticeable and substantial differences.
• The reproduction obviously copies an existing work but is noticeably deficient in quality.
• The reproduction and the original bare only vague or broad resemblances to each other (i.e. poses, etc).

It is important to note that the only two areas where copied works are deemed acceptable are the Scrapbook and the various Fan Art galleries. The deviantART staff reserves the right to relocate any copied works which are found residing elsewhere without prior notice.

Those who have been with us throughout 2008 and longer and who regularly follow the news and site changes should remember that during the early months of 2008 the system which the community uses to report cases of theft, unacceptable content and other issues involving deviations underwent a complete overhaul and rebuild in order better serve the needs of both the community and the staff.

We like to believe that our reporting system here at deviantART represents one of the best and easiest to use systems available to an artistic community and we are proud to see that the deviantART community demonstrates such awareness for artists rights that it is used with great frequency to report cases of copyright infringement, unauthorized use and just plain old blatant theft.

It’s no secret that because our community strives so diligently in this area that the reports often become backlogged which forces the staff to attempt to handle them in an order or priority rather than a first-reported-first-handled basis.

One situation which we always wish to place at the highest priority are those cases where you are reporting theft or misuse of your own work and we have made a modification to our reporting system to help us identify these particular cases.

The reporting procedure now features an option to report Theft of MY Work as well as an option to report Art Theft (General).

The option of reporting Art Theft (General) is open to anyone to report any case of unauthorized use or theft, it doesn’t have to be your work specifically. So if you are the proactive type who wants to watch out for the rights of your friends or favorite artists or you just want to help point out violations of the deviantART <a href=”…>copyright policy then this is the category which you have always used and which you should continue to use in the future.

On the other hand, if you have found your own being used without permission we encourage you to use the option to report Theft of MY Work. This new option will tag your report differently and will enable the staff to identify it quickly and easily for immediate review

The system which is also intuitive enough that if you report theft of your own work using this new option and your friends or other concerned artists report the theft using the (General) option then the separate reports will be combined into a higher priority case.

With these additions to our reporting system we hope that we will make it easier for artists to enforce their rights with their own works while also allowing their friends and fans to assist in them.

The Importance of Written Agreements

Journal Entry: Tue Jan 6, 2009, 1:36 PM

Get It In Writing

Part of what we do here in CEA is moderate disputes; not every little schoolyard drama mind you, just the ones which could be considered serious.

Now I've done this for something close to six or seven years or so, and among all those disputes there's one particular type that comes up decently often and over the holidays I found myself dealing with it yet again and quite frankly it makes for a good journal topic so I'll discuss it a bit here.

The Issue

What I'd like to talk about is the relationship between photographers and their models, and of course the relationship between models and their photographers.

Now we certainly have plenty of photographers and plenty of models around deviantART, both amateur and professionals both; all of you professionals out there really aren't the subject of what I'm going to talk about here because you all tend to treat what you do as a business, and what I mean by that is that you keep records, you use contracts and agreements and you generally have your act together.

What concerns me is those models and photographers who might not be so serious about what they do and who consequently aren't so interested in release forms, contracts, agreements and all that other documentation.

Over the years I've seen a large number of both models and photographers get a harsh education on how the lack of a signed piece of paper or two can result in a huge headache.

Friendly Arrangements Don't Always Stay Friendly

The problems start when photographers and models get together for a session and then leave without any written agreement between them.

Yes, sometimes there is a verbal agreement, and sometimes certain things are assumed, but the bottom line is that assumptions and verbal agreements don't amount to anything; they can't be proven conclusively and in any dispute it boils down to a He-Said/She-Said situation.

And yes, disputes happen all the time

All it takes is an argument and a nasty disposition and a formerly mutual and friendly unwritten understanding can become a weapon to be used against the other party.


Seriously, treat your photography sessions as if the model will uncooperative in the future and have them sign a release form. If you're shooting nudes get age verification on file for future reference.

There are plenty of people and places where you can learn about proper release forms and in the event of a dispute they can save you a ton of trouble.

If you lack any signed proof that the model knew the photographs would be published or used in a certain way then that model could suddenly claim that the photographs were never intended to be published and they never agreed to having them used in the manner which you used them or uploaded to wherever you uploaded them to online.


Unfortunately models tend to get the short end of the stick. While the photograph may be based upon you, the copyright and complete control over the photographs themselves rests with the photographer.

Technically this results in a situation where pretty much all you can do with the resulting photographs, should you obtain a copy, is keep them in a personal portfolio to show.

If you intend to do anything else with them at all, including posting them publicly on the internet, you need to have these rights granted to you by the photographer.

I know many of you believe that posting on the internet is some form of personal use which you are allowed to do, and I know many of you maintain a portfolio of sorts here on deviantART, but unless you have taken the time to obtain the right to display the photographs a photographer with a nasty or possessive attitude is completely within their rights to demand that deviantART remove their copyrighted work.

You all have no idea how many cases of someone "revoking" their unwritten permission we see every month.

Don't Assume

I've seen far too many arguments and disputes between models and photographers and I've also seen far too many models and far too many photographers who didn't even know the most basic habits of documentation.

In a nasty dispute one or both sides will resort to attacking your deviantART gallery- I've seen it time and time again and every single agressive confrontation I've seen could have been diffused in seconds by either party taking the time to write things down and get it all signed.

Too many models get slapped with a nasty surprise when a photographer decides they don't want their work outside of their direct control.

Too many photographers are caught off guard when a model claims that they never authorized the showing of the photographs they posed for.

You are both in the same place at the same time; take the extra time to work out an agreement in writing ahead of time and sign off on enough copies for everyone to be able to leave with one of their own, and do it before a single photograph is snapped.

It's professional, it shows that you take your chosen craft or hobby seriously, and above all else it provides a vital safety net which can save you time, effort and a lot of distress should things go sour in the future between you and someone you previously worked with.

Over the years the CEA Updates have often spoken about prohibited sexual themes. The one constant in our policies has always been the fact that we maintain a zero tolerance response to pornographic content whether it concerns photography, artwork, sexual roleplaying on dAmn, our chat network or any number of other situations.

Today I'd like to address a closely related subject which most often affects those photographers who choose to submit artistic nudes, fetish, or other genres of erotic photography; namely comments directed at their models which are clearly sexual in nature and which show a complete lack of respect for both the model and the photographer.

As we have never tolerated direct sexual harassment of our members we also have never tolerated this type of commentary directed at nude models and while it is more common for the photographer to bear the brunt of this type of disgusting remark than it is for the model to receive it that does not diminish the fact that it is not allowed.

The number of these comments being made has always been a small percentage overall but as our artistic community has grown so have the number of visitors treating the community as a wellspring of masturbatory material, leaving comments describing the sexual acts they would like to perform upon a nude model or otherwise commenting in a lewd and disrespectful manner.

Over the months we have observed that the number of these comments has increased ever so slightly and that many photographers, while outraged at receiving them, often do not realize that they can report the incident to the staff.

We'd like to remind all of our photographers and artists that you do not have to sit idly by and accept these comments as they are most definitely not tolerated by the administration and that you should immediately report the incident to the Help Desk and provide us with the name of the offender and a link to their comment.

This element is not welcome here in our community but we need your reports in order to identify and remove these disrespectful people so please do not hesitate to report any lewd or sexual comment which you personally receive or which you may observe during your daily browsing.

Working together we can rid ourselves of those people who have mistaken our artistic community for their local strip club.

Clarifying Mature Content Guidelines; Ideologically Sensitive Materials

Over the years we have been functioning with a set of Mature Content guidelines which have been extremely general and open to a great amount of interpretation. With recent trends towards artworks featuring political and religious opinions which are often extremely negative or satirical and a community of artists who can be easily offended by such material I believe it is time that we published the more specific set of guidelines used by staff to determine whether or not an Ideologically Sensitive Mature Content tag is required on a particular work. This should allow the community to better understand when a Mature Content tag is required and which will also provide more consistent placement of the tag and reporting of works requiring a tag over the long term.

As a reminder; At no time do these Mature Content guidelines provide an excuse for the submission of what is considered to be hate propaganda or hate art


Ideologically Sensitive Content Defined
Ideologically Sensitive content is considered to be a political work, religious work or a work addressing a way of thought which could be considered to be subjectively offensive to some viewers, depending on content and presentation.

The categories below will attempt to address the various situations in which mature content tags are required, may be required, and are not required. For clarity some specific examples will be provided when needed but all situations will not necessarily be specifically presented.


Ideologically Sensitive; Politically Themed
Political themes can cause heated debates and often the works associated with them can do the same and the goal of the Mature Content system is to simply ensure that those people who feel strongly about a particular issue have the benefit of a mature content warning prior to viewing a work which they may find subjectively offensive.

  •   Mature Content Automatically Required; Politically Themed
    These circumstances call for the automatic addition of a Mature Content tag by staff regardless of any other factors which may or may not be present and address negative propaganda, “mudslinging”, “smear campaigns” and ad hominem attacks.
    • Deliberate use of false or misleading information to damage or malign an individual, political cause or interest.
    • Deliberate attempts to dehumanize or create hatred towards an individual, political cause or interest.
    • Content is presented in a manner calculated to be offensive or insulting to a supporter of a specific individual, political cause or interest.

    •  Mature Content Not Required; Politically Themed These circumstances occur when a subject is approached fairly and factually and with no malign or insulting intent.
    • All information provided is based upon readily available facts and presented in a manner which can be considered a valid debate or argument.
    • While the topic may be negative it is approached in a manner which is considered fair and reasonable.
    • Content is not presented in a manner considered to be deliberately offensive.

    •  Mature Content Optional; Politically Themed These circumstances occur when a subject is approached with sarcasm or in some manner which could result in a minority of viewers being offended. In these cases due diligence should be given to judging whether or not a Mature Content tag is truly warranted. Please err towards placing a Mature Content tag in cases of indecision.
    • A political cause or interest treated in a satirical or humorous manner.
    • An unflattering caricature of a politician.

Ideologically Sensitive; Religiously Themed
Religious themes can cause heated debates and often the works associated with debates concerning belief systems can easily prove to be offensive as such arguments strike towards the very core values held by various people and cultures. The goal of the Mature Content system is to simply ensure that those people holding strong faith-based beliefs have the benefit of a mature content warning prior to viewing a work which they may find subjectively offensive.

    • Mature Content Automatically Required; Religiously Themed These circumstances call for the automatic addition of a Mature Content tag by staff regardless of any other factors which may or may not be present and address negative propaganda, aggressive criticism, and other content which could be considered an attack on a belief systems core values.
    • Deliberate use of false or misleading information to damage or malign.
    • Deliberate attempts to dehumanize believers or characterize a belief system as inherently harmful.
    • Deliberate attempts to characterize believers or a belief system as a whole as morally or intellectually deficient.
    • Depiction of a religious icon or personage when such depictions are forbidden or discouraged within the belief system (example; depicting the prophet Muhammad is forbidden by some interpretations of recorded Islamic oral traditions).
    • Directly associating a religious icon with a generally accepted taboo within the belief system (example; depicting Jesus Christ as homosexual).

    •  Mature Content Not Required; Religiously Themed These circumstances occur when a subject is approached fairly and factually and with no malign or insulting intent. .
    • All information provided is based upon readily available facts and presented in a manner which can be considered a valid debate or argument.
    • While the topic may be negative it is approached in a manner which is considered fair and reasonable.
    • Content is not presented in a manner considered to be deliberately offensive.

    •  Mature Content Optional; Religiously Themed These circumstances occur when a subject is approached with sarcasm or in some manner which could result in a minority of viewers being offended. In these cases due diligence should be given to judging whether or not a Mature Content tag is truly warranted. Please err towards placing a Mature Content tag in cases of indecision. .
    • A belief or value is treated in a satirical or humorous manner.
    • An unflattering caricature of a religious icon.

Ideologically Sensitive; Offensive Ideologies
Offensive ideologies is a special class of content which is not necessarily political or religious in nature but refers instead to a host of other systems, groups or ways of thought which are based upon socially unacceptable ideals and which may immediately strike a negative and offensive chord with certain viewers because of this fact. A prime example of such an ideology is Nazism but in general this type of content causes offense based upon the ideology itself and not necessarily upon the content depicted in the deviation.

    •  Mature Content Automatically Required; Offensive Ideologies These circumstances call for the automatic addition of a Mature Content tag by staff regardless of any other factors which may or may not be present and in general the content can be considered to promote the offensive ideology as beneficial or enticing. .
    • Content which glorifies or celebrates the offensive ideology.
    • Content is considered to be propaganda intended to promote the offensive ideology.

    •  Mature Content Not Required; Offensive Ideologies These circumstances typically do not require a Mature Content tag and in general can be considered an unbiased presentation of the material.
    • Content is presented in a neutral fashion and is based upon readily available facts and presented in a manner which can be considered a valid debate or argument.
    • Content is presented in a fashion which could be considered to have historical or documentary value.

    •  Mature Content Optional; Offensive Ideologies There circumstances occur when an offensive ideology is approached with sarcasm, humor or parody or when the more unsavory aspects of the ideology are explored. Please use due diligence when judging whether or not a Mature Content tag is truly warranted bearing in mind the reaction of the general viewing public and please err towards placing a Mature Content tag in cases of indecision. As it is impossible to predict all the various ways in which this type of content could be considered borderline we cannot provide examples.

CEA Position Open

Journal Entry: Tue Oct 28, 2008, 1:45 PM

Copyright & Etiquette Administration Team – Full Time Vacancy

The world's largest online art community is hiring! deviantART is looking to add a full-time Copyright & Etiquette Administrator to our team.  Please read on for additional job details. Comments, questions, or suggestions can be posted below, but if you wish to apply be sure to follow the directions provided. We appreciate your interest and enthusiasm in working with us at deviantART!  

Job Title: Copyright & Etiquette Administrator


:bulletblue: Conduct investigations in a wide variety of complaints involving cases of alleged abuse and inappropriate behavior within the deviantART community, determine the necessity of action, and perform related duties as required.

:bulletblue: Conduct investigations in a wide variety of alleged copyright or trademark infringement relating to content hosted on deviantART, determine the necessity of action, and perform related duties as required.

:bulletblue: Conduct investigations in a wide variety of claims relating to inappropriate content submitted to deviantART, determine the necessity of action, and perform related duties as required.

:bulletblue: Assist in the development of proactive education and resources within the community aimed at providing clarity and transparancy surrounding our policies.


Work environment and duties may regularly expose the successful applicant to unbalanced and aggressive individuals, imagery, and photographs designed to be deliberately offensive, disgusting, or obscene and may include hardcore pornography, bodily mutilation, death or other types of unacceptable or illegal content.

The ability to maintain a balanced work schedule against a continously incoming case load is essential, as is the ability to maintain a positive attitude and high productivity over the long term.


:bulletblue: Possession of a high school diploma or G.E.D. certificate.

:bulletblue: Previous experience in an organization or office environment that utilizes a formal system of rules and due process procedures.

:bulletblue: Minimum of 2 years as an active participant of deviantART.

:bulletblue: Previous experience as a volunteer with deviantART would be to your advantage, but is not essential.

:bulletblue: Excellent written and verbal communication skills.

:bulletblue: A general desire to assist the deviantART artistic community and to help maintain a healthy and positive atmosphere for all members.

:bulletblue: As the position is based at our headquarters in Los Angeles, all applicants must be aged 18 or older and have proof of eligibility to work in the United States.

To apply for this position, please send your resume and cover to letter to  Please include CEA Vacancy in the subject line of your email, and provide your deviantART username. Please, no calls to our office. If we are interested in your skills, we will contact you as soon as we are able. Again, and please, no calls.

Permissions Issues

Journal Entry: Mon Oct 6, 2008, 11:37 AM

Yes, It's About Fan Art Again

So it's a new week and I've already noticed a trend in the new helpdesk inquiries so I'm going to address it here in my journal and perhaps later on this week in the news to help clarify things for those who need it.

The issue involves, once again, a type of fan art; not the fan art which is created from scratch mind you but rather the type in which official images are reused.

Now to be clear (and because someone will no doubt point this out), all fan art can be considered to be a type of copyright infringement due to the fact that if it's popular enough to have tens of thousands of people losing their minds over it you can pretty much bet everything about it has been copyrighted and trademarked for licensing and merchandising.

But having said that, just about everybody knows that the majority of companies tolerate the existence of fan art; some even encouraging it to some minor extent.

The issue I want to address today involves where this tolerance or encouragement comes up against the deviantART submission agreement and copyright policy.

Now again, "original" fan art created by your own hand from scratch isn't really involved in the reason for this being written; providing that the companies continue their tolerance of their fan following we're all quite content to welcome original fan art into the galleries here at deviantART.

The issue comes with the type of fan art which involves the use of video game sprites, production stills, screenshots, and scans and any other piece of official work you can think of off the top of your head.

Now, anyone even passingly familiar with our policies here knows that we don't allow anyone just to grab something made by someone else and use it in a deviantART submission; we require that you go to the source and get proper permission and we've even outlined in our FAQ exactly what sort of permission you need.

It's all pretty straight forward until someone actually tries to get permission from something like a video game company; Sega for example.

Now I turn to video game companies specifically because they cultivate more of a relationship with their consumers than say, a motion picture company, and they can be viewed as perhaps more permissive. As a result I think most people would find it easier to shoot an email off to Sega than they would to Disney.

Now I've been involved in this area for six years now and I've seen a lot of people try to contact a lot of companies and you don't always get the same results and even the same company can give you different responses year to year and a lot of the times you get a "template" response rather than any real human interaction.

Providing that you aren't rejected out of hand you might actually receive a response which gives you permission to reuse the official material for your fan art and I've seen a score of kids do a few cartwheels and back flips over it and dump a ton of submissions into their deviantART gallery.

And then much to their dismay it all gets deleted and when they present their email of permission they get told it's inadequate.

What I'm doing today is revealing why it's inadequate.

I've seen a lot of these emails and you can pretty much break them down the same way.

The emails almost always state that existing artwork or material can be used for personal artworks or a personal website providing it's not for profit.

The problem with this type of permission is that the company is granting you permission for use on a personal website in personal artwork.

The first major problem is that deviantART is not your personal website.

This is where that type of general permission breaks down and become inadequate.

In order to submit your works to deviantART you need to agree to our Submission Agreement and there is one particular clause in that agreement which I'll quote here;


Artist has obtained all necessary third-party consents, rights, licenses and permissions, if any, required for Artist to enter into and perform this Agreement and to grant deviantART the rights to use the Artist Materials set out in this Agreement (including, without limitation, consents and permissions from owners of any elements that are used in the Artist Materials),

Boiling away the legalese it means that you need to have permission to license the copyrighted material in your deviation in order for it to be on deviantART.

To go back to our example Sega needs to write a set of magic words which sound something like "Sega grants to (you) and (your) successors and assigns, the right to reproduce and distribute (whatever) on the website" or something else which makes it clear that you are legally able to do what the Submission Agreement requires you to do.

Quite honestly I've yet to see any company willing to grant a fan these types of legal rights or abilities because they are a much bigger deal than just telling some kid that it's alright to use Sonic the Hedgehog sprites on their personal website.

Clarifying Mature Content Guidelines; Nudity and Erotic Work

Over the years we have been functioning with a set of Mature Content guidelines which have been extremely general and open to a great amount of interpretation. With recent reporting behaviors demonstrated by members of the community I believe it is time that we refined the general set of guidelines by publishing the more specific set of circumstances which are available to the staff members who review the reports. By making these more specific guidelines available we hope that the community in general will better understand what requires a Mature Content tag and which will also provide more consistent voluntary tagging of works and more accurate reporting of works which should be tagged but were not at the time of submission.

This article specifically addresses nudity and erotic works where confusion and indecision is most dominant and where we are currently seeing the highest percentage of inaccurate deviation reporting..

The categories below will attempt to address the various situations in which mature content tags are required, may be required, and are not required. In cases where circumstances are listed as "Maybe" artists may omit the placement of a tag on the work with the understanding that the staff responsible for site moderation reserves the right to place a tag if a review of the work deems it necessary.

Please also bear in mind that these guidelines are just that, guidelines and some flexibility remains for staff to judge individual works on a case-by-case basis.

And of course, as always, the presence of a Mature Content tag does not allow the posting of content which is considered to be pornographic and does not allow those under the age of eighteen (18) to be depicted nude or in an erotic fashion.

The standard of judgment for nudity should always be to examine exactly what portions of the anatomy are visible and not visible. We wish to seek equilibrium with a level of modest nudity which is, and has been, shown on the covers of popular family oriented magazines or used in advertising. We wish to avoid placing Mature Content tags on photographs or scenes in which there is clearly nudity but in which little anatomical detail is actually visible
    • Mature Content Yes; Nudity and Erotic Work These circumstances call for the addition of a Mature Content tag  regardless of any other factors which may or may not be present.
    • Penis, vaginal area, anus or nipples (female) clearly visible.
    • Penis or vagina not visible but pubic hair clearly visible.
    • Anus not visible but full, uncovered buttocks visible.
    • Nipples (female) not clearly visible but clearly indicated.
    • Vaginal area not visible but contours of vulva clearly indicated.
    • Penis not clearly visible but clearly indicated by shape and /or contours.
    • Nipples (female) covered but majority of breasts exposed to viewer.

    • Mature Content Maybe; Nudity These circumstances occur when a subject is depicted nude but due to posing, props or other factors the nudity is not explicit but falls short of being considered completely obscured or hidden. In these cases due diligence should be given to judging whether or not a Mature Content tag is truly warranted. Please err towards placing a mature Content tag in cases of indecision.
    • Female model topless with breasts partially, but not completely covered.
    • Pose of model mostly, but not completely, obscures view of genital region or buttocks.
    • Lighting conditions make viewing of genital region, buttocks or breasts (female) difficult but do not completely obscure the region(s).
    • Diaphanous or transparent covering make viewing of genital region, buttocks or breasts (female) difficult but do not completely obscure the region(s).

    • Mature Content No; Nudity These circumstances occur when a subject is depicted nude but due to posing, props, or other factors the nudity is not explicit. In these cases the simple fact that nudity exists should be considered secondary to what is actually visible and what is not visible to the viewer.
    • Female model topless but breasts fully covered in some fashion.
    • Model completely nude but posed so that genital region, buttocks and breasts (female) are not directly visible due to pose or lighting conditions.
    • Model clearly nude but genital region, buttocks and breasts (female) hidden completely by opaque props or coverings.
    • Model clearly nude but genital region, buttocks and breasts (female) covered by diaphanous or transparent prop or covering which renders those areas featureless and without detail.

Provocative Dress and Undergarments
Standard for determination for modes of provocative dress and undergarments should always be to draw comparisons with “standard” swimwear and what would be considered appropriate for wear in a beach or swimming environment. We wish to avoid placing Mature Content tags on photographs or scenes which can easily be found in any public place occupied by a large number of swimmers.
    • Mature Content Yes; Provocative Dress and Undergarments These circumstances occur when the model is posed in a clearly provocative or sexual manner or is dressed in a manner which could be considered more provocative and revealing than “standard” swimwear. These situations should receive a Mature Content tag.
    • Model is posed in a provocative or erotic manner and is dressed in a manner which is clearly designed to emphasize the sexual nature of the pose.
    • Model is dressed in bondage gear and presented in a bondage or sadomasochistic scene.
    • Model is dressed in lingerie which is clearly sexual in design and intention.
    • Model is dressed in undergarments which is clearly more provocative and revealing than “standard” swimwear and which is clearly intended to emphasize the model sexually.

    • Mature Content Maybe; Provocative Dress and Undergarments These circumstances occur when the model is not posed in a clearly provocative or sexual manner but may be dressed in a manner which is clearly not “standard” swimwear but also is clearly not sexually provocative.  In these cases use “standard” beachwear, magazine covers (USA), and prime time television programs (USA) as guiding examples along with the previous guidelines given for nudity.  Please err towards placing a Mature Content tag in cases of indecision.
    • Model is dressed in “thong” style undergarments.
    • Model is dressed in undergarments or swimwear with extremely minimal coverage.
    • Model is dressed in “modest” lingerie and is not posed in a clearly sexual or provocative manner.

    • Mature Content No; Provocative Dress and Undergarments These circumstances occur when the model is not posed in a clearly provocative or sexual manner or is dressed in a manner which could be considered no more provocative or revealing than “standard” swimwear. In these cases the manner of dress should be considered secondary to whether or not the model is intended to be presented in a clearly sexual manner.
    • Models dressed in what could be considered “standard” swimwear.
    • Models dressed in undergarments which are essentially indistinguishable from “standard” swimwear.
    • Minor visibility of undergarments which can be considered incidental in a scene which could be considered devoid of sexual intent.

Fictional and Anthropomorphic Characters
Fictional characters present unique difficulties in that a large percentage of anthropomorphic characters are presented without clothing, which is nearly standard for all children’s cartoons featuring “funny talking animals”. Characters ranging from Bugs Bunny to Sonic the Hedgehog have been presented to the public “naked” on untold occasions and should be considered the “standard” for judging acceptable anthropomorphic or fictional character nudity.
    • Mature Content Yes; Fictional and Anthropomorphic Characters These circumstances call for the automatic addition of a Mature Content tag regardless of any other factors which may or may not be present.
    • Penis, vaginal area, anus or nipples (female) clearly visible and detailed.
    • Penis or vagina not visible but pubic hair clearly visible.
    • Anus not visible but full, uncovered buttocks visible and emphasized.
    • Nipples (female) not clearly visible but clearly indicated.
    • Vaginal area not visible but contours of vulva clearly indicated.
    • Penis not clearly visible but clearly indicated by shape and /or contours.
    • Nipples (female) covered but majority of breasts exposed to viewer.

    • Mature Content Maybe; Fictional and Anthropomorphic Characters These circumstances occur when a character, with or without anatomical accuracy, is depicted nude but due to posing, props, lack of detail or other factors the nudity is not explicit but falls short of being considered completely obscured or hidden. It also applies to characters lacking accurate anatomical details but who are clearly presented in a sexual manner. Please err towards placing a mature Content tag in cases of indecision.
    • Female character topless with breasts partially, but not completely covered, and posed in a provocative or sexual manner.
    • Female character topless with breasts completely lacking anatomical detail, and posed in a provocative or sexual manner which presents the breasts to the viewer.
    • Pose of character clearly presents the buttocks or genital region to the viewer but such regions lack any anatomical detail or emphasis.
    • Pose of character clearly provocative and mostly, but not completely, obscures view of genital region or buttocks.
    • Diaphanous or transparent covering make viewing of genital region, buttocks or breasts (female) difficult but do not completely obscure the region(s).

    • Mature Content No; Fictional and Anthropomorphic Characters These circumstances occur when a character, with or without anatomical accuracy, is depicted nude but due to posing, props, lack of detail or other factors the nudity is not explicit. In these cases the simple fact that nudity exists should be considered secondary to what is actually visible and what is not visible to the viewer.
    • Female character topless but breasts fully covered in some fashion.
    • Female character topless but breasts lack visible nipples or any indication that such a feature is present.
    • Character completely nude but posed so that genital region, buttocks and breasts (female) are not directly visible due to pose or lighting conditions.
    • Character completely nude but genital region, buttocks and breasts (female) completely lack anatomical accuracy and detail and not presented in a clearly sexual manner.
    • Character clearly nude but genital region, buttocks and breasts (female) hidden completely by opaque props or coverings.
    • Character clearly nude but genital region, buttocks and breasts (female) covered by diaphanous or transparent prop or covering which renders those areas featureless and without detail.

Child Erotica Followup.

Journal Entry: Mon Sep 22, 2008, 12:36 PM

Disclaimer For Those Who Didn't Really Read My Last Journal

Readers of my journal of Friday, 19 September seem to have fallen into two groups.

The first group being those who actually read my journal and understood what it was about; that subject being the sexual portrayal of underage fictional characters.

The second group seems to have been composed of highly dramatic individuals who seem to be under the impression that the journal was some sort of indication that I or my staff were "targeting" certain specific artists or "attacking" fan art in general.

It is unfortunate that the members of the second group were predominate and that their tactics of name calling, throwing accusations, dictionary quotes and general over-dramatization turned what could have been an enlightening and educational discussion into a quagmire which is of little use to anyone.

To clear the air and hopefully prompt a more useful discussion on the matter I will once again repeat the contents of my last journal and address those rare comments who actually had some sort of contribution to make.

Guidelines For Being Ignored During Today's Discussion

Most will notice that I did not bother to reply to specific comments in my last journal; while I did read each comment not every comment deserved a response.

This journal will attempt to serve as a response. I prefer this method to endlessly repeating myself to individuals restating information or statements already made by others.

My viewpoint is if you are truly interested in following this subject after reading the last journal you'll most likely be reading this one; if you aren't then a personal response to you probably would have been better spent elsewhere and I've saved myself the bother of repeating myself a few dozen times.

If you feel that I've ignored you or your input then this is possible. If you wish for this to continue in the future please follow on the options below;

Insult me; Type in ALL CAPS; Clearly fail to actually read the journal; Tell me that I do not understand the deviantART policy which I personally wrote and trained others to understand correctly; Provide irrelevant information such as the age of consent in feudal Japan; Spout dictionary definitions verbatim; Rant for the sake of complaining and not to advance the discussion.

Begin Part Two

The goal of any policy is to give clear guidelines, have as little grey area as possible, and be capable of being applied consistently from media to media throughout the site.

The policy concerning fictional child characters, specifically nude art and erotic art concerning these characters, springs directly from the policy which we produced to address photography of actual children. The news article announcing these changes can be found here for those who may be interested.

Photography is, of course, only a single media but the concerns motivating the policy could be applied to other areas as well so obviously research was done into how these concerns apply outside of the realm of photography.

What we discovered is currently fictional child nudity and child erotica is not legally treated in the same fashion as photographs of real children, however the United States has pushed at least twice to remove this discrepancy and treat fictional children in the same manner as real children in regards to erotica.

It was decided that while deviantART policy did not legally have to treat fictional characters in the same fashion as real children and teens we would do so nonetheless for consistancy.

Unlike photography, addressing fictional characters presents unique difficulties.

As far as photography is concerned only one factor is a concern; the age of the model at the time of the photograph. As far as nudity and erotica are concerned the minimum age is a legally proven eighteen(18).

Fictional characters however present several problems. The first is that the characters do not age "naturally"; they remain their original age regardless of the passage of time so you cannot simply wait for them to grow up.
Fictional characters can also be subjected to temporary magical or technological aging or reversal of aging according to the whims of the series plot; they can travel in time and meet their future selves, they can meet older or younger selves from alternate dimensions, and a host of other fantastic and impossible occurrences which simply do not happen to real people and that doesn't even address the fact that the same character can appear in several different series and contexts and can be presented as several different ages depending on whether or not it's television, comic book or video game or movie.

In short, a fictional character never changes age until somebody wants it to and then all bets are off and the sky is the limit.

To compound the problem character designs seldom change at all during the series; this is especially true in television where characters wear the exact same outfit day-in and day-out.

For our policy involving nude and erotic work we needed to address this with clear guidelines and as little grey area as possible.

The first decision was that we would apply policy only to characters who had been assigned a clear age or age range assigned to them. Due to differences in style and the fact that fiction does not need to obey basic anatomy this was the only realistic approach and it means that the policy most often applies specifically to fan art.

The next major problem which needed to be addressed was the fact that age of fictional characters could be changed at a whim and that many fan artists would try to claim an older age for a young character in order to show the character nude or erotically.
Our solution here was to disregard claims of "aging" in most cases. We can and do make exceptions if significant changes in the character design were made and those changes could not be dismissed as merely due to artistic style.

Lastly we needed to determine how the policy would apply to characters who might be presented as several ages. Maybe they were underage in a video game, really young in the comic but older in the TV series; or perhaps their age skips around a bit during the run of the series or any number of other situations.

The decision here is that the age of the character would be determined by the specific character design used in the fan art; this is primarily because any significant change in age or circumstances is often accompanied by a change in character design in a series.
In any situation where a character keeps a certain unchanging character design or where the work cannot be associated with a specific character design the staff will treat the work as depicting the character as underage.

This is the policy as it has been enforced for several years now and it minimizes the subjectivity and grey area from the staff determination and allows for the most consistent application of policy in those situations which come to the attention of the staff.

In Closing

To reiterate;
This policy applies to works which feature nudity, erotica, or other mild sexual themes.

It does not apply to simple swimsuit shots, romantic scenes, or other similar content.

If you truly cannot tell the difference between erotic content and other types of content then you will need to wait until I explain the difference in another journal.

For those who were able to make it through this lengthy explanation with a clear mind and understood what they read, thank you; feel free to further the discussion below.

For those who merely skimmed what I've written and who plan on simply ranting  and complaining, please apply that time and energy elsewhere where it may have a more useful purpose.

Erotica Sourced from Children's Entertainment

Journal Entry: Fri Sep 19, 2008, 8:08 AM

Disclaimer for the Highly Dramatic

The journal entry below is written from long experience on the subject, is not intended to address any particular individual and will make broad generalizations and most likely make use of a sarcastic presentation at times.

In short, it's not specifically about you or anybody you may know so don't attempt to turn it into that.

Also if you are personally offended or feel singled out maybe you should take a good look at exactly what you are attempting to defend before you open your mouth.

Finally This entry refers to characters who have clearly been established as underage and not to cases of "looks like" age comparisons.

Didn't I Talk About This Last Year?

And the answer to that is, "Yes; Yes I Did Indeed".

The subject, for those who haven't quite caught on yet, is those people who choose to draw erotic or sexual work or fanfiction and who deliberately choose to base their work on child characters taken from children's entertainment.

If you're interested in seeing the old journals you can paw though my older entries back to July of 2007. I'm specifically not going to link to them here because, quite frankly, I don't feel like collecting new comments on entries which are fourteen months old but I think I'm going to say pretty much the same thing here.

The Reasoning & The Rant

Let's start with a little background explanation;

For both legal and moral reasons we must deny any actual child erotica or child pornography from being submitted here. D'uh, that's essentially legal lesson number one since you can get tossed in a dark hole by the FBI for allowing that sort of twisted crap on your website.

What I have found is that most rational 'normal' people find actual, real child erotica incredibly offensive, and rightly so. But for some reason some people find fictional children are perfectly fine to drool at sexually and fap over. I mean, chasing after a fifteen year old girl or boy is fine if you're the same age but I think by the time you break into your twenties or thirties if you're still doing the same lusting after you probably need to check into a padded cell somewhere for the protection of society in general.

Let's face it, these people are out there and fictional children are a 'legitimate' target for their twisted attentions because, as of this writing, the legal system doesn't recognize fictional child erotica and pornography as being "wrong"; although there have been several pushes in the United States to change that.

So, often people who are interested in this sort of illegal content featuring children will turn to the 'safe harbor' of cartoons and fictional characters in an attempt to satisfy their desire to view children as sexual objects.

Now do we want to attract these twisted freaks here? Of course not.

Anybody who has followed the refinement of our child nudity policy can clearly see that we want to make deviantART an undesirable destination for freaks.

But addressing photography is only half the effort without addressing fictional presentations and I took measures long ago to ensure that our policy covers this contingency by prohibiting this content on deviantART.

You can call if "censorship" or "unfair" or whatever you want but these are in fact perfectly reasonable controls and if you can't understand why we think they are necessary just think about how many times MySpace has gotten bad press as being a haven for pedophiles and online predators.

So, this particular set of policies have been around since I was granted the responsibility of guiding official policy. They aren't new, although they've been clarified and refined over the years, and they've been enforced the same way for years.

Now since we deny fictional child erotica I noticed an immediate  trend by these types of people to seek a loophole by drawing the characters erotically in their original form and simply claiming that they are of legal age in the work.

So the character looks pretty much exactly the way the twelve year old character looks but you write "SHE IS 18" in your description, slap nipples the size of coffee cups on her bare breasts give her an oversized fat ass and sit back in comfort and the perceived safety of your manufactured loophole and you reap in the hundred comments of "FAPFAPFAP" and "OMG SEXY" from like-minded individuals and bask in the glory of Boob-Artist Popularity.

My apologies but I'm not buying into your loophole and I'm not letting you get away with it either.

In order to block this type of transparent effort to submit child erotica our policy prohibits erotica of any fictional character who is well known and established to be underage in their original context and this policy is strictly enforced.

This is due to the simple fact that, while official reference sheets exist for these characters showing exactly how they should be drawn the reality is that practically nobody outside of the production studios actually follows them so most of the fan art shows unmistakable resemblance but otherwise is not a "faithful" recreation.

In order to address individual stylistic differences and levels of skill and ability we simply cannot accept a claim that you drew that fourteen year old "older" so it's perfectly okay to be showing her with size Double-F breasts flapping in the wind and a thong crammed up her butt crack while she lays spread eagle with her ankles up behind her ears.

So we've been shooting down that poor excuse for ages now, and we'll continue to do so in the future, but I have to give you child erotica people credit for sniffing out new loopholes in order to get your fix.

The newest excuses making the rounds use "epilogue" episodes or chapters as a potential loophole in our policy. I'm sure that you've seen some sort of long running, over-saturated, cash cow series which finally comes to an end; the type where the last episode tries to resolve all the overly hormonal who-sleeps-with-who fan questions because it's never ever coming back again and won't have any spin-offs? Well sometimes they'll do Epilogues which show the future, anywhere from weeks, months or years in the future.

The Harry Potter series did it with a paragraph or two at the end of the last book, the Inuyasha series did it with Chapter 558 of the manga and even Kim Possible did it with their last-ever episode.

I can understand why the creators do this sort of thing; it gives the fans a sense of closure and it doubles as a STFU-And-Don't-Bother-Me message as well.

As far as Official Policy is concerned these Epilogues don't count. If that makes me a Prick to some people then I'll wear that badge.

One epilogue chapter of a character being eighteen is not going to rule out 557 chapters of them being an unchanging fifteen.

One half-page epilogue of a character being in their thirties will not rule out 4110 pages of them being a legal minor.

A series ending movie episode of a high school graduation will not erase 87 episodes of a character being a legal minor.

These aren't real people that we are talking about here, they are cartoons and while some series will possess continuity between episodes the actual logical passage of time is ignored by the writers in order to carry the premise of the show which essentially remains unchanged for the length of the series; a prime example is the Ben 10 cartoon series in which the entire four season run of episodes takes place during a single summer vacation.

But I digress;

My final closing message on this subject is, and always will be, if you want to draw erotica then I advise that you do not choose children's programming as your source and not to choose underage characters as your subject.

Agree or disagree and feel free to debate the subject here if you wish.

<a href=”…>Much earlier in the year I previously discussed what sort of issues constitute what we consider to be cases of serious harassment and this week I would like to once again discuss this subject as well as the proper method of reporting cases of harassment to the staff.

If you believe you are being harassed there are a few steps which you need to take prior to trying to acquire help, these steps will make the process of getting help a faster and hopefully more satisfying process.

The first step before seeking help is to actually, objectively look at the situation and ask yourself if you are truly being harassed or if you are merely being annoyed or bothered..

This step is important because the staff will only intervene in situations which involve what we consider to be actual harassment and you will not receive assistance for situations involving simple rude behavior, arguments, annoyances or other things which could be classified as petty dramas.

We ask that you try to limit your reports to only the most serious of things such as threatening statements, unwanted sexual solicitation or commentary, spamming, page flooding,, clearly racist remarks and other highly aggressive types of comments.

If your situation is better classified as involving lack of manners, rudeness, arguing or other relatively minor situations we ask that you use the Hide Comment and Blocking tools made available to you and cease communicating with the other party.

If you have a serious situation, or your attempts to quell the problem yourself have failed then you should file a ticket with the help.

Please be certain to file under the Report Harassment category as misfiling your ticket can result in delays in the proper handling of your problem and you will also want to make certain that your ticket contains certain essential pieces of information.

When filing a ticket please be certain to give the staff a short synopsis of the problem. Please make your explanation as simple as possible and avoid writing the type of long rambling explanations which could only serve to confuse and complicate the issue of understanding what you are attempting to report to us. Also avoid vague, useless statements which lack any real information; the more questions we have to ask to figure out what is going on the longer it will take to assist you.

Be certain to name the other party, properly spell the account name and provide a link to their account page in some fashion.

For all harassment cases you will be required to provide evidence of the wrongdoing in the form of links directly to the comments. This means that if someone threatens you during a lengthy conversation you must provide links to the specific comments and not just a general link to the page where they can be found.  We need to see exactly which comments you are trying to report and if you force us to search around and guess which ones you are talking about we may not review the correct comment.

Please be aware that screenshots are not acceptable as evidence in a case of harassment and that we can only accept actual URLs and links. Since screenshots are easily falsified we will reject any claim of harassment which can only offer screenshot evidence so be certain to have your links handy.

If you are having an ongoing problem which results in several tickets being filed over time please do not assume that the staff member who speaks to you will automatically be familiar with your situation; there are several different staff members who may handle your ticket and each one of those staff members may handle hundreds of different tickets each week so please give us a short, simple refresher on your situation with each new ticket you file.

Finally, please file only one ticket; filing multiple tickets about the same situation out of panic or impatience will not result in you receiving attention any faster, it will in fact only slow down the process for you and every other person requiring assistance. Please file only one ticket and await a staff response, you can always provide an update on the situation to the staff member who has responded to your ticket

If you are being seriously harassed please do not hesitate to seek assistance so that we can intervene on your behalf and bring the situation to a close.

deviantMON Round Two

Journal Entry: Wed Aug 20, 2008, 6:26 AM

Continuing the Fun

So, most of the people reading this will probably remember the very recent deviantMON contest which we ran for deviantART's Eighth Birthday.

Well it seemed to be a lot of fun and I happen to still have a bunch of subscriptions I can give out because I was hard at work during the celebration instead of partying.

So here's the deal;

From now until September 1st anyone who would like a chance at a subscription should make a deviantMON card and leave a link here in this journal.

You can make deviantMON cards based on yourself and use them as a deviantID, you can lampoon your friends, or you can create cards based on general deviant types.

You'll know you're entered when I Collect your entry. If your entry doesn't get Collected then I either haven't seen it or your card was disqualified for some reason (copyrighted material, used to 'attack' someone, etc).

On September 1st I'll look over everything which has been entered, pick my favorites and hand out up to $300 in devCASH worth of subscriptions in total; some people might get a longer subscription than others and if that does happen don't bother whining about it.

The Template


deviantMON BIrthday Contest Winners!

Journal Entry: Mon Aug 11, 2008, 11:47 AM

A Weird Idea Comes Home To Roost and Hand Out Prizes

In celebration of deviantART's 8th Birthday CEA sponsored a deviantMON contest.

For people who might still be in the dark, deviantMON are based on a goofy, foolish inside joke that a bunch of us staff members came up with which to lampoon and make fun of each other.

It was so much fun for us that I decided that we'd ask all of you out in the community to try your hand at it and we had a very good response with lots of really amusing entries.

It took a bit of debating but we've settled on the winners;

First Prize
$100 devCASH

by StormyHotWolf88

A prime example of the Wannabe Admin deviantMON this entry caught our eye with both it's character design and it's humorous write up.

Second Prize
$60 devCASH

deviantMON Contest: Loather by ToySkunk
deviantMON Contest: Loather
by ToySkunk

This example of a deviantART Loather deviantMON captures the essence of this mysterious and confused creature and amused us to no end with it's hilarious write up.

Third Prize
$30 devCASH

Antagonist by GH-MoNGo
by GH-MoNGo

Few have been able to capture an image of the Antagonist but this entry managed to pull it off and come away unscathed and with third prize.

Honorable Mentions

There were just so many really great entries we decided that we needed to highlight a bunch of other entries as well and we'll also do one better than just handing out recognition by giving these eight other entries a prize of $15 devCASH each.

DeviantMON: BabyRobster by RadiantBliss
Deviantmon: kawaiinekodesu by DimentionQueen
Brown-Noser Badge by Casperium
:thumb94106822:deviantMON: Deviously Annoying by Davecheesefish

Thank you greatly for all who entered, we hope that you had as much fun creating these little creatures as we did judging them.

The contest may be over but the template will stay up for use by all of you who expressed a wish to use it for a deviantID.

Pass it around, use it as you see fit and keep an eye out for future deviantMON and AdminMon contests

deviantMON 8th Birthday Contest

Journal Entry: Wed Aug 6, 2008, 7:11 PM

A Weird Idea Comes Home To Roost

In celebration of deviantART’s eighth birthday CEA is sponsoring a deviantMON contest.

The contest is obviously based upon the wondrously odd AdminMON  inside joke which was launched weeks back in order to deliberately goof on our fellow staff members.

If you have absolutely no idea what I'm talking about you can find the current AdminMON here:

Since we need to standardize the inside joke we're not asking you to lampoon specific staff members or deviants.

Everyone knows about the Deviant Type selection on your settings page where you can choose to label yourself as a certain kind of deviant and the selections range from the upstanding right on through to the downright weird.

In this contest you will get to illustrate these deviant types in the form of a deviantID badge, assign strengths, weaknesses, abilities and right a quick description of how they act, where they come from or any other weird and wondrous fact about them.

To enter is simple; just choose one of the following Deviant Types to illustrate;

Deviant: Brown-noser
Deviant: deviantART Loather
Deviant: Deviously Annoying
Deviant: Lurker
Deviant: Wannabe Admin

All entries must use the official template

Entries will be judged based upon originality, humor, the quality of the artwork and writing, and most of all the humor. The contest judges will be realitysquared, damphyr and y2jenn.

Submit to the deviantART related/ deviantART Birthday/ 8th category and should contain the keyword deviantMON Contest

Prizes will be awarded for the best three designs with judging commencing on midnight August 8th and the winners being announced shortly thereafter;

First prize: $100 devCASH
Second prize: $60 devCASH
Third prize: $30 devCASH

The Template


Additional Info

To clarify, the deadline is August 8th at midnight

To keep the contest focused the five types were chosen to illustrate because the full listing of types is well over 100 and not all types are "fun" or inspiring.

Having said that, this contest is about being creative, thinking outside the box, having fun with concepts and it's all about deviants so if you have an idea for a different type then go for it and it'll be considered

You may name your deviantMON, but make certain that the type is in the little box called 'type'. If you cannot come up with a name then don't sweat it- that's why "deviant" is the default.

You may use the template as your deviantID, you may personalize it and make a deviantMON to represent you. The template will remain up long after the contest.
If you go beyond the contest and insert yourself into the strange adminMON/deviantMON world I want to see so link me!

This week we talk about spamming, how to deal with it and how to report it.

About one year ago, in late 2007 the deviantART community grew large enough and popular enough for it to come to the attention of the lowest form of Internet life; the spammer.

During that time we had few controls in place to handle such abusive activity and those who were with us during that time may have been subjected to some of the massive amounts of spam which flooded into our community. Since that time however our Devious Technology department has been working hard to create systems to control spam and we have actively combated it with IP bans and reports to various service providers. Today I’d like to explain some of the various tools now hard at work behind the scenes and also explain how you can report these people so that they can be removed from our community.

Identifying spammers
Our first line of defense against spamming comes in the form of automatic detection systems which we have developed to target and block behavior which fits the profile of the typical spammer. Once a suspected spammer is identified the system will cut off their access and report them to a central admin area for review.

The automatic system keys off of several types of behavior and it is possible that some of you may have commenting or noting behavior which will trip the system, especially if you are commenting rapidly or sending large amounts of notes or messages. If you find that you have been targeted by our system please simply be patient and your access will eventually be restored; you will not be automatically banned because an actual human being reviews each case individually.

Cleaning up the spam
If you have been spammed you should use the ability to Report Spam which is attached to every comment left anywhere on your personal account pages. Using the Report Spam function instead of simply hiding the comment sends a special report to a central location where a member of staff can review what you have reported.

If you choose to Report Spam you will also notice a new feature which has been in place for the last couple of weeks. After reporting a single comment the system will prompt you and ask if you would like to report and hide all comments by that account everywhere on your personal pages.

It should be obvious that this tool is also extremely useful to anyone who is targeted by an internet troll who decides to flood you with obnoxious comments. Even if the bully leaves hundreds of comments spread throughout your deviations, journals and main account page all you will need to do is report a single one and have the system handle the rest.

And once again since a human being actually reviews these reports you don’t have to worry about accidentally reporting a friend.

Report the spammer
The final step in handling a spammer who has visited you is to file a ticket with the <a href=”…>Helpdesk and alert us to the presence of the spammer.

The sad fact is that spammers are here to stay and they will constantly vary their methods in an attempt to continue throwing advertising links and other garbage at you and your deviations but we will continue to develop and adapt our systems to keep this nonsense to a bare minimum and if our systems and tools seem a little over sensitive or downright rabid please bear with us while we attempt to find just the right settings.