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Last July we here at CEA posted a clarification concerning how we officially define “ pornography ”. This was necessary because of the large amount of misunderstanding concerning the issue and the equally large number of invalid or incorrect reports concerning content that people erroneously though fit the definition. This week we attempt to clarify “Art Theft” reports.

The Moderation reporting system which was launched nearly two years ago, which replaced the older outdated system, contains two categories which allow the reporting of “Art Theft”.

“Art Theft” is a wonderfully vague term which can be used to address a huge number of situations and that term was chosen over the term “Copyright Policy Violation” or “Copyright Infringement” because it was simpler and more easily connected to by the vast majority of our community here and we wished to have labels which were simple and easily understood on the new moderation system after seeing the difficulty that some had understanding the more accurate technical terms used on the older system.

The choice of “Art Theft” as a label and the easy accessibility of the new system quickly led to an explosion of reports which quickly exceeded the ability of the staff to resolve them as quickly as they were made and this led very quickly to a backlog developing which lasts to this day.

Unlike many other websites we here at deviantART entertain reports from just about anyone who has a concern that a work is being used without permission rather than restricting reports to only the owners of the work and their authorized representatives. The Moderation system category of “Art Theft (General)”, or (CV) as they are abbreviated by staff,  is offered by deviantART voluntarily as such an option; accepting complaints from just anyone is not required by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

This freedom that we give to our community enables artists to watch out for the interests and rights of other artists, which is a good thing which we wish to encourage, but at the same time it multiples the weekly workload by a factor of ten by generating thousands of extra reports, which is a bad thing which produces backlog and long delays.

Early this year, in January, we modified the system to include a separate category “Theft of MY Work”, or (MY) reports as they are abbreviated by staff, which was intended to be used exclusively by copyright owners so that these reports could be readily sifted from the thousands of others and given immediate attention.

The “Theft of MY Work” (MY) category was designed to be used by owners who have deviantART accounts and the category is closely compliant to the formal requirements outlined in the DMCA for copyright infringement complaints which you can find on our <a href=”about.deviantart.com/policy/co…>Copyright Policy page. Because of the fact that owners exclusively use the (MY) category these reports are given the most immediate attention and are handled before any other type of moderation report.

Since the launch of (MY) reports, “Art Theft (General)” (CV) reports are given a lower priority and may experience much longer wait times before they are reviewed. This lower priority is not due, as some may claim, to a tolerance for “art theft” but rather because (CV) reports are rife with various problems, most of which are due to the fact that these reports are not filed by the actual copyright owner.

Unfortunately many of the “General” reports experience an extreme lack of ‘due diligence’ by the people filing the report; whereas several years ago reports being filed would clearly show that the reporting person knew exactly who the original artist was and could make an argument which showed why the deviant and the original artist were not the same person the typical “General” report being filed today amounts to little more than guesswork and suspicion.

In the past links to ‘evidence’ would take the staff to personal websites where there would be enough information to determine whether a deviantART account and personal website were used by the same person, sometimes the personal website would even have a statement denouncing the deviantART account as being an impostor or at the very least we’d have a personal email address which could be used to ask questions before the staff came to any decision.

Too many reports filed now contain links to Photobucket, Imageshack, or some other anonymous image hosting website or links to TinEye showing everywhere the same image appears. These types of links do nothing for showing ownership and cannot be helpful in determining unauthorized use; they only show that the image is popular enough for people to have taken it and redistributed it throughout the Internet.

Too many times staff has discovered that a “General” report is accusing an deviant of stealing from themselves, the “evidence” being a personal website or account in another community or even an old deviantART account used by the same artist. Too many deviantART members maintain multiple accounts and frequent multiple websites to be able to make any automatic assumptions.

The deviantART community has expanded exponentially over the years and we’ve attracted more and more professional artists so the existing culture of which bases “Art Theft” reports on suspicion and guesswork simply cannot be entertained in the manner it may have once been.

We have accounts operated by artists from video game design studios, published comic artists, people involved in the movie industry, and a wealth of other professional people and the staff finds that it is simply not enough for a report to simply accuse wrongdoing any longer because more and more of these reports are being found to accuse artists of stealing from themselves, or stealing from the public domain or not having permission when in fact they do have permission.

The CEA staff has a duty and responsibility to ensure that if we delete something that the deletion be completely justified and the reasoning clear and without doubt and unfortunately most general reports which we have been seeing are not able to satisfy all the requirements.

Some of you who report large numbers of deviations using the “General” category may have noticed that there have been an increase in reports being marked “Invalid” or that the reports “Need Information” which the staff found to be lacking or you may even have been told that while there “might be cause for concern” as an “interested third party” the staff will not act on your report and would prefer that the owner of the work file a complaint rather than you.

Many in the community have tried to explain these staff responses as laziness, stupidity, or even as “allowing art theft”. We’ve also seen people claiming that having a premium membership means that the staff won’t touch your account and a host of other inflammatory or insulting explanations which accuse the staff of not doing the job assigned to them or not caring. The Volunteer Gallery Moderators have also often been the targets of insulting commentary, something which they certainly do not deserve as they are completely uninvolved in the handling of any report.

All of the reasons and explanations which you routinely see in these complaints are incorrect.

General reports will always be marked invalid far more often than reports filed by the actual copyright owner. If your general report is marked as invalid or needing more information it is because your report as an uninvolved third party simply did not demonstrate that a deletion was necessary either because you didn’t satisfactorily prove that the deviant wasn’t the owner of the work or because you couldn’t satisfactorily prove that they didn’t have permission of use.

Taking no action on your general report is not intended to be an insult to you or a dismissal of your concerns, it is a simple statement that your report didn’t contain enough information for the staff to make a responsible decision which could be defended and justified. Every deletion made by staff must be defended and unfortunately statements such as, “Somebody found it posted on Photobucket”, or “Somebody said it was stolen from somebody else”, simply do not justify the deletion of a work.

These stricter standards do mean that some unauthorized submissions will remain posted for a longer period of time but we find it preferable to wait rather than risk a large number of erroneous deletions based upon suspicions and inadequate information.

While some of the community may choose to label this stance as “endorsing art theft” it is not, it is a policy which endorses responsible and justifiable decisions by the staff.

We will continue to accept and review third party reports but since the copyright owner is not directly involved we will continue to hold them to a high standard of evidence and explanation so that the staff involved will be able to make responsible and accurate decisions regarding what, if any, action is required.

If you find what you believe to be unauthorized use of someone’s work, and you know who the author is then your best course of action will always be to notify them and allow them to file the complaint themselves but if you feel the need to become involved and file a report yourself as a concerned third party then you should make the attempt to provide the staff with every bit of factual information you can concerning who you believe to be the actual author and where you believe the work originally came from and please try to understand that if the information you can provide does not amount to much that the staff will take the responsible route of not taking any action until we have sufficient information to act.

Add a Comment:
 
:iconenterran-sago:
Enterran-Sago Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2013  Student General Artist
[link] this person is an art thief
Reply
:iconenterran-sago:
Enterran-Sago Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2013  Student General Artist
what about my art
Reply
:iconrinzlerkitty94:
Rinzlerkitty94 Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
I have a question. I can't draw, but I like coloring in black and white pictures that I find on DeviantArt or Google. As long as I either give credit to the person that drew the original black and white picture, say where I got the picture from, or clearly state that the artwork is not mine and that I only colored it, am I allowed to post the colored pictures? I don't want to take credit for anyone else's work, I would just like to see if people like my interpretations of them.
Reply
:iconrealitysquared:
realitysquared Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I would advise that you read through the Copyright Policy which is linked at the bottom of every page.
Reply
:iconrinzlerkitty94:
Rinzlerkitty94 Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks, I really don't want to get in trouble by accidently taking credit for someone else's work.
Reply
:iconmamay424:
Mamay424 Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I think art theives should be banned as soon as the report is entered.
Reply
:iconasafary:
Asafary Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2012  Student Digital Artist
I have a doubt talk about the case renders ... I know that the renders are a resource to make sense of realism to a 3D image right? like video games or work in autocad? Now what about the Deviant Art users who take the drawings of other artists, deleted the background and the author's signature, and they say they are renders and that belongs to them and you must ask permission and give credit because they edited the image? I understand that the administrators of the site are a lot of work and it is hard, and try to do everything possible to bring everyone in peace on the page but the problem is that there was abuse, I agree that users use other external images and have permission from the artist, but what about those who use the images of other artists as if they own them? just look at this: [link] many of these do not have names or credits to the original author, most are in the category of resources, and also been doing rebates through the points and have replaced the signatures of the authors of them
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:iconkuwaizair:
Kuwaizair Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2011
so anyone can do anything, and the owners need to get their ass here? what if they are hard to contact? then again, if a big shot gets ripped off, something would be done. this site won't care if someone took my drawings as their own, but if it were a famous illustrator! then something will happen.
Reply
:iconkimberly-loveless:
Kimberly-Loveless Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2010
I believe lazyriverr is stealing art and selling it as prints
Reply
:iconraiko-the-strange:
Raiko-the-strange Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2010   Traditional Artist
But what about the people who simply state within the "Artists Comments" that the work is not their own and that they simply found it somewhere and posted it?
I've seen a few of those and reported them, but they were never deleted even though the deviants had already admitted the works were not theirs.
Reply
:iconrealitysquared:
realitysquared Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
In those types of situations the submitting artist will receive a request for proof of permission to have the work in their gallery and they will be given thirty (30) days to provide one.

In such situations the works will not be immediately deleted unless there is a valid claim of infringement against them.
Reply
:iconraiko-the-strange:
Raiko-the-strange Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2010   Traditional Artist
I understand.
It just bothers me someitmes that it takes so long, but I do understand that the deviantart staff is busy with everything.
Reply
:iconhelenarothstock:
HelenaRothStock Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2010  Professional Photographer
I'm glad someone has clarrified it for people, as my work has been harmed before by people accusing me of stealing...well my own work, not sure who started it but rumours can harm, especially if they are unfounded. I just hope that people contact staff before spreading slander across the news pieces or you homepage.
Reply
:iconkobayashihisa:
KobayashiHisa Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2010
It is understandable that the amount of reports that come in are overwhelming and they are hard to keep up with. HOWEVER, you can fix that by getting more moderators to assist you.

It is also understandable that many of us reporting only have links to official images found on sites like photobucket or flikr. HOWEVER, like myself who OWNS legal materials such as Sailor Moon Coloring Books that are not authorized for personal use to post as our own works, we can't exactly create an official site with a page-by-page synopsis of what is and is not in that particular book. When you purchase these books, they don't SHOW you what is in them, even the books like games guides or jpop mangas! People buy them and then scan the images in and distribute them for use. Where do you expect us to get you the proof that the image came from a book we own protected by copyright when it is not shown on any official website exactly what EVERY page is in that book??? All I have is the books and the scanned pictures from the books in my own photobucket account, and you have just basically told me that isn't enough. So what do you want?

Also, what the hell are you doing about people making profits off of fanart? It's fanart, not "myart". When are you going to get some control over people getting paid for drawing Sailor Moon for someone else and making 10+ bucks off of it?
Reply
:iconrealitysquared:
realitysquared Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
At the end of the day claims of infringement are only legally valid when they are made by the actual copyright owner or their legally authorized representative.

Lacking that proper legal claim our staff may be prompted to check for proper permission if a report filed by a third party sheds sufficient doubt on a particular deviation, but make no mistake that such things are not handled in the same manner as a proper DMCA compliant claim of infringement.
Reply
:iconkobayashihisa:
KobayashiHisa Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2010
Yes, very true that claims are only legally valid when made by the copyright owner, but what about owners that are "no more?" Is it okay to take their art because they cannot make a claim? (we both know it is not, that was basically rhetorical...)

As far as sufficient doubt is concerned, I would be overjoyed if you could elaborate on those specifics either here or in a completely new NEWS article as many of us are spinning our wheels trying to get the staff the information they need to make the right decisions, but we feel blocked at every turn when we are just trying to do the right thing.

So many things like screenshots and pages of books do not show every page of a book but people do upload scans and screenshots of those books they purchase legally (and then upload and distribute/edit illegally). There is no "official" site for these things besides a site where you can purchase the movie or book, but that doesn't give the staff any information on the pieces that were stolen unless we link to a place on the internet where the two pieces can be compared. That is where Photobucket and the other sites come in. If these are invalid ways to show copyright infringement for artists who cannot, regardless of why, make their own legal claims, then what should we do (differently or in addition to)?

Truly, many of us aren't trying to be trolls, aren't trying to harass people, and aren't trying to just make trouble... We want to make a difference for the better, and we want to help. Help us get your staff the information they need so they can make the right decisions and so we can be more effective and less like a wad of raving bastards.
Reply
:iconrealitysquared:
realitysquared Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
In cases where you know for a fact that the images where published in a book and you know for a fact that there is no chance that the submitting artist is the actual artist then you can file a general permissions issue ticket on the deviation and provide as much information as possible on the publication including such things as the full title and author, the ISBN number of the publication, the publishing and copyright dates, and the page number(s) where the material can be found.

Just bear in mind that third party reports are a lower priority so there will be a wait time involved before a member of staff gets to your report but with that sort of information we will be able to justify asking for proof of permission from the submitting artist.
Reply
:iconkobayashihisa:
KobayashiHisa Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2010
Will do. Thank you.
Reply
:iconmukart:
MukArt Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
i understand the information issue because some people don't bother to bring the proof, but stupid crap still is ignored in the reports! the admins or whoever dont even bother to actually go to the page and compare styles and skill levels, which is the #1 way of telling art thiefs. many thiefs dont even bother to hide the watermarks and thats alert #2. other thiefs steal official video game art (unedited) and thats like a smack in the face but of course the DA police will shrug that off too. you type spyro into google and half the images you see on DA will show up in the images from various spyro sites... official game art! in their galleries! we raise all these points and we try to be as detailed as possible only to be ignored. :( DA sucks now... especially since it allows art theft anyway in the form of tracing and paint overs... people are allowed to steal art here, so why even bother reporting? :O it really irks me how DA has changed... you know what i was told by some mod in the forums who i complained to about a stolen art thats report was denied? i was told "oh well they probably posted it on that site too" or something along those lines... the art im trying to get taken down is official the legend of spyro art! i unlocked the particular piece in the extras in the second game of the trilogy! so i know they didn't make it yet DA keeps giving me flack! the DA police are lazy, they don't care, at least they don't seem to care... maybe some of them do and I just happen to find one of the bad ones, i dunno... but the site seems to be going downhill :( i really like this site too i wish they would shape up and organize themselves... im not trying to get all bashy, but all this stuff is really upsetting me. you will find hundreds of deviants that share my opinion :( i feel like they don't care, and thats how me and many others have been treated. so i don't really believe what this article says because in my experience... they don't give a toot about what any of us say. im just sick and tired of them shrugging me off and giving me a bunch of excuses on everything :(
Reply
:iconsweetsuicidallove:
SweetSuicidalLove Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2010
I'm proud to say that, after talking with the staff, I always at least try to find information as to who the art belongs to and how to get in contact with them. <3
Reply
:iconurpwn3d:
urpwn3d Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2010
Thanks for taking the time to clarify. I will be more careful with my reports now.

A question: in case of "demotivationals" and other works which use screenshots from a movie, game or anime or manga/comic scans, is it sufficient to say "Original (movie, game etc.) is copyrighted to (author/studio) and the owner of this account is obviously not linked to (author/studio) in any way"?
Reply
:iconldlawrence:
LDLAWRENCE Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
I think some of the problem with art theft here on DA is the fact that alot of the new members confuse DA with sites like MYSPACE, Photobucket, and FACEBOOK. To me this is the leading cause of a lot of unintentional thefts and the high number of general art theft reports. Granted DA does make the rules clear on posting, and some members do inform the "offending" members of DA's policys before they report them. The trouble is getting people to acctuly read the policys. Is there a better way to get the message across to the new members?

When I report works, I try and find the best proof possible that it is stolen. My group members also do the same. Trouble is that some people go with the first picture they find as proof. I as well as some of my admin in the group dig deep. In one case going through close to 3000 pictures to find the original.

Another thing, has DA ever entertained the thought of adding a few more staff members to help deal with the reported artworks such as unacceptable content and missplaced deviations? Say having a few members who work nights or even weekends to keep the reports from piling up.
Reply
:iconrenardchaton:
renardchaton Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2010  Student Digital Artist
Yeah.. you see, why can't there be a HUGE BOLD PHRASE when submitting an artwork, like ...


"DEVIANTART IS FOR SUBMITTING COMPLETELY ORIGINAL ARTWORKS OF YOURS ONLY. ANY ARTWORKS UPLOADED TO DEVIANTART THAT ARE NOT ORIGINALLY YOURS IS CONSIDERED ART THEFT AND WILL RESULT IN THE BANNING OF YOUR ACCOUNT."


..or something like that.
because it actually seems to be that most art thieves are people who think that deviantART is photobucket.
Reply
:iconmedreaming:
medreaming Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2010
That should be everywhere on dA. :nod: Too many art thieves just seem like they don't get the rules.
Reply
:iconrenardchaton:
renardchaton Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2010  Student Digital Artist
yeah, exactly. :/
Reply
:iconldlawrence:
LDLAWRENCE Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
I agree. :nod:
Then again some people would even ignore that.
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:iconchesney:
chesney Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2010
They could make the whole submit button say that phrase instead of "submit" :lol: That would surely catch their attention.
Reply
:iconldlawrence:
LDLAWRENCE Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
Yeah but there would still be a few who would still go ahead and post stolen stuff. :)
Another idea would be to monitor new deviants. Say screen their first few posts just to see if they follow the rules or not.
Reply
:iconchesney:
chesney Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2010
That requires too much work, and rule-breaking deviants are still just as likely to buy prints, deviantwear, and subscriptions as rule-abiding deviants, right? Their money is just as good as far as the site's concerned.
Reply
:iconldlawrence:
LDLAWRENCE Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
Very true. Money talks.
What kills me though is I have bought a few things from deviantwear and quite a few subscriptions. Almost makes me feel like I am supporting art theft at times.
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:iconchesney:
chesney Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2010
Me too! The only subscriptions I ever get are from friends now (even though I ask them not to for that exact reason). I don't want to contribute a penny in any form (even ad clicks) to this site until they tighten their rules up and clean up their act. A bit of respect towards the members when addressing us would be a good change, too.
Reply
:iconrenardchaton:
renardchaton Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2010  Student Digital Artist
I know.. <_<
Reply
:iconbluesolitaire:
BlueSolitaire Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2009  Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks for clearing things up more. But it makes TinEye that much less useful now....esp. if the art in question is all over the frickin' Net. It moves too fast. How to find the ORIGINAL artist? That's the sticky part. We don't want to 1.) create more of a muck for the admins and 2.)wrongly accuse the real artist who might have that art on another site. I think you touched on that. Thanks!
I do thank people who are watching out for my stuff on other sites. My stuff ain't worth stealing IMO but how would I know otherwise? The art theft busters are my "eyes".
I apologize if any of that seems off subject. ^^;
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:icone-nat:
e-nat Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2009
It does make sense, since many things are reporte, even for
wrong reasons. However, most of the art theft cases that
I noticed came kiddies stealing from foreign sites. Mainly
Japanese fanart sites whose managers do not have accounts at DA.

They may take the same pen name of the original artist or simply
choose any random name. That's also considered bad, me thinks.
Reply
:icondreamofthephoenix:
DreamOfThePhoenix Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2010
I come across that scenario more times than not and more times than not it seems dA doesn't do anything about the stolen art, even when a valid link to the artists website has been provided. Trying to contact the Japanese artist is sometimes impossible because an email address isn't available or the site has been inactive for months and the real artist may not even check the email associated with their website any more (and those I've been able to contact don't speak English so how the hell are they supposed to defend their art?) I busted a girl last week who was posing - yes, you heard correctly, posing - as a Japanese artist and posting the real artist's work here on dA and she had everyone fooled except for me and another member who had also visited her site. After some digging I was able to prove she was lying and wasn't the real artist - hell, she wasn't even Japanese (she isn't the first and I know she won't be the last to pretend to be someone they aren't).
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:iconsn37:
SN37 Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2009  Hobbyist Interface Designer
Art theft is general, but this explains some criticisms and some knowledgeable thoughts in deviantART, it is way larger than a super-sized deviation as well.

Guys and gals and a billion of deviants around this world, listen to me with a whole bunch of great-experienced admins, just do something creative, don't be thinking of art theft. Some victims were born to be there for a long period they want to, everyone is born equal, we can create, write, and paint.

We have the right to support against this kind of theft. If anyone just finds and discovers this illegal artwork, that was belonged to someone else or you, just report it and let the admins notify. Just try it and ignore commenting as you wish.
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:iconlostkitten:
LostKitten Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2009  Hobbyist
I realize it can be frustrating for an original artist to be accused of art theft erroneously and therefore deviantART decided to take this action, but allowing a mass of policy violations to sit stagnant within the community because the interested third party does not have access to the original creator seems a bit counter-productive. Leaving policy violations within deviantART gives the impression that these submissions are accepted here. Therefore, more and more deviants violate dA policies and the quality of our community diminishes.

Personally, I don't want to see deviantART transform into the sites many violation reporters bring forward as their proof (photobucket, imageshack). I'd much rather see deviantART expand as the art community it's intended to be. I find it impressive that we have such a large group of accomplished artist's in dA, but that does not excuse copyright infringement.

Instead of doing nothing when there seems to be a lack of evidence, why not contact the accused policy violator? Inform them that a member of the community brought their work to the attention of deviantART staff and ask them to provide proof that they are allowed to have those works on deviantART. If they are legally able to use the work, providing proof should be a fairly painless feat. Certainly easier than an interested third party attempting to find an original artist among a sea of rips. Even the mere act of contacting deviants believed to be in violation of dA policy will likely make the guilty parties admit their faults and remove the submissions. Simply because they know there's no way for them to provide proof, because they have none.

On many occasions I contact the deviants I file reports against and let them know why I filed a report. Many of them respond with "I've seen lots of popular deviants with the same stuff in their gallery, so I thought it was alright." It's that kind of response that worries me if deviantART takes no action when sufficient evidence cannot be provided.

More people decide what they do on deviantART based upon what they see in the community. There's only a small percentage of people who have actually taken the time out to read the rules and this article is essentially telling those people that trying to uphold those rules is not something they should be involved with unless they personally know the artist who's rights are being infringed upon.

Reported submissions believed to be policy violations should not be disregarded for lack of evidence. They should be investigated further to protect the rights of artist's everywhere. The before mentioned contact to the accused party would be a fairly effortless way of obtaining the necessary proofs that a work is legally able to be shared on deviantART.

:twocents::twocents: (that went on longer than I anticipated, so there's my four cents)
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:iconarhcamt:
arhcamt Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2009
photobucket and any other similar image hosting sites do fall under 'somewhere online' in "Can you show us the original artwork somewhere online by giving us a URL? so you can't really blame them for providing links to those places. if what you mean by 'somewhere online' is like the artist's personal website or such then i think it won't hurt to just state it explicitly. it will benefit both party that way.

also if the cause of invalid marking is because people don't give enough information then why not 'force' them to give a complete one? i personally agree with what ~delPigeon said below about putting extra fields in the form.

if you want people to give complete and valid information then make them give it in the first place. i believe it's more reliable than correcting them later in a sorry-not-enough-information-look-some-more fashion.

about complexity, i think it's not really a strong excuse. well, i don't know about programming or coding-wise but i think adding one or two fields won't be that big of a problem. but if it's about how the community will be intimidated by it, please don't underestimate our learning ability.
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:iconochrejelly:
OchreJelly Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2009   Digital Artist
Despite the explanation offered here, I'm still finding some of the report returns to be baffling.

A report on [link] was rejected. The original artist is Japanese, as evidenced by a wikipedia article on the series, and by the signature in the image.

The image is a scan of a poster, there's a line down the middle where the page breaks; probably taken off animepaper.net by the user in question. I searched for a good time, and it seems that it's not published online by the original artist, just in traditional print. Therefore the likelyhood of finding the exact original image attributed to the artist is next to zero. It's also near impossible to think user contacted the original artist and got permission, as it's a published image, nevermind exactly duplicate to the scanned image on animepaper.

These things were explained in detail in the report and yet it returned as invalid. Given how the artist is Japanese it's impossible for the majority of DA users to contact them to confirm; and in fact that seems like a totally needless extra hurdle. It's as if DA requires one to move hell and high water, when in fact it's completely obvious it's stolen given the random contents of the user's gallery, and the aspects I already pointed out.

It seems a major waste of time to bother with reporting images if deviantArt can't see the forest because of the trees.
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:iconchesney:
chesney Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2009
I really like this explanation here and a good example. This is disheartening to see two closed invalid reports on this. :(
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:iconiggy-san:
Iggy-san Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
I have some questions: What if, for example, someone posted my work as their own and reported my original work in my gallery under the (my) reports category? how would one deal with that situation?
Also, what if someone steals from an artist who is not a deviant art member and wishes not to be. They can't use that report system, therefore, it is up to a concerned third party. What kind of proof would you like to see to successfully resolve the situation.
Finally, what if a person offers prints of work proven to be stolen? would they be charged for the profits made off the stolen work? Would there be other legal matters involved in that situation?
Thank you for your time.
Reply
:iconbaz135:
Baz135 Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2009  Hobbyist Photographer
Everything submitted as a print undergoes quality control (either right at submission for people with premium prints account and upon purchase for everyone else), and so an obvious stolen image would most likely get noticed at that point.
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:iconiggy-san:
Iggy-san Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
Ahh, thank you!!!
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:iconbaz135:
Baz135 Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2009  Hobbyist Photographer
No problem :)
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:iconflynn-the-cat:
Flynn-the-cat Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
For the first one - upload dates (although they could edit an old file); you would hopefully still have the original (file or picture) and could show that; comparison with your/their other work...

2nd) it depends on the original artist - if they have a website elsewhere, and can be either contacted, or state 'this is mine, no steaing/not found elsewhere' it's easy. If they don't, it gets more complicated, and would probably vary in each case - but may come down to contacting the original artist, I guess :shrug:

3rd) I have no idea. I hope not. But as WE can't see if someone's made money or not...
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:iconhisietari:
Hisietari Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2009
I totally understand your arguments and usually try to provide as much information as I can. I'll also only file cases I can be 100% sure of they're stolen. Like that, about 99% of what I reported so far did get removed - so no problems here. :) Not that I find much, it's not like I search for art theft... but a little is better than closing my eyes completely, isn't it. ^^"
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:iconbattlewolf160:
battlewolf160 Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2009
So what happens if we find some of our artwork on photobucket or those other sites?

I understand completely the reason for this news article, and I have no problem with it. I'm just wondering what we would be able to do if we saw our photographs or other artwork somewhere else besides dA (And I understand the internet is way too big to be able to control what happens elsewhere).

Should we just watermark our images or have our signature on the bottom of the deviation?
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:iconflynn-the-cat:
Flynn-the-cat Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
DEFINITELY put your URL on it somewhere, and then you'll at least get some free advertising! (Many people don't think they're stealing - especially for Photobucket, or don't bother to edit it out, because iut doesn't occur to them, or they think noone will notice)

For other sites - like PB - you are usually able to report it, to them, and can point to your DA gallery as evidence.
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:iconrealitysquared:
realitysquared Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
If you choose to make your work publicly available on the Internet then there is nothing which you can do to stop someone from taking it and redistributing it if they want.

You can only discourage this by watermarking your work in an obvious fashion which is not easy to remove and signing your work in an obvious fashion as well.

It's no guarantee at all but it's the best discouragement that you can put into place and still be able to show your work.
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:icondelpigeon:
delPigeon Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2009
Why not just change the Report function such that it requires a decent enough level of information for a report to always be valid provided the report is correctly filled out? Or at least add in an explanation as to what constitutes an acceptable and actionable report and what will fail to meet your criteria?

For instance a field for a link to the original location of the work, a field for a link to the artist's original site, a field for a link to anything which proves the artists to be non-identical etc.

If reports don't have sufficient evidence, perhaps it's because the sort of evidence required to come to a solid enough conclusion is not made public to those who're submitting the reports. At least when people know what is expected prior to submitting a report, if they can't find enough corroborative information to give to you, they're aware of it as they give in the report and therefore won't be dismayed when their report is binned as lacking in quality.
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