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Submitted on
August 20, 2013
Submitted with Writer


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There appears to be a fair amount of misunderstanding on the subject of stock resources so what I would like to do today is attempt to clarify several issues which are of importance to the artists who generously provide stock resources to the public for use and hopefully dispel the confusion and misinformation which is beginning to circulate.

The first issue at hand is in regards to your personal stock terms

Your Personal Stock Terms

Officially deviantART maintains only one "automatic" restriction and that is "No Commercial Use" and that particular restriction can easily be overridden by the actual stock provider.

As far as official policy is concerned each stock resource provider is free to attach any Terms of Use, restrictions or requirements that they see fit and our moderation staff will do the best we can to help you enforce your rules when you need that sort of assistance.

We only ask a few things from you in return;

  • Place your terms of use right on the deviation page so someone can't miss them.
  • Make your terms of use simple, straightforward, clearly written and understandable.
  • Don't use terms which are vague or open to interpretation.
  • Try to politely solve problems with artists not following your terms yourself before seeking staff help.

In the event that you believe someone has failed to follow your personal terms of use for a resource used in a deviation submitted to deviantART and you have attempted to get that artist to correct the problem and given them a reasonable amount of time in which to make the correction.

If someone has ignored your personal stock terms of use and they do not respond to your requests for correction within a reasonable time frame you may contact our staff at the deviantART Customer Service Center for assistance. Providing that your terms of use are fair and reasonable our staff will do their best to assist you.

Does Violation of Your Personal Stock Terms Equal Copyright Infringement?

The short answer to this one is "NO"; a violation of any of your personal rules for use does not necessarily create a situation involving copyright infringement.

A violation of your terms is certainly a problem and you CAN get assistance for it but please do not report it as copyright infringement and do not use the DMCA copyright infringement web form in an attempt to have the violating work removed as infringement. 

To properly seek assistance with violations of your stock rules file a general "Policy Inquiry" customer service ticket found under the Copyright & Etiquette Administration section of the contact menu (this is a section which collects general tickets of all subjects so there may be a bit of a wait due to volume) and simply title your inquiry something clear (and not copyright related).

In your ticket you should take a few moments to briefly explain which terms of use were violated and if possible show us or explain to us where you tried to get this person to correct their error and we'll review. As long as the terms of use are clear and straight forward, like a requirement for crediting or linking back, we can assist you with them- and to be perfectly transparent there are some terms of use, like a general requirement for notification, which we can't assist with because we cannot verify all possible means of contacting you for that notification.

Some clarification for current stock resource related issues.
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KerensaW Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
I'm kind of tired of the treatment of fan art - yes, i'm a huge Michael Jackson fan but a) I always credit the stock provider, and b) I never sell any of my Michael art.  I don't know why people are so against that. :(
Ebonsong Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2014
If someone own copyright on the stock, they own it. Why would you say otherwise? I thought dA was for honest artists, your journal post is really making me think otherwise. :(
realitysquared Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
If you post a stock resource and someone simply takes that resources and redistributes it then you have a copyright infringement issue, however if you post a stock resource and someone take that resource and uses it (which you are allowing them to do by making it a stock resource) but they fail to obey all your terms of use then you definitely have a complaint about noncompliance with your terms but you do not necessarily have a copyright infringement complaint.

Both types of complaints can result in the removal of the submission using your resource; we would simply like to see people recognize when which is which and for stock providers give a basic effort at reminding people to obey their terms of use before they involve the administration- why get something deleted when reminding an artist to properly provide a link back or credit line which they forgot could solve the problem with no ill feelings or drama?
Ebonsong Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2014
I agree that a person who violates dA's rules (whether intentionally or not) should get a warning at first. We all make mistakes, sometimes super silly ones.

It seems we both agree for the most part, but are arguing on semantics. It is my understanding the person who created the original stock owns it & all derivatives are still owned by the creator. No matter how many filters a second artist uses, they've still violated the original artist's copyright. However it seems dA has chosen to categorize this as a seperate issue - for sake of making ticket load easier to deal with. If that's so, then I understand your stance.

Perhaps the way the ticket system is written when a person submits a report should be reworded (if it hasn't by now) to more carefully say something like "This is still a copyright issue, just in a more specific category related to stock use. Please understand we take this as seriously as a regular copyright infringement." Or something similar. Just might help people be a bit more patient with the reporting system.
Cypselurus Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Look, I hate to be blunt most times, but answering people with big fancy words isn't going to satisfy them when their art's been quite clearly stolen..
Red-alert1 Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2014  Student Digital Artist
so you didn't help cos semantic?
if someone takes my work i want fucking credit, how hard can it be to get that?
if rules are incomplete then they have to change them
libbyrust Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2014   Digital Artist
Agreed. This guy has no business running a lemonade stand, let alone being the administrator of a large website with paying customers. >:[
xXForensicXArtistXx Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Surely... as a dA admin.... YOU SHOULD KNOW what rules have been broken..... And surely as artists and photographers.... We have a right to make sure that the art we upload REMAINS our art..... Not a "reference" or "stock image" for some idiot who can't ACTUALLY draw..... SURELY you should be encouraging such people to be TRYING to draw on their own instead of tracing?

Is that not your job?

Or do you feel it is your job to turn everyone against dA and make them leave so you are literally left with just art thieves and tracers and re-colours and editors?
Lacework-Stables Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist

1, grow up.

2, EVERYONE traces at some point in their lives. So saying that you never have is most likely bullshit.

3, if someone puts up an image that is labeled STOCK, whoever chooses to use it may trace if they choose to. Who the hell are you to say they can't?

Tracing is an art. Editing is an art. Recoloring is an art. HOWEVER, stealing an original piece or idea, is NOT art. Let me explain.

For example. You go out one day and take a picture of say a cat and upload it to dA as a stock image. Someone see's said stock image and wants to use it to trace to get a feel for the anatomy in case they ever want to try that pose again.

You can't call that stealing or copyright infringement because you made the image a STOCK (meaning free to use by anyone and everyone however they see fit) image. You don't own every species of cat, you didn't create every species of cat. So, in summary, it is NOT stealing to trace over a stock image.

BeachPrimrose Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2014
I never traced unless it was for an art class. Tracing isn't art. You are just making excuses for being too lazy to work on your art skills. Also Carlin MINDFUCK!
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