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March 10, 2010
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Journal Entry: Wed Mar 10, 2010, 8:47 AM


Beware of staff impersonations

At least a couple of times a year we get reports of someone impersonating deviantART staff.

Sometimes its a fake profile like DeviantARTVersion7 or deviantartpolice; you can always tell real staff members from the special symbol in front of their name ($) and actual volunteers by the symbol in front of their name (^).

Sometime we get people just claiming that they are "staff using an alternate account" to explain why their profile doesn't look like a staff account in any way. While some of us do maintain alternate accounts we don't parade around in them claiming to be staff while trying to get you to do something; that's why we have our actual staff accounts.

Lastly we have the people who try to pass themselves off as staff by rigging up fake email accounts or fake IM accounts.

Currently there is some troll running around on a fake Hotmail account pretending to be our beloved ewm- you can see the poor grammar and lack of research done by the troll by visiting ewm's journal here ewm.deviantart.com/journal/308…

It's important to remember that deviantART staff will never contact you via email or IM program and there is no reason why we would be using hotmail or yahoo or gmail or hellokitty to do it (while our current Support system does use email it's in response to you contacting us and not us contacting you first).

If you get a suspicious email "from staff" out of the blue don't be afraid to actually contact us and ask if it is real, and if it isn't we'll ask you to send us a copy so that we can file a fraud complaint with IC3 (Internet Crime Complaint Center).


Problem groups

We are aware that some of you are discovering Groups which seem to have purposes which seem pretty "iffy". Out of the several types the ones we're looking at more closely at the moment are the "vigilante" Groups and the way they tend to be used to form lynch mobs and encourage witch hunting type behavior, not to mention the fact that they tend to 'market' themselves as an "alternative" to the staff or otherwise being able to "address" one or more types of problems.

Rest assured that we, the actual staff, are aware of your concerns and the problems which are built into these types of Groups so keep your eye out for an official response from us in the near future.

Until then continue to let us know via our Support Center of any problems or harassment issues stemming from these Groups.


"Art Theft"

Some of you may be aware that I've been involved in many conversations over the last few weeks concerning the concerns of the community about "art theft" versus the staff concern with actual Claims of Copyright Infringement.

The issue is complex and certain to cause a lot of feedback and discussion so I'll leave that off for a later journal for when I have a bit more time to write it but I do want to address some concerns which have been voiced that I am difficult to approach on the subject.

I'd like to simply state, for now, that I am more than willing to engage anyone on the subject and take the time to fully explain anything which you do not understand, however I do want it understood that anyone who adopts an aggressive tone with me or who bases their half of the discussion on popular misconceptions, incorrect information or who insists on using the wrong terminology should expect me to immediately correct them.

I don't do this in order to "retaliate" or "talk down" to anyone, or for any other reason except for the simple reason that you and I both need to be discussing the same subject matter.

Like it or not, a concern about "tracing" is not the same as a concern about "copyright infringement" so we have to either discuss one or the other and if it is obvious that what you actually want to discuss with me is copyright infringement them expect me to correct you as to which terminology you should actually be using.

A lot of the popular slang terms, like "art theft" simply do not mean the same thing as "copyright infringement" so forgive me if I correct you so that we are both talking about the same thing and using the correct terms for the discussion.

Part of my responsibilities here is to make certain that the community understands our policies and where they come from so expect me to correct you if you are working from a misunderstanding or popular misconception; it is not me arguing for the sake of argument it is me simply making certain that your half of the discussion and my half of the discussion are about the same thing.

If my information is mistaken or inaccurate then I will admit that and correct what I am saying so I will naturally expect you to do the same if your information is mistaken or inaccurate.

In any event I will address this whole matter at a later date but feel free to engage me on it through this journal since those discussions will help me ensure that any address I make at a later date addresses as many points properly as possible.


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:icontseng-akera:
Tseng-Akera Featured By Owner May 26, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
now i got a question, when it comes to the groups that you are claiming are vigilante.

if you have a group that does silent reporting, aka the group find a person with possible copyright infringement, one person will give a warning and the rest just silently report and find the original artwork and let the original artist know. now you have one or two renegades that decide to troll or harass the user that happen to be in the group and the user in question even after having their work removed by DA decides to get all pissed about it and instead of just blocking the user that harassed her decides to report the whole group.

would the whole group get in trouble for one idiots mistake?

also a few more if you don't mind, all involving copyright infringement.

i know DA has been very iffy about the use of Tineye as a means of identifying copyright infringment, now what if we find an image that is 200x 195 (as an example) and the artist claims that she is the original artist *we're talking like very complex work that no way in hell would be that small* and we find a result on tineye that is wallpaper size but no original artist. would DA still take that as proof that this artist isn't the original?

also "tracing" has been the biggest battle i fight with some of the more aggressive "hunters" as you would call us. they mainly are attacking those that create "line art" from official images or manga's and post them on here as a free to use line art. is that copyright infringement since it was a direct copy of the original work but they are giving it out as free to use.

now say a user post the line art up, admitting it was copied directly from the original image, is claiming no copyright and is posting it strictly for educational purposes to help other artist with clean line art to increase their skill in coloring. would that still be considered copyright infringement because it is being used for educational purposes?

i know i am one of the bigger thorns in your side since i made this account, but if you could answer these it would be greatly appreciated.
Reply
:iconretroboy78:
retroboy78 Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2010
Okay. An iffy group I have seen is :thebullyzone:. And also please keep an close eye on #flash-army. I can definitely already sense spam already as I have my suspicions from the founder of that groups founder and her attitude.
Reply
:iconltspongebob:
Ltspongebob Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2010
So just to some things up. Say there is some random person who took a drawing from someone else and recolored it. Is the maker and only the maker of the original drawing allowed to report the stolen artwork?
Reply
:iconrealitysquared:
realitysquared Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
That depends entirely on exactly what you mean when you say "recolor".

If you mean that they copy an existing work and change things like the colors or other minor details, then yes- the original copyright owner will need to have a problem with the copy and file an official complaint.

If you mean "recolor" as it directly take somebody's work and scribble on it in MSpaint so the hair is green instead of black then you could report it as it having "Permissions Issues". Your report however will not carry the same weight or urgency as a complaint from the actual copyright owner and it's important for you to remember that.
Reply
:iconltspongebob:
Ltspongebob Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2010
Oh, okay. Thanks!
Reply
:icon8anubiz4:
8Anubiz4 Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2010   Digital Artist
Please, I need help. :(
I've just asked a persona why would have she/him pissed people around. But then she explained me something different. When I tried to calm her/him. she/him started talking nonesense. like she/him said I was stalking this and now I'm making FAKE ffriendship and more. I really want to report her. But sinse I do not have enough reasons, I wany some tips on how to make her stop awhile and forget on doing this... Please reply :(
Reply
:iconrealitysquared:
realitysquared Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Just add them to your Block list and never talk to them again.
Reply
:icon8anubiz4:
8Anubiz4 Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2010   Digital Artist
Thank you very much for helping. :))
Reply
:iconinsanity-24-7:
Insanity-24-7 Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2010
I understand the idea behind needing the person with the copyright involved. It makes legal sense. However, there are a couple things I keep wondering.

Are we saying that, until and unless I know about it, it is perfectly fine for someone else to upload my art?

Also, if I know that you cannot contact the original artist, is it okay for me to post their art? For example, *Jewel-Reaver passed away last summer. You cannot contact her. It is impossible. Am I allowed to go through her gallery and take whatever I want since you can't prove she wouldn't be okay with it?

I feel awful for suggesting such a thing but that is what I keep wondering ^^;
Reply
:iconrealitysquared:
realitysquared Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
In answer to your first question; take a moment and look around at the world- there are easily billions of different artworks out there which can be considered to be copyright protected and probably a matching number which are either public domain or otherwise free to use.

If someone were to pick out your artwork specifically and place it up on a random art website somewhere how is anybody going to know that it is yours if they aren't personally familiar with your work?

Unless you are famous in some capacity the chances are that nobody will know that your art was plunked down somewhere by someone other than you.

Now even if some random passerby shows up and recognizes your work they don't necessarily know the story about how it got there.

They don't know if it was put there with your blessing, they don't know if you licensed the use for a fee, they don't know if it was used without your permission, and they probably don't know if you even care.

All they can do is make assumptions, and without knowing the back story those assumptions can be dead wrong.

So in answer to the first part of your question; No it's not okay for someone to use your work without your permission and you care about that sort of thing but unless you actually show up to protest chances are nobody is even going to know it was your work and that you don't want it used like that.
Reply
:iconxtouda:
xTouda Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2010   Interface Designer
I've a question! What does deviantART takes of someone who traces exactly while changing a few things like hairstyles, hair colors & skin colors, at the same time, they claim the art to be made 100% themselves? Like they never mentioned that it's referenced or copy... :?
Reply
:iconrealitysquared:
realitysquared Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
I've said this plenty of times but I refuse to acknowledge the word "trace" in these sorts of cases.

The situation which you are referring to is more accurately described as one of direct copying.

Now as far as copying goes, artists have done that sort of thing for as long as art has been around. Hell just look in your own gallery; you have fan art which has copied characters from other sources- granted you didn't copy exactly but the fact remains that you copied someone else's idea.

My point here is that copying can encompass many different levels in regards to what is 'borrowed' from the reference material.

If the copying has borrowed a substantial amount and the original owner of the referenced work cares enough to file a complaint with us we will certainly examine the issue closely- very precise copies tend to be removed while works with only vague similarities will be left in the gallery.

The bottom line here is that the original copyright owner must complain about the copying and the copying must be significant if they expect our staff to acknowledge their claim of wrongdoing but it does help greatly if the copycat doesn't acknowledge their reference and it's a cut-and-dried example of wholesale copying.

If it's not your work which was copied then you don't have the right to complain about it because what you think doesn't matter- it's what the actual owner thinks of the issue.
Reply
:iconxtouda:
xTouda Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2010   Interface Designer
You mean like if the copies are exactly the same scale of the original once? I mean like poses & stuffs?
Reply
:iconrealitysquared:
realitysquared Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Scale doesn't really matter- someone could easily reproduce a work exactly at a larger or smaller scale.

It should also be noted that similar poses aren't something which you can file a complaint over- things can only be positioned in so many ways and you cannot claim a certain pose as "yours" or wage wars to prevent anyone else from using a similar pose- that whole concept is simply ridiculous.

When we talk about precise copying we're talking about works which are exactly the same, or nearly so, and which both display similar levels of quality and skill.
Reply
:iconxtouda:
xTouda Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2010   Interface Designer
No, I mean by exactly the same like for example: the face size, eyes shape, anatomy are exactly the same size as the original, but changed something like hairstyle. I think it'll be easier to understand if I give you an illustration example.

For example, this is the original image: [link]

And the traced: [link]

I meant by tracing is drawing back over the original art.
Reply
:iconrealitysquared:
realitysquared Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
And as I explained- we do not entertain accusations of "tracing" because such accusations refer to a method of creating a work which cannot be verified by anybody not present during the act of creation.

Since we cannot verify exactly how a work was created we will not entertain accusations that the method of creation was somehow improper.

If you wish to argue about exact copying then we will be able to investigate these claims, but we cannot investigate claims of "tracing" because we cannot travel through time and space to the moment the work was created.
Reply
:iconxtouda:
xTouda Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2010   Interface Designer
Oh, got it! Sorry for bothering you!
Reply
:icontthealer56:
TThealer56 Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2010
Intriguing...
I think I've recognized something here in reading the other comments:

When you use the words "Claim copyright infringement" you are only using them in the strict legal sense. Indeed the only person who can claim copyright infringement is the actual owner of the piece, or his/her legal agent, or the actual "owner" of the property.

Most deviants however, seem to use this same terminology in a non legal form, in other words, they are claiming that someones copyright has been infringed upon and are suggesting that "action be taken".

I'm sure you yourself probably understand this, but it seems that deviants reading what you are writing do not.

Just an observation....
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:iconrealitysquared:
realitysquared Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
I agree that some people aren't making the correct association, but the ones doing the most arguing actually do understand the point I am making and are instead trying to excuse or rationalize a way to get around the procedure.

Right now we do realize all of the inaccuracies and falsehoods which exist in the community surrounding the subject of copyright and how to take action and we are trying to reeducate and replace the incorrect information with good fact, but there are those who are determined to resist having to view the process as it actually exists.
Reply
:icontthealer56:
TThealer56 Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2010
Only for point of discussion mind you....... Do you think maybe that the procedure is too complicated, for some people to grasp?

I noted the wording changes on the reporting mechanism, but I didn't really find it very difficult.
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:iconrealitysquared:
realitysquared Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
As far as our internal moderation system, I think we have the wording as clear and easy as it can be right now- so any problems would be due to either a poor grasp of the English language or just an unwillingness to actually read through the instructions.

The wording of an actual claim of copyright infringement sent in by email has to be worded in a certain fashion and hit certain key statements so that one really can't be simplified too much, although we can explain each step in the process for those who get it wrong, which is common.

It's just a matter of getting word out into the community about what needs to be done in the situation and how to do it properly so that people can be better armed.
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:icontthealer56:
TThealer56 Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2010
:nod:
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:iconajglass:
AJGlass Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2010  Professional Artisan Crafter
anyone who adopts an aggressive tone with me or who bases their half of the discussion on popular misconceptions, incorrect information or who insists on using the wrong terminology should expect me to immediately correct them

If such "correction" was done respectfully and with tact, I doubt that many people would adopt an aggressive tone.



     ...says the pot to the kettle.
:paranoid:
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:iconladyz0e:
ladyz0e Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2010  Professional Artist
I have a question regarding the rule where you have to get the original artist to report a stolen work.

Some times, I will see an image here on DA that is stolen, and it comes from another art website or something like that. I might report it, and sometimes I will get "you need to get the original artist to report it" (or in more or less words). The problem arises when the original artist may be someone who does not speak english. What should be the course of action in these situations? Should I try to contact this person? But, if I have to, and I don't know the person's language, what is the next step?

I appreciate any feedback I receive.
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:iconrealitysquared:
realitysquared Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
We require the original owner to be involved for actual claims of copyright infringement for a couple of really good reasons.

The first is that only the copyright owner can actually file a valid claim; that one is a no-brainer.

The second concern is that deviantART is now big enough that we have a lot of very famous artists who either maintain accounts here or who allow others to maintain an account on their behalf; we've got people who work for Disney, Marvel and a host of other "famous" artists quietly maintaining a deviantART profile.

What I am trying to say is that just because you can find a work on deviantART and on six other websites under six other names doesn't mean that one or more or all of these accounts aren't the same person or that the artist didn't authorize them somehow.

If you find works in a gallery and you have doubt that the profile is actually operated the the actual artist then if you know who the artist is and how to contact them then you should try to do so; if they don't speak English you can use a translator and explain that you are using a translator.

We want that owner involvement because I've seen profile reported as "art thieves" stealing from a foreign language site and when the staff looks into the matter it turns out that the deviantART profile actually belongs to the actual artist.

We simply cannot make assumptions.

Lacking direct owner involvement you'd have to show the staff that the work cannot possibly belong to the person who submitted it and if you can then the staff can take the step of requesting proof of permission.

Requesting proof of permission is about as good as it will get in the event that the actual copyright owner is not directly involved.
Reply
:iconladyz0e:
ladyz0e Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2010  Professional Artist
Yes. I see that deviantart treats art theft seriously, so it makes sense if the original artist makes the claim. If you compare it to how that stuff works in the real world, it makes sense.

Thank you for your response. :D
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:iconrealitysquared:
realitysquared Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
You are welcome.

Do you have any other questions or concerns since you currently have my attention?
Reply
:iconladyz0e:
ladyz0e Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2010  Professional Artist
Hmmm.

I have one tiny question about the reporting process. Is there a backlog of reports yet to be processed? Sometimes I will submit a report and I never get a response or it might be many months before I get anything. I assume deviantart gets alot of reports every day. Am I right in my guess?
Reply
:iconrealitysquared:
realitysquared Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
The reporting category currently known as "Permissions Issues" does have an extensive backlog due to overzealous vigilante style reporting.

Combine this with the particular sorting and prioritizing system which we use to line up reports for administrative review and then add in the fact that third party reports get the lowest possible priority and we do wind up with a situation where your individual report might remain buried for a very long time before coming to light.

The overzealous (and often inaccurate) vigilante reporting is the primary reason we encourage copyright owners to file their own claims of infringement; those reports won't get buried in the daily avalanche and will get highest priority.
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:iconrursus:
Rursus Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Could you give us an idea of what kind of priority each different type of report gets? I know that the 'theft of MY work' category gets priority over 'permission issues', but where do the other reports fall in? Is there a list we can refer to?
Reply
:iconrealitysquared:
realitysquared Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Generally speaking the priority goes something like;

1. DMCA Copyright Infringement Notices
2. 'My Work Used' reports
3. 'Pornography' reports
4. 'Mature content needed' reports
5. 'Problem Content' reports
5. 'Permissions Issues'
6. 'Misplacement' reports

And I should mention that people who chronically abuse the system by deliberately misfiling reports with the belief that the staff will look at them faster can be blocked from using the moderation system.
Reply
(1 Reply)
:iconladyz0e:
ladyz0e Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2010  Professional Artist
I see. Well, I thank you for your time. I can't really think of anything else to ask. c:
Reply
:icondazza1008:
dazza1008 Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2010
Regarding a hot topic - 'nick simmons' - what he did (trace Bleach and publish his tracings in his comic Incarnate) is obviously copyright infringement in my view because they are nearly exact replicas.

If nick simmons just uploaded Incarnate to dA and didn't sell it, is it no longer copyright infringement or is it copyright infringement yet we turn a blind eye to it because there's no profit?

And is the situation different if he uploaded into the 'fanart' section?

Thanks. :)
Reply
:iconrealitysquared:
realitysquared Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Actually he did not "trace" any Manga, which is where people who rely upon the term "trace" commonly get it wrong.

That situation involves plagiarism which is more of a case involving taking one person's idea, copying it pretty much "as is" and presenting it as your own idea.

This can be a completely different situation than actual copyright infringement and not all reuses of ideas can be considered to be plagiarism either.

If you were to render the movies Space Balls and Star Wars both into comic form how many of you would claim that one was a "trace" or "art thieving" from the other?

They both have similar looking characters, use the same situations and themes and obviously Mel Brooks (Space Balls) wasn't sued for copyright infringement by George Lucas (Star Wars) but how many of you "trace police" deviants would hammer away at the 'Report Deviation' button trying to get us to remove it?

The situation is not as cut-and-dried as many of you try to argue.
Reply
:iconx-xemoliciousx-x:
X-xEmoliciousx-X Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2010
[link] So, with this overlay of a page of Incarnate and a page of Bleach, it isn't an obvious trace? :o kthen.

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:icondazza1008:
dazza1008 Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2010
Actually he did not "trace" any Manga, which is where people who rely upon the term "trace" commonly get it wrong.
I didn't know that tracing was an ambiguous term! :D I'm referring to putting down some tracing paper and drawing over it. And if he didn't do that, he COULD have considering how similar the poses are. IMO it's different to using someone's character and drawing that character in a different pose.
Tracing:
[link]
[link]

That situation involves plagiarism which is more of a case involving taking one person's idea, copying it pretty much "as is" and presenting it as your own idea.
Well, that too, with plot elements, but thanks for the clarification.

This can be a completely different situation than actual copyright infringement and not all reuses of ideas can be considered to be plagiarism either.

If you were to render the movies Space Balls and Star Wars both into comic form how many of you would claim that one was a "trace" or "art thieving" from the other?

I wouldn't use either of those terms to describe the situation - but if the comic is actually called the same, wouldn't that be an issue of intellectual property/copyright? Wouldn't it need to be licensed then, if it were published?

They both have similar looking characters, use the same situations and themes and obviously Mel Brooks (Space Balls) wasn't sued for copyright infringement by George Lucas (Star Wars) but how many of you "trace police" deviants would hammer away at the 'Report Deviation' button trying to get us to remove it?
Regards to Space Balls, it's a parody of Star Wars, and I believe there are some legal exceptions for that under 'fair use'. Don't know if that existed back then, though. Regarding a comic of that, yeah I'd report it if it wasn't in the 'fanart' section, since it's not their characters and I'd assume they didn't have permission. But if it wasn't straight-out using the characters, and they 'invented' a character called Varth Dader or something, then it blurs it a bit but the comic would fail if it wasn't a parody.

The situation is not as cut-and-dried as many of you try to argue.
All I'm asking is whether tracings (and I mean drawing over an existing piece of art) are legally OK when put in the fanart section, or whether it's not legally OK if the lawyers turn a blind eye to it because there is no profit made. I believe that's why you don't allow prints of anything in that section. But it's weird how 'making money' would change the legalities of it. Just the motivation of the lawyers.
Reply
:iconrealitysquared:
realitysquared Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
There is no easy answer to your question about precise copying; much will depend on whether or not the "original" artist who was copied actually files a claim, whether it goes to trial and the outcome of that trial.

The links which you provided simply prove to me that no "tracing" was involved, although is can be convincingly argued that some works and panels were directly copied.

Right now it's clearly a case of plagiarism; it will be up to the publishing company to decide whether or not to claim copyright infringement and whether or not they do will depend on how strong of a case they think they have and whether or not they will be able to collect damages, (since damages will be the only reason to pursue the matter since the allegations of plagiarism have already stopped production of the Simmons' comic).

Cases involving this type of copying are never guaranteed. You can look up a couple of court cases involving artist Jeff Koons who has been in court on at least two occasions defending his copying existing works; in ROGERS v. KOONS, 960 F.2d 301 (2nd Cir. 1992) he lost but in Blanch v. Koons, No. 03 Civ. 8026 (LLS), S.D.N.Y., Nov. 1 2005 he won.

The reason that "fan art" is not allowed in our shop is the fact that the distinctive likenesses of the characters are copyrighted and often also trademarked. "Tracing" is completely irrelevant to that particular issue.
Reply
:icondazza1008:
dazza1008 Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2010
Thanks for the info... I think I'll draw you as a pussycat. :meow:
Reply
:iconx-xemoliciousx-x:
X-xEmoliciousx-X Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2010
LOL. :'DDD
Reply
:iconrhe-pixels:
Rhe-Pixels Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2010
Alright, so can I ask for clarification on a couple things there for copyright infringement?

How can we prove that someone uploading an image does not have permission from the original owner if they don't have a DA?

If someone uploads screenshots for example from Naruto, how to prove they didn't own it? Since it would be impossible to contact Masashi Kishimoto to tell him to report?

Next, if it's one of those really popular images that just about everyone has seen constantly and knows its not from this deviant is the same proof necessary?(things like famous paintings maybe?)

Last thing is colourovers. Pretty much the same situation up there but they edit it over with new colours and such?

Thanks in advance, hope these questions re to stupid or badly worded ^^'
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:iconrealitysquared:
realitysquared Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Copyright owners do not actually have to operate a deviantART account in order to file a complaint; out copyright policy lays out the exact procedure for them to file a claim of copyright infringement with us.

Your example of Naruto actually demonstrates how complicated untangling copyright can be.

While Masashi Kishimoto created the property it has been extensively licensed; it has appeared in Shueisha's Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine and was later licensed by Viz Media for North American (Region 1) distribution and the series has also been licensed to the websites Hulu, Joost, and Crunchyroll,it has spawned at least six movies and three light novels, video games, and trading cards, not to mention art books and guidebooks.

My point being that due to the various licensing deals the legal ability to file a claim of copyright infringement doesn't necessarily rest solely with Masashi Kishimoto any more so your concern with not being able to reach him isn't necessarily valid because he may have actually passed some or all of his rights to another person or business entity and this suspicion is actually born out by the fact that in the United States Naruto isn't even trademarked under Masashi Kishimoto, it's actually trademarked to Kabushiki Kaisha Shueisha TA Shueisha Inc.

Despite the fact that Masashi Kishimoto might be "impossible" to contact I can guarantee you that contacting the publishing company is not and they would clearly be in a position to file a complaint if they wished to do so.

I know you asked a bit more but since I've gone a bit off track I'll leave off my response here for now to avoid confusing the issue.
Reply
:iconrhe-pixels:
Rhe-Pixels Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2010
Alright, I can see the point with that. Thank you for the reply.

I apologize for cramming so much in one post :p
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:iconrealitysquared:
realitysquared Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
It's not a problem.

The real problem is that copyright is a very nuanced field with lots of little exceptions built into it and unfortunately far too many people have tried to distill it down to a "Black or White" issue and it just doesn't work that way.

Did you still have any questions or concerns that I could answer?
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:iconrhe-pixels:
Rhe-Pixels Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2010
Well um... what exactly is the response to colour-overs? Are they changed enough that they arn't considered copyright infringement or would it be reportable (if sufficient proof could be found)

Lastly say someone uploaded a picture of a famous painting with a very slight alteration. Is this reportable? How would it be best to prove it if so?

Thanks again, just trying to sort out ideas properly so we have less problems in the future. :3
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:iconrealitysquared:
realitysquared Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
"Colour-overs" is another term which could be applied to a variety of circumstances so without knowing the specifics of the situation I can tell you that it would most likely come down to a case-by-case basis.

Your example of a "famous painting" having been "slightly altered" would also depend on the circumstances; For example the Mona Lisa resides in the public domain due to its age so like it or not pretty much anybody can do whatever they want with it all day long.

Go beyond the obvious and we'll need to start looking at the very specific circumstances before I could tell you what the likely response from our staff would be.
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:iconrhe-pixels:
Rhe-Pixels Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2010
Well, lets say for something like a situation where someone took a fanart picture of some pairing. (I dunno I'm making this up as I go) and recoloured the picture in paint from having brown hair to red. Or something or the sort?

Thats so frustrating XD Oh well, I know DA has nothing to do with that. Uh lets say something more modern that isn't in the public domain yet. And they just paint scribbled the eye colour differently. How would we best prove that?

Just trying to run through some likely situations, similar to those I have run into before.
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:iconrealitysquared:
realitysquared Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
This sort of scenario would depend on two things;

The first thing would be whether or not the original copyright owner even cared about the copying of their work. If they don't then there is no reason for you or anybody else to be concerned about it.

If the copyright owner does care then the copy would have to be exact enough in content and quality for a claim of copyright infringement to be reasonable and if the claim is reasonable then the staff will take action.
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(1 Reply)
:iconharushadows:
HaruShadows Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2010   Digital Artist
I have seen one that has claimed to be a staff member using what they said was their other account and was harrasing a new member and others that didn't abide by him. I have also seen those groups that basicaly say that are there to get rid of "art thieves" and etc. Are these groups allowed and is what they are doing even allowed? This question has been bugging me for a while because I don't think it should be allowed when its the staffs job to do so.
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:iconrealitysquared:
realitysquared Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
If you ever see anybody claiming to be deviantART staff and you don't think that they are please let us know at the Help desk so that we can get rid of that person.

We take staff impersonation quite seriously so always let us know when you see it.

As for the "art theft" groups; we are aware of them and the problems they are causing so look for an official response from us in the near future.
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:iconharushadows:
HaruShadows Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2010   Digital Artist
Alright i will let you know if i say anybody claiming they are staff and thanks for the information.
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