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deviantART v. The Inkers ... Wait- What?

Journal Entry: Tue Sep 28, 2010, 10:42 AM


Better Late Than Never

So this journal is in response to an issue which came up back in August; the actual situation broke after I had begun an extended vacation and by the time I returned to work it appeared to have resolved itself so I concerned myself with things which appeared to be ongoing still.

However it appears that y2jenn is being quizzed in private as to when the matter will be officially addressed and there are still a couple of journals still posted about it so I'm going to address the issue now since some people are obviously still concerned.

A Little Background

The thing which sparked the actual issue which got a bunch of comic artists concerned actually started in early August when a customer support ticket was filed.

The ticket in question was filed by a third party who presented only vague information; the gentleman was concerned because a friend had mentioned that several works of his had been removed due to being in violation of the deviantART copyright policy and that those works were evidently inked comic line art.

Because there was no specific information involved, no account name, no deviation links, nothing at all, we were not able to research the specific actions and circumstances so a very general reply was given.

In the interests of transparency since the person in question has already published our exchange I will do so here as well;

The Original Ticket
Friday
Apr-09 2010 09:14 am



Is this still a policy?

"Your deviations were removed due to violation of one of the following
policies:

An administrator has removed your deviation as being a violation of
copyright.

Your submissions may not contain material or images which were not created
entirely through your own effort; this means that you cannot simply collect
photographs, artworks and other images, writings or scans from printed
books/magazines and submit them to your account. You are not allowed to
submit


As you can see there really is no specific information here. In addition the ticket had been misfiled as a Copyright Infringement Notice instead of a general Policy Inquiry. This isn't unusual since we get about a half-dozen misfiled tickets in the DMCA section each day so I cited the correct filing category and answered the question.

My First Reply
Friday
Apr-09 2010 11:21 am.


Thank you for contacting deviantART, I will be assisting you with your support ticket.

My apologies but you have misfiled your support ticket as a 'DMCA Copyright Infringement Notice'. Since you are not filing a claim of copyright infringement but are instead trying to appeal actions taken by our staff in your deviantART gallery your ticket should have been as a 'Policy Inquiry'; please try to file your support tickets correctly so that you can receive prompt assistance from the proper department.

There is no need for you to file a new ticket since we will simply continue using this one but please remember this for future tickets which you may file.

The text that you quoted in your support ticket appears to be from one of our automated notices and as such would indicate that the statements made therein represent current deviantART policy.


The reply I received came in shortly

His First Reply
Friday
Apr-09 2010 11:34 am.


This was not 'my' ticket....another inker had this sent to him and had his page wiped....he posted this text on an inker maling list for others to see and other inkers said that they've heard of this 'problem' with inkers. As such, if this is the policy, I will be canceling my DA page.


From that reply it was pretty obvious why we couldn't find any information associated with the inquiry- it was a question from a friend of some unknown person who was upset about what happened to them.

It's not uncommon for someone to have a work removed from their gallery and then for us to hear from one or more of their friends who wish to protest. Rather than leave the ticket at that I made a couple of assumptions and responded one last time.

My Second Reply
Monday
Apr-09 2010 11:34 am.


You are not particularly clear in your reply, but from what you have said I would assume that this "inker" simply took sketches and drawings that were the work of another artist and "inked" them without first obtaining proper permission to do so.

This practice is in violation of our copyright policy since you must obtain a proper license to use any material which you intend to use ("ink") before you submit it to your deviantART gallery.


There were no replies after that (I had half expected to get another reply which would have possibly had more specific details) but the gentleman wound up deactivating their (then) three month old account and I considered the matter closed.

That is until nearly four months later when the whole exchange was served up as an attack against deviantART policies.



Public Outcry

So four months later, on August 23rd during my vacation, the entire exchange shows up on firstcomicnews.com and that article was picked up and posted again by comicalliance.com

Both articles attempt to stir up fear in the comic community and level charges at me of not knowing what I'm talking about so I'll take this opportunity to address the points raised here.



Now the article starts off with the statement that the anonymous artist had their account "closed down" which I take to mean "banned". Now we don't ban lightly so if this anonymous artist was indeed banned it would have either been as a result of gross misrepresentation of the work or due to repeated offenses. Of course without his actual account name we'll never know the entire story.

The second part of the introduction states that this anonymous artist "inquired about the matter for more info". Now I must point out that I doubt this actually happened - why? Simply put the anonymous artist claims to have received the content of the automated note as a response to his inquiry; this simply cannot happen.

The automated note quoted in the original ticket is the note which accompanies a staff action - an inquiry for more information routes through our customer support system where an actual person answers with specific information...they would not simply paste out an exact copy of the original automated response.

At the bottom of the pasted exchange there are a series of statements made which essentially defend and excuse use of line art for inking purposes and the redistribution of the result without permission and deviantART in general is accused of having misinformation and being confused.

Now, I don't mean to sound disrespectful or dismissive but we are neither ignorant of how the craft of comic creation, nor are we misinformed or confused about the issues.

Now anyone who has watched my journals and news articles has the basic understanding that in order to use something that was created by someone else in your deviantART submission you need to be entitled to do so through having proper permission, the content being stock, public domain, etc.

The article seems to expect that because the comic industry "expects" people to simply take whatever they want to do whatever they want with it that deviantART should create an exception for comic book inkers and colorists.

Unfortunately we cannot do that - if we receive a valid claim of infringement in association with your inked line art from the actual copyright owner it will be removed because not only because we are legally responsible for doing so but also because it is simply common sense that our copyright policies apply to everyone equally.

Now to be clear our staff is certainly not running around willy-nilly "nuking" entire galleries; but if we receive a valid copyright complaint you can certainly expect our staff to take whatever action is necessary.



Unfortunately the comicsalliance.com article continues the scare tactics, but I'll clarify a couple of things and correct an error or two as well.

The writer there primarily took offense at my placing the word inker in quotations ( "inker" ).

For the record when someone is referring to the act of inking but is not clear whether they are actually inking with pen and ink or if they are "inking" digitally then I routinely place the term in quotations (as I just did) because digital "inking" is a bit of a misnomer because digital lines aren't actually ink in the traditional sense of the word.

It's not intended to be insulting, it's simply my personal way of differentiating between traditional and digital methods.

The article also attempts to confuse the vital role played of a comic inker in the industry with the issue of getting permission before you redistribute works belonging to someone else.

While compared directly the role played by an inker and the act of getting permission to redistribute work are two completely separate situations and comparing them as if they are inextricably linked merely confuses the matter and promotes people to be outraged.

The article also tries to instill fear that an "anonymous DMCA tip" could result in the removal of your comic work.

This actually reveals that the writer is ignorant of the requirements set out by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Anyone who is aware of the DMCA standards knows that there is no such thing as an "anonymous" DMCA compliant claim of infringement. In order to comply the person filing a claim of infringement must identify themselves, provide valid contact information and make several legally binding statements- anyone trying to remain anonymous gets their claim tossed out.


The Bottom Line

The truth of the matter is that I wanted to avoid having to write this clarification because I knew that it would involve picking apart the inaccuracies in both articles and that runs the risk of offending comic artists.

The truth is that deviantART is not "targeting" comic artists, inkers or colorists. We respond to complaints involving these artists in exactly the same manner as we do with every other deviantART member.

The truth is that in order for the staff to take any action in your gallery we first need to receive a valid complaint - just any old "anonymous", vague accusation simply won't do.

In short comic book artists, regardless of their role in the industry, have nothing more to be concerned about than any other member.


  • Mood: Content

Add a Comment:
 
:iconmondo-oowada-fan-666:
Mondo-Oowada-Fan-666 Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2013  Student Digital Artist
I dont see anything wrong with Inkers, not all are copyright.
Reply
:icongeorgecalloway:
GeorgeCalloway Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2010
You really need to learn about digital inking.

DA's fudged up quite a bit of stuff concerning copyright. For more atrocious copyright infringements DA does nothing.

Then there's the infamous Brett Booth situation.

Just admit you guys are unorganized as all get out and there will be less made people because, well, you are. Not to mention wholly misinformed about 90 percent of the art fields out there.
Reply
:iconrealitysquared:
realitysquared Featured By Owner Oct 8, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
You really need to learn about the Submission Agreement which all deviantART members must agree to prior to being allowed to submit works- that agreement states that your deviantART submissions not infringe upon anyone's rights so regardless of how you perceive the industry of inking to "work" we have to insist that you get permission just like every other artist who uses the site.
Reply
:icongeorgecalloway:
GeorgeCalloway Featured By Owner Oct 8, 2010
then you need to pull 90 percent of art on here. That is about how much fan made trademarked things are here. That is trademark infringement. Not to mention the many "studies" and "traces" done in both drawing and photo manips. So there really isn't a leg to stand on in regards to the agreement you just have to log onto the DA to see it being abused.

That being said, inking over someone's pencils can be considered "fan art". I think credit should be given to the original penciler but in practice for review and crit seeking permission is sometimes a bit overkill going by the pattern set forth by a majority of DA members.

Again, the view of "infringement" is solely skewed by DA admins. Look up Brett Booth and the huge faux paux you guys made there.

You can run circles with excuses all the day long. You know and I know you guys aren't going to change a thing and are constantly going to pick and choose who you block and who you don't. Sometimes on the basis of an unfounded infringement report (still LOL at the Brett Booth thing). I'm stating my observations. This has become more of a social network site then an art community.
Reply
:iconoceanatendofthelane:
OceanAtEndofTheLane Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2010
eee what a headache!
Reply
:iconmechangel2002:
mechangel2002 Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
I'm an inker in the comic book industry, and I've never had a problem. But then, I credit things properly and never use anything without permission so that could be it ;)

One thing that does bug me though is gallery mod tendencies to move deviations without actually checking if the pieces should be moved. This hasn't affected me personally, but other pros have griped about their PAID and published work, including creator owned properties, being put into the fanart galleries. Not only the pencilers, but the inkers and colourists as well. I've seen 3 or 4 ticked off artists because some idiot reported their work as miscats and the gallery mods moved the stuff without actually bothering to read any of the descriptions or even checking out the members to see that this is their actual work -- not fanart.
Reply
:iconmechangel2002:
mechangel2002 Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
I forgot to write that those 3 or 4 ticked off artists are from the past week alone lol.
Reply
:iconj14v6:
j14v6 Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2010
Well stated and well handled. :heart:
Reply
:iconbranchewski:
Branchewski Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
All I know is that after five years on dA, I can clearly say that deviantART copyright policy and help system should be model for every other community site. You were here when I first arrived, and you are still here, doing the same job. I have always admired your "logic", and how you use it to resolve problems. Just keep up the good work, Daniel.
:handshake:
Reply
:iconrealitysquared:
realitysquared Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
The secret to my "logic" is that I always assume that everything I say is potentially going to be quoted and used against me at a later date.

=p
Reply
:iconbranchewski:
Branchewski Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
And that is where experience comes in. Exactly what I was saying. You probably have the most "ungreatful" job here, but your approach to any problem and the way you handle major situations, like this one, makes you the best person for the job. You add to the quality of dA more than average deviant could ever know.
Reply
:iconmajorasmasks:
MajorasMasks Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2010  Professional Artisan Crafter
You should just make a inkers and colorists section with different copyrighted regulations (like stating that the ownership of the deviations posted there is only partial). And disallow prints too, that why "fair use" should apply.

They way DA is right now, its policy really discourages inkers and colorists getting an account here, imho.
Reply
:iconthe-suns-moon:
the-suns-moon Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2010  Student General Artist
I can see that section being abused rather largely by attention-seeking people inking/colouring over other artists' works ...
Reply
:iconmajorasmasks:
MajorasMasks Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2010  Professional Artisan Crafter
They could make it in a way that people won't receive faves for pics submitted in that section, but only comments.
If it's possible to disable prints in the fanart category, it should be able to disable favourites too, in selected categories. I'm not sure of that, though.
Reply
:iconthe-suns-moon:
the-suns-moon Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2010  Student General Artist
Faves are not the only issue. It's also disrespectful to the artist. If the artist put up a picture of a specific character they created, put time and effort into, they don't want people colouring over their work and changing the identity. And people would do that, because such a section would encourage it simply because there are no rules in that section against it. It wouldn't matter that they're not getting faves. They'd still get watchers from it :shrug:
As for prints, they already are disabled in fanart category. Even if you created the picture 100% by yourself you cannot sell it because it contains someone else's idea. People who do sell prints of fanart do so by putting it in the wrong category, like digital art or something, that's the only way to get around the print ban on fanarts, :shrug:
Reply
:iconmajorasmasks:
MajorasMasks Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2010  Professional Artisan Crafter
I know prints are disable in the fanart category, my point was another: in my opinion using pics only as a base for practise isn't disrespectful and won't do harm as long as they are put in a proper category, and as long as the original pic(s) creato(s) is(are) credited and linked back.

I understand that some people could disagree with this, but this is internet, let's being realistic: pics will be used is someone want to. At least, they way I suggested would regulate them.
Reply
:iconmechangel2002:
mechangel2002 Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
I'm a professional inker in the comic book industry and I've NEVER had a problem.

I've only ever had one deviation disabled, and it was because someone had reported the inked piece in the penciler's gallery for not crediting me in it (I had pencils AND inks in that particular piece) -- DA restored it as soon as the penciler and I uploaded our signed permissions document. And all was good in the world ;)

I also NEVER use someone's pencils without permission when it comes to my samples (all of the pages I have come personally from the penciler or the publisher). And I always clearly credit everyone and state when its work and when its just practice.

So no... as an inker DA hasn't discouraged me at all. And I've been here 7 and a half years :)
Reply
:iconmajorasmasks:
MajorasMasks Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2010  Professional Artisan Crafter
Still, a proper section could be good, for people who also use linears they can't ask permission first, for a reason or another. Of course, this isn't possible in the current galleries, for copyright issues.
Reply
:iconmechangel2002:
mechangel2002 Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
Nope, because they shouldn't be using something without permission in the first place. If they do, its on them.
Reply
:iconmajorasmasks:
MajorasMasks Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2010  Professional Artisan Crafter
Why not, if it's just for exercise reasons, as long as a proper copyright notice is provided?
Reply
:iconwandereratheart:
WandererAtHeart Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2014
I know it's like three+ years later from when this comment was written but I just found it and I wanted to add my two cents: Why should someone be uploading their practice to deviantart? In my opinion I feel that deviantart is a place to share completed work, not practice. That's what a sketchbook is for. And yes, all art can be considered practice, but if someone is simply tracing over someone else's work to help themselves understand more, why bother to put it up if not to receive praise? If you plan to say they want advice and critique to help improve further, please don't because they can also receive that on original works using whatever they learned by practicing with someone else's work. If they are really adamant about posting it on deviantart it should most definitely be after receiveing permission from the original artist and, credited to the original artist, even if it is simply practice because it is not their piece and credit should be given where credit is due.

At the same time, I do admire your idea for a separate section because you are thinking realistically and trying to protect the original artist, but I still don't think it is yet a viable idea because too many people would abuse it.

Also, practice pieces in a way already have their own section: the Scrap section. There as well though permission should be asked and credit given before submission simply on principle, because they are still uploading a piece copied from someone else's work into their personal gallery making it look as though it is theirs.

Sorry by the way, that became quite long winded. I had more opinion in me than I thought!
Reply
:iconmajorasmasks:
MajorasMasks Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2014  Professional Artisan Crafter
...Do you realize that, by now, DA is full of traced artworks, don't you?  ^^'

Things got out of hand long ago, if you want my opinion. A more realistic approach, as the one I suggested, maybe could have been better.
Reply
:iconwandereratheart:
WandererAtHeart Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2014
Yeah, I do know. I was just venting and I do think your idea was a good one
Reply
(1 Reply)
:iconmechangel2002:
mechangel2002 Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
Like you just said, proper copyright. You can't "provide" proper copyright notice when you're using the images without the creator's permission.
Reply
:iconmajorasmasks:
MajorasMasks Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2010  Professional Artisan Crafter
Still, traced images are tolerated. Isn't tracing a bit like inking (I'm simplifying, I know)?
Reply
:iconmechangel2002:
mechangel2002 Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
Inking is not tracing. If you're trying to get my goat by referencing that infamous Chasing Amy scene, its not funny and it definitely doesn't leave a good impression with comic book artists as a whole let alone us inkers. It shows how little a person knows about the art of inking, to compare it to tracing. Seriously.
Reply
(1 Reply)
:iconrealitysquared:
realitysquared Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
A common misconception about fair use is that people seem to think you can just claim that something is fair use and it makes it so.

Determining if something is actually fair use or not is a decision which can only be made in a court of law, which usually means that you've had legal action taken against you for copyright infringement and you're using fair use as an affirmative defense and fair use is so heavily nuanced that defense is far from being a guarantee of protection.

Obviously if we receive a valid claim of copyright infringement against any of our members we are not going to defend them on the grounds of fair use and risk being involved in a lawsuit; we're going to fulfill our legal requirement and remove the work claimed as infringement.

The DMCA has procedures in place for artists to defend their own work against claims and we won't be taking an active role in that unless the original claim of infringement is obviously completely inaccurate in the first place.
Reply
:iconmajorasmasks:
MajorasMasks Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2010  Professional Artisan Crafter
I understand, but this also means that you could just open a section for works that partially use copyrighted works (in this case, linearts or comic pages), and removing these works only if asked to do so by the other part (whichever owns the rights on the linearts and/or comic pages, without encountering legal problems?

On a general note these type of works shouldn't be allowed in a personal gallery, but they can be useful for a portfolio or just exercise reasons, so I thought that DA could make a section for this type of things (it could include traced works too, which, if I'm not mistaken, right now are accepted in the fanart section while they are just reproduction without adding anything original).
Reply
:iconrealitysquared:
realitysquared Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Unfortunately such a section would directly contradict every other agreement and policy which you agree to obey when you sign up to deviantART and submit your work, not to mention that such "disclaimers" are of dubious legal value.

We simply are not going to dabble in this area and we will continue to insist that you are entitled to submit the content which you include in your deviations.
Reply
:iconmajorasmasks:
MajorasMasks Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2010  Professional Artisan Crafter
Of course, what I suggested would need some modification in the current policy, but I know that website can send updates of such things and make user agree on new rules.

I wonder, though, why you couldn't just declare that what users upload isn't within you control (because it actually isn't), and be simply willing to delete such deviations if someone complain.

Many other website do that, and an art site should have a proper section for inkers and colorists that use copyrighted bases for their practice pieces.

After all, who makes tracings and copies of existing artworks from other people does a very similar things, and yet DA still accept those type of pictures as far as I know, but as said in a previous news and journal traced pics will be removed if the owner of the original pic ask it.

So, where would be the difference, other than a better organized gallery?
Reply
:iconrealitysquared:
realitysquared Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
You'll find that our terms of service states that we we do not monitor user submitted content, but that doesn't change the fact that the submission agreement states that your submissions must not infringe upon the rights of any other party- and trust me when I say that we will not be altering those terms to represent a 'free-for-all' environment.
Reply
:iconmajorasmasks:
MajorasMasks Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2010  Professional Artisan Crafter
Ok, but you still didn't replied to my question. ^^'
Reply
:iconsweetsuicidallove:
SweetSuicidalLove Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2010
Sounds like just about the entire world is starting to accuse DeviantART of targeting certain minorities and of being misguided and confused... Though, what I'm seeing is a whole lot of people who think that they know all about copyright laws and such, but who really don't. Or, if they do, they have a basic understanding at best. They need to take a few courses in law before they can start getting heavy-handed with the accusations so that we don't have to have these sorts of messes any more.
Reply
:iconrealitysquared:
realitysquared Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Unfortunately just about every genre in the deviantART community has somebody in it who is willing to argue that they are being unfairly targeted when it turns out that something they or their friends were doing is actually against our policies.

And you are correct that too many people absorb copyright information which is incorrect.
Reply
:iconsweetsuicidallove:
SweetSuicidalLove Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2010
In other words, there will always be haters, ready to cause a problem when their times come and there's really nothing anyone can do about it until it happens. Lol

Far too many.. I've seen people trying to crusade around deviantART spouting information that is absolutely absurd in how wrong it is. I've been wrong before, sure, but I've at least learned to fix my mistakes before I go on.

(Thanks for saying I was correct, it feels good coming from you. :P)
Reply
:iconlost-angle:
lost-angle Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
This has been featured in #dA-Dictionary's Dictionary Entries.
Reply
:iconheroormonster:
HeroOrMonster Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2010
I'm tempted to think this is about Booth or whoever that comic artist was that posted a picture of theirs' and a piece of someone's who used his work side by side against his permission then got mad when the da staff removed his side by side comparison and deleted his whole gallery but he deleted his own gallery after that in an act of rage and left dA. I could be wrong but it sounds like an exaggerated version of his tale to a degree. I could be wrong though. :shrug:
Reply
:iconrealitysquared:
realitysquared Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Truthfully I'd love to know who the anonymous artist was who caused the initial question which launched the whole thing.

But the scenario which you describe is actually pretty common among people who don't understand our policies and who are unwilling to admit that there were problems with what they were doing.
Reply
:iconheroormonster:
HeroOrMonster Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2010
As would I. I can't remember any other big comic book artists who have had major issues here. Booth is the only one that comes to mind. So that's why I mentioned him. I dug up the link if you think it might be the issue or might help you out with this. Here it is: [link]

Yeah. I admit I don't see the point in uploading someone else's work when you're accusing them of stealing from you. It kinda defeats the purpose. I also don't like it when it's an obvious theft that the artist could easily get down by themselves with the 'theft of my work' feature and yet they still make a journal about it and whine, leading to their huge amount of watchers throwing a fit for no reason. Then again, artists are notoriously known for drama. :shrug:
Reply
:iconphoenixleo:
phoenixleo Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2010
Well, if the deviant doesn't clearly explain the situation and goes on with my friend this my friend that without clear cut things, its obviously going to hype things out >_>
Reply
:iconpittstop:
pittstop Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2010
To be fair you admit you made some "assumptions" and the final reply you gave openly accused the original "friend" of theft without proof. I don't think you ever had enough information to answer the question as asked and since it referred to "a friend's" artwork I think you should have asked for more information before making any "official" statement.

The person in question clearly stated that if you confirmed his understanding of the rules was correct he would delete his account. I think your reply did exactly that.

I also have a concern with the term "misfiled ticket". I've also "misfiled" enquiries because you report process is not user friendly. I now have no idea whether my own report will be taken seriously or whether you will simply "make assumptions".

I'm getting rather tired of the lazy way this place is moderated at times and have absolutely no sympathy for the bad press you got in this case.

I worked for 10 years in complaints, and the first rule is know all the facts before you offer an explanation or apology. If you don't have enough information and/or time to research the complaint, then at the very least say so and ask the complainant for more information.

There is nothing wrong with quoting policy, but you need to be careful that the policy you are quoting wasn't applied in error. The original inker could have been the victim of a mistake. You don't know that, because you never had enough information to know.
Reply
:iconleaf-lover:
leaf-lover Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2010
'There is nothing wrong with quoting policy, but you need to be careful that the policy you are quoting wasn't applied in error. The original inker could have been the victim of a mistake. You don't know that, because you never had enough information to know.'

That isn't $realitysquared's fault. Perhaps the original person should have bothered to file their own report instead of posting it out there on the internet and waiting for the dArama to explode. It makes the original receiver of the policy look lazy and irresponsible, who stops them from bothering to learn for themselves. I agree, mistakes do get made, but perhaps the original receiver should have carried out their own battle first.

'I also have a concern with the term "misfiled ticket". I've also "misfiled" enquiries because you report process is not user friendly. I now have no idea whether my own report will be taken seriously or whether you will simply "make assumptions".'

Where does it say the response won't be taken seriously. :O The response won't necessarily be answered in a prompt fashion. Prompt refers to time limits, it doesn't refer to how seriously a ticket will be taken. Help Desk tickets are always handled seriously, but misfiling reports means it takes longer to get a response. You'll be pleased to know that now, when contacting the +help, there is a small orange questionmark next to the category list. Select that and you'll receive a full breakdown of what each category means. :)
Reply
:iconpittstop:
pittstop Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2010
how is it NOT his fault he gave a statement without all the facts? As I stated previously In worked complaints, you JUST DON'T DO THAT. It isn't professional nor does it do anything other than generate more complaints. A simple "No comment" would have caused less trouble. True the original complainant should have been more specific, but he was asking mostly for clarification of the rules - I can see why he thought he got confirmation of what he feared from the reply which was based on an assumption only.

I'm not challenging the rules, just the way that this complaint was handled.

"where does it say it will not be taken seriously?" it doesn't, it says where the complaint handler doesn't have all the information they will make an assumption so they can respond. In MY OPINION that isn't taking things seriously ENOUGH.

"contacting help for the list of categories" - plural, complex, not user friendly. my whole point.
Reply
:iconleaf-lover:
leaf-lover Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2010
You can't just have one category in the help desk that every single complaint gets sent to. The +helpDesk team is split into departments deliberately so that reports can be handled by the relevantly qualified people; surely if every single complaint was sent centrally and each and every complaint then had to be filtered through and sorted out and sent to x or y person before being dealt with it would take more time than the user submitting to the right category. :O
Reply
:iconpittstop:
pittstop Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2010
can you assure me that if someone accidentally sends it to the wrong person because they haven't understood which folder is responsible, that it will not simply be closed as filed in error, or will it be redirected to where it should have gone? Because that was my point. Everyone makes mistakes, either through ignorance, or because they were in a hurry, or simply because they found the instructions confusing. Are they going to be punished for that mistake by their complaint being ignored. If so, that isn't a very professional way of dealing with the situation.

And I stand by my original statement that the system isn't user friendly. Why can't there be one complaint form that identifies itself to the correct area? or failing that a report facility for comments separately from art work?

We can hide comments we don't want on our pictures and galleries, but we can't raise alerts that they are disrespectful or aggressive except by cutting and pasting them into a note which may or may not go to the right person depending on whether you understood the guidelines.

And to be frank pre-moderation of all complaints may be long winded, but it would avoid the bad press Deviant is getting at the moment, it wouldn't take "the right person" to identify it is in the wrong place or needs more information to be actioned.
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:iconleaf-lover:
leaf-lover Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2010
Miscategorised reports are re-categorised by staff and still looked at, no report is closed just because it's been put in the wrong place. :) Submitting to the wrong category may increase the time it takes to get a response, but you will always get a response, so no need to worry on that account!

With over 13 million active users, do you really think it would be practical for every single comment to be pre-moderated? This is a website, not a glorified babysitting service. ;)
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:icony2jenn:
y2jenn Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2010   General Artist
I work in the support desk so I wanted to jump in and assure you that every ticket that is misfiled is sent to the correct spot so that the appropriate team has it for review. We don't ever just close/ignore tickets because they were sent to the incorrect part of the support desk. :)

And we do have an in-depth description of each of the categories here: FAQ #264: Is there a description of the Help Desk contact categories?

If we need more information so we can thoroughly investigate a specific issue we'll ask the reporter for it. We'll never just close a ticket because the reporter couldn't offer the necessary evidence right away.
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:iconpittstop:
pittstop Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2010
thank you.
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:icony2jenn:
y2jenn Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2010   General Artist
No problem at all!
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:iconmollinda:
Mollinda Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2010   Traditional Artist
I don't understand why they would think they're exempt from basic copyright law :|

Weirdos.
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