In the sections below, you’ll find access to all the information and tools needed to manage your rights on the DeviantArt platform and learn more about respecting the rights of other creators.

1. Copyright Terms  (Learning the Basics)

2. Protection  (Dealing with Infringement)

3. Appropriation  (Avoiding Trouble + Dealing with Consequences)

DISCLAIMER:  The availability of this document should not be construed as rendering legal or other professional advice, and this document is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.

Copyright Terms  |  Learning the Basics

These resources will get you started, whether you're just seeking general knowledge, wanting to learn about licensing terms with DeviantArt or a more in-depth understanding of topics like fair use.

Copyright laws are a set of defined rights given to the artists by the government. Copyright turns everything an artist makes, as they make it, into a protected form of property assuming what is being made is original to the artist. Copyrights protect a specific expression of an idea or concept but copyright does not protect ideas. ...

Under most national laws and international copyright treaties you receive a copyright automatically in any original work as you make it. Registration may be required to exercise some rights, like commencing a lawsuit. ...

DeviantArt does not claim ownership rights in your Content. For the sole purpose of enabling us to make your Content available through the Service, you grant to DeviantArt a non-exclusive, royalty-free license to reproduce, distribute, re-format, store, prepare derivative works based on, and publicly display and perform your Content. ...

Fair Use is the idea built into the copyright laws that in some cases even if the copyright belongs exclusively to the artist, other people should be able to refer to it and in some situations use it as long as the second use is “fair.” What behavior is fair is very different depending on the person making that evaluation. It is not surprising then that “fair use” causes lots of arguments and confusion. Not every country allows fair use and each country’s laws are different. In the majority of countries copying is permitted when used for some teaching activities, criticism or for news reporting. Some countries interpret criticism broadly to permit parody and even satire. In many countries a second artist can use a small part of a copyrighted work without permission if it doesn’t hurt the value of the original. A few countries, like the U.S. and Britain, take an even more expansive approach: if the new work “transforms” the original’s meaning, aesthetic or purpose, it may be fair use even if the whole work is used.

To learn more about fair use you can go here, here, here, and here.

Protection  |  Dealing with Infringement

If you would like to submit a notification of alleged copyright infringement, these resources will help educate you about management processes.

In order to file a copyright infringement notification with DeviantArt (which is commonly known as "DMCA takedown notice"), the copyright owner or an authorized agent acting on his or her behalf will need to send a written communication that includes substantially the following:

✓  A physical or electronic signature of the copyright owner

✓  Identification of the copyrighted work

✓  Identification of the material that is claimed to be infringing

✓  Information reasonably sufficient to permit the service provider to contact the complaining party

✓  A statement that the complaining party has a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law.

✓  A statement that the information in the notification is accurate

To file a DMCA takedown notice, you may use our form here. This form requires a DeviantArt account, which is available at no charge by signing up. Otherwise you may use the following method:

Written notice should be sent by mail or by PDF attached to an email to DeviantArt's designated agent as follows:

DMCA Complaints
DeviantArt, Inc.
attn. Daniel Sowers Jr
7095 Hollywood Blvd #788
Hollywood, CA 90028 Fax: 323.645.6001

Under Section 512(f) of the Copyright Act any person who knowingly materially misrepresents that material or activity is infringing may be subject to liability. Consult your legal counsel or see Section 512(c)(3) of 17 U.S.C. to clarify or confirm the requirements of the notice.

Appropriation  |  Avoiding Trouble + Dealing with Consequences

If you are worried about infringing on someone’s copyright and want to avoid trouble or you want to learn about what happens when you've infringed on someone's copyright, these resources will help educate you on the same. Also get information on what to do if you believe your content has been removed in error.

Copyright infringement occurs when you do certain things with a creative work which someone else produced without first getting the proper permission.

Some examples of copyright infringement (this is only a partial listing) can include:

× To produce copies or reproductions of the work and × To sell those copies (including, typically, electronic copies)

× To create derivative works (works that adapt the original work)

× To perform or display the work publicly

× To transmit or display by radio or video.

The best way to avoid infringing on the rights of another creative person is to use your skill, talent and imagination to create your own completely original work. When we use the word 'original' we don't mean that you must come up with an idea which hasn't been used before. When used in reference to copyright ‘original’ means that you created your work without referencing or deliberately copying anyone else's work during the process.

If you have used materials which are owned by other people or companies make certain that you have obtained proper permission or licensing for the use before you place your work online.

You can read more here and here.

In most cases it does not matter how much of the material you have used, whether it's a single frame, a few moments of audio, a short clip of video or any other sampling it's still considered to be protected by copyright and you still require the owner's permission for use.

It doesn't matter how you obtained the material, it's still considered copyrighted and you still need permission.

It doesn't matter whether or not you've credited the proper owner, it's still considered copyrighted and you still need permission.

It doesn't matter if you are not selling it or making a profit, it's still considered copyrighted and you still need permission.

It doesn't matter if you can find other people using things without permission, it's still considered copyrighted and you still need permission.

It doesn't matter if you've edited it a little bit or made a few alterations, if it's recognizable it's still considered copyrighted and you still need permission.

Read licenses carefully to understand the type of permission they provide. For example, there are many versions of the Creative Commons - each giving different permissions.

Any copyright owner following the procedures in this Copyright Policy can require DeviantArt to remove his or her copyrighted content in use by a member of DeviantArt. When through the proper notice we become aware that a submission to DeviantArt infringes upon the copyrights of another artist, creative person or company, we will immediately delete it. This is a legal requirement which we fulfill immediately; you will not receive an advanced warning and you will not be given an opportunity to 'fix it'.

If you believe that one of your submissions was removed in error you may contact our helpdesk or otherwise file a counter notice.

If you are found to repeatedly post infringing content, your account will be suspended and serious offenders will have their account banned and deactivated. We consider three strikes as an indication of being a repeat infringer subject to ban. If you are found deliberately misrepresenting the copyrighted work of another as your own your account will be immediately banned and deactivated.

The copyright owner may also decide to sue you directly if you infringe his or her copyright in posting content to DeviantArt.

No. Even if DeviantArt takes an infringing work down, you may still be responsible for very significant damages if the copyright owner decides to sue you. ...

If you believe that one of your submissions was removed in error you may contact our helpdesk or otherwise file a counter notice.

If you want to send DeviantArt a counter notice, please review this information for instructions.

Under Section 512(f) of the Copyright Act, any person who knowingly materially misrepresents that material or activity was removed or disabled by mistake or misidentification may be subject to liability. Please consult the Terms of Service and DeviantArt's Etiquette Policy in which we explain that you may be removed from the site if you are a repeat infringer or if you violate DeviantArt's policies.

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