BioWare Fan Club Values

Journal Entry: Mon Sep 6, 2010, 4:11 PM
Hi folks!  There has been a some debate about copyright issues in association with fanart on the BioWare communities lately. Without naming any names, I want to set folks straight on what we do and do not allow as a fan community, and how to protect yourself as a fan writer and artist.

Our humble BioWare Fan Club began as a handful of fans who really loved all things BioWare. We just wanted to have a place to share our fan created artworks and stories. It’s been amazing that we have since grown into a real community with hundreds of members. Wow.

As a club, we don't claim credit for creating the worlds or the characters, and do not try to profit commercially from our works. The joy of having a fan community is to be able to share, and indulge in your love of a shared universe. I very much want to keep the BioWare Fan Club as a SAFE place to share and express our mutual appreciation of BioWare works. Please join me in keeping it positive.

We’re a Fan Community, Not a Fan Scrutiny

Please remember to read our club guidelines before submitting: biowarefanclub.deviantart.com/… . We understand that not all fans are created equal, and that there is more than one way to express your love for BioWare characters. Photo-manipulation, signatures, mod captures, and wallpapers using screenshots are okay to submit to this fan club as long as you meet minimum club quality standards.

BUUUUUUUUT!! Don’t forget to double-check that you are not violating DeviantArt standards as well! It helps to be careful and remember to cite your sources or references when you submit work. Most artists allow fair use of their artworks as long as you cite the source, but it's not a guarantee. You can only use a source freely if the original creator has stated in writing that it is okay to use their work.

Be Informed

It is DA policy that “only valid, legal, stock resources, public domain imagery and Creative Commons licensed materials are allowed to be used as part of your deviantART submission and any work which makes use of copyrighted materials could be removed by the deviantART staff without notice.” help.deviantart.com/8/

In particular with fanart, “when copying from an established source it is considered good etiquette to credit your source. Also please note that it may be considered unacceptable to precisely duplicate another existing work by directly tracing or reproducing every single detail so that it is difficult to tell your work from the original, so please be certain to add your own personal touches and style.” help.deviantart.com/572/

You can read more about copy right on these sites:
deviantArt Copyright and Art Theft Discussion Post
20 Facts about copyright
10 Big Myths about copyright explained
The Copyright Site
10 Copyright Permission Myths (by a lawyer!)

There have been cases of some very ugly online harassment by certain users over fanart lately, so don’t let yourself become a target.

We DON'T Support Bullies

At the end of the day, know that copyright enforcement is a LEGAL issue and there are LAWS and COURTS whose responsibility it is to enforce these laws. DeviantArt USERS have no right to harass you unless they are the owners of the copyrighted work in question. Moreover, flaming, trolling, online bullying, stalking, and harassment is NOT endorsed by this club. We will remove users who perpetuate/encourage this behavior.

If you are being harassed or stalked online, TELL the moderators and TELL the DeviantArt admins. DeviantArt has a place for reporting people for abuse or harassment, which applies to all: "comments which contain… evidence of stalking, or an unnecessarily high level of aggression or insults should be reported to the Help Desk." help.deviantart.com/238/

Be Alert

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t report people who are violating club and DeviantArt policy. Raising issues of copyright, club policy violation, etc. is TOTALLY OKAY! You are doing the right thing. Club admins don’t have eyes everywhere all the time, and we are only human and DO make mistakes.

However, online bullying and harassment of others is NOT okay!! If you see a problem or suspect there is a violation in someone’s deviation, please feel free to Note the administrators first to see if we can resolve the source of the issue to protect the privacy and identity of the members involved. If club admin intervention doesn’t help, then we can take this to the next level, which is report it to the DeviantArt administrators to ask that the user be given a warning or banned.

Don’t Be Evil

Help keep the BioWare Fan Club a fun, creative, and nurturing place for artists and writers to talk about games and celebrate their favorite BioWare stories. Our community is only as good as the people within it, so let’s make it an awesome one.

Sincerely,

InverseReality
Club Founder

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