Submissions Process - The Creative Commons License
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IconicImagery's avatar
By IconicImagery   |   
134 92 6K (1 Today)

"Ripping" is as common as Anime here at deviantArt. As if deviants didn't have enough to contend with from other, quite often naive deviants who dont realise that they are not free to just take one's work as use it as they wish; we now have to deal with international websites dedicated to the art of taking, displaying and using our works without our knowledge and permission.

Well - dA has a significant new feature which we should all become very familiar with. It is much needed ammunition in the battle againt digital theft or "borrowing".

Incorporated into the submissions process in the ability to license your work through the use of a Creative Commons License. Creative Commons helps you publish your work online while letting others know exactly what they can and can't do with your work.

With a Creative Commons license, you can, if you so choose, allow people to use, copy, and share your work while giving you credit. Generally, licenses are available to cover Audio, Images, Video, Text, Education and Software.

When submitting to dA, you are asked the following questions:

Use a Creative Commons License?

Allow commercial uses of your work?

Allow modifications of your work?
Yes, as long as others share alike

Creative Commons licenses provide a flexible range of protections and freedoms for authors, artists, and educators. They have built upon the "all rights reserved" concept of traditional copyright to offer a voluntary "some rights reserved" approach. They are a nonprofit organization. All of their tools are free.

Offering your work under a Creative Commons license does not mean giving up your copyright. It means offering some of your rights to any member of the public but only on certain conditions.

All of Creative Commons licenses require that you give attribution in the manner specified by the author or licensor.

Attribution Attribution. You let others copy, distribute, display, and perform your copyrighted work — and derivative works based upon it — but only if they give credit the way you request.

The core licensing suite will also let you mix and match conditions from the list of options below. There are a total of six Creative Commons licenses to choose from the core licensing suite.

Noncommercial Noncommercial. You let others copy, distribute, display, and perform your work — and derivative works based upon it — but for noncommercial purposes only

No Derivative Works No Derivative Works. You let others copy, distribute, display, and perform only verbatim copies of your work, not derivative works based upon it.

Share Alike Share Alike. You allow others to distribute derivative works only under a license identical to the license that governs your work.

Note: A license cannot feature both the Share Alike and No Derivative Works options. The Share Alike requirement applies only to derivative works.

Taking a License

When you've made your choices, you'll get the appropriate license expressed in three ways:

1. Commons Deed. A simple, plain-language summary of the license, complete with the relevant icons.
2. Legal Code. The fine print that you need to be sure the license will stand up in court.
3. Digital Code. A machine-readable translation of the license that helps search engines and other applications identify your work by its terms of use.

Using a License

If you chose a Creative Commons license, the small logo and license description will appear next to your deviation. It will link back to the Commons Deed, so that the world can be notified of the license terms. </strong>If you find that your license is being violated, you may have grounds to sue under copyright infringement. The machine-readable translation will be embeded in your deviation page.

* More examples are available on the examples page
* Things to think about before selecting a license:…
* Detailed explanation of all licenses
* Wikipedi article…

The CCL is global; following is a link to countries covered:

For artists and photographers, information regarding the Images license is here

For Writers, information regarding the Text license is here

For anyone who has a personal website; free, open-source license scripts are available at the creativecommons website.

sources: and dA
anonymous's avatar
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LorenzoAndre's avatar
How do I find images with CC0 on dA?
ShikuoMMD's avatar
Does this only count for pictures used?
Or can it count for download files given (In which the content of the files is of your own creation)?
CARLOS-MOTA's avatar

insondavel's avatar
insondavelHobbyist Interface Designer
Congratulations of the DA! CC is a very important to all artists.
gummybear67's avatar
=severina snape u r so dedicated to your posts u always post after one is u never stop giving
shiro-nacht's avatar
The terrible thing about this license is a blog site called that uses it to post picture royalty-free. They also are only optionally asked to remove the pictures, not obligated. This is proving to be a hassle. Quite a few Devs have been ripped there, so you best check to make sure none of the pictures are yours.
IconicImagery's avatar
IconicImageryProfessional General Artist
If you are fortunate enough to find out that someone has posted your work without your permission - then my understanding is that they must take the images down. Having said that - its one thing to know that they really should, its another to actually get them to do it. I do think its important that artists understand that the very nature of the internet means increased risk when it comes to art theft.

Its a matter of ethics in the end - and no matter how hard we try, we cant always force unethical people to do the right thing... sometimes it takes a bit of legal muscle even when it really shouldnt... I would try contacting the Advocacy group at Graphic Artists Guild [link]

They offer assistance for free and might be able to give you some guidance or even help; I would suggest that all the deviants concerned contact them jointly. I used to be on the Exec Board and interned with them when I first started out in art school.

Good luck.
DustinGen's avatar
It would be easier if dA implemented something so we could do a mass gallery license of this. Instead of going into each deviation and editing it to have a license agreement.
IconicImagery's avatar
IconicImageryProfessional General Artist
Except that the license adjusts depending on use. People dont necessarily want to share each deviation or share single piece in the same way... The license changes depending on your choices...
Phoenix-22's avatar
Good idea for an article and a very well written one.

I became familiar with CC a couple months ago after having a certain person "steal and manipulate" other's works without their permission. I'm glad they now have it as an option on here, but people really need to understand the meaning behind it. Protecting your work should be a concern, but not necessarily your only focus. I know that I don't necessarily take all precautions towards preventing art theft, but I know that when I don't post a CC license, I have every right to not let someone else steal/manipulate my work.
IconicImagery's avatar
IconicImageryProfessional General Artist

Excellent point and I degree...

But what can you do when even on dA a photographer can find that their work has been ripped and the ripper gets a DD to boot... Of course it doesnt help for said photographer to complain but then give his reluctant approval after the fact of the DD...

Too many artists are really wishy-washy about these things...
Phoenix-22's avatar

The real thing is that people shouldn't feel the need to "rip" artwork. Everyone started somewhere and had to learn the artistic style, if people want to get a head start, use some stock images, and give credit where credit is due - there is no penalty for being a beginner.
IconicImagery's avatar
IconicImageryProfessional General Artist

I am totally with you. I think people should also realise that if they see an image they admire which they would like to use that is clearly not stock - then they need to ask rather than just take it. And its not just beginners at fault either. Its a learning curve even for some of us old-timers.
Phoenix-22's avatar
Very true, I know that I've been guilty of it before (but only once!). I had rendered a fractal from a sample pack, then posted it. It's easy to forget, I suppose, because when I saw it one day when browsing my gallery, I was shocked, because 99.9% of the time I gave credit where credit was due and it was just such a weird occurence for it to be the same exact one as a previous upload on someone's page. But, forgetting is one thing, blatently ripping is another. ;)
Nemanja's avatar
"License To Use Artist Materials. As and when Artist Materials are uploaded to the deviantART Site(s), Artist grants to deviantART a worldwide, royalty-free, non-exclusive license to do the following things during the Term:..." and then all the nice things DeviantArt can if and when they wish to...
so i guess not... yay...
Nemanja's avatar
a stupid one, does CCL licence protects one's work whatever that is from use by Deviantart or is the user agreement one has to accept when posting considered "permission of the author"?
KariAnnLax's avatar
KariAnnLaxProfessional General Artist
IconicImagery's avatar
IconicImageryProfessional General Artist
:blush: :D
KeyshaKitty's avatar
KeyshaKittyHobbyist Traditional Artist
I remember we had a copyrights class at the start of the year, and we were taught all about the Creative Commons. I'm so glad you've written this so those who've never been informed of the CCL can read and understand what a great tool it is. Excellent piece! :clap:
IconicImagery's avatar
IconicImageryProfessional General Artist
Thanks very much - although I do have to stress that the lion's share of credit goes to creativecommons and dA... :D
Bibi15's avatar
Bibi15Hobbyist General Artist
Good idea to include it. I know a lot of fairly popular artists that have had their art stolen.
IconicImagery's avatar
IconicImageryProfessional General Artist
Thanks very much indeed. This was an exercise for me as much as everyone else :rose:
leyasbelxaurora's avatar
leyasbelxauroraHobbyist Photographer
i have a question.. i just submit a devation but i can't see it in my gallery but if i search it with the name there is :S
leyasbelxaurora's avatar
leyasbelxauroraHobbyist Photographer
well i think i need help :S ..i delete it and putted again but it doesn't appear in my gallery .. i'll do it again just in case...
anonymous's avatar
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