Very Concerning DeviantArt.com License?

9 min read

Deviation Actions

jon-rista's avatar
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Earlier today, I went to submit a new piece of art, and encountered a popup asking me to agree to a new license agreement. The agreement was titled Submission Policy, and as I read Section 3, I become fairly concerned. The subitems in bold below are of most concern, as they essentially do the following:

1. In item B, Take the right to use MY work in any publication, in any media, known now or invented in the future...WITHOUT ROYALTY to me, the artist.
* While I understand the need for DA to protect themselves in relation to displaying my art on DeviantArt.com, I in no way intend to give them royalty-free right to use my work in ANY form of media, now known or yet invented, at their own whim. I don't mind giving DA license to use my work in various automatically generated sections of this site, such as the prints gallery page or any of the normal gallery pages. I find it despicable that they want me to grant them the right to use my work without compensation in any media, anywhere, for any purpose.

2. In item D, Takes the right to sublicense MY work to any other PERSON or COMPANY as they see fit.
* I do not see ANY reason why the normal operation of DeviantArt.com, the web site, requires the right to sublicense my work to anyone, for any reason, commercial or otherwise, ever.

3. In item D, Takes the right to prevent me from having any right, title, or even INTEREST in works created WITH MY WORK!
* I suppose this is a form of protecting DA and whoever they decide to sublicense my work to according to Item D from ME!?! Where is my right to be compensated for the use of my work here? If this stated "for the purposes of operating DeviantArt.com", I could understand...sometimes you have to farm work out to other companies to meet a deadline. The license does not state that the usage is specifically for the operation of the web site where I am uploading my work...they could use my work, and sublicense it to any organization, without compensation to me...for any reason. Again, despicable.

Farther down in the license, in section 5, they state that for any "commercial" uses, they will contact the artist before sublicencing any work. What happens when DA sublicenses my work for some supposed "non-commercial" purpose, and that entity sublicenses my work to someone else FOR commercial purposes?

I do not remember the DA license agreement being this heavy handed or overreaching before. I am not sure if any of my previously submitted work falls under this license or not, however so long as DA has a license agreement that allows them to sublicense MY work to other entities for ANY reason, without any compensation to me the artist, I will no longer be submitting work here. If I find that DA has used my work in any publication outside of the context of DeviantArt.com, the online website...in ANY medium (invented or yet to be invented), I will probably be removing my work and moving to other online artist sites.

I am extremely dismayed at the overarching, overreaching license and level of "rights" DA is trying to grab here. It is in extreme dis-service to the artist to take rights to their work, and protect themselves and their "sublicensees", from any kind of legal action the artist may try to take to protect their intellectual, artistic property. Shame, DA...Shame!

DA Submission Policy - Sections 2 & 3 - Rights Usurped


2.      Ownership. Artist at all times retains all right, title and interest in and to the Artist Materials provided by Artist hereunder (including, without limitation, the copyrights in and to the Artist Materials), subject to the non-exclusive rights in the licenses granted to deviantART under this Agreement. Artist is free to grant similar rights to others during and after the Term of this Agreement.

3.      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:

a)      to prepare and encode Artist Materials or any part of them for digital or analog transmission, manipulation and exhibition in any format and by any means now known or not yet known or invented;

b)     to display, copy, reproduce, exhibit, publicly perform, broadcast, rebroadcast, transmit, retransmit, distribute through any electronic means (including analog and digital) or other means, and electronically or otherwise publish any or all of the Artist Materials, including any part of them, and to include them in compilations for publication, by any and all means and media now known or not yet known or invented ;

c)      to modify, adapt, change or otherwise alter the Artist Materials (e.g., change the size) and use the Artist Materials as described in Section 3(b); and

d)     the right to sublicense to any other person or company any of the licensed rights in the Artist Materials, or any part of them, subject to the terms and conditions of this Agreement.

e)      Artist acknowledges that Artist will not have any right, title, or interest in any other materials with which Artist Materials may be combined or into which all or any portion of Artist Materials may be incorporated.

f)       During the Term, deviantART's licenses under this Agreement include the right to use any part of the Artist Materials in the promotion, advertising or marketing of the DeviantART Sites.

g)      As used in this Agreement, the term "Artist Materials" means any content uploaded to the deviantART Site(s) which may include without limitation Artist's name(s) (including professional names), trademarks, trade names, likenesses, photographs, biographical materials, audio-visual materials, artwork, liner notes, and other graphical, textual, video, film or audio materials and any and all "skins," computer-generated images or other artwork or images that Artist submits to deviantART in any medium or format whatsoever.



DA Submission Policy - Section 5 - Limitation of Rights



5.      Limitation Of Rights The rights and licenses granted to deviantART under sections 3 and 4 of this Agreement require deviantART to obtain Artist consent before deviantART makes any commercial agreement with anyone else to separately buy, license, re-sell or re-publish or commercially use any Artist Materials not in association with deviantART but as an individual work of art or as a group of works from a single Artist in isolation from any other works. No additional consent is required for any other licensed uses under this Agreement of Artist Materials either as part of the deviantART Site(s) or in connection with the distribution of content groups from the deviantART Site(s) and/or for uses of the Artist Materials made at the discretion of a visitor to the deviantART Site(s) or other users under agreements with deviantART. deviantART will contact Artist in writing about any individual commercial uses of Artist Materials instigated by deviantART.

© 2011 - 2022 jon-rista
Comments21
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Fakskis's avatar
English is not my primary language so I have a bit of trouble understanding some of the stuff in these new 'rules', but what if I just put a big transparent watermark on top of my art and un-check the 'allow users to download' thing?
Then no matter WHAT DA does with the picture, everyone will still be able to see that I as an artist made the original drawing!