Creative Commons + FAQ

7 min read

Deviation Actions

nillemotes's avatar
I support Creative Commons and I encourage all emoticonists to license their work.

First of all, when you submit your emoticons to deviantart, you automatically get copyright on your work. "All good", says you. No, says I. Copyrights are selfish and evil. If you license your work under Creative Commons instead, you still get the credit for your time and effort, you can still decide whether or not others can make money off of your work, and you can even let people know whether or not you appreciate others editing your work.

So why go with Creative Commons instead of good ol' copyrights?

Well, for one, it's easier for others to promote your work off-site. And before you get all scared about the big bad world outside of dA, let me give you an example. I'm sure you've all heard of the Zikes script, right? Have you ever tried searching the list to find just the right emoticon? Isn't it time consuming and annoying that you have to click a link to see what they look like, one by one? I say it is. And that's where Creative Commons makes it so much better than a copyright. See, is off-site, and without permission the emoticons are not allowed to be copied onto the site. With Creative Commons they would be, and as you know the creators still get full credit for the emoticons listed on that site, so it would be a win-win situation for everyone.

If the official description is difficult to understand, here's what the Creative Commons license means on my emoticons:

:bulletgreen: You are free to share this emoticon. You may copy it and use it wherever you want: on MSN, on forums, in emails, etc.
:bulletyellow: Where possible, link back to the original deviation.
:bulletyellow: If used outside of dA, make sure it's clear that the emoticon is used under a "Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License", or "Creative Commons by-nc-sa 3.0 License" for short. Also include this link.

:bulletgreen: You are free to edit (remix) this emoticon in any way you like - give it ears, change its colors, make it a tard, give it a lemming suicide, turn it into vector art, etc.
:bulletyellow: It is important that you share alike, so any edit (remix) you publish must be submitted under the same license as the emoticon you edit.
:bulletyellow: A link to the original deviation is necessary.

:bulletred: You are under no circumstances allowed to make money off of my emoticons. If you have a business idea, let me know and you'll get your share.

I encourage all emoticonists who believe in sharing and free promotion to not only apply the Creative Commons license on all your new work, but also to go through your gallery and apply it to all your old emoticons as well.

Together we can all make a happier world filled with cute little emoticons :aww:


Q. May I use your emoticons on MSN/Jabber/Other Instant Messaging clients?
A. Yes. All of them. Enjoy!

Q. May I use your emoticons on my forum/website?
A. For most of them, yes. Make sure they are licensed with Creative Commons, and make sure to follow the instructions by each license. I would love to know where my emoticons end up, so send me a link.

Q. May I use your emoticons on a real-life object?
A. Of course you can, I couldn't stop you! I can only license the use of my pixels, not the idea of a green circle with eyes on it. If you print my pixels you have to credit me, but if you paint or sew or cook based on my creations you don't have to worry about permissions.

Q. May I print your emoticons on t-shirts/bags/stickers?
A. No. If you really really want something for yourself only, ask me first and I might allow one or two prints to be made. You can never print my emoticons on items for sale, unless I get my share of the profit.

Q. May I make a plz account of your emoticons?
A. No. A website account is supposed to represent a person, and a plz account is not. I am aware that I am using two accounts, but they were separated years ago when I was young and didn't know better. If I find any of my emoticons as plz accounts I will report them according to FAQ #214: What are DeviantArt's policies regarding avatars? and have them removed. Don't waste your time, and please don't waste mine. Three avatars removed already, 1 2 3.

Q. May I make my own version of <this emoticon>?
A. For most of them, yes. Make sure they are licensed with Creative Commons Share Alike first. That also means you have to pass on the same license to any derivates you create of my work, to allow others to do the same thing to your emoticon.

Q. May I edit your SuperSwede emote?
A. See above. If your idea might be offensive in any way, ask me first.

Q. Can I read more about Creative Commons somewhere?
A. Yes, all the information you would ever need is available on the website If that's too much for you, you can read my personal use of it in this journal. You should also know that every deviation submitted with Creative Commons has a link to exactly what that license means, right above the description and stats of the deviation.

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