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Submitted on
May 2
Submitted with Writer


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322 (who?)

dA is Not Selling Your Works to Third Party Royalty Free

Hot Topic selling artist's works without permission

A Tumblr post has been circulating, where Hot Topic is selling artist's works as T-shirts in their store, including popular fan art without the artist's permission, deviant artists included. It caught on wildfire when one user linked to deviantART's Submission Policy, stating users gave permission to dA by agreeing to their Terms of Service thereby allowing dA to sell it to third party royalty free.

dA Tumblr by phoenixleo

This is false and inaccurate!

deviantART's Response:

"We appreciate the rallying of the community around the rights of this artist. Rights and ownership of artwork are an important cause which we do not take lightly. To clarify:

DeviantART does not retain any ownership nor right to ownership of any artwork posted to deviantART. The point of question in our Submission Policy is one which gives us the right to present the artwork you submit to deviantART on deviantART. As stated in our Submission Policy, “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.” Thus, artwork posted to deviantART may be used in promotional material for deviantART (with all due credit for the work included), but never for non-deviantART commercial purposes, and never without express recognition of the original artist. The artist also always retains the right to remove the work from deviantART at any time, if they so choose.

By the same token, because we do not retain any ownership of artwork submitted to deviantART, we cannot license it to others either (be it individual or company) without the express permission and written agreement of the artist. From section 5 of our Submission Policy: “deviantART will contact Artist in writing about any individual commercial uses of Artist Materials instigated by deviantART.” If deviantART had been involved with this situation in any way, the artist would have been contacted in writing long prior to any commercial use of the artwork. 

We assure you that we had no involvement of any kind in this incident. Again, we appreciate the passion with which the art community has come together regarding these circumstances, but as with all things, we’re always on the side of the artist."

Given the nature of this post, I feel it’s necessary to post the right information in here as well, considering seeing the notes and comments that users are posting without checking anything, or falsely misrepresenting the policies. Always clarify it from authentic sources or contact them (They don’t bite!). Have a pleasant browsing and interaction and apologies for the interruption!

You can always contact dA to get the info, such as these:

Contact deviantART Help Desk

deviantart Tumblr.

deviantART Terms of Service

Does deviantART own my art?

Please do spread the right news by re-blogging deviantART's response of the correct interpretation of the policy and this as well so users can see it here as well rather than the out of context one or any that you may find.

Edit:: Here's the artist's explanation. It's officially licensed.
For this time!

deviantART is Not Selling Your Works to Third Party Royalty Free - 'Submission Policy and Hot Topic'
Please read this information and share this information!
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daCoffeeKnight Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2014  Student Digital Artist
The teeshirt is being represented as official adventure time and cartoon network merchandise by Hot Topic so did Cartoon Network steal the work?
phoenixleo Featured By Owner 3 days ago
It turned out they didn't in this instance. The artist had, as he later realized, signed on the contracts which allowed it to be sold.
You can read about the artist's explanation here.
racketify Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2014  Student General Artist
i reposted this journal on a page, if it okay with you i will keep it up, though it on my other account, because i think the message should be heard.
Crazycartoonwolf Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2014  New member Student General Artist
so how to we unagree to terms of service? or does that than mean we can no longer be a member of DA?
phoenixleo Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2014
When you join any site, they give you TOS and everything you are to read before you register. That is the same for dA. TOS, privacy policy, etiquette and copyright policy, everything. If you do not agree to a site's agreement, why would you be in there at all? If you had disagreed, it means you aren't registering with them aka not a deviant user, aka not having an account (in other words, if you want to enter my house, you have to follow my rules and be nice etc). You can read all of these from the footer links. Contact help for further inquiry or assistance.
Crazycartoonwolf Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2014  New member Student General Artist
GoryBlueCat Featured By Owner May 24, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
I knew it! I knew that post was false the minute I saw it!


Hot Topic is still stupid though.
Fireangels Featured By Owner May 20, 2014
I also found this post through a comment in another journal-entrie that had false information.

Thank you very much for this post. We created a German translation of the information - because most German users find the ToS confusing and difficult to read - and linked back here.

Thank you so much for this post :)
pulbern Featured By Owner May 19, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
mobian-knight Featured By Owner May 15, 2014
Why is this kind of scaremongering tolerated on dA?  Why isn't this kind of thing a TOS violation?  Why wasn't punitive action taken against those individuals who tried to start a riot over this?  One journal pushing this hoax has gotten over 12,000 views.  That is potentially 12,000 users of this site who have been fearmongered with misinformation on several levels, not to mention the libel that has been committed against dA and Hot Topic, and indirectly against Time Warner.  In fact when I politely confronted the guy with the said journal entry, the guy cussed me out.

DeviantArt has had very bad history of coddling scaremongers who look for every opportunity to obsess over the "thieves" and start a riot.  It's as though there is an attitude from the people running dA that every scaremonger is a community leader and activist, and some kind of hero to the people.  This has done nothing but damage the quality and character of the community; this is dA's one serious failing.  Certain features of dA, namely dA's convoluted upload system with its server side downsizing and watermarking, have been added in order to appease fearmongers (that think they have some kind of perfect safety entitlement) on the site whom dA hasn't had the guts to stand up to.  Yes posting anything on the internet bears risk as does everything in life, but that is a good thing and brings reward.  Life without risk is death.

I don't want to see this site turned into 'tiny watermarked image land' because of crap like this.  This is supposed to be an art community where people can enjoy the detail and effort that an artist put into their work at a nice decent resolution, not a place where people come to look at small images with huge watermarks and a flashing sign telling you not to "steal" because they've been frightened by scaremongers who know how to be loud.  If someone needs to do that in order to post here, then they shouldn't be posting here, period; and dA should not have features to coddle that kind of behavior.

This latest incident is another shining example of the need to make this kind of scaremongering incitement a TOS violation.  It should also be added to the TOS that you acknowledge and accept the inherent risk of posting on dA without reservation or evasion, and that there is no entitlement from dA that your experience here will be risk-free in any way nor is dA obliged to somehow keep you "safe".  It should also be added that you are not to join this site and then engage in conduct that damages the quality and character of the community, and that any such behavior will be grounds for punitive action from dA.  A statement should also be added to the TOS or whatever relevant user conduct agreement that when a user posts their work on this site, it isn't just about themselves anymore as they have now published their work into society, and the user is expected to conduct themselves in a manner befitting this basic reality.  And although you have certain rights to your works imparted to you by law and you can remove your art from dA at any time, it should be kept in mind that just as the works of Rembrandt or Van Gogh are a part of society, so too are your works a part of society and the cultural heritage thereof the moment you publish them into the community.  If a user cannot accept this then they cannot participate in the DA community.

On a closing note, it turns out that the artwork in question was legally and lawfully used with this shirt.  This shirt sold by Hot Topic is part of an officially licensed line of Cartoon Network apparel.  CN gained the rights to the image when it was used as an alternate cover for issue 10 of the Adventure Time comic series published by BOOM! Studios.

Here's a statement from the artist himself:…

The artist's dA page is here:
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