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Submitted on
May 2
Submitted with Writer


24,753 (18 today)
331 (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!
Add a Comment:
Pandapool Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2014  Hobbyist
So just to be clear, deviantART doesn't own all of my art now? Sorry if that sounds dumb, but the wording in the in the Terms and Services isn't the most clear, and I just want to be sure I don't lose something forever.
phoenixleo Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2014
deviantART never owned your work. It's that since you are using their site, it just gives them right to display it on their site and platforms they are in. You can upload it here, delete it, make prints of it here or publish elsewhere (like many already do), whatever. You created the art, it's yours. And in order to show it on the site, dA has your permission to show it.
No worries. Asking is good. :)
woollybug Featured By Owner Jul 23, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
I had been told by a friend that DA had reselling/merchandising rights to all work submitted there- I hope this isn't true, thanks for this Hot Topic-specific information! I do find the wording in the DA TOS confusing as it does seem to imply their right to use images aren't exclusively on DA, as claimed. Maybe a rewrite of the TOS would help avoid anxiety/confusion if this is not the case?
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 Jul 20, 2014
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  Student Traditional 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  Student Traditional 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.
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