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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:
 
:iconwulframm:
Wulframm Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2015  Student Artist
wait, so... they can't sell the art to third parties sure... but can they sell merchandise of their own with your art?
Reply
:iconphoenixleo:
phoenixleo Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2015
Of course not. Their print/shop service is what artists can use to sell their artworks as prints or other things. Read their prints service FAQs in help or contact them through helpdesk. It's their system like any others out there that offer this service.
Reply
:iconpandapool:
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.
Reply
:iconphoenixleo:
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. :)
Reply
:iconjobarghest:
JoBarghest 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?
Reply
:icondacoffeeknight:
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?
Reply
:iconphoenixleo:
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.
Reply
:iconracketify:
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.
Reply
:iconcrazycartoonwolf:
Crazycartoonwolf Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2014  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?
Reply
:iconphoenixleo:
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.
Reply
:iconcrazycartoonwolf:
Crazycartoonwolf Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2014  Student General Artist
thank-you
Reply
:icongorybluecat:
GoryBlueCat Featured By Owner May 24, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
I knew it! I knew that post was false the minute I saw it!

THIS IS WHY YOU DO NOT BELIEVE ANYTHING ON TUMBLR

Hot Topic is still stupid though.
Reply
:iconfireangels:
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 :)
Reply
:iconpulbern:
pulbern Featured By Owner May 19, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
:w00t:
Reply
:iconmobian-knight:
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:
jjharrison.tumblr.com/post/854…

The artist's dA page is here:
rismo.deviantart.com/
Reply
:iconsachi-pon:
Sachi-pon Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
i know this comment is old but i just wanted to say, thank you for writing it! i wholeheartedly agree. there are so many paranoid artists on this site, obsessed with the thought of people stealing their work. and yeah some of them attack deviantart because they don't know how to read a terms of service statement and they think da is a big evil corporation trying to steal their art. i'm sick of the fearmongering that people keep stirring up.
Reply
:iconmudwort:
Mudwort Featured By Owner May 14, 2014
I had read a different journal on this topic (that was misleading) and while scrolling through comments, I saw someone link to this. Glad I clicked it and thanks for the information.
Reply
:iconworldwar-tori:
WorldWar-Tori Featured By Owner May 9, 2014   General Artist
:wave: Hello - this has been listed in the latest update of deviousNEWS! Have an awesome weekend blue heart bullet blue heart bullet blue heart bullet 
Reply
:iconphoenixleo:
phoenixleo Featured By Owner May 11, 2014
:ahoy:
Reply
:iconkaidi-lioness:
Kaidi-Lioness Featured By Owner May 8, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
It amazes me how many people actually DONT READ EVERY WORD xD That part is crucial when it comes to signing up for stuff. But everyone should know that posting anything to the internet where everyone can see/read it is a risk. I mean...its common sense. if people are uncomfortable with posting their art online, or their stories, then they should keep them private if they don't want them stolen. OR Watermark the hell out of them. 
Reply
:iconphoenixleo:
phoenixleo Featured By Owner May 11, 2014
:nod:
Reply
:iconblaue-rose:
Blaue-Rose Featured By Owner May 8, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Thanks a lot for sharing this info~!!! :meow:
Reply
:iconphoenixleo:
phoenixleo Featured By Owner May 11, 2014
:ahoy:
Reply
:iconprofessor-heavy:
Professor-Heavy Featured By Owner May 8, 2014  Student Filmographer
Someone commented on the original artwork in reply to one of my replies to another's comment:
Sigma722:
"The art was in an art show and licensed by AT. It became theirs to sell."
I'm not sure about this..
Reply
:iconsircassie:
SirCassie Featured By Owner May 19, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
The artist Rismo has stated recently that it was because he didn't read the fine print of the contracts he signed from BOOM! Studios. Cartoon network gained rights when it was used as an alternate comic cover published by boom studios. Hot topic has the okay and proper license to sell the shirt. No theft took place with this art piece. 
Reply
:iconprofessor-heavy:
Professor-Heavy Featured By Owner May 19, 2014  Student Filmographer
Wow. Thanks for explaining it all to me.
Reply
:iconsircassie:
SirCassie Featured By Owner May 19, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
no problem, however, HotTopic in the past HAS taken designs from artists. such as bow designs, tees, and others. whats sad is some of those people are just kids so they cant do much about the situation which must be frustrating. 
my thing is i don't understand why people blame DA for any of these thefts or rumors. artists such as Rismo have their work on other online sites besides DA and it IS the internet. people just need to be aware and careful as to what they post online. 
Reply
:iconprofessor-heavy:
Professor-Heavy Featured By Owner May 19, 2014  Student Filmographer
People are blaming dA because of something called a "rumour". Now a "rumour" is where people mindlessly believe something that has been said but usually with no evidence to back it up.  Usually there is also evidence AGAINST the rumour, such as this journal.
Reply
:iconsircassie:
SirCassie Featured By Owner May 19, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Indeed. I'm still boycotting HotTopic though. Even though they didn't steal Rismo's piece, some others have been. i would feel so uncomfortable with the thought that the tee shirt i'm wearing very well could be a stolen design from some kid somewhere :/ 
Reply
:iconprofessor-heavy:
Professor-Heavy Featured By Owner May 19, 2014  Student Filmographer
I'm a UK resident, so I don't know much about HotTopic. Basing from what you said though, it does seem like a valid reason to boycott them. But.. what examples of this are there? It's not relevant, but I'm just curious..
Reply
:iconphoenixleo:
phoenixleo Featured By Owner May 8, 2014
Sure about what?
Reply
:iconmrgundam:
mrgundam Featured By Owner May 8, 2014
I find it very odd that DA would sell Adventure time Art to Hot Topic since that opens the door for legal trouble with Cartoon Network.  Who will not be pleased that someone else is selling artwork of one of their shows.
Reply
:iconphoenixleo:
phoenixleo Featured By Owner May 8, 2014
Obviously, that's not happening. :nod:
Reply
:icongreyroseofhope:
GreyRoseOfHope Featured By Owner May 8, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
I wonder how Hot Topic got that artwork, then? It seems odd, that such a popular company would knowingly participate in art theft...maybe it was a miscommunication with something or someone other than deviantART.
Reply
:iconsircassie:
SirCassie Featured By Owner May 19, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
The artist Rismo has stated recently that it was because he didn't read the fine print of the contracts he signed from BOOM! Studios. Cartoon network gained rights when it was used as an alternate comic cover published by boom studios. Hot topic has the okay and proper license to sell the shirt. No theft took place with this art piece. 
Reply
:iconphoenixleo:
phoenixleo Featured By Owner May 8, 2014
It could be that they hire other companies to do such products who then sell those to Hot Topic, and those establishments had done this, or they did it. They are often in the lookout for what's 'cool' and trending so to speak. At least places like Hot Topic are. It could happen if they found it on some other site as well, if they saw the image there.
Reply
:iconguardianofcliffton:
GuardianOfCliffton Featured By Owner May 6, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
What about this #3 part that is in question? nakaseart.deviantart.com/journ…  Or is that superseded by what is written here? :worry:
Reply
:iconphoenixleo:
phoenixleo Featured By Owner May 7, 2014
The whole point of joining/submitting on dA (or any other site for that matter) is to publish your work online. It is dA's job then to promote your work online, aka out there in the wild. :P

This means, anyone using RSS feeds for example to see updates on dA that they are interested in, wouldn't be possible as RSS syndicates news feeds from any place that it is in (or enabled? not sure what the right term is here). RSS feeds, blogging services, social media features are all third parties here, and without that they couldn't stream content through those features nor would others be able to do that. Even, things like ipads, iphones which one can use to see content, they are considered third parties (your browser included), and those terms allow the works to be seen on those platforms. If anyone wants to share their work on Tumblr, Facebook, twitter, etc via the share feature on dA, that wouldn't be possible either. This has been in place for years and years.
The language allows for dA to promote your work out there. This is basically, "Hey look, there's awesome work in this site. Take a look!" which enables users to be sent to the site to see and promote the works and the site itself. That's the point of dA.

Above all of it, as the official response states, you as an artist owns your work (if you have created it obviously). You can delete it, upload it some place else as well, make a print of it, etc etc. It's that, when you place it on dA, it allows dA to share it across dA and other various platforms it may have (those platforms are third parties obviously), so the content can be sent to others as promotion.


For example, dA recently shared on of my works on their Facebook page. Were it not possible to do so with that clause, they wouldn't be able to do that, (or others to share the content). This resulted in many users seeing my work, and therefore appreciating the work itself in whatever way they wanted to do it. Who in turn shared it. Without that, only a few people saw that work when I uploaded it. But, I do still own the rights to my work. dA just announced to everyone that the their site has this particular awesome work ( even if I do say so myself:lol: ), which happens to be on deviantART. I mean, wouldn't you tell someone you went to an amazing restaurant?
Reply
:iconguardianofcliffton:
GuardianOfCliffton Featured By Owner May 7, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Ummm...an awful lot of legalese in here...but I think I get the gist of what you are saying.
Where does this put Hot Topic then?  They might have seen it from these third parties or dA, but I don't think that would give them the right to take it, make a shirt out of it, and sell it for their own profits.  Would it? :confused:
Reply
:iconphoenixleo:
phoenixleo Featured By Owner May 8, 2014
They are not that 'third party' listed in there. This is just a company (or the ones they assign this job) found a popular image online and grabbing it for themselves to use. This could happen the same way if they found the image on Tumblr or how some grab images off of google images. It would not give them the right.
Reply
:iconguardianofcliffton:
GuardianOfCliffton Featured By Owner May 8, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Should the person who's work was stolen, sue the company for art theft?
Reply
:iconphoenixleo:
phoenixleo Featured By Owner May 8, 2014
It depends on the person what they want to do. And if the company contacts them, what they agree on.
Reply
:iconguardianofcliffton:
GuardianOfCliffton Featured By Owner May 8, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh, okay.
Reply
:iconphoenixleo:
phoenixleo Featured By Owner May 8, 2014
Mhm.
Reply
:iconkairinaminemix:
kairinaminemix Featured By Owner May 6, 2014  Student General Artist
hot topic has been doing this since 2008 at the very least. It's really low to keep stealing art like that >:(
Reply
:iconsircassie:
SirCassie Featured By Owner May 19, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
The artist Rismo has stated recently that it was because he didn't read the fine print of the contracts he signed from BOOM! Studios. Cartoon network gained rights when it was used as an alternate comic cover published by boom studios. Hot topic has the okay and proper license to sell the shirt. No theft took place with this art piece. 
Reply
:iconkoka-da-kola:
Koka-da-Kola Featured By Owner May 6, 2014
This is just awful! :C Something should totally be done about this
Reply
:iconcanttel:
canttel Featured By Owner May 6, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
This is crazy man. 
Reply
:iconphoenixleo:
phoenixleo Featured By Owner May 7, 2014
It is.
Reply
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