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    May 2009

    Copyright and Your deviantART Submission

    Here at deviantART we respect the rights of all artists and creative people and we expect our members to demonstrate an equal amount of respect and assist us in creating a beneficial and positive atmosphere for all deviantART visitors and members.

    The bottom line is: Just about anything that is on this site, on the web, on TV, on CD's, on DVD's, in books & in magazines is probably copyrighted by someone.

    Copyright can be a confusing territory for many people. In many cases the natural confusion over the sometimes varied circumstances surrounding copyright will lead people to rely upon rumor or myth more often than the actual legal facts which naturally confuses the matter even more.

    In this document we will attempt to eliminate some of the confusion and counter many of the myths surrounding copyright. Understand that the following form is provided for informational purposes only and is intended to be used as a guide only. The availability of this document should not be construed as rendering legal or other professional advice, and this document is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney. If you require legal advice, you should seek the services of a qualified attorney.

    What is Copyright Infringement?

    To simplify this question, copyright infringement occurs when you do certain things with a creative work which someone else produced without first getting the proper permission.

    Some examples of copyright infringement (this is only a partial listing) can include:
    • Placing a photograph or creative work online without proper permission.
    • Using a creative work commercially.
    • Adapting a creative work of one medium to another, such as making a book into a movie or a photograph into a painting.
    • Modifying or editing a creative work without proper permission.

    How Can I Avoid Infringing on Someone's Copyright?

    The best way to avoid infringing on the rights of another creative person is to use your skill, talent and imagination to create your own completely original work. When we use the word 'original' we don't mean that you must come up with an idea which hasn't been used before, when used in copyright matters "original" means that you created your work without referencing or deliberately copying anyone else's work during the process.

    Ensure that all parts of your work, both visual and audio, are your own original creations. If you have used materials which are owned by other people or companies make certain that you have obtained proper permission or licensing for the use before you place your work online.

    What Sort of Things are Copyrighted?

    The easy answer to this question is that just about any creative work you might find should be considered to be copyrighted by default.

    A work is not required to have a copyright statement printed on it or near it in order to be considered copyrighted so do not assume that the work is unprotected simply because you cannot see a notice written anywhere.

    Also do not confuse the fact that a work is publicly available with the idea that it is public domain or free for use. Being easy to find on the internet does not affect a work's copyrighted status.

    Some Cautions

    • In most cases it does not matter how much of the material you have used. Whether it's a single frame, a few moments of audio, a short clip of video or any other sampling it's still considered to be copyrighted and you still require the owner's permission for use.
    • It doesn't matter how you obtained the material, it's still considered copyrighted and you still need permission.
    • It doesn't matter whether or not you've credited the proper owner, it's still considered copyrighted and you still need permission.
    • It doesn't matter if you are not selling it or making a profit, it's still considered copyrighted and you still need permission.
    • It doesn't matter if you can find other people using things without permission, it's still considered copyrighted and you still need permission.
    • It doesn't matter if you've edited it a little bit or made a few alterations, if it's recognizable it's still considered copyrighted and you still need permission.

    What Happens When You Submit Infringing Works to deviantART?

    When we become aware that a deviantART submission infringes upon the copyrights of another artist, creative person or company, we will immediately delete it. This is a legal requirement which we fulfill immediately; you will not receive an advanced warning and you will not be given an opportunity to 'fix it'. Any copyright owner following the procedures in this Copyright Policy can require deviantART to remove his or her copyrighted content.

    If you believe that a submission on deviantART infringes upon your copyright you may either report the submission using our internal reporting system or send us a copyright notice via email. A member of staff will review your notice and resolve the situation.

    If you believe that one of your submissions was removed in error you may contact our helpdesk or otherwise file a counter notice. A member of staff will be made available to you so that the situation can be properly resolved.

    If you are found to repeatedly post infringing content your account will be suspended and serious offenders will have their account banned and deactivated. If you are found deliberately misrepresenting the copyrighted work of another as your own your account will be immediately banned and deactivated.

    What about "Fair Use"?

    "Fair Use" is the notion that some public and private uses of copyrighted works should not require the permission of a copyright owner. These circumstances are very limited, complex to analyze under the law and require the help of expert advice from a lawyer. We recommend you talk to your own lawyer if you want to know more about fair use as it applies to the work you are doing. If it turns out that it isn't fair use, you may be liable for very serious money damages.

    To learn more about fair use you can go here, here, here, and here.

    If you take my work down am I protected from a lawsuit?

    No. Even if deviantART takes an infringing work down, if you put it up on deviantART you may still be responsible for very significant damages if the copyright owner decides to sue you.

    Notification of Copyright Infringement

    This section contains the formal requirements of the Copyright Act with respect to the rights of copyright owners whose content appears on deviantART without authorization.

    To file a copyright infringement notification with deviantART, the copyright owner or an agent acting on his or her behalf will need to send a written communication that includes substantially the following:

    • A physical or electronic signature of a person authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.
    • Identification of the copyrighted work claimed to have been infringed, or, if multiple copyrighted works at a single online site are covered by a single notification, a representative list of such works at that site.
    • Identification of the material that is claimed to be infringing or to be the subject of infringing activity and that is to be removed or access to which is to be disabled, and information reasonably sufficient to permit the service provider to locate the material. In this regard please provide URLs when you identify the location of the material.
    • Information reasonably sufficient to permit the service provider to contact the complaining party, such as an address, telephone number, and, if available, an electronic mail address at which the complaining party may be contacted.
    • A statement that the complaining party has a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law.
    • A statement that the information in the notification is accurate, and under penalty of perjury, that the complaining party is authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.

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    Last edited by #1Chef; 12-12-2017 at 02:24 AM.

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