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I am not a lawyer. I do not know everything there is to know about copyright law and cannot assist you with legal matters. I have studied copyright extensively and written many DMCA Takedown Requests for myself to successfully get the illegal use of my work stopped. This article is in no way comprehensive. It does not include 100% detail on copyright laws. If you want more information or just want to browse more of my writing on copyrights, please go here.

Copyright and "Theft"



Why sharing can be illegal.
There is quite a bit of confusion about copyright law, the DMCA, fair use, de minimus, etc. And rightly so. I always try to give people the benefit of the doubt when I come across what appears to be a "theft" issue. Even people in the United States, the home of the DMCA and one of the strongest supporters of copyright protection, can be ignorant of these laws and protections afforded to all people, not just artists. So it stands to reason that people outside the United States will have very little knowledge of these laws.

The problem arises when both US citizens and non-US citizens collaborate on a US-based website (ie deviantART) together - eventually toes will get stepped on (intentionally and unintentionally).


You, the Internet, and the USA



Every country treats copyright differently.
While criminal copyright infringement in the USA can result in $500,000.00 US dollars in fines plus up to 5 years in prison, copyright infringement in another country may not be illegal at all or have significantly different punishments associated with it. You must always be aware of where the website you are using is getting services from. You must always carefully read the terms of service of any website you are using.

If you are on a site that is hosted by a USA company or company whose internet business uses servers or services out of the USA, YOU ARE BOUND BY US COPYRIGHT LAWS while using the services of that website. On deviantART, when you joined, this was explained in the Terms of Service you accepted in order to create an account here. Even if you do not live in the United States, you are still subject to US law as it applies to the website. And the DMCA and copyright law applies to deviantART. Which means it applies to you.

FAQ #250: The laws of my country differ from those of the United States- which ones apply?

You are not anonymous.
As a person on the internet, it is important to remember that you ARE NOT ANONYMOUS. You can be tracked. Your computer has a distinct identification assoicated with it when you access the internet - through your own provider, through a public wifi, etc. Not even private browsing or browser add-ons can remove this identification. With this identification (and this is not the only way you can be identified, just the easiest), you and your activity can be tracked by users on the internet. Not by just government users either. Most anyone who has the ability to grab your IP address can track you.

You are inevitably responsible for you.
In the end, you will always be responsible for you. Even if someone gets your account information and does illegal stuff on your account, you are still responsible for it. Keep your account information safe. Don't share your account with anyone. And definitely don't ever think the laws of one country do not apply to you when you are using services from that country.


Your Protection under the Law



What and who does the DMCA and copyright law protect?
In 1998, an amendment to Title 17 (the Copyright Act) was passed under the United States implementation of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Copyright Treaty adopted by countries around the world two years earlier. The stated purpose of the DMCA is to protect copyrighted works in the digital world by making use of technology to get around copyrights illegal. So, as it applies to deviantART, you can't use technology to take or modify someone's art - if you do, you are breaking the law in many different countries. The DMCA also has a system for electronic filing of copyright infringement. Copyright law, on the other hand, protects completed works (not ideas, but works that have taken a physical form - this includes writing!). Once an idea takes form, it is protected by copyright law, and the person who put it in its tangible form is the copyright holder.

To establish copyright, you can't simply have an idea. Three items must hold true: the idea must be fixed into a tangible medium (includes text on a computer screen like emails or literature deviations, code, digital art, etc), the work must be original (you can't create the same thing as another person and claim it as yours even though you did the work), and the work must display minimal creativity (if you use a reference and your work can't be easily distinguished from the original, it isn't minimally creative). Once a work is in a tangible medium and meets these three criteria, it is automatically copyrighted to the creator for their entire life (unless sold or given away legally) plus a varied amount of time after the person's death - depending on family, possible copyright renewals, etc.

What the copyright holder has the right to choose.
An important and often overlooked area of copyright law and the DMCA is that it is a CHOICE. To be protected or to not be protected is the choice of the copyright holder. Many artists on deviantART don't care if you repost their art on other sites so long as you credit them and link back. Others, however, have a huge issue with it. Some don't even care if you take it and make money from it. But again, some will go after you using the law and take you to court.

The super important piece of information to remember is that whether an artist chooses to use the law to protect their work or not is entirely up to them. Until you know for sure how the copyright holder feels, you can't do certain things with their work: edit it, manipulate it, sell it, trace/base it, print it, etc. Those are rights that belong exclusively to the copyright holder. And unless you get permission, you will be breaking the law.


Copyright Law and its "Exceptions"



I think my work falls under Fair Use.
It probably doesn't. Your work really only falls under fair use if you actually cannot, in any way shape or form, contact the copyright holder to ask for permission. So, if you use something you find on deviantART without permission, it WILL NEVER BE FAIR USE. Contacting the copyright holder on deviantART is very simple. In legal terms, "The principles of fair use are invoked when the transaction costs associated with gaining authorization from copyright owners to make use of works is too burdensome in reasonable circumstances." Basically, that means if you can't afford to get in contact with the copyright holder (not applicable on deviantART), or your reasonable attempts produced no return reply (not applicable on deviantART), or your reasonable attempts never uncovered a viable way to communicate with the copyright holder (not applicable on deviantART), then your use of their copyrighted work MIGHT fall under fair use. MIGHT - even if you can't contact someone on deviantART OR they don't reply to you, EVERY SINGLE DEVIATION has a © attached to it so everyone knows it is protected - bottom line: you can't use it.

Many people claim that because fair use is often associated with using works in a non-commercial or non-profit way that if they aren't making any money off of it that it is okay. That is wrong and it is not okay (and most definitely not fair use). Reposting a work is NOT fair use (even if you credit the original artist). Editing a work is NOT fair use (even if you credit the original artist). Using a work as stock when it is not stock is NOT fair use (even if you credit the original artist). And, generally, tracing or basing a work is NOT fair use (even if you credit the original artist)...

Fair use allows the reproduction of non-profit and non-commercial works for private use and display, so if someone wanted to go to my account and print off a copy of this work to hang in their home or private office area at work, they theoretically could under fair use. I am not selling it nor ever had it for sale. And as long as you never claim it as your art, try to sell it or display it publicly, you may never face legal prosecution. BUT, since I am so easily able to be contacted on deviantART, even that may infringe on my copyrights - only a judge could make that decision though. On the flipside, if you tried to do the same with this work, you would be breaking the law - no gray area here at all. You can clearly see it is for sale.

Another fair use myth is that if you claim or attempt to use a copyrighted work to teach people things that it is fair use. Not true. While this will hold as fair use in some cases, you cannot use the entire copyrighted work, you cannot use a copyrighted work that is for sale, you cannot in any way devalue the copyrighted work, and you cannot use the copyrighted work in the way it was intended to be used by the copyright holder. So, if someone used this work to trace and make a base from for other people to create their own fancharacter, it would be illegal. It doesn't matter that the artist who created the base says that it is to help other artists learn how to color or understand anime bodies. It doesn't matter that the artist who created the base isn't making any money. It doesn't matter that I am not selling my work for profit. The use of my work in that way is illegal - NOT fair use.

Fair use is an incredibly gray area. The ONLY WAY to legally have fair use is to have a judge in a court rule that your use of a copyright work was fair use. As such, deviantART does NOT allow claims that use of a work were fair use.

FAQ #32: Fair Use and Your Submission

Fanart is totally illegal!!! DX
Fanart is a HUGE gray area in copyright law, but it is by no means illegal in the black and white sense. I am a fanartist (check my gallery for lots of eye-bleeding Sailor Moon fanart!). Basically, if you create your work 100% all by yourself (no bases, traces, manips, etc), then you are not doing anything "illegal" that you will get in huge trouble for. You can't sell it though - that is a no-no. That fanart still contains copyrighted elements that belong to another artist, so be kind and don't sell it as a print (deviantART doesn't allow it, and if you miscat your fanart to be able to sell it, they will find you and send in Trollface to remove it from the prints shop before you ever get a single penny - woo hoo for deviantART reviewing all first sales before completing them!!).

BUTT (oh yes, there is a giant crazy smelly butt in fanart), fanart is technically illegal when posted in the public eye - hello derivative work! So while doing 100% of the work yourself is socially accepted as legal (and copyright holders don't begrudge you for it in court), it isn't legal to do all the things with other artist's works (including the official works by the creator of your fandom) like we have previously discussed. If you don't own it, you MUST get permission before you can use it. And no, just because other people are using it or it can be found all over the internet does NOT mean it is fair use. Don't trace/base official art from your fandom - that isn't okay until you get permission. Don't "manip" or edit official art from your fandim - that isn't okay until you get permission. And definitely don't sell your fanart (commissions work a little differently). Check out this video for more juicy fanart law explained by a real life copyright law professor.

FAQ #572: What does deviantART consider "Fan Art" to be?

It didn't have a © or other copyright notice with it, so it is free.
No. No. No. And many more "No." Copyright is established the moment a work is put into a tangible medium (remember a few paragraphs above?). Even if someone doesn't put that the work is copyrighted, you still can't use it and have to contact the copyright holder. The one exception to this is if the copyright holder STATES it is not copyrighted. If the copyright holder says it is free to use, make sure you follow what they say it can and cannot be used for. As an example, check out this deviaton. That work is free for anyone to use under certain circumstances. So long as you follow those rules, you can use the work without asking permission first. Another exception is a work like this one. That particular work is in the Public Domain - free for ever for anything and everything.

However, you MUST REMEMBER that if the work does not state it is free or list possible uses, it is NEVER free or allowed for use. You must contact the copyright holder. This goes for official work too such as screenshots from movies and TV shows, scans from books and magazine, etc. Even coloring books intended for private coloring use are protected by copyright law - you can't turn them into bases, you can't color them and claim the whole work is your own, etc.

The law of "first sale" and "works for hire."
If you were to commission an artist who made you an artwork, that artist still owns the copyright on that work. This means that you can only use that work in the way that artists says is okay. Anything else will be illegal - even though you BOUGHT the work. The same goes if you buy a print on deviantART. You can only privately use that print. You can't make copies of it, sell them, or upload copies to another website and claim the art is yours. It isn't yours and you don't have the right to make a profit off of it. HOWEVER, like anything you buy, if you end up not wanting it anymore, you can sell it or give it away. This is the right of first sale. You bought it or it was given to you. You can get rid of it ONE TIME by selling it or giving it away. You can't make copies and turn a profit, but a copyright holder cannot stop you from selling their work in a garage sale one time or re-gifting it to someone else.

A work for hire is a little different. A work for hire is a work prepared by an employee for the company they work for. So, anything I create for my employer is a work for hire and belongs to my employer (not to me). A work for hire is also a work that is prepared specifically for use as a contribution to a collective work "if the parties expressly agree in a written instrument signed by them that the work shall be considered a work made for hire" (per section 101 of the Copyright Act - actual wording!). So a commissioned work, IF both parties agree before hand and sign a contract to that effect, will be a work for hire. Basically, if you are creating something for your employer, you don't own it - period. If you are asked to create something by an outside party who is NOT your employer, the commissioned author/artist owns the copyright on the finished work while the buyer simply own a copy of that work (and is not the copyright holder meaning they must get permission from the person who made the work for them to use it). If the buyer wants more rights or all the rights to the work they are commissioning, they must enter into a contract that specifies that the work will either be a work for hire or enter into a contract that outlines what uses they will be permitted. Just because it is YOUR character and YOUR money that purchased the art does NOT mean you can do whatever you want with it.

I used stock art. Why isn't the final work 100% mine?
Stock art is tricky. Basically, stock art is art created by and copyrighted to another person. That person has made their art available for other people to use so long as they follow certain terms and conditions. When you create a new piece of art with stock art, the new piece of art is your own creation. And if it falls under the three rules mentioned earlier, it will be copyrighted to you. BUT, even if the final work is copyrighted to you, you still have work in it that does belong to someone else. You still need to follow that copyright holder's terms and conditions when thinking about what you want to do with your work: display, sell, publish, etc. If a stock artists says NO to what you want to do with your final work (no matter what it is), it doesn't matter HOW MANY other stock arts you used in your work where the stock artists said it was okay, you still cannot do what you want because of that one person who says NO. It is THEIR ART that you used to create a new work with. And as the copyright holder of that work you used, they have a legal right to say how you use the new work you created. And you have the legal obligation to respect their wishes and refrain from infringing on their copyright.

As an example, I created this manipulation with quite a few stocks from deviantART. After the county fair was done, I had several offers from fair patrons who wanted to buy the work. Could I sell it? Not unless I got permission to make a one-time profit from each and every stock artist whose work I used in that manipulation. (in the end, one artist did NOT give me permission to sell it, so I drew a name and gave it away to the drawing winner for free) The point is that, while the finished new work is copyrighted to me, it used works in it that were copyrighted to other people. These stock artists allowed me the free use of their copyrighted works under certain terms and conditions which I followed, allowing me to create the new work and enter it into the country fair (got 2nd place too). However, not all of those stock artists were on board with me making a profit afterwards, so I was unable to sell it. If all the stock providers had said yes, that work might even be a print for sale.


This is not the end.



But it is a good start.
Copyright is confusing. Just remember that if you didn't create it, you can't do anything but look at it. If it is your idea but not put into a tangible form, anyone can use it legally. And check the following links to read up on copyright law.

US Copyright Office Website
What is Copyright - short, sweet and to the point
Rights for Artists - all about artists rights

And the following deviantART FAQS
FAQ #2: Where can I find the official deviantART Copyright Policy?
FAQ #204: If my print contains an image that isn't mine, can I still use it for print?
FAQ #750: Is permission needed when using collaborative artwork for commercial sales?
FAQ #157: Can I use things created by other people in my submissions?
FAQ #257: What sort of permission do I need to use someone else's work?
FAQ #743: Can I sell fan art as prints?

I get a LOT of copyright questions. I deal actively in copyright law, usually writing cease and desist letters or DMCA takedown requests, so I have been there and "done that." I also frequently write on copyrights and how they pertain to deviantART since many deviantART users are constantly unsure of what is and isn't okay (and who really read the whole TOS or Copyright Policy?). While there is a lot of gray area in copyright law, I am hoping that this rather lengthy article full of examples helps some of you understand why certain things just aren't okay - why your work was taken down by the staff, why an artist you commissioned got mad about what you did with the work you bought, why stock artists have so many rules, why some groups go nuts when they see official screenshots being posted, etc. This isn't meant to be all inclusive or legal advice. In the end, and it is sad to say, the only one who can make a legal ruling is a judge in a courtroom. I am hoping that if you read this and can understand it that you don't ever have a judge telling you what to do.

Permissions
*Khudozhnik-Stock has permission to reprint/publish this article in it's entirety (with credit) for their magazine project. You can read about the project and offer to submit content here. You can see who has offered to submit content and the progress here (in sta.sh).

:new: Update on 3/5/2013
An amazing member of the deviantART staff corrected me on part of the Work For Hire content I had listed, so please take some time to read that again - and check out the amazing video he linked to me here. (let's just say that $makepictures is AWESOME!) Also, a couple members who read this article gave some tips on including some additional information on Fair Use - since so many people think reposting with credit is fair use (it's not), I edited the Fair Use portion to spell it out for everyone. And finally, I did add a section under "Exceptions" for fanart as a couple users have commented that fanart is simply illegal - it isn't.
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:iconilantiis:
iLantiis Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks!
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:iconmosh:
mosh Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Hey! This was totally what i needed. Very informative but i do have one question. If I take screenshots of anything in a movie, actors, scenery etc. and edit those screenshots significantly like repainting or a photomanip.. where would that fall under copyright? is it illegal to sell those works? I'm thinking its like the I used stock art scenario but I'm not 100%.

Thanks! :)
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:iconilantiis:
iLantiis Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yes, that is illegal. Even though you took the screencaps, you are still simply copying copyrighted work. It would be the same if you screencapped your computer screen with a work on it you liked and did the same. Screencapping is just another way to save something. You still can't edit or manipulate it without permission from the copyright holder.
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:iconilantiis:
iLantiis Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks!!
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:iconmelikebat:
MelikeBAt Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Welcome! :)
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:iconballoonprincess:
BalloonPrincess Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2014  Hobbyist Filmographer
Wow!  This is truly awesome!  Thanks!  :)
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:iconilantiis:
iLantiis Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you. Glad you like!
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:iconballoonprincess:
BalloonPrincess Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2014  Hobbyist Filmographer
:heart::heart::heart:My pleasure!:heart::heart::heart:

My mother used to write historical romances back in the 1980s and 1990s.  She was my "Go-To Lady" when I had questions about legalese when it came to artwork, writing, or whatever.  She had to deal with a lot of that with her writing back then.  So, Pop got a lawyer on retainer which we found was cheaper in the long run when it came to dealing with morons.  Her first lawsuit managed to get her a very cool MGB (a two door British car; purple in color with a white racing stripe) thanks to her lawyer.  She did so well that she was able to put me through college the first time around and even allow my folks to have quite the nest egg for their retirement.  :)
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:iconilantiis:
iLantiis Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yeah, people do not understand that it really doesn't cost that much to go to court - the biggest cost is time. You simply need to get a lawyer who isn't out for money and do some of the work yourself (like writing your own cease/desists and DMCA takedowns).
Reply
:iconballoonprincess:
BalloonPrincess Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2014  Hobbyist Filmographer
No, it's not on their radar.  They only care what they can get for as little work as possible.  Right now, the internet is having to catch up with the legal system, but when it does, it's going to really make some people's lives miserable.
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:iconilantiis:
iLantiis Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yes, a lot of people are going to be really surprised lol
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:iconstretchygalfan:
StretchyGalFan Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm glad that this was posted, and in such a concise form. Too many times I've seen people here with the mindset that anything they were gifted, requested, traded, or commissioned from another artist was theirs to do as they pleased. More often than not, the artist who was commissioned generally lets them get away with it (often being personal friends with the client), but that also sets the precedent where clients start thinking that every artist will let them do that. And I've also heard the constant excuses of "not my country's copyright laws" and "this was 'Work-for-Hire'" as well, without looking the fine print on those.

I'm also grateful that you also gave the appropriate DA FAQ Links with each point made. That will come in handy when quick reference is needed.
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:iconilantiis:
iLantiis Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you and I'm glad you find it helpful!
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:iconshittychan:
ShittyChan Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for taking the time to research all this. I think I understand more about the copyright laws now. 
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:iconilantiis:
iLantiis Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Wonderful! And you are very welcome :huggle:
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:iconshittychan:
ShittyChan Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
o U o :hug:
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:iconfonmatter:
Fonmatter Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
May I ask how to edit my descriptions for my pictures? I forgot to give credit to someone (I made fan-art) so I would like to make sure I did.
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:iconilantiis:
iLantiis Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Sure. You have to go to the work in your gallery. On the right side of that page, you will see a blue EDIT button. Click it. You will be directed to another page that will allow you to edit your description. Change the description, and when you are done, click SUBMIT in the upper right and corner (I think it might actually say UPDATE - at any rate, it is a green button).
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:iconfonmatter:
Fonmatter Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you so much! :D
Reply
:iconxiaolin-kirby-fan:
xiaolin-kirby-fan Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2013  Student General Artist
I have one question about copyright that has confused me for quite a while now;

Do you need to ask an artist directly to use their image(s) as research in school/ college/ university projects, even if you never intend to publicly display it (such as uploading the page on DeviantArt) or sell the image(s)/ sketchbook(s) containing the image(s)?

Due to the fact that I am often inspired by artists within and without D.A., I often want to add them to my research list and use their style to inspire parts of the final outcome. I always have to give the name of the artist(s), artwork, date of creation, materials used, biographical information including places of study, etc. So I (and others under an educational project brief) never make a claim that the work is in any way owned by me. But would it be illegal to add the research pages to my DeviantArt gallery? And is it illegal altogether to add the intended research works to sketchbooks without first getting the copyright holders permission?

My apologies if this has already been covered above or if it is difficult to find sources for this. But the issue is something that keeps bothering me when I go to the 'research' parts of my projects...
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:iconilantiis:
iLantiis Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It depends on the use. This whole question you have appears falls under fair use. I will answer this as best as I can, but because this is a pretty clear-cut fair use issue, the only person who could make an actual decision on any of this is a judge in a court of law...

#1: Basically, if you get and idea from it and do your own work without actually using the work of the other artist, you are fine. Even if you attempt to replicate their style, this should still be okay with credit.

#2: If you get an idea and use a small part of the work of the artist, never publish it anywhere online or in print, and give credit to the original artist, you will probably be fine. I would say go ahead without needing to contact the artist.

#3: If you are going to use a substantial portion (or the whole thing) in a new piece of work, even if you are not going to publish it anywhere online or in print, and even if you give credit, I would say you should definitely ask. And yes, that means contacting the artist as directly as possible.

Publishing means adding your finished work to any public location, be it online or offline. As soon as you start displaying your finished works in the public eye, it isn't just 'educational usage' anymore. Because of that, you would need to get permission from the original artist first (for #s 2 or 3 above). For #1, with credit, you should be fine displaying the work on deviantART.

If you just intend to create a directory of awesome stuff you see, simply fave and move on. Do not re-upload the works to your gallery as that is 100% against deviantART policy plus against the law.
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:iconguardianofmemories:
GuardianofMemories Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2013
*cricket sounds*
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:iconilantiis:
iLantiis Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I know, right? I am about to throw out an update to this too, so the cricket sounds might change to random screams XD
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:iconguardianofmemories:
GuardianofMemories Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2013
Haha XD It's all very complicated for me LOL.
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:iconilantiis:
iLantiis Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It is. Copyright law is very tricky and always a case by case basis. What looks two of the same cases may have very different results. It always depends on the content, use, available licenses, past history, impact on the current market, and more.
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:iconguardianofmemories:
GuardianofMemories Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2013
That's true!
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:iconilantiis:
iLantiis Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I have no idea what your are talking about.

However, if you think that laws protecting people and their business are BS, then I feel terrible for you and anyone you ever work for.
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:iconilantiis:
iLantiis Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You do realize that fanart is not illegal, right? You can draw your favorite characters all day and night. You just need to attribute the character to its creator or show. And you can't sell them.

You also realize that saving an image to your computer or printing it out is also not illegal so long as it is for personal use, you don't sell it, you don't repost it publicly and you don't claim the work as your own. If a work is for sale as a print, this is frowned upon because it uses technology to get around paying for it.

And you say copyright law is sacrificing fundamental human rights for the sake of property? Was it wrong of me to call the police after a man broke my door down and stole almost $10,000 in my personal property? Was it wrong for him to go to jail for his crime? Is it wrong for people to defend themselves when they are attacked on the street by someone demanding they hand over their wallet and jewelry or die? Is it wrong for stores to watch for and arrest shoplifters? Is it wrong to prosecute car thiefs? Is it really sacrificing fundamental human rights to protect people from other people who would otherwise strip them of the things that they worked hard for? No.

You need to understand that art, be it in physical form or digital, is property. And art is difficult to create, often expensive to buy, and clearly a coveted item by many people which is why it is so often stolen. These laws protect people's businesses which allow parents to afford a home, food and clothing for their families. If you think that taking away a persons income is protecting them by allowing someone else to make money from their hard work, you are wrong. You wouldn't walk into someone's home and take the money out of their plumbers hands after he finished fixing their sink, so why would you do it to an artist? And why would you think that stealing from one kind of legal business is okay when it isn't from another kind of legal business?

No one is making anyone a felon. Laws against murder and rape do not create murderers and rapists. Laws against theft do not create thieves. Likewise, a law against theft of art does not turn people into art thieves. People have choices. And if so done makes the choice to disobey the law, they make themself a criminal. Not the other way around.

You say not allowing people to take what they want whenever they want it regardless of who it hurts is greedy and evil. I say that demanding everything be handed to you so you never have to work for or earn anything is evil and greedy.
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:iconilantiis:
iLantiis Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Read the second to last line of your first reply to me. You call sacrificing human rights for property greedy and evil. If that is not what you meant, I am sorry. However, that is how it was read by me as you can tell from the last part of my response.

And all law needs to be revised and revisited on a regular basis. Not just copyright law. We still have laws in my state that make it illegal to walk you dog on any street after 6pm or on any street called Main Street. I do not think nor have I ever met anyone who thinks that the current copyright laws are perfect. We don't. And I stay active by researching, learning, and writing my congressman to tell them what I think and what I would like to see changed.
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:iconilantiis:
iLantiis Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Copyright law encourages expression and speech. If copyright law did not exist and anyone could take a successful piece of art and resell it for their own profit, there would be no reason for anyone to create or attempt to create anything new. There would be no need to. And what person, who already has access to everything they need to make easy money, is really going to sit down and do actual difficult work? No one.

It helps keep the businesses alive and in business. It helps create a competitive atmosphere which allows the professional and hobbiest worlds alike grow as artists must find new ways to use old ideas... Or come up with brand new ideas. The whole art world would be stale and lifeless if everyone did the exact same thing, the exact same way or shared/sold the exact same art all the time. What is the point of that? It would be awful if car manufacturers could not protect many of the technical and design components on their cars. We would all be sitting in identical cars with unfixed problems due to zero competition and innovation. Ouch. Copyright law does do good. It isn't there just to say "you can't." It is there to help people with "you can."
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:iconyotsuuu:
Yotsuuu Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I have no idea what you're going on about but you're over reacting badly and I do not think you read this journal at all. ^^
You need to calm down and stop attacking people over your topic. Nobody is felonizing people who draw fanart...
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Flagged as Spam
:iconilantiis:
iLantiis Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
For a business, displaying items on their property in public view gives the illusion and assumption that the creator of that content endorses that business or business owner. As such, businesses must get different types of licenses before using copyrighted content in their business, especially when it isn't fair use and is on public display. Regardless of how unfair you think it is, those businesses broke the law and were accountable for it. And as you were able to read, they knew they broke the law and removed the characters from their walls to avoid paying fines.
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:iconyotsuuu:
Yotsuuu Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
This has nothing to do with the article Lantiis has written, and if you had actually read both this article and the one you just linked me, you'd realize, that that is just Disney.

Again, you need to calm down, and not to be rude, but please cease. Again, nobody, is felonizing, anyone, for making fanart.
I do not think you understand what a felony is. Nor do I think you know what copyright is. Read the article Lantiis has wrote and then come talk to me.

Please don't.
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:iconilantiis:
iLantiis Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I replied to this persons strange ideas and to the comment they left you. Not sure it will help since they don't appear to be interested in actuality reading the article, but I tried.
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:iconyotsuuu:
Yotsuuu Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you. ^^ It's sad that people actually think copyright laws are also against fanart..

I have a question, by the way.
Would making art of someones fan character and providing a print of it or the ability to buy it via the.. I can't for the life of me remember what it was called. I want to say premium content portal. Go against copyright?
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(1 Reply)
:iconrebeccannoying:
Rebeccannoying Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
I'm a TA at college for a media class, and there have been instances where I needed examples. Usually this was on the fly so I just pulled up Google or a dA tab and did a fast search. There were times when I clicked on an image and we had a short discussion about it. Obviously this was done without asking the artist's permission first. Would this technically be copyright infringement?

Also, I have been in a scenario where I had permission to use an image as a reference, but later after the completion of the artwork the person changed their mind and was no longer allowing the photo to be used as stock. I wasn't selling my work or anything, but if I was, could I have continued doing so? Or is my painting always tied to the image it was referenced from?
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:iconilantiis:
iLantiis Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
First paragraph, no. This I think would easily fall under fair use. You didn't repost it. You didn't claim as yours. You didn't even download it. You just looked at it with other people. If someone pulled up my dA gallery looked at it with anyone for any reason where they didn't download, repost, etc any of it, I would have no legal leg to stand on. If they videoed the event and then sold the video, that would be a completely different story tho.

If you had a license or some hard copy or electronic way of proving the artist said you could use it, yes, you could have. I buy stock off of renderosity, and I keep all my licenses. If the artist changes their terms, I still have my license to prove that I did have permission to use it. And so I could still legally use it. But if you don't have proof, it is your word against the stock artist, and that is a losing battle.
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:iconrebeccannoying:
Rebeccannoying Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
Interesting about the stock thing. Would a screenshot of their stated rules suffice as proof if I ever did get in a pickle? Not that I intend to make a lot of money off my work any time soon, but I'm just curious. I think if I were to go into commercial production of art I'd start buying stock just to avoid hairy situations though. That's a good idea :)

On that same note, when I use stock it's always used as reference for a drawing/painting. Do the rules still remain the same? If I were to take a professional photograph and use it as reference but change the composition, values, and etc, would that be infringing on the copyright of the photographer? I'm just curious because I used to copy magazine photos in high school before I realized it wasn't a good thing to do xD
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:iconilantiis:
iLantiis Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Screenshots will not do, no. They are too easily editable and never used as proof, even on deviantART. You do need a contract/license or some type of communication that says you can use it... Such as a saved note.

For your second question, yes and no. Referencing a work is not typically copyright infringement, but if you literally recreate that work, you might be infringing on copyright. As an example, if you like a pose and only reference that part but create a completely different work, that would most likely not be infringement. But if you reference the whole thing, even changing colors or composition, if it appears to be too similar to the original it could be infringement. Your best option is to always ask first and give credit, especially if the artist does not allow use of their work.
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:iconfionacreates:
FionaCreates Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2013  Professional General Artist
Within teaching and study is one of the examples that does actually fall under fair use. Such as I did use a few examples in my dissertation of art that I was talking about in regards to the topic. But I wasn't publishing my dissertation to sell (then I would need to get permission from each and every picture I used) but to use in an academic essay is alright. Same as to put on a slide and show a class. I assume you credit the copyright holder in your slides or examples and aren't standing in front of a class going "mine, all mine!" :P

It wasn't covered in this article because on dA usually people are going "oh I used this photo in a manipulation but it's fair use" when it's not. .
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:iconrebeccannoying:
Rebeccannoying Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
Lololol, if I could truly create the images we looked at in class I wouldn't need to be in school xD. I always list the name of the artist, the piece's title, date created, medium, and any other useful information under the image if I've made it into a slide show, but most of the time I just pull up a tab of dA or Google. The kids might not know who made it, but they know it wasn't me lol.

I'm not really sure what fair use covers, but I always ask if I want to use a photo for a reference these days (unless it's stock and the rules are stated). Most of the photographers on here are really nice and let me use their work for studies :) If I do use something without permission, it never leaves my hard drive.
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:iconfionacreates:
FionaCreates Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2013  Professional General Artist
Fair use covers parody, study/education and I can't recall the third thing... But it doesn't cover making new art for your own personal sake off of someone else's art. So you're safe for lecture slides. Not safe if you chose to sell your lectures complete with slides...
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:icondevibrigard:
DeviBrigard Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2013
Another misconception I have seen is that the internet is the Public Domain, or that the public domain is anywhere you display something publicly.
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