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Submitted on
February 4, 2013
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Improved DMCA Reporting System

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 1:31 PM

Hai by damphyr

Hello, deviants! In an effort to keep the community informed and to provide the best possible experience for our members, we wanted to inform you of changes to our reporting system.

DeviantART is dedicated to protecting our artists, and in an effort to be able to more quickly handle complaints by deviants who have had their rights infringed on, we have changed the way we receive complaints from the artist or the copyright holder.

In the past, we took reports by the copyright holder in two different ways: An informal report via the Report Violation tool and a formal complaint via contacting the Help Desk. While both of these methods were effective, they presented many setbacks.

OldDMCA by damphyr

The informal report did not gather all the necessary information for a formal copyright complaint and was prone to misuse by well-meaning deviants who would attempt to report images they did not own the copyright to on behalf of artists they admire. Unfortunately, filing unauthorized reports added to the backlog, and while our response time was still good for artists reporting infringement of their own work, the unauthorized reports created an unnecessary delay.

This system also fell short when the copyright holder attempted to report an infringement where the original file was not hosted on itself. Also, many deviants found the specific legal requirements of an official take down notice difficult to understand or downright overwhelming.

We spent a good deal of time re-evaluating our system and ultimately decided that we needed to streamline the system to better guide our artists through the DMCA takedown process. We have launched a new reporting method for copyright holders and their legal representatives when they believe a work is infringed.

This new system is an improvement for our artists because it provides...
  • A clear indication of what needs to be provided
  • An easier breakdown of the form
  • A templated format so it is easier for artists to follow the rules with and for staff to review the notice
  • Helps promote a faster response time

newDMCA by damphyr

Why are we using this system? The DMCA is a formal notice and takedown system for copyright owners. It is not an arbitrary set of rules created by deviantART; it is a legal process which is respected the world over. You can find more information on the DMCA, how it works and what it does here.

Our new system can be found here, and can also be accessed by clicking the Report Violation button.

How does it work?
Attempting to report through the Report Violation link and selecting the “My Intellectual Property” option will redirect you to this page where you can provide information about the property which you believe to have been infringed. With this new system, artists who are attempting to report infringement where their original image is not hosted on deviantART will encounter no friction when reporting infringement of their work. This will also provide staff with a uniform presentation of the complaint, allowing for an easier and thus faster assessment of the situation and more prompt action against the potentially infringing submission.

What isn’t changing?

Reports by third parties, or those who do not own the copyright or legally represent the artist will not be impacted at all. These reports can still be filed by clicking the Report Violation link and selecting “Permission Issues.” As reports from the copyright holders themselves are given top priority, please keep in mind that third party reports will not receive the same response. Reports of potential infringement that happens off of will not change either, as staff cannot take action on behavior off of the site. In those cases, please contact the administration of the site where the potential infringement is occurring.

As a reminder, we take these reports very seriously. Those who continually and deliberately misrepresent content as their own or infringe on our artists will find their accounts facing administrative action including removal of the infringing material and various lengths of account suspension. A first time offense may not result in an administrative action against the account, but the repetition of bad behavior in this area will not be treated as a simple breach of etiquette.

We want to encourage a creative atmosphere, and we know that it is dampened when our artists' copyrights are infringed. We are so excited to offer easier and more timely service for our artists through this new system. We have updated our Copyright Policy to match our procedures, and updated our FAQs to provide current and relevant information. Check our our newly updated FAQs:

FAQ #8: What are violations of the deviantART copyright policy?
FAQ #32: Fair Use and Your Submission
FAQ #814: Should I put a signature, watermark or copyright notice on my art before submitting it?
FAQ #572: What does deviantART consider "Fan Art" to be?
FAQ #155: How do I report a deviation which I think breaks the rules?

Thank you all for being an awesome community dedicated to creating and preserving the rights of artist. Keep creating and stay devious!
Thumbsup by damphyr

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Tons of copyright violations by an under-aged thief which the admins refuse to take any action against.…
ThatPlanetside2Guy Jan 4, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
There are about 10 people at the help desk that deal with thousands of reports each day.
As you say so.
You failed, Admins. Thieves like :iconalerkina2: are running rampant knowing that you folks won't do a thing about them. He's using a new account, too. His last [banned] account was :iconalerkina:
Why hasn't any action been take on this thief? And he's even created 2 groups which he uses to steal more images from others with! I don't have time to find out who are or contact the real owners of the 3,759 images he's stolen! I know you only act on your whole DMCA-related actions, but it's simply ridiculous that you won't take any action n this thief considering the amount of complaints, stolen images, screencaps and harassments he's involved with.Rage 
DreamArtCore Jun 21, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
What about poor kids like me whose parents aren't going to take the time to care about this issue, or whose parents don't even know about dA to begin with. This is just inconvenient. Kids aren't going to get enough help with this system because they're too busy worrying about their parents. Besides, I don't trust anyone enough to give them that information.
It is unlikely that we will hear anything further from Ms. Damphyr, since what she told us, originally, has now been proven to be false - there is no regard given to third-party copyright notices. Dishonest? Uniformed? Who knows. Either way, DA will allow obvious copyright violations to remain on the site, unless an artist is willing to share all of his/her personal info with them and the person who stole your art - while keeping the personal info of the thief private. Integrity? Don't look for it on DA. It's on vacation.
LovelyInfected May 10, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
lmao no wonder so many people are ditching deviantart
its sinking like the titanic
Reply to: NalaFontaine - Your last reply is hidden, because DA had determined that the replies between us are 'excessive,' and I thought it necessary for this reply to be visible.

We are probably on the same page, in some ways, although we still have differences of opinion. Talking between us, of course, is like wrestling with water - the outcome will change nothing. It is only the staff who can fix what many of us see as a problem.

The problem is either they do not have sufficient staff to address the list of filings, they are trying to force artists to file a DMCA, or they do not wish to address third-party notifications in a timely manner. Looking at the first possibility, there is a solution: ask for more help from members, preferably those with knowledge of such matters. I would tend to believe that those who are addressing the DMCAs and third-party notifications have little or no experience in copyright issues. This could be another reason that it takes so long for issues to be resolved. If they are only using experts and have to pay them, then this could cause a logjam, as well, for professional legal advice is not inexpensive, even when they are working on a retainer. However, I would think that this site, like most of its type, employs volunteers for 80% of its workforce. Asking for more help would be a sensible attempt to solve the problem.

If it is the second possibility, then this will create more distrust among artists, for there are many who would not feel comfortable sharing their personal information with DA, or the thief to whom DA 'may' give it, as stated in their DMCA procedures. There is no mention of providing the artist with the thief's information, though. No mention at all. How many DA staff members would have access to this personal information? None of this is addressed in Ms. Damphyr's message.

If, on the other hand, it is the third possibility and they just don't care, then there is nothing that can fix that, except for a change in attitude. Let us hope it is the first possibility and that they will choose a wiser method of handling the issue(s) very soon.

The website that does more to protect the copyright of all artists in any way possible, whether DA members or not, is the site that will attract quality members. So far, the feedback we have received from around the net is that DA has a long way to go to build this level of trust with artists.
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