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Author's NOTE: Yes, this is free to use.


It's easier to just link people to this piece, instead of copying and pasting the entire thing on their pages.
Edit-updates are on the bottom.

Before you ask about this info, all of this would be considered "Fair use," because I'm using this info for education and research:
"Examples of fair use include commentary, criticism, news reporting, research, teaching, library archiving and scholarship." [link]

Do you know what can happen to you if you take someone's work?


To steal someone's work, you are ripping them of their skills and maybe even their identity, as an artist. Your present and future reputation can be ruined; future employers will do background checks on you, and if they see you doing something illegal, such as copyright-infringement, you're less likely to get hired by them.
Look at what happened to this person, when caught heavily tracing and taking credit for a lot of popular comics, such as "Calvin and Hobbes," and many Marvel comics: Robert Granito Called a Fraud This thief was caught tracing and taking credit for many popular comics, and is now on the verge of getting sued by half of the comic-industry.

You do NOT want to be in this situation as this thief is in. Art theft is illegal and is punishable by law, and no matter where you are in the world, it's still illegal. You can be sued and even thrown into prison for a while for stealing someone's work.

And I give credit to ~shrewmania and !BiOzZ, for letting me to use/quote (and make some edits) to their wonderful comments: [link]
[link]


I will also update this often and post alerts to when it's been edited/update down below, when I find new information on copyright laws.



----
:star:

EDITS

:star:
~I'm constantly finding new resources about copyright infringement and copyright laws, either from the Web or from other people, so this section (and the piece itself) will be updated often.

EDIT #16: With the recent boycotts of SOPA/PIPA and MegaUpload being shut down for copyright infringement, I gave more info regarding both topics.

EDIT #15: Included editing and added in the link codes again, since it's better to just link to this, instead of posting it.

EDIT #14: Added in a part about what makes a piece stolen and how copyrights work.

EDIT #13: Reworded the beginning to make it sound less harsh. c:

EDIT #12: Someone happened to tell me that the DMCA link had timed out and was unavailable to view, so I switched it out with a new link to another resource on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

I also added in some info regarding "Fair Use" and info from ~shrewmania's comment.

EDIT #11: Decided to take out the link code to make it easier on everyone....

EDIT #10: Received some more info on the Fair Use policy: [link]

EDIT #9: Added in a new Wikipedia link concerning international copyright law: [link]

EDIT #8: Updated the info about fines and added in two new links:
"dAmn-Army Blog: US Law and dA Policy"
"Digital Millennium Copyright Act, section 1204."

EDIT #7: Added in a new Wikipedia source about copyright infringement at the bottom.

EDIT #6: Edited the beginning of the comment, so it sounds less harsh and more polite, as well as MLA citation to each source that is quoted in the comment. Also added in the wikipedia link on "Fair Use," and added in a good example of a recent copyright infringement case.

EDIT #5: Decided to add the links that are below, and added in a note that you need to abide by U.S. laws, because DeviantART is a U.S-incorporated company.

EDIT #4: Added in new information:
:bulletred: NET (No Electronic Theft) Act
:bulletred: Copyright Term Extension Act
:bulletred: Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation Act


EDIT #3: It does actually work: [link]
(But that thief still needs to be pressed some more, because he still has some stuff up...)

EDIT #2: I've made a few changes to it; just took out the part where Japan uses torture. Apparently, it's illegal there now. :shrug: (At least that's what I've been told.)

EDIT: A great site to use to find original images of stolen pieces: Tineye.com: Reverse Image Database. It's pretty accurate (although, sometimes you'll get no results for a picture)
Add a Comment:
 
:iconsimoncaneplz:
SimonCaneplz Featured By Owner Edited Apr 24, 2015  New member
You know that most art thief are small children under 10 years, and youtube poopers, you know why I think so, I once saw a child taking image from the web and edited them and show it to the school, the child later got expelled from school because of copyright infrindgement, I notice that :iconbunnziebungo: has some youtube poops in his youtube channel, and alot of youtube poopers from DA are using screenshot from a show to make an art.
Reply
:iconworld-hero21:
World-Hero21 Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
To be honest, I don't really know what "youtube poops" are.
Reply
:iconsimoncaneplz:
SimonCaneplz Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2015  New member
Also, even keeping stolen image in scrap could still get the art thief sued.
Reply
:iconmilovanf:
milovanf Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Featured in our groups:
:iconda-german-shepherds:
:iconartthiefannihilators:
Reply
:iconl33tn3rdz:
l33tn3rdz Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
BTW did you know that kim dotcom got his assets back, as the seizure was declared illegal and done with a invalid search warrant?

Google it and see for yourself.

And that now I am using his new cryptographically secure site MEGA?
Reply
:iconworld-hero21:
World-Hero21 Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Yeah, I already know. That's old news to me, as I've seen his new site already.
Reply
:iconl33tn3rdz:
l33tn3rdz Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
So as you can see, there are people out there are willing to do illegal acts just because of copyrights. 

Imagaine if people on dA would go to such lengths such as deliberately getting invalid warrants by essentially knowingly not telling the whole truth and then jump jurisdictions and completely ignore due process just to take down some random person who used their art, characters, ideas, concepts etc.

I think there might be someone on this website that is aggressive and clever enough to do something like this. Essentially not caring that he is committing multiple federal crimes in doing so. There are always people who will abuse the system for some of the stupidest reasons. Not just the MAFIAA. Like people who have abused the DMCA on YouTube even though they know that they will most likely be banned for it.

YouTube uses an electronic form for DMCAs. Now deviantART has the exact same electronic form for DMCAs too. So I am personally waiting for people to start filing a metric ton of DMCAs at each other and considering the way copyright is treated here, I know it will only be a matter of time before it happens. Any day now, it is going to happen. Then we will have DMCA wars just like on YouTube.

I will be honest, I was tempted to abuse the system and DMCA the hell out of a few people who have caused me trouble here. But I won't because:

1. It is a felony to do such an action which can result in both criminal and civil actions taken against me.

2. It will result in being permanently banned from here.

3. These can easily be negated by filing counter notices which once accepted, can only be contested in IRL Court.

And 4. I like to think I am better then that. Abusing the system just to get someone taken down only drops you to their level or lower.
Reply
:iconl33tn3rdz:
l33tn3rdz Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Well I love his new site MEGA in fact I am useing it to preserve my "intellectual property" if you can call my work that. (To be honest I think it's intellectual refuse.)
Reply
:iconglassbottledemon:
GlassBottleDemon Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Can I just. :icontardglompplz:
Reply
:iconworld-hero21:
World-Hero21 Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Yes you may! :iconblushingplz:
Reply
:iconl33tn3rdz:
l33tn3rdz Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Actually it was an incident here that made me become a card carrying member of the pro piracy and anti copyright scene. Ever since a user on this site who I am not going to name because the said user does not deserve a name nor deserves being called a human being, forced me to bring crypto anarchy to this site.

Encryption, torrenting, off shore hosting, data havens, underground FTP servers, encrypted routing protocols like TOR I2P and others, the list goes on.

The public domain is being treated like a fate worse then death and it needs to stop.

PS new site MEGA is up. Cryptographically secure and deniable storage.
Reply
:iconnostrildarmus:
Nostrildarmus Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2013
And I'm the Fifth Earl of Chichester.

Now we're both full of shit.
Reply
:iconworld-hero21:
World-Hero21 Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I'm just going to leave this here, considering the only thing I could deduce from your comment was that you don't seem to know what copyrights really do: [link]

Besides, why would you care about ONE person on this site ruining something for you? It was ONE person. And I don't know what they did to you, but they're still human. They may be a terrible person, but still a human being.
Reply
:iconl33tn3rdz:
l33tn3rdz Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
The said user forced it's own relatives to sign up for an account to bypass a block I had on said user. Also rewarded a friend for flaming and posting a defamatory journal in which I was attacked personally.

This is why I think this user is a sub human venomous lowlife.
Reply
:iconworld-hero21:
World-Hero21 Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
That's it? Even I've gone through that shit. But you know what I did? I kept blocking them and ignoring them and reported them in like a mature adult. They weren't worth the time to argue with.

But I've heard people have done much worse than that to deserve to not be called a human being. :/ Hitler, for example. But nobody is sub-human, I don't care what they do. Nobody deserves to be called a sub-human. They're a terrible person and they've done terrible things, but they're not sub-human.
Reply
:iconl33tn3rdz:
l33tn3rdz Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I did report them both but the admins did not do crap because they were subscribed members. Even though it was very clear to anyone that what they said and did was cyberbullying and block evasion and warranted a banhammer. The user even admitted to block evasion and did not get in trouble. While the friend posted a written confession about his bullying.

I even threatened to block everyone on the user's friends list posted on the userpage and the user removed that friends list from the userpage. The user still pretends to this day that it was justified even though the admins themselves said that my work was not stolen.
Reply
:iconworld-hero21:
World-Hero21 Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Bullshit. I got two people who had Premium memberships/subscriptions banned for the same reason; harassment. Hell, I was suspended once, while I had a Premium subscription on this account. The staff in your case probably didn't think it was necessary to get involved, so they advised you to just block and ignore...which is usually the best solution, you know. Blocking, ignoring them, and not even talking to them has resolved a lot of my own harassment issues on here. I only had to report if they block-evaded and that was usually resolved with them getting suspended/banned for block-evasion.

Did you give the admins plenty of proof? They don't take screenshots anymore, but if you have links to comments to prove the user was in the wrong...That usually illicit a punishment from the admins. Then again, not all of the admins do their job correctly, so you probably got someone who didn't care much about the situation. :shrug:
Reply
:iconl33tn3rdz:
l33tn3rdz Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I gave it to them links and all and the proof of block evasion and they murged them into one ticket and said that it action was not warranted.
Reply
:iconworld-hero21:
World-Hero21 Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Then it was probably one of the "bad" admins that answered your ticket. RealitySquared tends to be the one that everyone hates the most for this reason...
Reply
:iconl33tn3rdz:
l33tn3rdz Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
The whole copyright term extension act was the result of extensive corruption in congress by big media. The bill was the result of extensive lobbying and back room deals.

Copyright has become a corrupted concept now, and is being used to practically usurp human society.

DRM standards, people getting arrested for hacking their own stuff, ACTA, and the often abused DMCA, illegal domain seizures.

PS MegaUpload was based on trumped up charges and possible political corruption inside the us government through a shady back room deal.

PS OpPayback and OpMegaupload. Look them up and read it well and you will see what happens when copyright is abused.
Reply
:iconunicornoffame:
unicornoffame Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2013
Copyright laws are to protect the people. Would you like it if I took something you worked really hard on and slapped my name on it? Or sell it?
Reply
:iconl33tn3rdz:
l33tn3rdz Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I am not talking about the concept and original purpose of copyright. I am talking about the use of it to suppress creativity and innovation. And for anti competitive monopolistic purposes.

Not to mention the extensive abuse of copyright that goes in this generation. The problem is is that people take copyright for granted and this mentality opens the system up for abuse. They do not realize the implications that copyright abuse can cause both legally and socially. You can get sued and do time for abusing copyright laws but that hardly ever happens because that part of the law is not actively enforced.

For more info see this: [link]
Reply
:iconunicornoffame:
unicornoffame Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2013
You can still be sued for copyright today. :? And it's still the same it's always been. I don't make money off my work, but it's still copyrighted.
Reply
:iconl33tn3rdz:
l33tn3rdz Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Then what about the people who file false DMCAs left and right just to get back at people they dont like?

Do I see perjury charges being handed down left and right to the people who file the false DMCAs?
Reply
:iconunicornoffame:
unicornoffame Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2013
You have to have solid proof, so the false ones get proven wrong and the real ones get proven right. :shrug:
Reply
:iconworld-hero21:
World-Hero21 Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I don't believe in a lot of government conspiracies when they don't use common sense. :/ It's the reason why I don't believe that the government was behind 9/11. For me, if the logic doesn't make any ounce of sense, I don't believe in it. :bucktooth:

Why would the government make a "back room deal" with criminals? Yeah, the government is somewhat corrupt because there are a handful of people in it who don't give a shit about anyone except for making more money for themselves. I saw that when the Feds tried to push SOPA/PIPA onto us. It was definitely a stupid move by the Feds for completely ignoring the First Amendment. But frankly, MegaUpload got what it deserved.
Reply
:iconl33tn3rdz:
l33tn3rdz Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
By back room deal i mean the mpaa and riaa was involved and managed to convince some people to break some rules and do an illegal raid with an invalid warrant and illegally do some jusidiction jumping.
Reply
:iconkintupsi:
Kintupsi Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I have a question. What if you create a fan-character (say, for the Harry Potter universe) and decided that you didn't want to use it? You put it up for sale and someone actually bought it from you. Is this copyright infringement, since it is a character made specifically for Harry Potter? Or is it exempt from that law because everyone understands that is a fan-character for sale and you are not claiming to have made up Harry Potter? :confused:

(Depending on the answer, the Adoptables Community could be in serious trouble... :o)
Reply
:iconworld-hero21:
World-Hero21 Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Well, I think it doesn't count as infringement, because it's not a real character. You're selling your own character so I think that's okay. :shrug: Now if it were fan-art of a real character, then it would be infringement because you're selling a Harry Potter character.

Actually, any fan-art is technically considered illegal too by law, but nobody really cares about fan-art to sue anybody for it. Most accept it as a bit of a tribute to the creator's work; I always accept it, just as long as I get credit. :dummy:
Reply
:iconkintupsi:
Kintupsi Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks for the clarification! :D
Reply
:icontruth-angels:
Truth-angels Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2012  Professional Artisan Crafter
We also notify deviantart participants when we find their work somewhere. We give them the resources to find the offender. Most of the theft we have seen is on facebook- where accounts are often locked down and we must find someone to help us. Google reverse image search also works and is a good backup for Tineye. So far, we have only heard back from a few artists who have written letters asking for their images to be taken down. Some artists seem to not take the theft of their work seriously or they consider it flattery! But it is NOT flattery. It is a crime. Please do follow up to protect your work- it isn't that hard to do and it will eventually help stop this activity. Pinterest accounts are also major offenders in some cases. Blogs also take images to illustrate their text. You want your copyright to be respected. If they can FIND your work, they can FIND YOU to ask for permission- it is that simple. Don't let them steal your stuff! Facebook, despite all of its claims to protect your rights, seems to be very lax in processing complaints. A very official looking letter (not a friendly one) to the offender, not requesting but DEMANDING they take your work down immediately, is another way to try to handle it yourself. Maybe you have a local pro bono legal service that can send a serious letter.
Reply
:iconthetruedarkness:
TheTrueDarkness Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
question, what happens if a person just takes a photograph of a few books and posts it here but gives credit to the original author? does that count as a copyright infringement?
Reply
:iconworld-hero21:
World-Hero21 Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
...I don't think so. :confused: As long as you took the picture yourself, then you should be fine. :shrug: Just as long as you give credit to whoever owns/created the books. :nod:
Reply
:iconmezkitsu:
MezKitsu Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2012  Student General Artist
You should make a note at the top of this page stating this is only for American nationals. Each country has their own laws, and even if you signed an agreement to follow US law when joining, that doesn’t mean you can be punished by US law. I am immune from US law because I’m a foreign national, and while I could be banned for doing something against US law as DeviantART is a US company, I can’t be sued or arrested for it (as long as I don’t violate my own countries laws). In fact, I can’t be sued at all for any reason whatsoever; due to the fact my country has no civil law system. Electronic contract law also differes in each country, in mine an ‘I Agree’ button is not legally binding, it’s only classed as a bona fide agreement, or an agreement that is “in good faith”. Saying it’s a serious crime can also cause problems, since in other countries it may not be. In mine it ranges from misdemeanor to minor felony, depending on the severity and type of infringement.
Reply
:iconworld-hero21:
World-Hero21 Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Not exactly. This is meant for everyone on here. The reason being is that there's the "International Copyright Law:" [link]
which most countries have signed together. And I think I said in there that because dA is based in the US and is governed by US laws, you would have to abide by the US laws. So if you do break any US laws, even if you're from out of the country, you can still be punished by the US (depending on the crime and seriousness of it), via extradition: [link] They've actually have had to extradite people from out of the country to face court in the US: [link]

Well, if your country doesn't have any civil law system, they might have signed one of the international copyright treaties. :shrug: And even though the crime may not be as serious, as I said earlier...if you broke a US law, you would still be punished by the US. :shrug:
Reply
:iconmezkitsu:
MezKitsu Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2012  Student General Artist
We are not part of the United Nations. We signed no treaty, and our government refuses to extradite for any reason. Even so, International Copyright Law only covers protecting rights; the consequences for violating these rights still differ in each country. Extradition in many places is hard or impossible, several countries, even those who are part of the UN and in treaties, still refuse to extradite (Brazil is a good example, as is China, and Russia). You’ll find countries are not willing to give over their sovereignty to another nation unless a very serious crime (murder, grand theft, smuggling) has been accused. Nobody is bound to follow the law of another country simply by using their servers, these things are very complex in nature.
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:iconmeryvamp:
meryvamp Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2012  Professional Writer
Hmm, yes, but if say you were uploading kiddie porn or claiming art from a famous artist as your own, then perhaps the U.S. government would at least find a way to have your government deal with you. On the first offense, the U.S. gov't might actually track you down themselves, but I don't know that they'd actually step into your country. They might just report you to your officials, making sure you were dealt with. Either way, if you are posting to a U.S. gov't site, and you make a BIG enough splash to get noticed, lol, then they might actually take action against you. :shrug:
Reply
:iconmezkitsu:
MezKitsu Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2012  Student General Artist
Uploading offensive child images is illegal here anyway, so we wouldn't need to break US law to be prosecuted for it. We have our own laws that can be compared to copyright. For example, if I claim I made art that I did not that's fraud, which is illegal. I doubt the USA would do anything even if I posted to a US gov site, anything they did could be considered an act of aggression and I'm sure we'd respond in kind (and trust me, no country in the world would dare get on the bad side of the Guard XD;).
Reply
:iconmeryvamp:
meryvamp Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2012  Professional Writer
Yeah, you are right :) I doubt they'd go after one single person. But if a country had a site like megaupload, then they U.S. might get involved again. But it would have to be really worth it for them to make such a bold move (i.e., more than just one site and probably infringing on the rights of several countries). Really, it's just a bunch of hypotheticals at this point.

All I can do is tell people to back up their stuff, especially for this site. The copyright symbol doesn't guarantee you protection. Even registering your work and getting it officially copyrighted doesn't guarantee you are protected from theft. That's why always keep copies of your drafts from start to finish; that's your proof that you are indeed the original artist. [link]

Well, that's my advice on for people on dA anyway ;)
Reply
:iconmezkitsu:
MezKitsu Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2012  Student General Artist
There are a lot of random international laws out there, so it can be hard to know what is legal and what is not. Then it gets harder when you deal with justice systems that are not the same, from legalism in common or civil law, to relious ruling, to customary justice systems. That is why the internet is such an issue where copyright is regarded. There is no one accepted practice, you can't protect yourself from everyone, you can only protect yourself from the most amount of people who are bound by the same laws as you are.
Reply
:iconmeryvamp:
meryvamp Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2012  Professional Writer
LOL. That's still a lot of people :D ... in my country anyway since the U.S. is tied to the UN.
Reply
:iconworld-hero21:
World-Hero21 Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Ah, okay. :O Good point. I forgot that not everyone is part of the UN. ^^;
Reply
:iconmezkitsu:
MezKitsu Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2012  Student General Artist
For countries like mine, the best thing you can do is ask people to look at [link] That is a request from your court to a foreign court to help them with something. Even for non-UN members, foreign courts can still look into this, and if it is deemed unacceptable can help you. Failing that, you can always hire a lawyer who is an expert on foreign law and try to find if they broke a law in their own country. For example, if I stole your artwork, even though I can't be tried under US law or a treaty, my own country still has laws against this. Instead of an American lawsuit for copyright theft, you can look into a local prosecution for fraud.
Reply
:iconmezkitsu:
MezKitsu Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2012  Student General Artist
Not sure why dA didn't remove the period from the end of that link, strange).

But I had another thought, something I was bringing up with someone else. Where do you fit in with copyright? What field do you follow? Do you support the open source side, GPL? Or are you more strict?
Reply
:iconmezkitsu:
MezKitsu Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2012  Student General Artist
(Remove the full stop from the end of that hyperlink ^^; dA broke the link.
Reply
:iconofrealmnine:
OfRealmNine Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2011  Student Digital Artist
Ooooohhhh, seriousness o.o
Reply
:iconzutto-chan:
zutto-chan Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2011  Hobbyist
I love this so much.
Reply
:iconamethystxamber:
amethystxamber Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2011
I think motivational poster that come straight from the manga is copyrighted.... Right? But what about a lineart based on the manga panel? Lots of people seems to claim that the lineart is theirs even if its actually a traced work... This is why I'm choosing not to upload any manga panel coloring I do even if I 're-make' the lineart... I'm confused...
Reply
:iconworld-hero21:
World-Hero21 Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
Tracing is apparently allowed, but it can't be heavily traced; the details need to be different than the original trace. :shrug: If it looks like every single detail is copied from the original, then it's against the rules here, as far as what I've heard from the admins. As for manga-scans/panels, as long as it's your drawing, it's allowed. If it's an official manga-scan or panel, then you're not allowed to use it or edit it, etc.

Basically, remember this phrase when submitting anything here: If you didn't make it 100% by yourself and you don't have written permission from the creator, then you can't post it. That's how I do it. :shrug:

However, I have heard that you can post anything that isn't yours in your Scraps. :confused: But I'm not really sure about that one...
Reply
:iconrchcc122:
rchcc122 Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
However, there are people who don't understand what copyright infringement isn't. I had a deviation rejected from a group based on the idea that it was "stolen". It was a collage. Collages are allowed on DA and they aren't infringement of anything.
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