It’s time to talk about DeviantArt.
DeviantArt’s Art Theft Journal replaced the ‘report’ button in July 2015 and it was met with waves of criticism by artists using the site. In the journal, it outlined that ‘art theft’ was not art theft at all. It was, in fact, “stealing a painting off a wall”. It continued to explain that what happened over and over and over on their own site was copyright infringement.
While the writers aren’t wrong per se, it still garnered a lot of justified confusion and anger because replacing the option to report an offense with a convoluted explanation of copyright law simply made the artist environment on the site less safe. Especially since the site’s demographic is largely made of young teenagers from 13 upwards, it was not a very clever planning decision to write a journal that would give these users the wrong idea on what they should do when their art is stolen.
With the severe backlash from DeviantArt’s Art Theft Journal, it’s becoming more obvious that not even the admins of the popular website take their users seriously anymore. With a website that makes their revenue off aspiring artists, they really shouldn’t have tried to pull a stunt like the journal.
Read the Art Theft Journal here and comment your thoughts.