As many of you know, we have been trying to help a friend (ethereALAIN, from Y!Gallery) get his copyrighted work removed from DA. We, and others, sent third-party notices to DA admin, as noted on the options page, and all of them were ignored. We repeated this action and still no response, after six-plus weeks. The artist, who is not a DA member, finally wrote them an email, providing a link to the site where his work is posted and two means of contacting him. The infringing image is still up and he has given us permission to share his email message to DA, and the response from DA, which he just received. Needless to say, he is not happy:
Alain Delon (etherALAIN)
Apr 25 09:14 am (PDT)
M'sieurs et Mmes,
I am the artist using the nom de plume 'ethereALAIN,' and have shown my work on Y!Gallery, for several years (www.y-gallery.net/user/etherea…
). I do not show my work on any other site.
In the beginning of March, friends notified me of a DA poster who posted and renamed one of my works to his/her profile page (hajduf.deviantart.com/art/kris…
). As anyone can plainly see, I have placed a watermark, with copyright sign on this image. I have not authorized any use of my image, by this person.
Using the third-party notification option, my friends notified DA administration that this page was in violation of an artist's (my) copyright, and provided a link to my Y!Gallery page, on March 11, 2013. Since that time, there have been other notifications by my friends, and other DA members, but the image is still there. In a subsequent conversation with a Ms. Damphyr, they were told to file a DMCA, but my friends informed her that I would not be willing to share my personal information with a site with which I have no association and no knowledge of the level of security for my private information. As I do not know your staff personally, I am disinclined to share my personal information with DA, and after learning that you 'may' share this information with the person who posted my work to his/her profile - although allowing that person to remain anonymous to me - you can hardly expect any reasonable person to be willing to do so.
The important aspect of this issue is that it should be remembered that a DMCA is not a 'legally established' international requirement and therefore is not 'legally' required when requesting a copyrighted image be removed. A reasonable request, with contact information in the form of email and a site where the original work is hosted, with other works by the artist, are recognized as sufficient evidence to initiate a removal request. The real puzzler in this circumstance is that your very own members reported this and even engaged one of your 'C&EA' personnel in a brief discussion, yet nothing was done about the image. Why bother with a 'third-party' reporting option, if you do not act upon it?
So, I am asking you to immediately remove this image, which is an infringement of my copyright: hajduf.deviantart.com/art/kris…
If you have any questions - with the exception of those relating to my personal information - please feel free to contact me via this email address, or through my Y!Gallery page.
Response from DA:
Apr 26 09:04 am (PDT)
Thank you for contacting deviantART customer service, I will be assisting you with your support ticket today.
My apologies but deviantART Inc will only acknowledge a formal notice of infringement which complies with the requirements laid out under the DMCA; we do not act upon casual, informal and non-compliant notices.
Daniel Sowers Jr.
CEA Project Manager
Community Operations Division
There you have it, folks, in a nutshell. It is obvious that this work is copyrighted, it is obvious that the work originated on Y!Gallery - which may be why Mr. Sowers Jr. chose not to act on it - and the artist in question provided contact information, without revealing his personal information. An email from an artist, from an email address with his nom de plume, which he has had for years and the original image posted in plain view by the artist, on his Y!Gallery page, are considered "casual, informal and non-compliant notices," by DA. 'Non-compliant' is a real puzzler, when one considers the fact that a DMCA is not a legal requirement in any country.
Did Mr. Sowers Jr. think to ask the artist to provide a drawing of the image that would have been executed in the process of creating the original? No, he did not. Did Mr. Sowers Jr. make any reasonable attempt to address what to the rest of us is an obvious copyright violation? No, he did not, even though the artist invited any questions DA might have had - other than those related to his personal information, to help resolve the issue.
So, it's official: either file a DMCA with DA, or bugger off. DA will make no reasonable attempt to assist off-site or onsite artists protect their copyright, without the DMCA. Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy, doesn't it?
KJ & DDM