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Submitted on
September 18, 2012


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Premade Backgrounds and Group Submission Changes

Journal Entry: Tue Sep 18, 2012, 1:34 PM

:new: This has been reposted from The-Stock-Directory upon request so that it can be requested for groups. :) Feel free to request it!

Today we're going to address the "Circle of Stock." Cue Disney's "The Lion King" theme song and call me Mufasa. Just like in the circle of life, what we do affects another group, and returns to affect us again. We have a responsibility to the artists that use our stock to provide legitimate and safe stock resources. As an administrator for a few art groups as well as stock groups, I have seen what happens to the artists who use invalid stock resources. They have had their art declined, or had to replace stock elements through no fault of their own. This especially includes those who includes celebrity or otherwise copyrighted material, even if it was uploaded to the Resources and Stocks section of :devart:. It isn't fair to the artists who use the "stock" and hurts the credibility of not only the stock provider who uploads it, but the stock community itself.

Premade backgrounds have always seemed to be floating by in the gray areas, as if somehow they are exempt from the rules because they are manipulated. They slip by without really following :devart: guidelines, and at the same time impose lengthy terms of use themselves. I'm not singling anyone out; this is a fairly common practice across the premade board. I realize that some artists don't want to credit their material to avoid copycats. However, like all manipulated or referenced material on dA, the resources should be credited and linked. If a stock provider is going to require to be credited by the artist who uses it, so should the stock provider credit the resources that went into the premade.

Here is a statement from the Help Desk regarding Premade Backgrounds:

" Premade backgrounds fall under the same copyright rules as any submission to deviantART, that is you must either have created it entirely through your own means or you must have permission to use any materials you did not create.

With premade backgrounds being distributed as a resource if they do use materials created by others then they must comply fully with the license of that image. If a stock image does not allow redistribution in part, whole or as part of a larger piece then it must not be used as part of a premade background.

deviantART policy is that you must document any sources you use in your creations and we strongly encourage direct linking to the source material. Deviations that do not provide reasonable documentation will first be addressed by volunteers and may be addressed by staff if further action is required.

Any user that uses stock and resources should always check carefully that they are not inadvertently infringing copyright or violating someones license. This is why we require documentation of source material. We would strongly advise that if a premade background does not cite it's source material then it should not be used. Any deviations using invalid stock will be moved to scraps and the invalid stock scrapped or removed."

The point is also made by one of our Resources & Stock CVs Elandria regarding the subject:

" Everything that uses a resource thats not yours has to be credited so manip or premade makes no difference credits have to be given.

Regardless of the terms of the provider, DA requires that all stock and resources are adequately credited. Its a policy of the site when artists submit their work and therefore overrules even a stock provider saying artists don't need to credit. By all means, don't credit when you post to facebook et al if the stock provider says you don't need to, but here on DA, the policy has always been that ALL resource materials need credit. But yes, officially, premades must credit their sources the same as any other type of art has to.

The biggest thing we are trying to remind premade creators about is that even if they purchase stock from a commercial website that doesn't automatically mean they can use them for premades and its absolutely vital for both them and the artists who might use their premades that everything is above board. Its so important that they double check any terms of use.

Its utterly irresponsible of premade artists to try and pretend they have permission or copyright of images to make their premades with because ultimately the people they are hurting are the artists who take it on good faith that the stock is legit. Crediting their sources is at least one way they can show that they are legitimate - as with all manipulations and other art where a 3rd party resource is used. Its not about proving innocence or any such nonsense, its about clarity and protection for the artists. "

Now, from the Art and Photomanipulation side, here is CV Aeirmid's perspective:

"I do check every DD before it is posted, and I look for complete credits, as complete crediting is required by dA when posting. If that deviation uses a premade background, I like to see where that premade has come from. I won't give a DD to something that uses a background that I cannot confidently say came from a legitimate source. The artist has to be able to show that he or she has permission to use that source and make it into a background that others can download. "

If you pay attention to the above statement, you see that by failing to use proper resources and failing to credit them, you may be denying an otherwise deserving artist of a DD. Some artists put 15+ hours of work into a single photomanipulation. I'll be honest, if it were me after doing all of that work, I would be supremely pissed if my art was removed or denied a DD because the stock provider failed to follow the rules. It is our responsibility as stock providers to ensure that our stocks are legitmate. Ignorance is not an excuse, nor is a language barrier. Google Translate works perfectly well. ( I wouldn't suggest Bing's translator though. It once told me that 10eke-stock's dinner was in the laundry.. :rofl: )

Stock FAQ# 217 clearly states that:

"The use of such materials at deviantART is only permissible if you document your source material (attribution) and can provide a link, along with proof that you have satisfied the terms set in the artist's license.

All artwork submitted to deviantART that uses third party source material must follow the license set by the provider. As the creator of the source material, the provider is able to set specific licenses for different materials and so you must check that you are following the license for each used material.

Failure to comply with the Terms and Conditions or License requirements attached to the stock may result in administrative action being taken against your account. We urge all artists who rely upon stock or other resources to provide a link to the source in their description even if the owner's terms do not require it. This is in order to prevent any confusion or misunderstandings when using third party material. When linking please be certain to link to the specific URL (web address) of the source material and not to the website in general. This is so that a staff member or other interested user can easily locate the stock item and verify its validity."

FAQ #217: What are "Stock and Resources" and can I use them in my submissions?

When it comes to resources that go into the premades, what is best? In my opinion, I only feel comfortable using my own and dA based resources to create them. Many outside websites contain redistribution clauses that include redistributing them as resources with alterations. This includes websites such as, which has the redistribution clause clearly displayed in all capital letters. You can read their terms in their entirety here:

:bulletgreen: And Again with

Why such large screenshots? Because it's important to note, and I could make screenshots all day from similar stock websites, even the ones you pay for. You will find that these terms on outside website are a recurring theme.

Elandria also made mention of this in the latest Resources and Stocks Update Journal:

Stock and Resources UpdatesLETS TALK ABOUT STOCK "REQUESTS"
Every year we get excited, eager, passionate new stock providers entering our small but growing community, and every year these new stock models in particular get targeted by a small group of "requesters" Those of us who have been on the site for more than a few years recognise the types of "requests" I'm talking about and know to absolutely avoid them at all costs, but its something that I've seen more and more regularly over the last few months, and its definitely a concern.
There are standard "pose requests" that are NOT requested for the "artist" to work from.  They are simply asking you to take photos of yourself in provocative poses so they can get off to your stock.
Firstly - please keep in mind that the images you are providing to artists are STOCK ART - they are first and foremost designed to provide artists with useable, useful references, either for traditional art, or digital art or whatever media they choose to create

The portion of the journal above that I want you to pay close attention to is this part:

"We are trying our best to help stock providers understand what they can and can't do with regards to PREMADES and I must make it clear that like ALL PHOTOMANIPULATIONS (which is essentially what they are just being shared) THEY MUST MUST MUST CREDIT all stock sources. Regardless of if they are your own photos or renders or whatever. THIS IS DA POLICY and not something you can pretend doesn't exist.

PRO STOCK SITES - DO NOT ALLOW REDISTRIBUTION OF STOCK FILES - so PLEASE stop using them as sources. SXC, DEPOSITPHOTOS, GETTY, ISTOCK ET AL - its a NO. Any "premade" found using prohibited stock sources will be removed or warnings sent to the artist.

You can't just state "stock from the internet" as sufficient credit. Firstly we will beat you round the head a few times with our FAQ then we will make you memorise them. Then we will introduce you to the artists who used "premades" that weren't legit and later had to remove their hours of hard work because "stock providers" couldn't be bothered to use legitimate sources. They will be far far harder on you than we will."

Now, what does that mean for us as stock providing group members of The-Stock-Directory? It means that there are new group rules for the submissions of premades going into effect. This group will be a shining example of what it means to be a stock provider and will adhere to all :devart: standards and guidelines. We are a learning based group, and this is an opportunity to learn and grow as stock artists. I apologize if this upsets anyone who does create premades, but we are going to follow the rules that have been set forth by :devart:.

:new: Update: If you have uncredited premades in the group gallery, or if they include stocks from sites such as sxc, I am asking that you either correct the credits or remove them. I will begin a cleaning process of the Premade Background Folder in two weeks.

:star: From Now On All Premades Must: :star:

:bulletgreen: Be made from dA approved resources.
(i.e. your own photos, or other dA stock artists that allow premades to be created from their stock.)

:bulletgreen: All resources in a premade must be credited and linked. Otherwise, it will be declined until such a time that they are credited and linked. You will be welcome to resubmit it when it has been fixed. This includes any and all photoshop/gimp brushes that you may have used. Remember to always credit yourself as well!

:bulletred: Any generic crediting such as "I got it from so and so" will be declined.

:bulletred: Any premade containing outside resources such as sxc , etc. will be declined.

:bulletred: Any premade that does not have its resources properly credited will be declined.

:bulletred: Any premade that contains copyrighted material, including architectural or landscape photography will be declined. Tineye and Google Image reverse search does work with Premades, fyi.

I can hear it now.. "But where are we supposed to find legitimate stocks for our premades?" Well, to answer that question, there are number of generous stock providers that allow you to make premade backgrounds from their stock, myself included. All of my landscape, nature, and architectural stocks are available for premades. We also have a sister sub-group on dA designed specifically for resources that can be used in the creation of premade backgrounds:


The sister group only accepts stock that can be used to make premade backgrounds. If you enjoy making them, I suggest you visit the group first to get started. Always be sure to double check a stock providers rules regarding premades before you submit.

Now that I am approaching 2,000 words in this journal entry, I will end it here. If you have any further questions regarding the policy change or premades, feel free to ask. I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas regarding the issue. Remember, you can always contact the Help Desk:

Our resident Resources and Stock CVs don't bite either. Actually, they're quite fantastic people that are worth watching. They know all sorts of things. They are our very own Wizards of Oz. :D

Elandria  PirateLotus-Stock

The other places you should be watching as a stock provider for all things stock related are:

:iconstockandresources:   :iconcommunityrelations:

And at 2,026 words, I am saying until next time!


- Cheryl

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suruha Featured By Owner May 29, 2013  Student Digital Artist
This is all such wonderful information to have! It isn't that hard to check the terms, keep a list of the links to the stock as you use them in a manip, then, do whatever notifications. I use a text document, or, when I bring an image into Photoshop, for instance, use 'Place', instead of 'Open'. The stock's title will be included in the layers palette.

There is one thing I am not so sure about. For both SXC and Deposit Photos, the highlighted sections (above) are a bit confusing. It is my understanding that what they mean is you can't just take the images and turn around and sell them, as is, alone or in packs. I don't believe this applies to images that are worked into a manip. Most anywhere I go, artists want their images flattened and/or made unusable again by any third party. I'm just saying, so, that folks don't give up entirely on SXC or Deposit. It would still be advisable to contact each artist, but, I think this is what that phrase means. Think about it, if this was meant the way it looks, the images would not be useful to anyone at all. I'm not an attorney, nor, am I trying to give ya'll a hard time. This is important to me, too!

I ran into a situation that I would be curious as to your input. A provider scans an old wallpaper sample book. These scans are turned into images, then, put into a gallery as stock. The stock provider was downright adamant about her stock copyrights, which is fine. I just wonder where it became her stock. Was it made hers when she scanned it? Or, per chance, did she work at Waverly (wallpaper company) and created the designs herself? See what I mean? Certainly, the provider did her work on the image, but, still, the image is not hers to copyright, eh? I am just real curious. I didn't, and won't, use that stock. I would rather avoid using questionable stock than to take a chance.

I admire your ability to have the patience with this. It is such a gray area! But, it is one that we must try to understand if we want to use the stock that is available. Thanks to all of you who bring this info to the forefront for us!

I thank you for your time!

CelticStrm-Stock Featured By Owner May 29, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I know for certain that you can't use images from in a photomanipulation unless you have written approval from the original provider. Also, the manip CV ^Aeirmid won't give DD features to manips that include their stock unless the artist can provide the written permission of the provider. Their stock is meant for unaltered editorial use only apparently. Jade received a confirmation letter from admins explaining that in their own words. Here's what Jade wrote about the situation: [link]

As far as DepositPhotos goes, I'm pretty sure their stock can be used in manipulations, but they cannot be redistributed as stock in any form. This means people can't make premade backgrounds, brushes, precut images, etc. and redistribute it for other people to use as stock.

I'm not entirely sure about the copyrights on wallpaper. If it's a recognizable pattern by a well known company, it's probably something they shouldn't be redistributing. My best guess on this one would be to send a note to one of our stock CVs either ^Elandria or ^PirateLotus-Stock and see what they think.

I ran a check on the waverly website for their copyright terms and this is what I found:

"The contents of this web site, including all text, photographs and graphics, and its compilation are the property of Waverly or its content suppliers, are protected by U.S. and international copyright laws and may not be used except with express written permission or as set forth below. The designs featured on our products are the sole and exclusive property of Waverly and/or are subject to copyright protection. You do not have the right, and agree not, to copy, reproduce, modify, adapt or otherwise use such designs in any manner, except as a purchaser and user of our products and then only in accordance with applicable law. All software used on this site is the property of Waverly or its software providers." [link]

It could either apply to the graphics on the website, but the part that I highlighted may actually apply to the patterns themselves. I hope that helps! :)
suruha Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Thank you for responding! I am certainly enlightened about the use of SXC photos! Whew! I had better go check my finished images and make sure I am not violating anyone's rights. Wow, this is so hard! LOL Thank you, by the way, for bringing that to our/my attention!

I want to share this with ya'll: In my early days with image use, I had some designs that I admired and had downloaded. They were not identifiable by their file name and I had not noted where I got them. In my stupidity, I used them. They turned out to belong to a fellow member of a group I was a member of at that time. That was all it took to teach me a lesson! Just because the file name isn't clear, it doesn't give me the rights to just go ahead and use it! Ever since then, after ascertaining the proper terms of use, I make it a point of noting the artist and, where possible, a link to the original. If I do this at download, I will always have that info!

I appreciate you doing the research for this! 'Tis such a grey area! Best to comply on the side of the artist! It will sure save a lot of headache!

Thanks so much!

WDWParksGal Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2013
Did you know that minimum stock sizes have been changed from 600 x 600 pixels to 1000 x 1000 pixels? FAQ #809: What are deviantART's stock image guidelines?
It is not very specific, so do not know if the size includes clip-art and many types of tubes and clear-cuts of what are normally small items.
CelticStrm-Stock Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I saw that! :) If I remember right I think it only excludes the vintage images, though with modern scanners it wouldn't be hard to get a larger size. :D
WDWParksGal Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2013
True for the vintage stock, scanners are great to increase the size and still keep the look, but I gotta say having a lipstick 1000 x 1000 pixels is absurd. It would be quite difficult to get it adjusted to the right size in a manip!

I have already moved a lot of my own stocks into scraps (still in the folders though), because the size is more than 1000 pixels tall but not as wide. To just not make clear-cuts isn't a viable answer. There should be an adjustment for clear-cut/tubes versus backgrounds, etc. There are some stocks I will have to redo period. As if there isn't enough to do on dA :wow: :faint:
HermitCrabStock Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2013
CelticStrm-Stock Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
:bow: Hehe
nitchwarmer Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is great and thanks for enforcing these rules. I have posted this at several of my groups.
CelticStrm-Stock Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Aww thanks! :D I think the worst part about enforcing those rules is when I ask them to credit their own photos. :( I've had people get pretty mad at me about that.
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