Case Studies/DeviantArt Study

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License Used
Image, MovingImage, Other
Adoption date unspecified
art socialnetwork


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Page Importance: B-Class
Page Quality: High
deviantArt is an international online artist community that strives to provide a place where anyone can exhibit artistic works.

As you can guess, we have a large community of digital artists which means we also have a large group of people who do photomanipulation. Having Creative Commons licences makes it so much easier for people to be able to see exactly how they can use stock resources and photos for their own work. Richard Hartley, Director of Community Development


deviantArt is an online artist community that encourages free form expression of ideas through user submitted content. This content ranges includes "photography, digital art, traditional art, literature, Flash, filmmaking and skins for applications. The site also has extensive downloadable resources for use by creators such as tutorials and stock photography"(Wikipedia).

License Usage

CC license options are built into deviantArt's UI, allowing users to set the permissions they want their works to carry. Naturally, different users choose different options for their works, including All Rights Reserved.


The motivation for using CC licenses is simple and two-fold. Firstly, it is a clear and simple way for users to see what they can and can't do with other works on deviantArt. Secondly, it gives legal credibility to deviantArt's ethos of community sharing.

From Richard Hartley, Director of Community Development at deviantArt:

You can comment and reply to virtually everything on the site, from art work to deviant’s blogs to the forums to our live chat network and so on. Our community is extremely diverse in artistic preference, so I would have to say some of the most unique interactions we see take place are some of the discussions and debates between people who come from wildly different backgrounds. There is just something unique about seeing someone whose passion is for traditional oil painting debating the merits of artistic integrity with someone whose specialty is digital photography.
In addition to talk of an artistic nature, there is some fascinating discussions on everything from politics to religion to social phenomenon. Mix any topic you can think of with a few million people from every walk of life and all corners of the globe together and you get some really fascinating takes on any subject you can dream of. And then add to that the fact that these are all artists who are generally known for having a large volume of passion and creative thinking about any subject, and, well, let’s just say it is never dull.
The one common ground they all have though is that they all love dA. Not just love it but live it and breathe it and in some cases go nowhere else on the web. For many people, the internet begins and ends with and they are very loyal to the site. This also puts a lot of responsibility on us to really listen to what they want and to that extent, the community itself has shaped the direction of dA probably more so than any other community has guided any other site.