From IndieWeb

deviantART is an art hosting silo that retains the rights to resell copyright of anything you post to it, without informing you, and has done so in the past; it was acquired by Wix in 2017.

The site was sold to Wix in February 2017, part of the deal was characterised by Wix as:

"Wix will open up DeviantArt’s repository of art and creative community to the Wix platform, giving Wix’s users access to that work to use in their own site building."

thus suggesting that user's own content will be sharecropped to promote Wix's internet presence tools.


Selling Your Work

An attendee of this talk shared her personal experience (video, time offset: 13:52), about how:

  • as an artist, she has had work stolen, having been on deviantART for a while
  • a business started printing her art on shirts
  • that had licensed it from deviantART
  • apparently was part of deviantART's TOS that they could do so with her art
    • Note that many (most?) silos (e.g. Medium) have similar TOS where they have the rights to sell your work without your permission or notification.


Does not allow you to export your data at all, before deactivation.

AI Training & UX Antipatterns

Despite taking a community-oriented and fairly well-received stance during the NFT boom in 2020/2021, where the platform actively developed tools to help artists uncover fraudulent or illegal misuse of their work, in 2022 deviantART announced the decision to allow all pieces on the platform to be used in AI training algorithms: announcement post.

Whilst tools were made available for artists to remove their work from the available collections, many felt the default of "opt-out" was unfair, particularly for older pieces. Similarly, the plans drew criticism for only allowing users to remove a piece from use by AI individually, a multi-step process with several layers that were not well signposted in the UI.

Examples of community criticism:

"DeviantArt has decided your artwork there is fair game to be used in their new AI generator by default. You have to go to an obscure form to opt-out and requires 10 days to be reviewed... just to remove your username/aliases from being used in prompts. To actually remove your artwork from being eligible for this, you need to go to edit each individual deviation and click this tiny box." thread from @arvalis / RJ Palmer

Twitter Live recording featuring community feedback and company response | [InternetArchive version]

"I'm worried about legacy accounts for artists that are no longer on the site or have passed away. They can't speak for themselves about opting out." @DragonstormCA

See Also