Ten lessons learned as a result of my two week absence from deviantART, of which I am now on day fourteen:
1. TRUST NO ONE.
2. The enemy of my enemy is my friend.
3. deviantART is quickly becoming the punchline of the online art community.
4. I eat pressure for breakfast....and have the blood pressure to prove it.
5. Smells like daddy's money.
6. Rules are rules....no matter what shade of gray they are written in.
7. If it quacks like a duck...
8. Life sucks....but somebody out there is worse off than you.
9. Everybody is a critic.
10. TRUST NO ONE.
With less than a week to go in my suspension from deviantART I decided to get some clarification from their Copyright and Etiquette Administration as to the actual rules applicable to linking to works outside of said site. Yes, deviantART's moderator officiating entity is officially called the Copyright and Etiquette Administartion....sounds more like a subdivision of the Department of Homeland Security.
I was fully expecting to receive an actual rule or policy relating to this issue. What I received however, were several FAQs.....you know, Frequently Asked Questions. By definition FAQs are listed questions and answers, all supposed to be frequently asked in some context, and pertaining to a particular topic. Generally....no, scratch that....Globally, FAQs ARE NOT actual policies, rules, or even guidelines by which a site, company, or any other entity follows in order to implement rules upon it's clientele, subscribers, etc.
Thus far, since the acronym FAQ was developed in 1983 by Eugene Miya of NASA for the SPACE mailing list (yes, that's the real origin of the acronym), deviantART would be the only entity that I'm aware of where the FAQs are the company's actual policies and guidelines....other than it's Terms of Service (TOS). Man, I would absolutely love to see a real, honest to god copy of deviantART's business model...and then point and laugh hysterically.
At any rate, here are the actual FAQ I was sent that pertain to my suspension...read FAQ 565 is you want a really good laugh:
The portion of each FAQ to pay attention to are the very last sentence(s) that (in each case) seem to be added as an afterthought.....but more like "after the fact". Essentially, each one states that providing any outside link to another website which provides access to prohibited content is verboten. This mostly pertains to providing links in the "artists comments" of a picture or (in my case) somewhere on an individuals page. What this doesn't say is that if you internally note someone with a prohibited outside link you also run the risk of getting suspended (or worse).
As of today I have three weeks left on my "Premium Membership" on deviantART....I DO NOT plan on renewing said membership. Granted, my whole whopping $7.95 isn't going to financially ruin their day-to-day operations....but I ain't gonna be paying for their morning Grande Latte Enema anymore either.
To dispel any rumors, I feel the need to give a brief explanation as to why I was suspended from deviantART. Some have suggested that it was due to prohibited content. Well, that's partially correct. Officially, I was suspended for linking to a site that has prohibited content on it....this site in fact. Yes, suspension for linking to my own work...irony knows no bounds.
The official reason I received was this:
"You have been suspended from deviantART for (2 weeks) with a reason of "Two week suspension for continued linking to a blogspot containing inappropriate material not permitted on deviantART."."
Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but I could have sworn that the point of placing questionable / inappropriate content on a personal website was to keep it OFF deviantART to begin with. Having read through the deviantART Terms of Service (TOS) I cannot find anything that would even suggest that linking to objectionable content is a violation of said TOS. We all know that one deviantART moderator doesn't play by the same rulebook as the next....most, other than following the TOS in it's most rudimentary sense, tend to make up the rules as they go along.
At any rate, it's only two weeks....and I don't plan on going anywhere. As a matter of fact, other than not showing (or linking to) my blogspot account, I don't plan on changing anything.
Let me end this little blog entry with a little thanks. Jeepika, the fair AND foul weather friend that he has been since I got on deviantART, was kind enough to to keep everyone informed as to what is going on with this most recent calamity. I have been reading your comments and....well, you know who your true friends really are.
Oh...heh...I found it a little humorous that I crossed the 16,000 pageview mark while serving the first day of my suspension.