Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login
This news article has nothing to do with me being a Gallery Moderator, but based on my own experiences I know that this is a serious issue that causes frustrations and anger quite often. So this news article is mainly about two things: respect and fair behaviour.






I guess every member of deviantART who owns a Premium Membership has used a free journal skin at least once in their dA life, right?
They make your journals look more personal and attractive. It's a nice feature that everyone likes to take advantage of and the best, it is for free – the skins (not the Premium Membership ;)).

To use a skin all you have to do is to click that install button, agree to the terms that pop up and then you can start using that fancy new layout you just found. It's really easy and if that template doesn't fit your needs 100% you can make modifications to it and be happy.

In some cases it is not enough for people, they want to share their new creations because people like what they have made. So they start to redistribute it and the drama begins…



Devious Diary Journal Skin by ladyzineb The Ease II by barberioX



:bulletgreen: Free != Free


When you decide to use a journal skin created by someone else you don't have to pay anything to use it. Like explained above you just hit a button twice and you can start. It allows you to use the skin for free, but with limitations that are important.

Did anyone of you who already installed a skin really read through the "Skin Install Agreement" you have to accept before you can use a CSS template? Yes? No? Either way, let's take a closer look at it:
Notice and Agreement Concerning Use of Materials from the deviantART Skins Category

Thank you for using materials from the deviantART Skins category and participating in building dynamic pages on deviantART with the programming and graphic contributions of other dedicated artists.

By accessing content contained in the deviantART Skins category ("Skin Content") you agree as follows:


   1. You confirm that you will have and enjoy a very limited license to use the Skin Content only as set out in this Agreement.
   2. You may use the Skin Content only on your user pages or on other pages and applications on deviantART designed to accept Skin Content ("Pages") and not otherwise.
   3. You agree that the author responsible for the Skin Content will be credited by deviantART when you use the Skin Content. You agree as a matter of site etiquette not to use the Skin in a fashion that would be clearly objectionable to the author or the intent of the Skin.
   4. You may modify the Skin Content as and when you use the Skin Content in accordance with this Agreement, but not otherwise. You may not represent the Skin Content, even as modified, as your own work without crediting the original author.
   5. You may not grant permission to any other person to use the Skin Content, even as modified, nor may you export the Skin Content when used under this Agreement in any fashion to any other locations on the World Wide Web unless the Skin Content is served by equipment under the control of deviantART.

This Agreement modifies the deviantART Terms of Service and all other agreements or understandings between you and deviantART all of which remain in full force and effect subject only to the modifications contained here.


The most important parts are bold. And if you take a close look at those, you can easily see that you are in no way allowed to re-use anything of that skin – unless you have any other agreement with the original skin creator.

That means you can not:
  • replace the images and upload it as a new template
  • use the code, modify it and upload it as a new template
  • use the images and create a new template
  • sell them


For those that raise their hand now mentioning that #4 says, you just have to credit the artist. That is not right. The modified version you use on YOUR journal just needs a credit, but any new upload with the install option needs the permission from the original artist.
Anything else is against this agreement you accepted when installing a template.



Eco Skin III by Infinite705 Alien Flora Journal Skin by elero A shiny CSS by neurotype



:bulletgreen: Permission or not


So you have found a template you just love, made some modifications and now want to share it with the rest of the world as well. Before you do anything, ask the original skin creator for permission. Just do it, don't think about it twice. Either this is your first step, or you should stop thinking about uploading your modified skin already.

My codes have been used several times already by people without permission and I absolutely hate to see, that people claim that they did everything on their own, while I just need to look at the code once to know that it has my "handwriting". Code might be all the same for you, but it always has something personal as well – at least if you are more experienced.



:bulletgreen: I didn't know that I need permission!
In case you uploaded a modified skin and didn't know that you need a permission, the worst thing you can do is to tell the original creator that they should shut up, move along and that you will add a credit just now. Or arguing with them that you did all on your own, while it can be easily proven that you just made color changes or replaced images.
That's plain rude and wrong.

If someone contacts you, the first thing you should do is to try to clarify the situation, without any rude words, without going mad, but explaining it. Don't use excuses. Tell them right away about it. AND if they still want you to take down the template, do it.
The CSS community might be small, but they take care of what is going on. If you are seriously interested in providing templates, it won't be a good start to get involved.



:bulletgreen: My skin code was stolen!
It can be frustrating but don't attack that other person right away and don't do it in public. Contact the artist via note and don't get mad if you don't get a reply within a few minutes. Give them a few days. If your note was read, but you got no answer contact them again, with the hint that you are going to report the skin if no answer will follow. If there is still no reaction, really do it.

If that deviant gets back to you, be polite. Some might do it with intention, some don't. Tell them about the "Skin install agreement" and that they should take it down. Depending on their reaction either find a solution together or report the deviation – in case the deviant gets rude or doesn't want to work on a solution.


:bulletred: But before you report anything, make sure that is is really your skin that got used in a way that got no permission from you. And if you think that the skin of someone else was used without permission, contact the original artist to let them clarify the situation on their own. They might have given permission to make modifications of their skins.




Light into the Dark CSS by kuschelirmel-stock Facebook Journal Skin by TwiggyTeeluck Just Fella by Drake1



:bulletgreen: General things and conclusion


So you understand all what I explained here, but still want to create your own skin, but can't code? Well, how about you contact a CSS coder you admire or that creates skins you like, to ask for permission to use their code? Either make it a general question or pick a few favourite skins and ask if you are allowed to modify them for redistributions.
Believe it or not, most people will allow it. All you have to do is to ask and do it BEFORE you publish anything. It's really that easy.

In case you want to take one more step, how about trying to learn CSS? Of course it is not easy, but not that difficult either. When I started I was completely lost and after my first tries, I ignored CSS for a few years. Then I had to learn it. There are plenty of CSS related groups and all are willing to help. All you need to do is, to knock at their doors and do the first step.
And while you already realized that coding isn't done that easily you should respect the skin templates of other people even more.


The CSS community is very friendly and very helpful, as long as you stick to the rules. Everyone gets mad and is not amused if their art is used without permission.

Be fair and respect the work of the CSS coder as you respect any other artist and everyone will get along very well!



Mew journal skin by WikiME  I Love Coffee Journal Skin by ladyzineb Halloween Journal Skin by ArtBIT



:note: If you have any questions about this, feel free to contact me anytime. If you need help and don't know who to ask or have no idea how to get started, contact me as well. I will be happy to help you out or direct you to persons/groups that can help you further.






This news article was brought to you by your local CSS Fairy Fairy - Blow kiss by ginkgografix
.:Powered by - Stamp by ginkgografix


If you find any grammar mistakes, you can keep them, because I will make more!
Add a Comment:
 
:iconchampionx91:
Championx91 Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2014
 can a person see if you have install its journal?
Reply
:iconginkgografix:
ginkgografix Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2014
No that is not possible. You just see how many people installed it.
Reply
:iconchampionx91:
Championx91 Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2014
Thank you for your answer. 
Reply
:iconwdwparksgal:
WDWParksGal Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2013
I do use freebies, as you know, as well as some basic CSS journals I've made (I never did get the hang of the "harder" code), and the biggest thing I will alter is the font size. So many of the fonts in the code are just too small. Cannot tell you how many times I will have to use the zoom keys on deviant journals, just so I can read them :reading:
Reply
:iconnichrysalis:
Nichrysalis Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
I always make my text in my journal CSS's at least 2px bigger than what I can read, out of courtesy. I'm glad to hear there are people who may appreciate that. :love:
Reply
:iconwdwparksgal:
WDWParksGal Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2014
I totally appreciate a larger font! Will check out your CSS installs :sprint:
Reply
:iconnichrysalis:
Nichrysalis Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
:D
Reply
:iconginkgografix:
ginkgografix Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2013
I think i am one of those persons who tend to use too small fonts ^^;
Reply
:iconwdwparksgal:
WDWParksGal Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2013
I just read a journal where I had to increase the zoom three times to see it :wow: :faint: ~ Who can read such tiny print??? :eyes:
Reply
:iconginkgografix:
ginkgografix Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2013
Haha, i rarely have any problem with tiny fonts, but who knows... it might be different in a few years :lol:
Reply
:iconwdwparksgal:
WDWParksGal Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2013
Just wait a few more years.... :giggle:
Reply
:iconelectricjonny:
electricjonny Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Great article :nod:  Lets hope it reaches the right people.


I don't make installabe skins, although I have one dark skin that I provide the CSS for (back when I was testing installable skins, it seemed to require that my skins use at least one image, when I didn't need any).

But if I did make a skin, I'd remove that bit about "skin by `electricjonny" at the bottom... but is that me breaking the rules about removing that line? :slow:
Reply
:iconginkgografix:
ginkgografix Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2013
It's an old one, but i thought i can't be wrong to give it some attention again.

No idea, i think it's optional anyway. I have seen others removing it as well. And lately i am not sure if it is supposed to be there or not. For a while it didn't appear anymore, but recently i see skins with that credit again. It's a bit confusing.
Reply
:iconelectricjonny:
electricjonny Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Since they don't wrap it in an ID, I assume they allow you to modify it (to fit better with you skin), so I have to assume they'd be fine with you hiding it altogether.
Reply
:icon3rdeye88:
3rdeye88 Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I never have this problem. The only editing I do to journal skins is the ones that require links and stuff like that. Otherwise I leave it completely as the creator made it. :hug:

Though I have one question about your personal journal skin folder. It seems that the free installable ones aren't featured there, its just the templates or a downloadable one. I like using the simple installable ones, are those somewhere else or am i just not noticing them in your gallery?
Reply
:iconginkgografix:
ginkgografix Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2013
Well that are edits that are encouraged by everyone :giggle:

I have one folder with designs and one where everything else goes that can be used by others (downloadable, installable and exclusive). They are definetely there, but i don't do that many anymore. Maybe you just overlooked them?
All of free skins can be found here ginkgografix.deviantart.com/ga…
Reply
:icon3rdeye88:
3rdeye88 Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Yeah that I knew. I read the descriptions of journal skins I know I want to use so I know what I need to do or if I need to comment, fave, message in order to use it. SOme people don't mind that you use their skin, they just want like a fave or something. Which I do anyways cause I like to save those to a special folder so I can come back to the formatting information if there's anything special that skin has.

I'm like the perfect demographic for installable skins. I'm too dumb with this stuff to really mess with it myself. I don't wanna mess with people's skins or try and claim them as my own. I simply use and appreciate the hard work you guys do and am so grateful you give them out for free.

Oh I might have ended up in the design one or something. I don't know This folder looks a little different than I remember. Don't mind me I have no idea what I'm doing with this stuff. ^^;
Reply
:iconginkgografix:
ginkgografix Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2013
Aww, don't say "too dumb". It's not that difficult, but unless you are really interested in it, it doesn't make much sense to bother with it :hug:

:lol:
Reply
:icon3rdeye88:
3rdeye88 Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Well I'm convinced that the only way i'm gonna learn this stuff is if someone actually teaches me. I've tried tutorials. The problem is when I screw something up and don't know what I screwed up cause it can be the most minute thing amongst a sea of characters, I can't ask the tutorial what I did wrong, it can't identify the problem. Messaging someone who can or the person who made the tutorial is time consuming and it often means leaving the screw up there so it looks wrong in the meantime. I like copy+past and minimal "change your info" here. That stuff works the best for me.
Reply
:iconginkgografix:
ginkgografix Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2013
That's what %eCSSited is for. You can always leave your questions over there and someone will get back to you. Of course it's no quick real-life support, but maybe better than nothing?

For such cases i often use an old journal as a testing area, that way i can keep it, without publishing, and go on later once i figured out what the bug is :aww:
Reply
:icon3rdeye88:
3rdeye88 Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Not really, not in my case. "What seems to be your problem"
"I have no idea, I'm trying to do ___ but its ___ and I have no clue what I did to make that happen or how to get it to ___"

Journals are too complicated to mess with for me. I've just been trying to spruce up my profile page some.
Reply
:iconginkgografix:
ginkgografix Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2013
Most of the people that ask for help are like "something is not working right, can you help me?" and that is all. So you are not along with not knowing the reason. That is something you will learn the more you work with CSS :nod:

That's ok, no one will force you.
Reply
(1 Reply)
:iconthe-build:
The-Build Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Someone has been going a little journal nutty today. >>
Reply
:iconginkgografix:
ginkgografix Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2013
Naw, today was just one journal and one update to highlight it again. But yeah, have submitted/posted too much lately.
Reply
:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
SO MANY YES THIS

seriously... don't make people regret sharing their code for free.
Reply
:iconginkgografix:
ginkgografix Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2013
:heart:
Reply
:iconslickcoolbuizle:
slickcoolbuizle Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
nice tips very good but i still think its not fair for those that don't have premium member ships to have to get one to use skins it realy dose seem and isn't fair
Reply
:iconginkgografix:
ginkgografix Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013
Well it's an extra that users get that pay for the site. If free members would get everything Premium Members have, there would be no point to pay for a PM.

And this tutorial is not about if it is fair or not, just giving general advices about journal usage rights.
Reply
:iconslickcoolbuizle:
slickcoolbuizle Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
ik that but i was saying how unfair it is with the premium thing it still is and for some odd reson i get the feeling there are people trying t hack that
Reply
:iconaltrilast13:
altrilast13 Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012  Hobbyist
Question: I was a PM before and I installed a journal skin but now my PM is already finish and I still havent updated my journal yet the journal skin is still there, if I update my journal will the journal skin be gone or will it still be there? And even if I dont update the journal skin, am I going to pay for it even I'm not a PM anymore? I'm still a new member here so I just wanna know :D Sorry if I'm asking too much though. I hope I'm not disturbing you
Reply
:iconginkgografix:
ginkgografix Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012
As soon as you will update your journal the CSS will be removed. So if you want to keep the skins on older journals, better don't touch them :aww:
Reply
:iconaltrilast13:
altrilast13 Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012  Hobbyist
Thanks..I think I'll never touch my journal ever again :XD:
Reply
:iconginkgografix:
ginkgografix Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012
:lol:
Reply
:iconaltrilast13:
altrilast13 Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012  Hobbyist
Thanks again :hug:
Reply
:iconmoonstone436:
Moonstone436 Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2012
can you get a journal skin if your not a premium member? :(
Reply
:iconginkgografix:
ginkgografix Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2012
You will be able to install it and to see it in the preview, but you can't apply it for the final release. Therefor the PM is required.
Reply
:iconstealthforcesoifon:
StealthForceSoifon Featured By Owner May 19, 2012  Student Artist
how do i use it? e_e im confused about this! o_o
Reply
:iconginkgografix:
ginkgografix Featured By Owner May 20, 2012
What do you mean with "it"? This is a general news article. For journal skins you have to browse the galleries to use them.
Reply
:iconstealthforcesoifon:
StealthForceSoifon Featured By Owner May 20, 2012  Student Artist
oh...
sorry :XD: i get confused easily with alot of typeing and stuff lol sorry :P
Reply
:iconlady-chan101:
Lady-Chan101 Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Ah, interesting to know. Thank you for sharing. So if I make a CSS Journal, that means I can use it? :?
Reply
:iconginkgografix:
ginkgografix Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2012
Of course, if you made it, it is up to you to use it or not.
Reply
:iconhero011:
hero011 Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2011  Student Digital Artist
What if someone who doesn't have a Premium makes one? Would they be allowed to use it?
Reply
:iconginkgografix:
ginkgografix Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2011
The PM is required to apply the CSS. You can create one without, but the journal will still look like the default ones.
Reply
:iconhero011:
hero011 Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2011  Student Digital Artist
Thanks for the info.
Reply
:iconparanormalkitty2497:
paranormalkitty2497 Featured By Owner Oct 8, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
hai, can users that dont have a premium mebership get a journal skin, and if so then is it the same way shown above? thanks":)
Reply
:iconginkgografix:
ginkgografix Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2011
Atm they can, because there is running a special promotion. So until the 31st October you can use any journal skin like if you have a Premium Membership.
Reply
:iconparanormalkitty2497:
paranormalkitty2497 Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
oh okai thanks :D
Reply
:iconcoralulu:
Coralulu Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hello, first of all thank you for this article! And second, I want to know it I got that right...I use a skin by =trezoid and modified it a little bit, and in the bottom it says "Skin by =trezoid (modified by *Coralulu)"...I have no intention to redistribute the skin, so that's okay?

Thank you! :)
Reply
:iconginkgografix:
ginkgografix Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2011
Redistribution is just when you upload the skin for other people to download/install it.

The credit at the bottom just changes when you modify it, to make people of the original source aware, but also that this version looks different and is more personal. So you aren't doing anything wrong :aww:
Reply
:iconcoralulu:
Coralulu Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh thank you so much! ^^
Reply
Add a Comment:
 
×

:iconginkgografix: More from ginkgografix


Featured in Collections

News and Journals by Nichrysalis


More from DeviantArt



Details

Submitted on
November 10, 2010
Link
Thumb

Stats

Views
4,297 (1 today)
Favourites
124 (who?)
Comments
113
×