What I really don't like about the platform is what a massive fee the site collects. 20% is way too big a loss for me to ever use the platform, except possibly rarely for small things that are debiantART-centric and would just be easier to keep all on-site.
It strikes me as rather shady, though, as it seems targeted toward people who are not accustomed to selling their work and don't know how to spot a bad deal when they see one. The points runaround, too, seems like a total hassle.
Of course, it gives an easy platform for kids to sell their work. But it's not professional or fair, and it's not for me.
I far prefer using PayPal, though, where the fee is cut down to around 3-5%.... It makes it much easier to make a profit, and it's a fairly universal platform. On deviantART, though, where prices are already expected to be so low, it doesn't make sense to me to be giving up so much.
It may be that I don't produce stock or other things that are better suited to the platform, but I just feel like there are other services that can give me a much better cut from the kind of work that I do.
As someone who creates derivative works from stock photos, I am nervous about purchasing the use of a photo from the Premium Content Platform (PCP), especially those that have been uploaded to DA's Photography category rather than to the Stock Resources category and where the Seller has used DA's Standard Agreement in lieu of a Customized Agreement. (The Standard Agreement states in Section 3: Seller grants to Buyer a non-exclusive and perpetual license to use the Content as follows: use on a personal website or as part of a personal website; Buyer may incorporate the image(s) into a new work and alter the image(s) for those purposes provided the resulting work is used non-commercially by the Buyer such as for display in a Buyerâ€™s deviantART account. Note: The typographical error on the word "Buyer's" is the way it appears in DA's form.)
Just for example of the above (photo uploaded to Photography category, Seller uses a Standard Agreement), here's a link to such a purchase offer uploaded by +spyed: [link] .
I think the underlying cause of my hesitancy is that, unless the Seller is very familiar with the creation of derivative works, the Seller may not realize that when they "sell" their digital file, the Buyer(s) can: incorporate the seller's art into their own artworks, add the seller's art to the Buyer's Journal, turn the purchased art into digital renditions of the art using Photoshop or Painter, or can simply paste it into a background and add some text and upload it to DA as a new artwork. Nothing in DA's PCP announcement indicates derivative works as one of the potential uses for the purchased photos (or even painted or drawn artworks).
So here's some questions I still have rolling around in my mind about purchasing a license to use a digital file from the PCP:
1. Do the terms of both the Standard Agreement and the Custom Agreement take precedence over any conflicting terms listed in the Seller's Journal or on the deviation page for the artwork being "sold"?
2. If a Custom Agreement does NOT specifically INDICATE that the Buyer can create derivative works (or can incorporate the purchased art into a banner for the Buyer's DA Journal) from the purchased photo, painting or drawing, is that option NOT available to the Buyer? Or, are any uses NOT specifically DENIED to the Buyer in the Custom Agreement allowed to the Buyer? The boilerplate text for the Custom Agreement provides no parameters for use of the item being purchased. The Seller must add any conditions beyond this text: This Agreement controls the relationship between the Seller and the Buyer of Content made available on the Premium Content Platform of deviantART.com. Buyer and Seller acknowledge that this Agreement is made subject to the Terms and Conditions for the Premium Content Platform. This Agreement was prepared by the Seller.
3. Since the Seller is not notified by DA with the name of the DA member who purchased their photo, and since the Buyer doesn't receive a receipt from DA showing that a specific photo was purchased, how can the Buyers prove to the Seller that they the legal rights to use the photo in their own derivative works uploaded to DA or in their Journal Header/Footer?
I do not wish to get into any conflict with a Seller over the use of their art. Thanks for any insight into the above questions that you might be able to provide!
Those are some very good questions! I honestly don't know the answers myself. I think the best thing for you to do would be to submit them as a help desk ticket since they now have a section specifically for questions about the platform.