A few of you have been really worried lately about using stock from sxc.hu here because of the change in their ownership. Basically, you were concerned that their license says that you cannot redistribute their stock in whole or in part, by itself or combined with other elements, without the written approval of the original photographer.
As we all know by now, creating a photomanipulation is considered "making a derivative image." And we know we can't make premade backgrounds without permission from the photographers, as doing so is redistributing their work.
I advised a couple of you to check with the Help Desk
and sxc.hu to find out the whole truth before making rash decisions about your group that could potentially make everyone panic.
Using my own personal account, I wrote to sxc.hu to find out what the story was. Here's what I said:
I was just wondering whether creating photomanipulations from your stock and uploading them to deviantART.com is a violation of your image license agreement?
Photo manipulation does not grant you copyrights to the image therefore you cannot use sxc.hu images in the described manner.
Thank you. So, just so I am absolutely crystal clear, I cannot create derivative work from your stock (by mixing it with other stock, for example) and upload it to another website or an online art portfolio, as an art piece and not as new stock?
Their final reply:
You are correct - you cannot create derivative works with the use of sxc.hu images. Furthermore, you need the original artist's permission to use their work in a derivative composition.
So now what?
First, let me be clear: This is not deviantART's official statement. I do not speak for deviantART; I am only a volunteer.
That being said . . . I will no longer accept Daily Deviation (DD) suggestions where sxc.hu stock has been used unless you can document that you have the photographer's permission to use that stock and did so in accordance with his/her license terms (and state so in your artist's comments).
No further "Rebirth and Renewal" contest entries with sxc.hu stock will be accepted unless you can document that you have the photographer's permission to use that stock and did so in accordance with his/her license terms (and state so in your artist's comments). As for pieces already submitted, I will not remove them, but I *recommend* that you get permission from the artist.
I also will not allow sxc.hu stock in any group in which I am Founder unless you can document that you have the photographer's permission to use that stock and did so in accordance with his/her license terms (and state so in your artist's comments).
Is dA going to remove my work if it involves sxc.hu stock?
Again, I don't speak for dA. I do know that, by submitting photomanipulations to this site, you are agreeing that you have followed the rules set out by the license holder (in this case, sxc.hu and, even more preeminently, the photographer).
See FAQ #157: Can I use things created by other people in my submissions?
: Failure to obtain proper permission for the use of materials protected under copyright can leave your deviantART submission vulnerable to being removed by our staff following a valid claim of infringement against it.
I apologize to those who were saying this for kind-of cutting you off; I hope you can understand that I just didn't want to jump the gun and send everyone into a panic until we knew the whole truth and the full story.
So, there you have it, for what it's worth.