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What will you do to save the arts?

Wed May 21, 2014, 6:03 PM

Foreword by techgnotic

As an artist you need to be aware that something very bad is being brewed. Under cover of corporate and bureaucratic darkness, art as you could know it on the Internet will die. “.ART “ will be lost. You need to carefully read “Save Dot Art” right now—before another battle for the future of art on the Internet is lost.

This plea to the “ICANN” is dense and full of unfamiliar acronyms, but it’s essential information if you want “the Arts” to remain readily accessible to all the world with all of their important elements intact: their presentation, criticism and dissemination; their advocacy and education; and their guardianship of the human right to preserve a shared world culture and promote and support the global community of creative artists and art lovers.

“.ART” on a website should mean the Arts in all their glorious display!

Perhaps you remember the shock of betrayal Americans felt when they recently learned that the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) had suddenly pulled a fast one and reversed themselves on “net neutrality”, ruling that content would no longer be given equal treatment in its flow from providers to consumers. Big corporate concerns can now pay for faster lanes of delivery leaving everyone else in the dust. So much for the Internet as our paragon of evolving global democracy.

Now commercial interests are trying to rig the acquisition of the “.ART” designation—and open the floodgates to sell any junk that they can vaguely categorize as having something to do with the arts. They’ll turn the Arts into a strip mall and make a mockery of the hopes and dreams of those working to build up the world arts community on the Internet as something important for the survival of humanity.

Our sometimes face painted Warrior-in-Chief, I mean our Advisor-in-Chief of arts advocacy, makepictures, has written the following call to action. Please read. Please advise.

Save Dot Art has been sent to the powers that be. The shot is taken across the bow. Tweet #SaveDotArt #deviantART and let your friends and followers know you’re not going to take it anymore!

We won’t get fooled again!

Spread the Word


Save Dot Art

Written by makepictures

ICANN has a choice: it can promote the arts or destroy their common identity.

“.ART “ can become an authentic Internet address for the arts and represent its community. We are on the cusp of an extraordinary opportunity with the simple use of a single word: a virtual place within the Internet for the arts and a virtual palace to the arts built site-by-site by millions of artists and art institutions each with an individualized artistic contribution gathered around the simple namespace of  “.ART.” The .ART gTLD can become a touchstone of world culture and contribute transformative vision across all boundaries.

But left to pure commercial exploitation, .ART will stand as a complete failure.  It will only occasionally and haphazardly designate the arts themselves. It will not be a welcomed location for the arts. The impact of the worldwide abuse of a beloved term through disjointed, disorganized, and random designations—completely irrelevant to its meaning and associations—would be an irretrievable tragedy.

There are two applicants for .ART, which have elected community designation, DeviantART and e-flux who mutually support each other’s applications.  Eight other, purely commercial, entities and individuals have chosen to oppose or stand in the way of that joint effort.

We believe preservation of the arts is at risk based upon the results of the initial community evaluations made by ICANN that clearly disfavor their approval with a resulting and evident bias towards commercialization.

DeviantART has over 31 million registered members and an audience exceeding 60 million unique visitors a month all drawn to the arts.  It is one of the top 150 Internet sites in the world measured by traffic. E-flux is a network of over 100,000 art institutions and professional artists, curators, and practitioners.

DeviantART and e-flux are committed. We stand prepared to convene a Policy Board of the most passionate and essential artists and art institutions to first debate and then establish standards for the use of the .ART address. As representatives of the community of the arts, we are prepared to initiate a gTLD for the arts, by the arts, and with the arts.

We call upon the ICANN Board to intervene on behalf of the arts. We ask the Board to recognize the .ART gTLD’s unique and substantial value as a world cultural monument and to dedicate its management to trusted, proven organizations that have introduced and guided the arts to the World Wide Web since its inception.

We call upon ICANN to set aside its unlimited and seemingly unrestrained commercialization of the Internet name space and embrace the opportunity that it hardcoded into its guidebook for applicants to self-identify as a community. ICANN must choose to promote the arts rather than destroy their common identity.

We call upon the Government Advisory Committee to the ICANN Board to safeguard the arts as a universal human right in its shared culture.  We call upon the GAC to insist upon the recognition of valid community interests in the assignment of gTLDs by ICANN’s management in line with the GAC’s own requests to ICANN at the Singapore meetings held in March of this year.  

And through DeviantART we call upon the world community of the arts to make itself known and rise to the defense of its own integrity and good name.


Read the e-flux statement to ICANN:

  1. Preserve Dot Art: Part 1
  2. Preserve Dot Art: Part 2

Questions for the Reader

  1. Everyone likes to say that commerce and art can be in balance but some would say there’s plenty of proof that commerce kills art.  What’s your take?
  2. We are all now living in the afterglow of the brilliant collision of art, technology and humanity with world culture finally living under a single roof. What should we all be doing in your opinion to preserve our new home?

As an artist you need to be aware that something very bad is being brewed. Under cover of corporate and bureaucratic darkness, art as you could know it on the Internet will die. ".ART" will be lost. You need to carefully read "Save Dot Art" right now—before another battle for the future of art on the Internet is lost.
Add a Comment:
The FCC is going to vote on a bill that WILL compromise and possibly destroy on how we use the internet on the 26th and you can stop it... If you are a citizen of the US then you can go to Mozilla Firefox and put in your email address and state (I faked my address, city, and zip code and they accepted it). It will be send to your Congress official and PLEASE, I beg of you!, spread the word! PLEASE! It is a 300 page bill that won't be released to the public until it is signed.... the only way we know about it is because an FCC member told us so.... We got two days to do this, are you with me and Firefox?
NoidEXE Featured By Owner May 30, 2014  Professional Filmographer
dA is a corporation like any other. Why would I think that dA will do a better job managing .art than any other company? What would I trust that dA will treat possible competitor fairly? I'm sorry but I need a little more than "We are the good guys, we promise!"

It would be much nicer if we could have an art focused non-profit handling .art
zomickschallahrecipe Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
I actually agree with with you. I think this is a conservative, but righteous approach
WeActOnImpulse Featured By Owner May 30, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Obama just gave ICANN to the U.N.
So... I don't know what's going on at all right now.
anakure Featured By Owner May 29, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Holy shit!!!

First law SOPA now this Wolf Mad 
DaVonteWagner Featured By Owner May 29, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
gala2025 Featured By Owner May 29, 2014
THE ART is heritage and ARTISTS
  can not be controlled by a few. BY THE THE RIGHT
gala2025 Featured By Owner May 29, 2014
<font><font>L'ART Ús el patrimoni i els artistes </font></font>
<font><font>  no pot ser controlat per uns pocs. </font><font>PEL DRET </font></font>
<font><font>  DE LLIBERTAT, LA INTERNET I ART PERSONAL.</font></font>
hootalex Featured By Owner May 29, 2014
Isn't this call-to-action against corporate darkness a bit hypocritical coming from a site that forces all submitting artists to agree to commercially license artwork to its partners (eg Hot Topic) without the knowlege of the artists?

Correct me if I'm wrong! Just something I read online.
makepictures Featured By Owner May 31, 2014
We made no deal with Hot Topic.  We DO NOT commercially exploit a member's work unless there is an agreement, a separate agreement such as the Print Program agreement, which would permit it.
NoidEXE Featured By Owner May 30, 2014  Professional Filmographer
"Save .ART from commercial companies, give it to deviantART. We are a commercial company but we promise we will be nice to our potential competitors!"

I don't know how that makes sense.
h2g2guy Featured By Owner May 30, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
See paragraph 5 in the deviantART Submission Policy, which is incorporated into the Terms of Service by reference:…

They must obtain your consent to use your artwork in any commercial fashion outside of dA.  Granted, there does seem to be a loophole here in that they can commercially use your work if it's used in conjunction with another deviant's work (like in a compilation), but I'm not so sure that would work on T-shirts and other things like that.  And, of course, I might be misreading this loophole somehow.  
zen-3 Featured By Owner May 28, 2014
Is there any way we can help apart from tweeting?
TuesdayNightCompany Featured By Owner May 28, 2014
Frankly, I'm not sure how well .art could be controlled, whether or not it was a commercialized, easily sale-able domain.
That being said, I would prefer it if .art was used primarily for legitimate art websites, particularly official museum sites and artist hubs.

1. Mmmm.. commerce doesn't necessarily kill art, though it can debase it.

2.  A name doesn't mean much. ".art" isn't necessary to unify art websites.  However, I can see the validity in ensuring that .art, if it is used, does actually apply only to art sites.  To do anything else would be false marketing, at the very least.
elmjuniper Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Very well said. This is pretty much what I was thinking whilst reading this. Clap 
TuesdayNightCompany Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2014
Cool.  It took me a bit to articulate how I felt.
MidnightDarkness1 Featured By Owner May 28, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Well, I hope we don't lose DeviantART. I love this place, and so do many others!
MintyNights Featured By Owner May 28, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
1: nothing can kill art. this website has gained so many users and devations. there is always creativity, so art is never going to die. 

2: lets just respect others differences. we are all human, lets just get along. 
DaXiaLin Featured By Owner May 28, 2014  Student Digital Artist
1. First off I want to say that I have nothing against commerce at all, I think it has its good uses in terms of business, technology and economy. Though it seems that it always tries to undermine the community of arts and spiritual, abstract and psychological creativity... you could say that it seems it is allergic towards it. I find this to be really disturbing and unfair. It's not ethical to finance and sponsor one side of human culture and strip the other of its rights and (basically) constantly reprimand g  them down for being different.
Art is just as much a part of life as tech is, maybe even more so seeing tech was only developed in the last hundred years whereas art has been around since the cave man period.

So no, I do not think that Commerce and Art can be in balance with each other. However, I do think that it will be an unbalanced seesaw of the system and money battling ambition and artisans.

2. I think that everyone has a right to be on this earth for one. We are all the same inside even if we are different on the outside. To judge someone based on how they look or present themselves is just downright awful. No one gave any human the right to judge!
I am not a big believer in the big man upstairs, but I do believe that the judging of people is the job of the entity that is psychologically above us.

How to preserve our home on the globe?
That's a good question and maybe it can be answered by many knowledgeable or religious people. I however, believe in the power of humanity. If we made this mess of a world,  we can fix it and set it straight.

Global warming is one that is happening right now in terms of nature. What to do about this? Well, maybe try and finance the nature friendly corporations instead of the ones that never cease to make humans sick and nature even sicker.

War is something that will never stop. It is all caused by the seven deadly sins: Wrath, Envy, Lust, Pride, Greed, Gluttony, Sloth. The sins every human has been the victim of, whether it be by him or herself or by the next person. War is inevitable when these sins exist, so it will always be. I wish there weren't any wars, I really do, but you can't stop human destruction from taking its course... unless you take away its funding.

The financial crisis is upon us now, and even I am feeling it in my pockets. Currently studying for my Bachelor degree in Communication & Multimedia Design, I need my study financing, but recently the government decided it would be "great help" to take away this privilege for students and make them get loans from the bank. Banks, which I might add are incapable of being objective and ethical with their money and the money that they get from citizens. In the end it will cost more that it will actually give, and with that adding more unhappy and indebted citizens.

Humanity is stupid until they start to feel the physical or mental pain. Which I thing is an almost guaranteed result in the future.

- So how in how many years will we be walking around with oxygen masks because the air is littered with smog?

- How many more years will it be before Russia decides to open arms against the USA and resume the cold war into a heated one, thereby destroying every country in the world with nuclear warheads making it uninhabitable for any human being?

- In how many years will the governments finally open their eyes and see that the poor can't pay for everything in this world? Its unfair to even ask it of them. The rich have much more to offer in that aspect yet they are too spoiled and have too many connection for the government to make them pay more money.

To conclude this in a short version... I think it is possible to change our world into better, saver and more financially established society, however extreme measures have to be taken to do so. It's not impossible... but is humanity willing to pay the toll?

If anyone has something add, I am intrigued to start a discussion about these subjects. I am not an expert on these topics, but I am quite interested in who the human mind works and would love to know what others think of it. If you (insert you name) want to discuss this matter with me, please send me a note and I will engage with any who are serious about it. Or if you want to tell me that you agree feel free to comment on this comment.

Also I am not a native American or citizen of the UK or any other english speaking country, so please excuse any mistakes in grammar, spelling and misinterpreted words... do tell me though, I love to improve my writing.

I am glad to be able to ventilate my opinion to any who would want to read and engage. If you read this comment then you are amazing and deserve a cookie.
makepictures Featured By Owner May 31, 2014
Cookie please!
DaXiaLin Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2014  Student Digital Artist
*throws you cookie* Here you go :D
makepictures Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2014
Estafina Featured By Owner May 28, 2014  Student Writer
I'm a tad confused. Don't we already have to pay for a .art domain? 
Are we talking about access to dA being restricted by internet providers?
catcrazygurl94 Featured By Owner May 28, 2014
If it SOPA again, then I'm faving this in 3..2..1..:+fav:
bolsterstone Featured By Owner May 28, 2014   General Artist
(I didn't need to see this spam -- please give us a way to unsubscribe from this tripe, DA.  This is once again no more than a journal piece being spammed through the entire site.)

If you want us to respond, fine.  Then let me ask: who or which entities are going to benefit the most?  Let's look beyond the artists who will be nickling and diming their way through this and will neither benefit nor be hurt by the presence nor absence of a .ART domain.  Looking at this -- I only see a corporate entity who wants to have the benefit of not just a domain but a fancy little set of 4 characters. 

And what new home?  A home is a place where you reside, sleep, eat, drink and have your family.  A ".ART" is not a home -- it's four characters that people will have to pay for...
Lugia365 Featured By Owner May 27, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
You're overreacting a bit.
Twhitehouse Featured By Owner May 27, 2014  Professional General Artist
deviantart.COM seems to be doing quite well without a .ART at the end of it. *Shrug* Having .Art is a novelty, IMHO. Not having .Art won't suddenly stop art on the web. All the art I view on the web (with rare exception) is on .com websites anyway.

What I'm going to do to save the arts is continue to sketch, snap photos, design print/web ads, critique my own work and that of others (if they ask) and continue to improve, while encouraging others to do the same.
Airlesse Featured By Owner May 27, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
How much would it cost for ?
narutokunobessed Featured By Owner May 27, 2014  Student General Artist
I don't see it being soo important. Ive seen a ton of professional sites, and I never seeing the .art at the end. It would be nice to add, but I don't know if its all that worth saving.  Im an illustrator and .com still describes me, since their work is ment to be reproduced commercially. I think though it would be an nice option to at least have for those who don't plann to work professionally.

A good way to see it is .com. .com is shorten for commercial.
makepictures Featured By Owner May 28, 2014
.art doesn't exist yet. ICANN is in charge of whether that address will exist on the Internet. ICANN has a choice about who to give it to for management. The issue is whether .art will be controlled by a company that will sell .art addresses to anyone doing anything or if .art should be reserved for artists, art institutions, art education and so forth.
nopinky Featured By Owner May 26, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Uhh, do people even use this domain? I had no idea it even existed. Why does it matter?
ferret46 Featured By Owner May 27, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
It's not an established domain yet, deviantart is trying to get control/ownership of it though.
Aniral Featured By Owner May 25, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I agree that a ".art" should be reserved for a site about art, each time I see posters and eyesore "designs" that should not be even allowed past drafting stage, let alone forced on consumers I can't help but shake my head at the race to see who can catch eyes best which really is for all of one second before looking away in a grimace.

There are others out there that would joyously design something much better and pleasing for a better price. But a company forcing Bad designing down our throats by monopolizing the ".art" domain for pure profit with complete disregard, or even outright contempt, is just sick. Now I don't claim to know all the answers, but I will stand by a solid opinion that the ".art" should remain for ART-BASED SITES.
CSKazaam Featured By Owner May 25, 2014
I really don't think that DA's losing the battle for .ART will impair art on the Internet.  Art has never needed its own domain name.  If a circle of art websites is needed, that can be created through the use of a well-structured site and a ring of well-organized links in order to create a more comprehensive art community.  Art as I know it on the Internet is certainly not going to roll over and die, so the first step DA needs to take is to stop being so overdramatic in order to be taken seriously.

My big question, which has not been answered sufficiently or clearly, is:  Will I be able to register a .ART domain?

Do not say something like "yes, if you are an artist or if you are engaged with the arts."  How are you defining the term "artist" or "engaged with the arts?"  Is an "artist" professional?  Is an "artist" semi-professional?  Is an "artist" anyone with a DA account?  I want to know if a random person on DA (like me) with a DA account is considered an "artist or engaged with the arts." 

As for the questions:

1. No, commerce doesn't kill art.  We've had so much more art simply because of commerce.  Why is there all this hate toward commerce, anyway?  And where is this so-called "proof" that commerce kills art?  Take all your classic mascots - the Coca-Cola bear, the Energizer bunny, heck, even old-time advertisements both on television and all the old "classic" signage that used to exist across the States.  Those are considered artwork, and there are collectors who search for and pay a lot of money for those things.  That's all art.  That's all commerce.  Commerce is what funds art.  Commerce is also what allows all your art institutions to function - you pay for your art degree.

2.  If world culture lives under a single roof, there are still a lot of locked rooms.  Regardless, the first thing we need to do is respect people's differences and learn to see things from other points of view.
thatbronyperson Featured By Owner May 25, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I know what I'm going to do! IM GOING TO..................................
Sit on my butt and complain
Pink-Death-Pigeon Featured By Owner May 25, 2014
Now that I actually understand what this is all about I guess I have an opinion on the matter.

Peronally if I was to be setting up an art site I'd probably just use .com because its the one that everyone is knows. Plus to me domain names are fairly meaningless unless its a .edu or .gov (or the commonly malicous ones).

But if they if someone was looking to get a .art domain than they should have an equal chance at doing so as anybody else. Since you guys intend to charge a fee anyway, how are you any different than any other corparate entity?
simmons-art Featured By Owner May 25, 2014
I do think does need a Re-Vamp my be diffrent colours or a new Logo a new layout, or just something, its a.bit boring now, ive been with them for years now and looks BORING !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
simmons-art Featured By Owner May 25, 2014
The persons that are moaning about this is the ones that are bothered about .ART the Domain name you can get if you buy it, why are we bothered about this, most of us have a free page on sites like or a Blog on a or a dot .Com or a Free page on Wordpress, this is the way to go in the year 2014 not the freaks Moaning about a Domain name, which means nothing, I'm sure .ART will not be missed. get over it.......
jashamato2014 Featured By Owner May 25, 2014  Student General Artist
very interesting - i like this :D
Hoch-Spannung Featured By Owner May 25, 2014
 The future of art (on the Internet or elsewhere) hardly depends on the fate of either .art domain or deviantart. Saring your works fast and conveniently is quite nice but it's not obligatory for the existance and progress of art. Sometimes it's even harmful. Just like in case of deviantart, where social networking functionality frequently results in double negative selection.
 And as for the dot art domain, let's not be naive. Since it's fate is in corporate hands, they'll do whatever they want. No one who is in power listens to public opinion and follows it's urges unless it's profitable (in a financial or any other way).
Happycatface Featured By Owner May 25, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
We can do it 
save the art
BeastCrafter Featured By Owner May 26, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Save it... from what?
DeepBlueDesign Featured By Owner May 25, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
I don't quite understand what all the noise is about ... The way I see it is as follows:

a) money stinks, the more you have of the stuff the worse the smell is. Artists are generally poor, so we smell of roses :D
b) big corporations ... they only think they're big because their computer-generated bank accounts show lots of numbers that don't actually exist.
c) creativity is a trait only human beings have. It's priceless, which is why big corporations neither have it nor understand it.
d) who cares if a website is called "", "", "", or xyz.crap"? I don't! :D
d) more and more people wake up to the above every day. Soon we will be able to toss the big corporations, wars, pollution and other money-orientated nonsense aside and REALLY start living. We are human, we are legion, we are creation, we are power.

Just so you know ... Be nice to each other and the planet :heart:.
praporsiza Featured By Owner May 25, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
if something bad happens we'll simply go somewhere else, into some other domain or social network i don't know. I believe NO ONE can stop people from sharing art if they really want to. Or maybe i got somthing wrong. But it's really true s f*ck the system! :)
Thyroxin-e Featured By Owner May 25, 2014
Read this a few times and I still can't get what this means . n .''' I need a simpler explanation
Morncreek Featured By Owner May 24, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
The last time I saw an announcement regarding the .art global top level domain, I endorsed deviantART's application.

I revoke that endorsement.

I wish I could travel back in time and stop myself from writing it.

  • dA cannot competently administer its own web site. If dA cannot enforce its own policies, through incompetence, bias, or ignorance, then why would I ever trust dA to draft policies for guiding a gtld's usage and then follow through on them?

  • deviantART does not protect its artists in its own community. How can I expect it to then protect an even larger community?

coastbeachartist Featured By Owner May 25, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
OMFG said the atheist! 

*dA cannot competently administer its own web site. If dA cannot enforce its own policies, through incompetence, bias, or ignorance, then why would I ever trust dA to draft policies for guiding a tld's usage and then follow through on them?

*deviantART does not protect its artists in its own community. How can I expect it to then protect an even larger community?

Morncreek, you are an absolute Genesis! Your two sentences speak volumes of why DA is NOT the competent entity to manage a top level domain. Why does it take DA three weeks/months/years or more to handle porn violations, copyright infringements, and help desk requests?

For freaking sake, DA is in the top 150 most visited domains on the ENTIRE internet. Yet the DA customer support/help desk/legal office are ran as a 1995 Call Center located on an island, in a 75 baud dial up modem bank of three phones. With three employees.

Get into the 21st Century already! Resolve all support issues in two to three business days. Put Staff people in Support outside of the North American 8am to 5pm work time. Clear your month/year old customer service requests.

When you get into the 21st Century, maybe you will be competent enough to manage a TLD.



ferret46 Featured By Owner May 25, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
^ This right here.
MatTheSpeedStar Featured By Owner May 24, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Glad to see everyone commenting knows the real reason behind this and what it would mean if this site got away with it.
Silver-of-the-night Featured By Owner May 24, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I still don't get this, i still wont support this.

ICANN can go away , how about this?
Instead of doing stupid things like this, actually help the commuting and make the site better.
Because i see none of that, you are just being lazy about this.

I am sick and tired when the search thing mucked up now and again, art theft is becoming stupid now.

Actually get of your butts and do the job properly, other wise users may end up leaving.
then the money goes.

Wake up and smell the coffee , and treat the community with respect.
the more you ignore users when they come to help, becasue i have seen or heard story's that most of the staff.
like R2 , have just not done their job properly or do not even help a member properly.
Aka meaning art theft, and why even call your self 'art' more like porn site .

I have seen users on here that would do better jobs than the current staff right now.
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