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Answerman - Why Are Some Fan Works OK, But Some Get Shut Down?


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Zin5ki
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Joined: 06 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 1:23 pm Reply with quote
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Print-on-demand merch companies like TeePublic, RedBubble and Society6 that claim to cater to independent artists (and are awash in bootleg material and stolen fanart) certainly run the risk of getting sued by selling those shirts, but I assume they continue to do so because Ghibli hasn't done anything about it, or their legal threats were ignored.

If someone has a dab hand in image manipulation and enough money for a spare lunch, they needn't even go to such lengths. The internet is awash with sellers who will print a custom image to a plain T-shirt for little more than the wholesale cost of the fabric. (It certainly makes my convention attire more affordable.)
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Scalfin



Joined: 18 May 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 2:07 pm Reply with quote
I'm guessing that audio is also frequently a factor, as programmatic music involves a lot of artistic effort but people will often toss it into works quite carelessly. This is especially evident in reviews that are careful to use imagery in a manner consistent with fair use for commentary but will use the work's music as a generic background.
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SolHerald



Joined: 07 Oct 2012
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 3:18 pm Reply with quote
I always find it silly when people spend years working on a fan-game and then they go around sharing and announcing it like they will be the special case that Nintendo, Square Enix, or whoever gives their blessing to. And then they get told to remove it.

The thing is there should be a pretty easy work around right? For example, a recent fan-game was a remake of Tomb Raider 2; instead of calling it Tomb Raider 2 with Lara Croft, couldn't they just call it like Grave Digger featuring Mara Broft? Make a few changes like changing her character model, and they should be able to avoid copyright issues right?

Of course, I guess the issue is that people wouldn't be playing a "Tomb Raider game" any longer.
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Lord Oink



Joined: 06 Jul 2016
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 4:37 pm Reply with quote
Another thing people don't realize is Abridged series are considered pretty insulting and disrespectful in Japan. Publicly mocking or deriding a work by dubbing over it is considered extremely rude. That's not even going into the copyright nightmare and legal issues of using footage, music, and other copyrighted material which the article already mentions. But from a decency point of view, it's no wonder companies hate those Abridged series makers on Youtube, You can already see how the bigger one ruined and tarnished the reputation of the properties in America.
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SHD



Joined: 05 Apr 2015
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 4:59 pm Reply with quote
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Fan fiction and doujinshi you find online aren't such a big deal. They don't make (much) money, and nobody would mistake them for legitimate.

...is what one would think, but there are always fandom newbies and/or very gullible people. Back in the day I used to be member of a forum that had a lot of anime newbies, and I remember a lot of fans being very confused about fanworks - like, I saw a number of "guys, what's the deal with Kurama and Hiei, I read on the internet that they're gay is it true???" or "I saw a picture of Inuyasha and Sesshoumaru having sex, when does that happen???" type questions. Even today it's not very rare that I see people either not being able to tell fanart and a canon illustration apart, or not having the common sense to do some research. A few years ago I've seen people who genuinely thought that there was a single released for Haruka in UtaPri and wondered why they couldn't buy it... simply because someone at pixiv did a Haruka version of the boys' CD single covers, and someone took it and reposted it without context.

(Which is one of the many reasons why I hate people stealing and reposting other people's art. An artist does some fanart and posts it on their own art blog or a fanworks website, which gives it a context that says "these here are fanworks, none of this is official". But then someone takes that art and reposts it completely out of context, and depending on a number of factors it can, and apparently sometimes does, give "outsiders" a false image of what the actual canon is like.)
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R315r4z0r



Joined: 30 Aug 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 5:48 pm Reply with quote
The thing that I hate about official products is that they seem to be required to have logos plastered all over them. Because of that, I will never purchase an officially licensed product, bar any actual content itself.

I buy blurays constantly, I have 4 shelving units full (tens of thousands of hours of content). But you couldn't pay me enough to buy something like a poster or T-shirt with a logo on it.
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invalidname
Get off my lawn!Get off my lawn!


Joined: 11 Aug 2004
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 7:02 pm Reply with quote
Related: Crunchyroll Expo just announced as a guest Rachel Aaron, author of Garrison Girl: An Attack on Titan Novel, and I cannot for the life of me figure out if this is actually approved of by AoT's rights-holders or if fanfic has just gotten that legit.
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leafy sea dragon



Joined: 27 Oct 2009
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 7:14 pm Reply with quote
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But that's obviously something Disney is interested in actively and aggressively protecting, and will likely do so at any cost, which is what it seems like most of this boils down to in the end.


Sounds like the easiest and most surefire way to bankrupt Disney is to violate their copyrights and do it aggressively while being slippery enough to avoid getting caught. That being said, over this decade, even Disney has relaxed a lot of it, particularly fanworks related to Disney Channel shows and tremendous hits like Frozen and Wreck-it Ralph.

SolHerald wrote:
I always find it silly when people spend years working on a fan-game and then they go around sharing and announcing it like they will be the special case that Nintendo, Square Enix, or whoever gives their blessing to. And then they get told to remove it.

The thing is there should be a pretty easy work around right? For example, a recent fan-game was a remake of Tomb Raider 2; instead of calling it Tomb Raider 2 with Lara Croft, couldn't they just call it like Grave Digger featuring Mara Broft? Make a few changes like changing her character model, and they should be able to avoid copyright issues right?

Of course, I guess the issue is that people wouldn't be playing a "Tomb Raider game" any longer.


There is a sort of weird myopia among aspiring video game makers where they hope to be the exception to the rule. I mean, WiiWare had a very strict size cap. Some companies decided to work around that, while some others, and a lot of them (and from all over the world, including Japan), submitted games over the size cap with the hopes that their game will be that one that Nintendo will wave off the size cap rule.

Your description also sounds a lot like a Chinese knockoff, which brings us to another point: In places like China, Singapore, and such, it seems that there is almost no enforcement of these things because there are just too much of it for anyone to reasonably enforce, as well as a government that turns a blind eye to it all (and, in the case of Chna, interferes with attempts to clean things up).

Lord Oink wrote:
Another thing people don't realize is Abridged series are considered pretty insulting and disrespectful in Japan. Publicly mocking or deriding a work by dubbing over it is considered extremely rude.


I think being extremely rude was why they started doing it in the first place. And for that reason, they should never stop.
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CandisWhite
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 9:24 pm Reply with quote
R315r4z0r wrote:
The thing that I hate about official products is that they seem to be required to have logos plastered all over them. Because of that, I will never purchase an officially licensed product, bar any actual content itself.

I buy blurays constantly, I have 4 shelving units full (tens of thousands of hours of content). But you couldn't pay me enough to buy something like a poster or T-shirt with a logo on it.

Dolls and figures don't; Jewelry doesn't; Key chains don't; Stuffies don't; Purses usually don't and wallets can vary; There's plenty of clothes, including printed tees, that don't. Even the Sailor Moon notebook I have which DOES have the logo on it is still an attractive and fun piece.

I am genuinely flummoxed as to why you think that this is an all encompassing issue.
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Kicksville



Joined: 20 Nov 2010
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 10:12 pm Reply with quote
I am similarly confused by the logo statement, but either way, I can say it's definitely a better situation than it used to be.



invalidname wrote:
Related: Crunchyroll Expo just announced as a guest Rachel Aaron, author of Garrison Girl: An Attack on Titan Novel, and I cannot for the life of me figure out if this is actually approved of by AoT's rights-holders or if fanfic has just gotten that legit.

It is indeed approved.
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TasteyCookie



Joined: 19 Jan 2017
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 11:59 pm Reply with quote
I personally buy/make non-official t-shirts all the time. Mostly because there almost are never official t-shirts available to the English market (and most importantly in western sizes) or they have terrible designs. If they want my money, gotta have something available to buy first.
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Kadmos1



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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 1:58 am Reply with quote
Since many rights holders frequently have works incorporating public domain elements and those elements are often used in video games, shows, or movies, those are also a fan project of sorts, from a practical standpoint. Thus, shutting Toho shutting down a "Seven Samurai" fan video carries some hypocrisy/irony in my eyes.
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VampireNaomi



Joined: 30 Aug 2010
Posts: 101
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 4:16 am Reply with quote
I've been into fanfiction for almost 20 years and I remember people used to be really strict about making no profit off their their stories. If you ever brought it up seriously, you got completely drowned in angry disagreement because everyone was worried that the copyright holder might take notice and action. But these days, the attitudes are way more relaxed and it isn't uncommon that authors have donation or Ko-fi buttons on their writing blogs. A bunch of people even have fanfic Patreons.

I guess I'm old-fashioned because the idea of writing fanfic for money just doesn't sit well with me. I can only understand commissions where you pay someone to create something to your exact specifications, similar to how people buy fanart commissions. But giving someone a few bucks every month because I like their fic? No way.
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Actar



Joined: 21 Nov 2010
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Location: Singapore
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 9:55 am Reply with quote
Okay... is there anyone who can actually mistake a fan work for something officially licensed? I do remember one Doraemon doujin getting shut down for trying to provide an ending to the series, but I honestly don't think that most will mistake that for being canon by virtue of it not being produced by the original creator.
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Rohan 121



Joined: 16 Jun 2018
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:42 pm Reply with quote
I think if a fan work is distributed for nonprofit it is not worth taking down imo. But stuff like selling a Pokemon Romhack would be something I think should be up to the company to decide whether it is allowed or not. It is like a devoloper taking someones content, and putting it in their own games to sell to others. Fan remakes though are a bit of a tough scenario too like Mario 64 hd, but for this it is up to the company.
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