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Danbooru

Disclaimer for Japanese Artists

Posted under General

Continuing from the suggestion in forum #46405 that some of the removal requests we get are from artists who don't understand exactly how Danbooru works, I've written a little something in English to describe the pros of leaving your work on Danbooru:

Edited 8/17/10:

Danbooru's goal is to provide its users with a database of high quality artwork, with a special focus on Japanese artists that might not be seen by international visitors otherwise. To do this, pictures from sources such as Pixiv are often copied without the artist's explicit permission. However, Danbooru users do not claim any artwork as their own, and, whenever possible, creative works are attributed to their rightful artists.

Whenever a picture is uploaded to Danbooru from an artist's Pixiv account or blog, several tags are attached describing that picture's content. (A picture's tags are visible to the left of the picture, under the header 'Tags'.) One of these tags, colored red, indicates the artist of that picture. By clicking the '?' next to that tag, users can see the artist's name in both romaji and Japanese script, and can follow links back to the artist's Pixiv account or blog. In this way, users without knowledge of the Japanese language can become fans of Japanese artists.

Danbooru respects artists' requests for removal of their artwork. If you believe a post infringes on your copyright and wish to have it removed, please send an e-mail to the webmaster (webmaster@danbooru.donmai.us) with the URL of the infringing post and proof that you own the copyright. However, we hope that you will consider allowing your work to remain on Danbooru for the sake of your non-Japanese fans.

This is a first draft, so please feel free to make and suggestions for changes or additions. Once we've settled on something, perhaps one of our users who speaks Japanese natively could translate it, and we could have albert put it somewhere visible (my suggestion would be between "Recent approvals" and "Help" on the "Posts" subheader), with a Japanese header so that Japanese artists' eyes are drawn to it.

Updated by juunigatsu no usagi

For artists worried about third parties using their works for money, you might want to add that browsing Danbooru is free, as the goal is entirely sharing.

Along the same lines, I'm pondering over Danbooru not hosting commercially released material, but it's not as if the site had any real policy upon that to begin with. Guess that's still a tiny minority of the site's contents anyway.

glasnost said:
and we could have albert put it somewhere visible (my suggestion would be between "Recent approvals" and "Help" on the "Posts" subheader), with a Japanese header so that Japanese artists' eyes are drawn to it.

Just handle it the same way that Janitor application notice worked. Everyone (or those with Asian IPs or certain browser settings, if you feel like filtering it) sees the big notice at the top and clicks the link to set the cookie so they don't see it anymore.

Updated

Looks good to me.

Though I think it might be better if the "Danbooru does not claim any artwork as its own" part is changed to "Danbooru users do not claim etc." Or maybe leave it as it is and add something about the users afterwards.

Just to be perfectly clear that users don't try to present their uploads as their own art.

Seems okay to me, but just a small complaint. For the first sentence, I'd say something like this is more accurate:

Danbooru's goal is to provide its users with a database of high quality artwork, with a special focus on Japanese artists that might otherwise not be seen by international visitors.

And yeah adding something about Danbooru not making any profit might be good too.

Okay, made some edits.

Cyberia and Slash: the trouble I see with bringing up the topic of money is that A) the site is not entirely free (what with all the restrictions on Member-level users which can be removed via donation) and B) albert does make money from Danbooru, both through ads and through Priv signups (whether he makes a net profit, I couldn't say, but it wouldn't surprise me too terribly much).

Also, it occurs to me that to cover all of our bases, we should probably have versions of this in Chinese and Korean as well as Japanese. If anyone would who speaks any of those three languages natively would like to post and volunteer to translate, that would be great; if not, I'll probably resort to Dmailing people I happen to be familiar with.

glasnost said:
Cyberia and Slash: the trouble I see with bringing up the topic of money is that A) the site is not entirely free (what with all the restrictions on Member-level users which can be removed via donation) and B) albert does make money from Danbooru, both through ads and through Priv signups (whether he makes a net profit, I couldn't say, but it wouldn't surprise me too terribly much).

Well, my point is that since users can get invited through contributing, theoretically speaking any user has the ability to reach full access without paying. Add to this that most member-level limitations have valid bandwith or administrative reasons.
Besides, people ought to be aware that running large scale websites has to cost something to someone. Pixiv and blogs are no different on that point and make money just the same way. The only difference is the artist's consent (well, not when artists would pay a hosting fee themselves for their website, but I hope it's rare).

That said, I agree that it's kind of a tricky position, and possibly hard to grasp when outside. You definitely don't want to enter into details, but I think artists would be more relieved if there's at least a word about that part rather than nothing at all.

Updated

When artists say "make money" they don't mean from site traffic, they mean from using their stuff on shirts or other things for commercial purposes. If we word is specifically to say that we're not using their works to go sell T-shirts or something then they'd be satisfied.

Action_Kamen said:
When artists say "make money" they don't mean from site traffic, they mean from using their stuff on shirts or other things for commercial purposes. If we word is specifically to say that we're not using their works to go sell T-shirts or something then they'd be satisfied.

To a lot of them, donations and memberships that go towards hosting costs for database/rehosting sites like Danbooru are just as bad as merchandising, because they're still technically making money off of their art.

I retract my comment about not making money. For some reason I forgot about the donation aspect. Although for a while we were running a net loss despite the income, which is what I was shooting for. But thinking about it. I think it's fair to say you're still making money even if you're not actually profiting.

Still, the primary intent of the site is (unless I have my view completely distorted) to expose fans in the English-speaking world to quality artwork by artists generally from the Asian sector, with money income being a secondary concern at best.

Right, so let's not mention it at all in that disclaimer, I think? I wouldn't want to outright lie and say we're not making any money at all (well, I sure ain't :D but as a danbooru collective I mean), but we don't need to emphasize it either.

I have asked a native Japanese speaker and they were kind enough to produce a draft translation, however they also raised an important point which I believe needs to be discussed before we continue.

There is some concern that publishing a disclaimer such as this one in Japanese will stir up a hornet's nest.

The reason we have had relatively few deletion requests from the Japanese artists is most likely that half of them are not aware that their work is being posted here without permission. The other half are probably afraid to engage in conversation with someone who speaks the dreaded English.

This disclaimer tells artists that the people of Danbooru do in fact understand Japanese, and this, in turn, opens the door to many, many more deletion requests. Are we sure this is what we want?

It is certainly a double-edged sword, and very well might result in a large rush of deletion requests. One would hope though that if such a thing did happen, that the fact that we'd follow through with their wish to remove their content would give them a better opinion of us in the longer run, though it also is just as likely that they'll remember us as thieves stealing their work. I think like most occurrences that can cause a big shift, you'll find that the largest change will occur only in the short run and after awhile things will return back to a state of normalcy.

We of course also have material though that would likely not make the artists happy, whether it is scans of their doujin pages or scans of their art books. Those things will inevitably attract requests for removal by their artists.

you could point in this disclaimer that most of the artists works are ONLY distributed and sold in Japan. many of the artists who sell their work in the comiket, for example, only have distribution channels via japanese websites that only japanese speakers access. Even so, the delivery service does not go out of Japan so they could never make profit of USA fans, for example.

Even if the artist complains, you can remind him that if he/she gets popular enough with his/her drawings and start selling outside japan, with Danbooru he should already have a solid group of possible consumers of his/her works due to the propaganda made by this imageboard before the international distribution

I did consider this. Personally, I think that the limiting factor for removal requests is knowledge of Danbooru's existence, not the language barrier, meaning that a disclaimer like this wouldn't drastically impact the number of requests that we see, but that's based on nothing but my own intuition.

That said, I've given it some deeper thought, and honestly, I'm kind of for the inclusion of the disclaimer on moral grounds. If it's true that we've forestalled some removal requests just by not including a Japanese disclaimer, then what we've done is basically equivalent to companies that make you navigate their phone menu and sit on hold for hours to cancel their service. If we're to have a policy that we'll honor removal requests, then we should make every reasonable effort to make the removal process simple.

Now, honestly, I would not be particularly unhappy if Danbooru stopped honoring removal requests altogether. Maybe this is just my atrophied sense of morality as a member of the Napster generation talking, but in my opinion, expecting to retain control over something you've voluntarily put on the Internet demonstrates a lack of common sense. (Mostly, I just can't identify with these artist's concerns. I don't draw, but I do write, and if there was a Danbooru for fiction, I'd be quite pleased if my work ended up there.) But it's albert's decision whether or not to honor these requests, and as long as that decision remains the same, I'd rather not be half-assed about it.

glasnost said:
If we're to have a policy that we'll honor removal requests, then we should make every reasonable effort to make the removal process simple.

I completely agree with this.

But:

Now, honestly, I would not be particularly unhappy if Danbooru stopped honoring removal requests altogether.

I, however, would be extremely unhappy with that. If we were to do this, it would make us no better than 4chan. Not to throw the modern equivalent of a Godwin argument, but that's how I feel. We'd go from a basically above-board resource to a nest of thieving scum, and I would immediately abandon this place.

スラッシュ said:
I, however, would be extremely unhappy with that. If we were to do this, it would make us no better than 4chan.

I'm kind of disappointed you didn't go for the far more blatantly obvious choice here.

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