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There's a frustrating element I've noticed lately in regards to Art. "Art with a capital 'A'", as a friend of mine calls it. And I suppose this blog was triggered by the cancellation of the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fan game Fighting is Magic. The fandom lost its collective shit because Hasbro sent the developers a Cease and Desist letter. The entitlement was just amazing to watch, and even worse was the sheer ignorance. Some of it stupid, like "Technically, all fanworks are parodies, so it's not illegal!" and "Copyright laws are so stupid!" to cruel, like "They can just take their development overseas, then Hasbro can't stop them!"

I was baffled by this. Because Hasbro had the right to protect their intellectual property.

See, I've been a freelance artist for a while now. And it's hard. It is so freaking hard, and part of the reason it's hard is because the default attitude of most people you deal with is, "We're not, like, going to pay you a lot. Or give you insurance benefits or anything. Because it's just, like, drawing, you know?" Leaving alone for the moment that more people are successful brain surgeons than successful artists, it echoes a larger sentiment: that Art is silly and fun and pretentious, not serious, and certainly not anything anyone should get paid for. In our highly visual culture, the pretty shiny has just become our due. It happens because it does, and we should get it for free.

A friend of mine related a lesson learned in one of her Illustration classes, where after a round of critiques, the teacher said, "Okay, which one would you pay money for?" And it entirely changed the perspective of the students. They were a little startled by the question, because suddenly the art wasn't just there for free. And suddenly the art was assigned a different kind of value aside from self-expression. A much more concrete value, that lets you eat and buy stuff. And it happens in every part of our culture. We pirate video games, and music, and movies. And become indignant when we can't. Also, angry when the creators ask for a little consideration. Case in point, the Hasbro thing. Another case in point is Deviantart itself. The points system is insulting to artists trying to pay their electric bill this month. Requests can also sometimes be insulting, doubly so for a professional artists who has no time to waste on projects that will not feed them. And believe me, when the most the average person is willing to give for a digital picture is maybe $35, breaking that down by hours becomes less than minimum wage most of the time.

I'm really trying not to get into another rant about fanworks, but it creates a disturbing trend for me. I feel it's kind of like corporate culture invading Art. First, you have this smoothly marketable thing, this character or concept, that is vetted in and out until it has broad, mainstream market appeal. (Apply this to anything: music, movies, whatever.) Then, part of that mainstream market starts doing Art of this highly vetted concept. It becomes free advertising. Free. Free for the corporation already making money off it. And then this weird line starts to blur, because on one side you have this corporate concept that's preempting other forms of self-expression because it's already got its vetting and appeal behind it, and on the other you have people who are willing to discount their own creative expression because it's just fanart. Then, this very same corporate culture can shut down anything in a legal sense, and it makes the creators of this Free Stuff howl in outrage. It's always okay to take Stuff For Free when it's Somebody Else's Stuff. We're all supposed to join hands in the Jungian space and agree that Art is all about expression, man, and when someone asks "Yeah, but how am I supposed to eat?" the question's disregarded as ludicrous.

This attitude towards Art is very pervasive. It discounts the original creators of content. It sneers at the idea that Art is valuable or meaningful (or original, in SO MANY cases). Art apparently belongs in the aether, an imaginary utopian hippie commune full of rainbows called Give Me My Free Shit, and if Art forgets itself and starts trying to wonder into the Real World where money and stuff is, it needs to be bitchslapped back into place. It's within the nature of an artist to share, but to ask for support like money and stuff? That's unforgivable. Then we're drama queens and selfish assholes, like Hasbro. Defending the thing that makes them money and shit; how dare they!? And the hypocrisy of it is nothing short of astounding. These people want to perpetuate the corporate elements of marketing and advertising appeal, and all the popularity it brings, but then gnash their teeth and wail when that very same corporate culture viciously puts them in their place. I don't even know where fake movie trailers and redubbed animations count on the Art spectrum, but I'm increasingly feeling that stuff like that is just an easy way out. Take somebody else's work and make it your own to bask in the praise. Harmless enough. It's just when stuff gets big, like Fighting is Magic, where people start ignoring the rights of the creators in order to feel like I dunno, like they're artists without having any of the hard work that went into it, that it gets disturbing. (In the case of Fighting is Magic specifically it's tragically misguided, because these guys did work hard, they were just doomed from the start because they had no idea what the hell they were getting into and somebody should have told them so.) It sends a very clear message to creators: don't bother being original. Don't even bother trying. But if you become successful, Your Success will become Our Success and we don't have to pay you for it.

Take it from me: one of the worst, most condescending and insulting things in the world for an artist to suffer is the idea that Art Is Silly. That office jobs and mechanics and lawyers and stuff: they do real shit. Are deserving of dignity. Artists don't. Artists draw funny little doodles that are amusing, even when it's multi-billion dollar animated movies or video games. I have had the concept of my time scoffed at, belittled, and shamed because I draw for it, whereas something like a call center job or even fast food there's no question of being paid for your time. So yeah. When people slap something together and call it Art, especially Art that belongs to other people, it's a little aggravating. And if you think it's easy to do Art, you're not doing it.

And that's the vibe I'm getting from people who Don't Do Art. They discount it, take it for granted, and are even bold and stupid enough to think it belongs to them. Why nobody told the Fighting Is Magic development team that maybe they shouldn't waste two years of their life on something that was illegal in the first place is beyond me. It shows an amazing lack of knowledge about Intellectual Property laws, licensing, and copyright, which any artist who has been screwed by a contract (or a nonexistent one that leaves no recourse to not getting paid) knows backwards and forwards. The first time you get paid in shoestrings, gum, and the "privilege of being able to include it in your portfolio", you learn real quick that money talks and bullshit walks. And I'd honestly like to know what the original animators and designers think of their work being advertised while they're not seeing a dime of all that exposure. Someone else is, and it's probably profit margins.

I'm not saying the maze of corporate money, marketing, Art, and expression is an easy one to navigate. There's a lot of grey area and fog, and I don't want to equate some eleven-year-old who loves Pokemon and is inspired to draw a picture of it is the same as someone who thinks no artist anywhere deserves money for their creations. Or that all Art everywhere should be free because I Deserve Free Shit. But there's an unfortunate attitude that's extremely prevalent that I'm honestly getting tired of hearing. Especially when I hear "What do you mean you won't do it for free!?" for the umpteenth time. That phrase basically says "You and your skills are worthless!" for anyone looking for a translation. And don't tell me it doesn't exist. I've seen blogs and forum posts in the video game industry that encourage finding gullible people on Deviantart who will work for free or cheap, and specifically say you're better off avoiding more seasoned professionals because they'll cost you money. There's a saying: Amateurs make it hard for the professionals. And I have to say, the worst kind of amateur is the one that says "I worked hard on this thing that isn't mine totally for free!"

What the hell are the rest of us supposed to say to that?
  • Mood: Disgust
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:iconlantairvlea:
lantairvlea Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
It might have been different had they, say, designed their own parody ponies instead of ganking the designs and cast of the TV show (I'm assuming that's what they did as I haven't seen let alone played the game). While they may not be running over copyright perse, they are running over what I would assume to be massive trademarks. They could claim parody if, say, they had a pony named Rainbow Smash or Twilight Smackdown, but taking the exact designs and names is just asking for trouble.

If I tried making a game with Tony the Tiger or Cap'n Crunch you can bet the cereal companies would rain down upon my head for violating their intellectual property rights. Heck, movies get in trouble for having their characters drink cocacola or pepsi without permission yet will pay for product placement. That's just the world we live in.
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:icondeathcomes4u:
Deathcomes4u Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2013  Professional General Artist
So. Fucking. True. All of it. Just. UGH.

The only thing I can say at the moment, since losing my shitty service job and trying to get by with commission work while looking for animation jobs is that my soul is much less crushed.
It's a hard trade off though, really, to chose between scraping a pitance doing what you love for money and earning decent cash at the expense of happiness (And the health of my hands, since I had constant dermatitis working my coffee house job).

It's only marginally better in animation. A single drawing or concept, people scoff or baulk over having to pay actual money for. Getting paid to draw the same thing over and over in motion increments seems to garner at least a little more 'yes you probably should be paid for that'. BUT ONLY BY THE SECOND'S WORTH. In which case, it's up to the artist to get good enough to do it fast, because hours don't matter, you only get paid by how many frames you can do, and it's a set amount, so if you want a life, you gotta draw fast.

Considering the system could be rorted if it was by the hour for animation, I understand the necessity of this. But of course now there's 3D. I can be perfectly good at old school hand drawn frame by frame, but if i can use tweening and keyframing and rigs and puppets, i'm fucking screwed. There's a technology bias now, you don't have to be an artist, you just have to be good at motion, and programs. If you wanna do old-school, you're not going to get much work in THIS industry. And that kills me a little bit inside, because I feel like I've come into the world at the wrong time, and i spent all this time learning these skills for what? To be told someone who hasn't got a clue how to draw a circle competently is better suited for the job because they can learn Maya in 13 weeks rather than a year. They can memorise button functions faster, and who cares if the model looks good or not?

Anyone expecting to become an artist who also expects not to have their heart broken at some stage is in for a nasty shock, that's for sure.
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:iconinsanewraith:
InsaneWraith Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2014  Professional General Artist
Considering I'd like to become an animator, I'm glad I read this warning now.
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:iconcat-bat:
Cat-Bat Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2013  Student Digital Artist
PREACH AWN!
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:iconsidequestpubs:
SideQuestPubs Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
As an amateur author and, yes, even a fanfiction writer, I'm also puzzled by the attitude some people have towards copyright.
On the one hand, many copyright owners choose to ignore fanfiction at worst, or see it as a way people show their appreciation (and possibly free advertising) at best. Or the very worst case scenario (worst case for fan artists, at least), they send a cease and desist letter. :shrug: The thing to remember is, that's the copyright owner's decision how to see it, not the fan's.
On the other hand.... technically, all fanworks are parodies.... :ohmygod: I think I see where that statement was supposed to go: parodies are protected by Fair Use, so if the fan artist could justify that their work was a parody, they can try to protect it that way (operative word "try"). But does that person/those persons even know what parody means? As a fanfiction author, I find that statement offensive; I don't write fanfiction to make fun of the source material, I write it because I enjoy the source material, and because I find some story worlds so open to so many more stories. And I write it as a temporary way to hone specific elements of my writing skills (e.g. fight scenes) while remaining undistracted by others (e.g. characterization--although making sure a premade character is acting in character is no easy task, either).

That being said, if the copyright owners ever tell me to stop, stop I will.
Stop posting it online, at least. I'll keep the work to myself, but I still see fanfiction as a means to develop specific writing skills.

I think another problem that comes from people who Don't Do Art is that they have no clear concept of the time and effort that goes into it. Or like you said: And if you think it's easy to do Art, you're not doing it
My parents, for instance, portray the attitude that my original writing is Not Important if I haven't made money off of it... even if I've only started the story yesterday. And yet helping them with their job is important because they're paid on an hourly basis... even though they don't pay me to do part of their jobs for them.
And I, for one, will think of a drawing that I'd love to do, get impatient and give up after a half hour, and become astonished that it took a real artist ten hours to finish the same thing. :roll: That being said, I care more about my writing than my drawing, so that's where all my effort and practice goes... though I really ought to at least work on my camera skills.
Point being, if you flip burgers at McDonald's, you're paid by the hour. If you're commissioned to draw something, you're paid by the finished product. And those who Don't Do Art don't see the hours that went into it. Even when the artist says how long it took... though I do like that more people are including that information.
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:icon3v1l73ddy:
3v1l73ddy Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2013  Student General Artist
Yeah, just, yeah.
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:iconhyenadon:
hyenadon Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2013   Digital Artist
I honestly can't express how much I agree with you on this. Even people who work for companies don't get much money, if they get lucky enough to be employed even.. and when they do it's because they've had years in the industry. I hate the fact that artists are looked down upon, it's not easy to create something that will get the bills paid but everyone seems to act like it's the easiest shit on earth! It's bloody ridiculous.
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:iconvvargr:
Vvargr Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2013
Warning: Long Comment.

This whole issue pisses me off.

Let me start by saying that I don’t know if this post, my post, changes anything. It probably doesn’t, but it’s a perspective that I think desperately needs to be heard here. And let me go on by adding I’m not an artist in any sense of the word. I’m not an illustrator, I’m not a musician and I’m not a writer or anything that falls under the category of Art (and it’s a diverse one). Hell, I don’t aspire to be any of those things, but I do have a story to tell, and it will likely cause people to flip their shit and call me all sorts of bat-shit crazy, but as my Granda used to say, “I don’t give a rat’s ass one way or the other.” You’ll either take something away from my story or you won’t.

The fact is, I could spend hours telling you what I’m not. Instead I’ll tell you what I am: a 27 year old guy that graduated with a practical BA, keeps a fair paying job and doesn’t have to work like a slave behind a service counter, catering to a customer’s every fancy. Life has treated me well, and I make enough money to get by and then some. I work hard for it. A lot of people do. But I used to think there were exceptions.

Like art.

And I was a fucking idiot. But you know what? Growing up, creativity hadn’t been easy for me. I read books, I enjoyed comics, even watched cartoons, but I never had any aspirations to make something for myself. I was the kind of kid that would be asked to draw a straight line and somehow mess it up, but I didn’t want to get any better and that was okay. Art was just this thing that I wasn’t into. I didn’t want to grow up and animate things. I didn’t want to paint pictures, draw or do anything like that. It didn’t mean I hated it—it was a lot of fun actually, when I tried—but it didn’t hold my interest for very long. As I grew older, I separated myself from it. By the time I ended high school I could probably draw a straight line but didn’t care to do it. I was focusing my attention elsewhere, at the possibility of a well paying job after college, so I left home and concentrated on a practical degree that would help me achieve that.

Because of my lack of exposure, I’d grown up under the assumption that art was this trivial hobby that people did and sometimes made a lot of money off of, if they had a good idea. It could be lucrative. Sometimes it pissed me off to think that somebody could whip up a picture and sell it for thousands of dollars, while I assumed that my future would be spent behind some desk, working late nights to earn an hourly wage that couldn’t come close to that. Simultaneously—and here’s where the contradiction of most stereotypes about art clash—I believed that to be an artist was to be forever struggling to survive. There was never enough money, and jobs for “creative” degrees were few and far between, so scarce you’d practically have to beg someone to take you in. Strangely enough, I had friends that wanted to take to that course in life and I didn’t get it.

They didn’t get it either!

They’d toss out jokes about how they’d spend the rest of their lives living in a cardboard box because they wouldn’t make enough money. I’d ask, “Well why the fuck do you major in that?” constantly. It just didn’t make a lick of common sense. And sometimes they’d crack another joke about it, but I had one friend (I’ll call her Anna) who would change things up every now and then. Anna would joke too. She’d insult herself and her work, and yet she’d still do it every damn day, and she was one of those people that loved to write and create visual art, specifically etchings. But sometimes when we talked about her work-in-progress novels and short stories, her monotypes, and etchings, Anna would get this glassy eyed look to her and say, “It’s what I love to do,” after I pelted her with that question again. As if that answered the all the problems that came with the precarious life of an artist; “I love to do it” isn’t going to earn you health and dental insurance, it’s not going to pay your bills. She’d probably have to get a second job to support it. I would tell her this and she’d get agitated with me, and so I stopped pressing.

Well, the Art Department at our school had their own building, pretty much like the English Department had its own separate building too. The studio though, had different rules than the rest of the buildings on campus. It was always open, 24/7 for the sake of art students that needed to get work done. Security always patrolled the halls at night, but as long as you were busy, they didn’t kick you out. Near the end of the year, this was especially important. Exams, projects and damn research papers devoured our time, and some art students needed the late hours to catch up with their artwork, which had to be on display by a set date. If something wasn’t done on time, too damn bad. Grades plummeted. No exceptions; an art student had all semester to get what they wanted, done, and if they didn’t, oh well. Faculty didn’t buy crocodile tears for one second.

I was working on a research paper myself, and some of my friends invited me up to the studio to work on what I needed to get done while they could work on what they needed to get done as well. We’d never tried it before, but you know, if you’re hanging with a group of people that actually want to get work done, it’s not a distraction, it’s a comfort. And holy shit did this open my fucking eyes.

Because I realized for the first time, how much WORK goes into that thing I’d always been told was a “hobby” and a “passion” and not a legit job. My friends slaved over their art, just like I slaved over my work. Do you know how many drafts are involved in the etching process, from the thumbnails to the crow quill drafts and eventually the final product? Do you know how depressing it is to watch an artist spend hours and hours prepping a piece for a monotype print only for one small thing to go wrong and find the whole thing unusable? I learned that some types of fucking paper were out-of-this-world expensive, and that these girls had to buy it themselves in order to make the art they loved so much. The school didn’t even provide that shit. And I came to see that they pulled all-nighters like I did, when I had homework that just wasn’t cooperating with me or I couldn’t understand a concept.

After four years I can safely admit I was a naïve shithead to think that artists don’t partake in the process of “real work”. I spent many nights in that studio with them, and I never once had the thought to jump in and make my own art, but my god. No one should ever belittle the effort a true artist puts into their work, and by true artist, I don’t mean a “master”. I mean ANYONE that spends hours redrawing that one line with their piece of charcoal that keeps snapping off just when they think they’ve found the right angle you want that line at. I mean any person that’s guzzled more energy drinks than they should because fuck if they don’t finish their piece by morning. Anyone that has ever written a story and put it through multiple, agonizing drafts and edits and still thinks it needs months more worth of work before it’s remotely ready for even a damn beta reader.

That’s no hobby.

If you’ve sweated and cried and driven yourself half mad over anything because you love it, you know what I’m talking about. Everyone has something they love and have poured their soul into. You wade through the fires of hell to forge that path in life you desperately want because it’s your passion, it’s your identity, it’s your soul. Sometimes you waver, but you sweat through the worst of it because for you, there’s no other truth. To finally cross the finish line and say, “I’ve done it,” is an all consuming goal, and for any that have travelled that road or are currently on their way, you know how terrifying and stressful it is. But damn is it so worth it.

So why is it, that when people like me do this in pursuit of something “practical”, it is understood that we worked hard, we deserve respect and admiration, but when someone of a more creative passion does it, it’s more or less brushed aside?

And maybe I’ll piss you off, but from the perspective of someone who has never dabbled or seriously pursued art: that’s not fair. Not remotely. My friends put in the same amount of work as I did, but I will never have to worry about my work being plagiarized and stolen from me. I never have to worry about someone stealing my right to my money. I put in the required hours of labor to make what I do happen, and I will always be paid for it. Whether it be my research or my fucking paycheck, I’m protected from that bullshit, and you know what? Artists deserve the same damn respect. I don’t care if you write or if you animate a cartoon show about magical ponies. Your work is your work, and you have a right to protect it.

And that’s okay.

You deserve more than minimum wage (even though you don’t even fucking get that most of the time, Anna certainly doesn’t for her freelance work). You have the right to make money off of your hard work, and that means you have a right to shut someone down when they’re impeding upon that. It’s yours. Barring fan art and fan fiction, your art fully belongs to you and guess the fuck what? Nobody has the right to tell you otherwise. A difference between a fan and a shithead is that one is truly willing to pay you for the work you do, the other feels entitled to it.

Frankly, “fan” or not, the latter doesn’t deserve what you can give them.

In short: get your heads out of your asses, people. Artists need to make money and live too, and it’s their fucking right to whip out a C&D order if that interferes or threatens with their ability to do so. That’s their hard work on the line, (their fucking livelihood, people!) not yours. And if you’re really a fan, you’d admit it, you’d realize how scary it is for them when shit like this happens, and you’d support and respect their decision.

I don’t know if anybody will even appreciate, or take the time to read it, but shit, this post needed to be said and from the keyboard of somebody that doesn’t even have anything to do with the business itself.
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:iconfurrama:
Furrama Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2013   Digital Artist
Can you copy paste this into a journal or as a deviation so that I can favorite it?
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:iconvvargr:
Vvargr Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2013
Done. Never had an account here before, but it seemed easy enough to post as a journal.
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:iconfurrama:
Furrama Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2013   Digital Artist
Yaaay! Going to get it now.
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:iconshadocat90:
Shadocat90 Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2013
"If you’ve sweated and cried and driven yourself half mad over anything because you love it, you know what I’m talking about. Everyone has something they love and have poured their soul into. You wade through the fires of hell to forge that path in life you desperately want because it’s your passion, it’s your identity, it’s your soul. Sometimes you waver, but you sweat through the worst of it because for you, there’s no other truth."

I...I don't even know what to say to that. The punch in those words alone...I think it aches so much for me because of how true they are. I don't draw, I write, but I try so hard to better myself at what I do and I'm constantly worrying about things like this happening to me that sometimes I wonder if what I'm doing is even worth it. If it means anything. It's ridiculously depressing sometimes. There are so many obstacles out there for people that want to make a living off of their art and not a lot of people care. But then somebody like you comes along that isn't a part of that world and not only understands but rises up in defense of what others do...I don't even know how to describe what I felt after reading your post. I can tell you it struck me, how bluntly honest it was, but that wouldn't do it justice.

I guess I'll just settle for a heartfelt thank you, and maybe you're not or don't want to be writer, but your words did move me. Droemar's right. Artists need more people like you.
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:iconvvargr:
Vvargr Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2013
Ha. I might not be an artist myself, but I constantly indulged myself with art when I was a kid. Obviously I didn't understand the process behind it, given how it took me almost twenty years to realize how arduous it can be, but I still hoarded books in a larder-like fashion, like hamsters do. Shit, I was weird, but my stash was important to me; I devoured almost everything I could get my hands on,especially if it was science fiction or fantasy, and maybe that's where some of my ability to articulate comes from. Back then people didn't write shit-for-books and weren't concerned with - never mind. That's a whole can of whoop-ass I don't even want to open right now. Point is, I was fortunate to have good literature around, and then even more fortunate that my professors in college didn't put up with the, "But I'm not a writer" excuse when they assigned essays. They taught me how to write an argument and write it half decent, so I have them to thank for that too. Anyway, you don't have to thank me. It is what it is - the truth.

And that's all that matters.
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:icondroemar:
Droemar Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2013
Well, considering it looks like you made a DA account for the express purpose of commenting, I'd say you're pretty freaking awesome to write what you did. And yes, I read the whole thing.
Artists need more people like you. An audience that understands the work that went into things they appreciate, because everyone needs art. Whether they know it or not.
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:iconvvargr:
Vvargr Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2013
I confess I did. A friend of mine had been following the shit storm incited by that C&D order, and while I've never really watched the show, she stumbled across your post about it and pointed it out to me. I agreed with you, but found some of the comments that followed your argument so asinine that they pissed me off to a breaking point; I created an account and put in my opinion on the matter, because maybe, just maybe, it would help to round out perspectives on the matter. Rambling like I did might not have been the best way to go about making my point, as most people probably won't even bother to read it (especially the people that should), but at least some people did, that has to count for something.

Needless to say, I'm sorry. I used to be a jackass myself, for a long time. I was lucky enough to have friends that exposed me to what you guys do and how hard it can be, and I'd like to think I've become a better person for changing the way I did, but the jury's still out on that one. I'm sure there are people that disagree with me and will always underestimate the value of hard work, no matter what form it takes. But the simple fact is that what you do does have purpose, and it does deserve to be protected and respected; you have every right to make a living off of it. Hopefully that came through in my post, but it not, there it is, as plain and straight-faced as I can make it.
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:icondroemar:
Droemar Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2013
Well, if you're ever in the Austin area, I'll buy you a drink. On behalf of all those appreciative artists out there.
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:iconmistingwolf:
MistingWolf Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow, this has got to be the best comment I ever read. I would fave it if I could. Thank you for this amazing story.

"Anyone that has ever written a story and put it through multiple, agonizing drafts and edits and still thinks it needs months more worth of work before it’s remotely ready for even a damn beta reader." - This is me. I've been working on one single novel for 16 years, has had four rewrites, and I'm thinking it needs another one, again, cause it's just not good enough yet. But my dream is to have it published, so if I have to work on it for another 16 years, I'll do it. And I would totally be pissed if someone took my art and tried to make money off of it after such a long time....
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:iconvvargr:
Vvargr Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2013
And you've got a damn good reason to feel that way. No matter how much time you spend on your project, whether it's a couple of minutes or sixteen years, you deserve everything you put into it. Everything. And whatever you do, don't let anybody steamroll over you for saying so; the only person "entitled" to anything, is you.
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:iconmistingwolf:
MistingWolf Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you very much for this. ^_^
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:iconstarhorse:
Starhorse Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2013  Professional General Artist
It's interesting, but I think I can tell exactly which commenters pay their own rent and which ones don't.
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:icondroemar:
Droemar Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2013
Like our little anthropological biology major? Yeah. I can tell, too. "Pay for my own college? I don't need to do that. I get everything for free. What do you mean, you don't?"
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:iconstarhorse:
Starhorse Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2013  Professional General Artist
Welcome to the generation of Entitlement.
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:iconflying-cuttlefish:
flying-cuttlefish Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
The internet has definitley had a hand in today's attitude on art. Personally though, I think the worst receiver is the music industry and independent artists. It's become such a normal thing to pirate music online that actually buying it becomes more of a chore than anything. It reminds me about the steampunk band Steam Powered Giraffe, since they do all their recording and publishing themselves they have openly asked their fanbase to not share their work through torrents. This has sparked a large group of fans ranting about how they're suddenly "money hungry asses", but they have every right to want to make money off their own hard work. They go on live shows very frequently and try to make sure their fans that actually pay for the CDs get the reward of their work. God forbid they want to make a living off of this.

From what I understand of Hasbro, they weren't always against fan creations. They used to be very supportive of fanart, especially the custom painted MLP dolls. But ever since the brony boom I guess they're tightening their reigns. The Fighting is Magic game, yeah, I'm disappointed that it's gone but I don't have any hate against hasbro. I've seen much more ridiculous copyright related attacks from big companies than this case, let's just be happy that Hasbro isn't cutting down fan comics or fan music or any other forms of fan creations.
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:icondawnsentinel:
DawnSentinel Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2013
See, this is why fans need to be careful. Push too much and the company will take away any privileges they have granted you. Fans should always remember they don't own the rights, and if the company is fed up with them they can even have simple fan art banned.
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:icontricksparrow:
tricksparrow Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
On the Fighting is Magic thing. I think people are missing the point that "It's not harming anyone, and not making money so why did they C&D them? That's mean. They're meanies." is not a valid argument here.

The intellectual property belongs to Hasbro and they can do WHATEVER THEY WANT in regards to it. They can ask that ALL fansales and fanfiction cease. Will they? Probably not, as it would take a lot of time and money to chase down tiny individual artists. The point being that it belongs to them and if they see something that can cause a potential problem, they can ask that the ILLEGAL ACTIVITY cease. People are mistaking Hasbro not going after people as Hasbro not being able to, or trying to"shouldnt" them into a corner.
You will not win against a coporation with a valid legal copyright.
Period.

Also, I agree that the entitlement is astounding.
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:icondawnsentinel:
DawnSentinel Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2013
Spot on.
The entitlement thing...I wonder, did that come from kids getting everything they wanted from their parents all the time? Or are they envious of how countries like Russia and China don't really have restrictions on copyrighted material? We all know what happens then. I've seen artists have their work used by big companies in China without them paying and they're helpless to stop them. No amount of lawyers will do anything, because you know, art isn't a way to make a living :roll:
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:iconixris:
ixris Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I think the internet is reaching a boiling point regarding Artist's Rights at this point. In the last two weeks, *TomPreston and Chuck Wendig (nsfw - he has a terrible case of potty-mouth) [link] / [link] have made posts in defense of and in grey-area (respectively) of pirating and fanarts.

I think what you've said here sums up a lot of the grey area really nicely, and totally agree with the frustration of trying to make an honest wage - not only as a visual artist but as a writer, too.

IP and fanworks are such a terribly sticky situation, because the opinions oscillate so wildly from person to person, and artist to artist.

In this particular example, I completely agree with Hasbro's C&D order. MLP: FiM is targeted to children. I know, I know, a lot of parental lock things have changed since I was a kid, but this is the sort of thing I could have stumbled upon, and honestly? Kids don't always realize that there's a difference between what the corporate entity has made and what some bronies have made. It's more than lost revenue, I think in this case it's a matter of a corporation not being evil. I wouldn't want the kids I look after to have to deal with the confusion of Applejack body-slamming Twilight Sparkle (or whatever the game would be about) when the shows work so hard to promote such non-combatant ways of dealing with things.

It's not the first time Hasbro has shut down an artist, though in that case it was a plushie artist selling her craft. [link] I don't feel like they were unjustified there, either, though because money was involved, I imagine the line is firmer for everyone to see.

Whether they make just a few bucks or a mint off their product, an artist or a corporate entity deserves to retain full rights of their IP.

Also, I know this post is more about fan-based and derivative works, but I thought this was an interesting link on just how much published authors make on their work: [link]

Thanks for writing on this topic. :heart: It's important to understand exactly what our rights are, and also to charge a fair wage as artists and writers.
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:iconbunni89:
Bunni89 Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I agree with the concept in general but don't think it applies to fangames o.o Unless Fighting Is Magic was gonna be sold, what is the problem?* Some people put shitloads of work into a project full of thier own art (of copyrighted characters) and surely we should respect that first and foremost?? Essentially Hasbro has done nothing for the game, and doesn't have a better game to replace it, and yet arbitrarily decides to go "If we can't have it, NOONE CAN!" I'm reminded of Square bringing down the banhammer on an amazing full 3D, entirely homemade graphics, non-profit, not-claimed-to-be-original fan remake of Chrono Trigger and I just have to ask.. why? They did nothing wrong except using your concepts, its equivelant to raging at people for making fanfic. And from a business standpoint it's also clinically retarded since the fangames are attracting more fans who are RATHER unlikely to stay there at the game and not look for the original property and thus add more wealth to the Hasbro treasury. And being unfair like this is just gonna enrage fans and potentially lose them, or at least kill the active fandom a bit since now everyone's gonna be fearing getting arrested for making innocent art. T^T

* I don't actually know the complete situation with this game, if it actually WAS trying to make money from a copyrighted property, using stolen art or claiming they owned My Little Pony.. then yeah that's the lowest of the low. But if not, it's just stupid to claim someone *voided your artistic expression* by making fanart using your characters. Bootleg stuff is bad because its an inferior product trying to squeeze money by lying about its brandname, this is an epic looking spinoff not provided by the original product, not even trying to pretend it isn't a fanwork.
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:icondroemar:
Droemar Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2013
Okay, what if Hasbro preempted Fighting is Magic and suddenly it wasn't free anymore? The fandom would flip their lid about that, too. Or what if Hasbro decided to make a fighting game? The fanmade game would infringe upon their ability to make a profit.
You clearly don't understand the point of the article: that artists have a right to make money off their ideas, and people who are willing to do it for free make it difficult, if not impossible, for that to happen, because they have a misguided perception of what makes an idea valuable. Fandoms have the attitude that "All good shit needs to be free for me", and that's toxic bullshit. I don't care if the Fighting is Magic team weren't claiming the idea as their own: they were still using the idea as their own and doing whatever the hell they wanted with it.
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:iconbunni89:
Bunni89 Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Sorry, I just do not understand the idea of how a free product can magically wreck the profit potential of a paid product just by existing, but only if its a game.
To me it would make sense only if they applied the same idea to every form of fandom- why allow fan comics then? They'd be taking money away from the real comics!
I don't think that the idea behind Fighting is Magic was ANYTHING similar to "all shit has to be free"- there wasn't actually a fighting game so they were making something that didn't already exist, and thus not butting in on ANYTHING. I would find it skeevy and rude if they literally made a bootleg copy of an existing game, but I don't understand this.
I like to think that if Hasbro actually did buy out the game and sell it, people would actually buy. That would be awesome in my opinion. Am I just being too optimistic?? In any case it would CERTAINLY make people less mad than "YOU CAN'T HAVE IT AT ALL"
In my opinion the best case scenario would be leaving the game up UNTIL Hasbro actually makes a fighting game of their own. In the past many fangames have actually done this of thier own free will- I remember an old Pokemon fan-MMO that shut down as soon as Nintendo actually brought out a game with online multiplayer, and everyone took that quite well with minimal fuss.
Meh, I think I'm looking at this from too much of a 'public relations' perspective where I keep suspecting that Hasbro has fucked themselves over and lost loads of fans from this stunt, more than they would've if they'd just let it happen.
Anyway i didn't mean to be rude and please don't think I'm advocating free ripoff rubbish and entitlement, I just disagree that this specific case actually IS free ripoff rubbish and entitlement. Also i'm not even an MLP fan, I just found the topic interesting since I've studied both business and sociology in the past. (but I'm no expert and I obviously seem to be giving the fans too much credit here..)
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:icondroemar:
Droemar Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2013
Yeah. You are giving the fans too much credit. Theory is not the same as practice, and it's a harsh, grim reality that the industries of music and movies have suffered from piracy. And it doesn't change the attitude that free stuff is an entitlement on the Internet.
Hasbro could spend money to make a fighting game. They probably couldn't recoup their losses if they charged for it, and would lose more to piracy. Therefore, they have to shut down avenues that would downplay their ability to make a profit, i.e. a free game. The attitude of fans and fandoms is nothing short of grossly skewed.
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:iconbunni89:
Bunni89 Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Well I guess then I'm being too optimistic here. I still don't think that something like this apparantly proves that fandoms are grubby little pricks who want everything for free, but if it was already obvious that they ARE like that.. then yeah i can see why the company would take preemptive action to make sure they couldn't wreck stuff.
I probably shoulda been less hasty to jump in here when I don't actually know too much about this particular fandom and am just going "Well hypothetically from what you've described it doesn't sound too bad!!"
Sorry if I was rude, I didn't mean to sound like a jerkass!
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:iconhallowedlady:
Hallowedlady Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2013
I wouldn't say fandoms are like that either, people in general are. If a choice is given between having a free game and one that costs money, the former will probably be peferred. Things like pirating already mean companies lose profit, second-hand games do that as well. I support the latter since that's how I tend buy games now, but consumers will try to find cheaper ways to get what they want.

I don't like some games Publishers, but they still have a right to try and protect their produces.
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:iconbunni89:
Bunni89 Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Well I guess I just have too much faith in people ^^; I don't assume everyone would choose to be an asshole..
I'm probably too nieve.
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:iconhallowedlady:
Hallowedlady Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2013
I wouldn't say that's being an asshole really, at least not in the cases stated. A new game can cost up to and over 40 and that's not even counting DLC prices that come out after or on the day of release.
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(1 Reply)
:iconumbbe:
umbbe Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2013  Student Digital Artist
The problem probably was that they were robbing potential revenue from hasbro. If Hasbro decided to make a mlp game, (especially if it was a fighting game), it might get overlooked because there is already a free game of similar qualities available. That's also why Nintendo sends cease and desist orders to people trying to make a pokemon mmo - if they ever decide to do one themselves, all the free ones will make their work for naught.
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:iconbunni89:
Bunni89 Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh I see, so they should send cease and desist orders to people who make their own MLP figurines because if they made figurines of the same characters then obviously everyone would ignore them and buy the fanmade ones.
And they should stop anyone from making fan animations because it means everyone will spontaneously stop watching the show.
I don't see why this applies to games and games only, to me it looks like unnecessary paranoia over something that probably wouldn't affect their 'revenue' at all.
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:iconumbbe:
umbbe Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2013  Student Digital Artist
They would send cease and desist orders to people who started mass-producing mlp figurines and distributing them for free. Do you understand the difference?

Stories and games are different. Games are meant to entertain you via interaction, so game mechanics are all important. Using up a game mechanic-genre combination means the player is likely to be bored with similar games that actually cost money.
You can twist a basic plot however many ways you want, as long as there's something different.
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:iconbunni89:
Bunni89 Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Then why do they not do the same for people who make MLP comics and distribute them for free? Or fan videos? I just find it a bit dumb how it applies to one thing and nothing else.
Also that figurine scenario actually WOULD make sense since a figurine isn't something you just create once and copy to show to people, there's actually all the effort to create physical items and ship them to people. Thus it's utterly unfeasable that a fan could ever actually compete with Hasbro, and if they did it would actually be a really big thing that impacts on the company.
Because a figurine IS something that you can only use once and wouldn't want two similar ones. Kids would be very likely to go 'I already have a Rarity, I don't want another' and not really know the difference. But from my experience kids REALLY do not think the same way about games- they go "OMG another one!" and want to play the whole series. Even if there's minimal differences! Because there's still SOME differences, even if it's just like new levels of the same game or merely a superficially changed set of graphics. Its why there's such a market for dolled-up reruns of the same thing with a different brand attatched, and a million "sequels" that are the same with new players. (See: every EA sports game)
I remember back when I was a kid there was a trend of remarketing Puyo Pop with different characters on it- Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine, Kirby Avalanche, so on. Puyo Pop itself is a series that thrives in japan despite total stagnancy.
Adults constantly complain about these series being pointless, they constantly remain really popular with kids. And these are literally copies made by the same company- if Hasbro made their own fighting game it'd obviously be different simply because it wasn't literally copied from the source code of the fan version. Maybe characters have different moves? Maybe the entire interface looks different? Maybe the speed is faster? Maybe the lineup is different? Maybe the AI is different so it has an entirely different bloody challenge to it... it's harder to copy a game than it is to make something similar yet different.

So to me it just sounds silly and that Hasbro was worrying over nothing because they don't know how their demographic behaves. Which is understandable because they're mainly a toy company, not a videogame company, so they might be thinking the two things are similar when they aren't.
But on the other hand.. they got the point with board games :P They already shell out piles of Monopoly: [thing] Edition and never wonder if noone will buy them cos there's already regular monopoly :XD:
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:iconzerox-z21:
Zerox-Z21 Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2013
Things like fanart take only a moment for someone to look at, then move on. A game would clearly suck up alot more of their time, and so is more likely to be hurtful to Hasbro (especially if, as mentioned, they were to release a game of their own).
If it were a smaller artist, I think people would be more forgiving. But because Hasbro is a big corporation who clearly as buckets of cash, I think that's what gets people butthurt alot, that such a big company doesn't NEED any more money and so on.
But if Hasbro didn't act like that, they wouldn't be where they are, and neither would they maintain that position of enough wealth to have produced MLP IN THE FIRST PLACE.
I do wonder if the game could survive under 'parody' laws though. I don't know enough in detail, but I've seen alot of comments suggesting it should be safe if considered a parody. But then under that assumption, surely someone could start their own MLP toy line/factory but claim it's 'parody'? Clearly that wouldn't work.
If the creators are really into making their game, they could consider discussing further action with Hasbro, i.e. they could have it only on the official MLP site or something. Working something out between them surely could be a possibility?

As for the main point here of the monetary value of art, I definitely know of the awkwardness. My sister [link] has had this issue when trying to sell her work in terms of how much to ask. Because charging the minimum hourly wage suddenly seems expensive to whoever is at the other end. But then provided you're working that long, that is exactly what you should be charging.
Certainly even I feel things seem expensive. I look at incredible pieces of digital work on DA, but then it takes me what, 30 seconds to look at if really good? 30 seconds of my time doesn't seem worth the 50 odd that the commissioner paid for it. But then I don't use the artwork: that price seems much more justifiable if that work was printed and put up in the house where it was seen frequently, or some other use that meant it is looked at for more than half a minute. Certainly the fact the art is digital doesn't help the potential value to people. The fact it's digital art means that it's not technically 'real' like an oil painting might be. Maybe it's easier because there's an undo button? I'm not sure, but I can see that vibe in people. Also, not that I have issue with them, but it seems easier for photographers to get paid alot, which seems a bit of a gyp compared to how long it takes to actually craft a piece of artwork.
Fortunately for my sister we have a fairly large family who have commissioned alot of work, and that extends to friends of family members and so on, and because of that connection it's easier to ask a reasonable price. But you should be able to of anyone. Such a frustrating problem because it lies in the domain of the potential buyer, who we can only do so much to influence.
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:iconumbbe:
umbbe Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Exactly - fanart is less substantial than a game. You can draw the same idea in so many ways, but people get tired of the same game mechanics coupled with the same genre. (pokemon has to add spins with new mechanics, new pokemon and new moves.)

I think the creators should really try to cooperate with hasbro if they can, and if the game's good. If they don't want to do that, I suppose they would just have to make the game not about mlp.
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:iconkabetchett:
Kabetchett Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Another thing which I find sickening (and bullshit) too is that since our government "cares" so much about the arts, here in California (if not other states as well), they're literally not going to let you repeat ANY art-related classes including music in community colleges. So, that means if you took let's say, Beginning Glassblowing, you can take that ONLY ONCE and move on to the next level no matter if you're excellent or not. It's like they're saying, "Oh, so you nearly had molten-hot glass blow up in your face out of not being experienced? Too bad, move on to where it's ten times harder bitch, this is a leisure class!"

I will just say this... what can make people so disrespectful to one's art whether it be made by someone whose art is featured on a popular show and just call it free like it were some sort of flier people are given?
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:iconviralremix:
viralremix Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2013
I'm not a MLP fan so I have no idea what Fighting is Magic was about (it looks like a pretty nice computer game?) but from the brief read up I did about it, it doesn't look like the development team ever took money for it, nor did they ever plan to sell it (it was going to be a free download). Why is it entitlement for fans to get angry about Hasbro sending them a C&D letter? It seems pretty reasonable for them to be upset, since it seems about the same as Hasbro informing DeviantArt that all MLP fanart is now illegal and must be removed. The game wasn't hurting profits, what was the problem? Of course I don't follow the fandom, so I might be missing something? Granted, I understand Hasbro has the right to control who does what with their property, I guess I just don't see what the issue is there for them.
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:iconpixelwizardsinc:
PixelWizardsinc Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
gotta love autocorrect on your forum posts, damn phone.
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:iconpixelwizardsinc:
PixelWizardsinc Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
huh, buggered out on me.
to finish my statement, it's the same idea as a toddler on halloween, all they know is they get to dress upo and get free candy, scary costumes frighten them because they don't fully comprehend it's all pretend, all people in costumes.
children simply do not NATURALLY correlate what's fiction and what's fact.

all that aside, I agree with hasbro here, it's there lawful right.
people bitching won't change that, does it suck for the fans that made it? Sure, but will it ruin their lives? hell no, they knew the chance hasbro would find out and pull the plug, and went for it anyway.
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:iconpixelwizardsinc:
PixelWizardsinc Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
I'm sorry "bunni" but you are very lax in your debate skills and reading comprehension.
and if you can't understand the concept of IP and what it really means, then kindly end your endeavor to convince people that you know something you don't understand.
and I have to reiterate as to what a few others have clearly stated already.
the game completely opposes the theme of the show,
if you think children generally rationalize on the same level as an adult, go take a cookie away from a 5 year old and tell them it's bad for their health. All they know is you took their cookie, said something confusing, and now they're confused.
Children don't rationalize on a level of "oh, it's just a game, zombies aren't real."
they rationalize on a level of "that thing's scary, I hope it can't get me." they don't naturally draw a line between f
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:iconviralremix:
viralremix Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2014
Why on earth are you directing this at me? I'm not Bunni.
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:iconpixelwizardsinc:
PixelWizardsinc Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
I hit reply under his tag, no idea why it posted under yours
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:iconfurrama:
Furrama Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2013   Digital Artist
I think it is because the game could potentially conflict with their other video game property. Or at least, you could make the argument. Why play our pony game when you can play their pony game for free and no way for revenue to get back to us?
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:iconbunni89:
Bunni89 Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Sorry to butt in, but I kinda disagree with this. It's an awful reason- unless literally the same game already exists, it makes no sense. Like I would understand this if Hasbro was about to release a fighting game and suddenly noticed this fan project, yeah.
But saying 'making a game at all means you're distracting people from the totally-different official games'? That's a ridiculous statement that annoyingly only ever gets used for stuff like this. It makes NO SENSE if you snowclone it onto anything else.
Don't draw fan comics, it'll steal readers from the real comic!
Don't make your own figurines, it'll mean noone buys the real ones!
Don't make your own music, people will suddenly start muting the show and playing yours!
The MLP fandom is already ridiculously active with fanworks and if it was gonna somehow LOSE fans because of this, there would already be evidence for it. On the contrary it seems like all this widely-ranging creativity is drawing in lovers of art to come see the show and throw money at Hasbro.
Oh wait! One more ridiculous snowclone!
Don't make your own soup, it'll put Heinz out of business! After all why would you buy it if you can make it yourself??
Sorry if this sounds rude or anything, I just think people need a better argument to warrant shooting down an epic game project..
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