Avatar Of Righteousness
Originally posted by whaaa
Well, I can say the avatar issue has been beaten to death
in the anime fan forums, and the verdict is: no, you don't need to put a copyright
notice on avatars.
You'll note that most of mine don't feature them.
Part of the reason for that is the fact that avatars tend to be small – on most boards they're usually less than 100x100px.
The copyright notice for my haibane avatars would be, at minimum, “Copyright © 2003 Yo#oshi ABe * Aureole Secret Factory”. However, since the
avatars are made from screenshots produced by a cooperative venture of producers, it should probably include the names of Geneon Entertainment and
RADIX as well.
That presents both practical and aesthetic problems.
I understand the desire of artists for proper attribution.
After all, I'm an artist and I would like that too.
Where reasonably possible, I provide attribution. As an example, I used a piece of art made by a fellow member on a haibane fan board for one of my
Logozo's handle is short enough to fit, and since most people associate haibane with Yo#oshi ABe, I made a point of putting the copyright notice on
Logozo's derivative work.
The prevailing thought on the use of avatars in the anime fan community – and one which I have never
seen an anime producer dispute anywhere
(they seem to like having fans promote their products for some reason) – is that they are fine and considered “fair use” if they're reasonably
small (ATS icons are awesomely huge by avatar standards, but still small by art standards), are used tastefully and are not used for commercial
purposes (specifically, to directly market products, especially competing animes).
Most artists complain that nobody knows who they are. If thousands of people around the world decide to promote your
art by featuring it in
their avatars -- buddy, there are much worse problems to have!
Trail Of Breadcrumbs
For my part, I make a point of identifying my haibane avatars by including the names of characters or the show itself, Haibane Renmei
, and I
include a “pseudofield” (“Species: Haibane”) beneath them that identifies the graphic with the unique word “haibane”, which can in turn be
used to locate the official website HaibaneRenmei.com
by using a simple google search.
I also have a link in my signature block, Concerning Haibane
, which points to a
podthread where I describe the series in detail (some would say too much
I've been avoiding direct links to the official HaibaneRenmei.com
website because I didn't want to give the
impression I'm out to promote a commercial product on ATS.
But since it's come up, screw it. I'll put a link in the Concerning Haibane
thread, and if the staff deems it inappropriate, I will certainly not object if they remove it.
Also, should I ever be requested by any artist not to use their work in my avatars, or hear of such a request via any credible channel, I will
immediately cease doing so.
I love Haibane Renmei
and admire its creators. I would never
deliberately do anything to hurt them or their interests.
Economy Of Scale
I guess what I'm trying to say here is that I understand and respect the concerns of artists that their rights and their work be treated with respect
and in accordance with law.
What I recommend is that artists consider the big picture (pun intended) and focus – as may be needed – on actual theft and misuse and not get
overly uptight about things that are ultimately positive for artists, like exposure and popularity.
But if people want to beat their chests over it, I won't try to stop them.
Just don't expect me to join the chorus of indignation over something that isn't really a problem.
* NOTE: Yo#oshi ABe's name sets off the automatic censors. His name transliterates as Yo-shi-to-shi in English, but when you put that all together,
well, sorry Abe-sensei.