Fandom/Kins Rules Update Feedback Box

Posted 13 days, 11 hours ago (Edited 5 days, 12 hours ago) by admin
This will be left up for a few days so everyone can have a chance to get their thoughts in.

I'm currently reviewing a change in our fandom character ruleset in light of feedback regarding fandom characters. This was supposed to be a reply to the following thread, but I thought it'd be better to split it off into an official thread for better visibility: https://toyhou.se/~forums/14.suggestions-bugs/95652.-rules-edit-kin-characters-albums

To clarify, our current rules do not disallow upload of fan-characters as long as the canon permits derivative content, the characters are correctly credited, and all fanart is being used with permission. The reason being that up until now I haven't minded this platform being used for fandom RP. 

I'm up for changing the site rules if fandom characters are a nuisance, but just wanted to verify since there seems to be some confusion: do people want both canon characters and derivative characters banned, or just canon characters? Where these are defined as the following:

  • Canon characters:
    • EG: Re-uploading Naruto with no changes made to his design or history (usually includes GIFs and screenshots from the anime or copy pasted paragraphs from the character's wiki page)
  • Derivative characters:
    • Any characters derivative from canon content - this includes:
      • Explicit redesigns (eg. Naruto as a dog or furry)
      • Characters that're described as an OC or sona but resemble the canon character in both personality and appearance or cosplay them 24/7
      • Personalised playable MCs (eg. customised Kamui/Robin, Frisk, Gudako/Gudao)
      • Personalised pet site/game characters (eg. FlightRising dragons, Neopet/Subeta/ChickenSmoothie pets)
      • Characters belonging to a canon species (eg. pokemon OCs, LOZ OCs) 
      • Characters belonging to a canon setting (eg. BNHA/Hogwarts OCs that use the school uniform taken from canon designs)
    • This is quite a wide range, so if you have specific thoughts on what you find unacceptable or acceptable for a derivative character that'd also help with gauging the community's opinion for the new ruleset.
I won't be making this a poll; please do post if you have feedback even if you just want to add a +1 to banning one or both of the options. 


For people who would prefer not to post in thread but would still like some input, I've popped up a Google form where you can drop off your feedback: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeaQVmEpF1r8vAqEoHomYa7u_2cMcpoXWKBfhVDjpPWaNQwJg/viewform

Wonderland

I think banning derivative characters is too harsh because the current paragraph you’ve added seems to lump all fan OCs in with just making Naruto a dog ? The line can be really grey and argued either way :/ (And adds fire to the fan OCs aren’t real characters argument)

I definitely don’t think here is the place for uploading existing characters like pikachu tho. With no changes and just uploading screenshots of it to say that you kin with pikachu? I don’t think here’s the place for canon characters. A list of your kins would suffice, with links to existing wiki pages? If there’s none of ‘you’ in that canon character, it’s not yours to upload.

KittyKnight

Alright hello I am here to explain my points of view now that I am off mobile.

Since my initial post, a lot of people have brought up the reasons which I had for thinking the way I do. However, as I eventually thought about it over the day, I realised that this all together is just a super deep rabbit hole which all comes down to "define original", which is different for every person. As such, it's rather subjective to talk about what really is an "original character".

But enough of me trying to sound smart and mature, let's get into the categories and discuss them:

"Canon characters:"

Yes, this should be banned. Personally I know toyhouse as a site for sharing OCs and not for fandom RP, as mentioned in the original post. Posting characters which you haven't made shouldn't be allowed. Likewise for kinning and such. If anything, these should really be kept to bulletins if they're going to be on toyhouse. Even then a simple link to a wiki page would suffice if you were to say "Hey I RP/kin as this character, here's some info on them."

"Derivative characters"

There are quite a lot of categories regarding this one and I don't agree with banning all of them. However, some should be banned/discouraged from toyhouse. There again most of my characters would count as derivative, so I may be bias with my opinions.

Spoilering because long.

"explicit redesigns (eg. Naruto as a dog)"

Yes. I feel that this tackles similar issues to uploading canon characters, as it's literally just a canon character but "oh they're a _____". If nothing else has been changed, then I'd argue that toyhouse isn't quite the right place to upload them. However, upon thinking on it further, I realised that some of my OCs were literally just a canon character. As an example, I had an OC who was a female version of Cress from Pokemon called Cresslina. That was... The peak of creativity at age 12? Sometimes people just don't know any better and think that something they're making is super original when the reality is "it's cress but female." Or maybe they accidentally do that without realising it. I could suggest discouraging this, but then it would fall into policing people's OCs, which would make people feel uncomfortable.

TL;DR - Ideally discourage, but ban if need be.

I also think AUs fall into a similar category for this and ideally should be discouraged as well.

"characters that're described as an OC or sona but resemble the canon character in both personality and appearance or cosplay them 24/7"

For me, this feels the exact same as explicit redesigns and covers similar points. It's worth noting though that taking inspiration from canon designs and literally just making them cosplay canon designs are different. This should ideally be considered on a case-by-case basis, but I understand that this would take a team of dedicated moderators to do. Even then, one moderator may say it's okay but another moderator may disagree, making them unreliable. It may be easier to ban these sort of characters rather than moderator potentially hundreds or thousands of them.

TL;DR - Ideally consider on a case-by-case basis, but ban if need be.

"personalised playable MCs (eg. customised Kamui/Robin, Frisk, Gudako/Gudao)"

Now this is where the rabbit hole really starts. As an example, lets take Agent 8 from Splatoon. Agent 8 can be customised by the player to have different hairstsyles, skin tones, etc. However, Agent 8 does have 2 canon designs which are considered official and drawn quite a bit in promotional material. Now, some agent 8 OCs are very similar to these canon designs, others aren't. However, each person has a slightly different interpretation on their Agent 8. So, should we ban all Agent 8s? Or should we only ban the ones who are super close to the official designs...? Honestly, I think so long as they don't appear to be too similar to the "official design", then they should be okay. It falls in similar grounds to doll makers if anything, you're just putting your own interpretation to events which took place.

TL;DR - Don't ban, but keep an eye on those MCs with official designs if any.

"characters belonging to a canon species"

No, definitely not. Although if a character is literally just a canon species and has no personalised information or design details, then ideally the owner of said character should be nudged to include some detailed information to make the character not just another canon character. Of course this may be seen as pushy, and some people may not want to share information about their characters. It falls once again into policing other people's characters, which isn't fair on the creator.

TL;DR - No, don't ban. Though there should be some differentiation between other species and the character ideally.

"characters belonging to a canon setting"

Again, this should not be banned. Some design/backstory choices may be due to the setting, which is fair enough. It's totally possible to create an interesting character despite some drawbacks due to the setting, and this shouldn't be discouraged.

TL;DR - Don't ban.

Kogami

I fully agree with RedRareBit's and Historia's comment, I think they explained everything I wanted to say regarding this.

In addition, the ones inspired by canon to the point its clearly a form of piagiarism are the ones that shouldn't be allowed (e.g. blatant recolors, etc) because otherwise, it would cause a huge issue if any characters with certain inspirations were banned because most, if not all OCs (even other canon and licensed characters) out there were at the very least have a little bit of inspiration from other character's traits to them. 

Edit: Like an example, say, there's a difference between making your OC a virtual singer as its inspired from Miku Hatsune vs a character thats clearly just Miku Hatsune with purple hair.

Kin characters or canon characters being turned into a dog or a sona is especially important because at the end of the day, they're still characters that belonged to someone...and to put on your own TH acc and call it yours, is a big no.

AsoraamFeire

TL;DR:

Yes to banning canon characters/explicit redesigns. No to banning derivative characters in general. Maybe to pet site characters.

Long form:

Canon characters/kin characters def should be banned. As well as redesigns of canon characters(It tend to avoid and block characters that are just....a canon character as a dog.)

'inspired' characters should be banned. It is one thing to have a character that is inspired by a character in a show, it is another when said character looks and acts like the inspiration. If a character looks nothing like the canon character, then they should be fine.

Customizable MCs(like the dragonborn from skyrim), Characters of canon species, and characters in canon worlds should stay. Banning them not only would upset a lot of people, but it gets complicated when you mix tabletop RPGs into the equation. PCs might not even look like they're for a tabletop, but by virtue of being made for a tabletop they'd be a FC.

Apologies of that made no sense. I haven't gone to bed yet.

Edit: To add to the fandom thing....I personally have watership down OCs. Which are literally just rabbits. Banning all FCs would just be kind of difficult since people who are making characters that are set in a universe but are RL species can simply erase that they are FCs.

Edit 2: On the 'x as a dif species thing' I feel it should be taken into account of how clear it is that the person is trying to make the character their own thing. As someone who owns a former recolor, I feel like if you are going to change the species, you should at least change some colors or otherwise add your own flair. And changing the species just isn't enough of a change, because normally nothing else is changed except removal/addition of clothing.

Honestly, with recolors or redesugns, a rule of three should be applied. Is there at least three changes to the character(including perso and backstory for those that are of species with little room for creative freedom) outside species or eye color? They should be fine.

Also, with pet sites, it should depend on the site rules. If they allow it, then it should be fine.

Kadrina

A golden rule for me is - Does this character have identifiable traits (name, description, personality AND backstory) of the popular medium I am representing? If the answer is yes, it should be banned. 

Fan characters (I know Pokemon are tricky ones) should be left alone so long as the creator is fine with it. 

RustHeart

As long as the original creator is okay with people using the character and it has been properly credited it should be allowed.  Also AU versions of an cannon character should still be allowed.  For example one of my characters is an AU of a character that I did not create.  I did not make the original nor did I make the AU version.  However the person who created the original and the person who created the AU both gave permission to use the character and I do have proof of this.  Therefore I see no reason for my character to be removed.

Characters where there is no proof that the original creator gave permission to use it should not be allowed.

Pyatiugolnik

canon characters: +1
derivative from canon content : -1
described as oc, resemble canon: -1
personalized MC: -1
canon species: -1
canon setting: -1

i know there are some people who use the canon characters just for link fodder (i.e. letting their fanocs have a "link" to describe personal thoughts and whatnot) so the line is slightly muddied. i don't agree with banning any sort of derivatives, though, especially because i feel like that line may be harder to draw and be subjective. obviously, for example, zelda from loz with a completely ripped backstory and appearance, just turned into a dog, feels disingenuous, but if you go through and alter all the place names so it's not hyrule & change the hair color, does that count as far enough from derivative to avoid the ban? if you have the fanoc child of two similar-looking canon ocs and the fanoc has a similar storyline as one of the parents, is that too close to count as 'derivative' and allowed deletion? how do you define "clearly inspired by a canon character" and "the similarities are mere coincidence"? 

ETA this would also put steven universe ocs in an awkward position, since canonically gem 'castes' look very similar or identical to each other. 

idk, these are probably super niche applications but i still thought about em

Shinsou

+1 On banning Canon Characters being uploaded.

+1 On the canon furries being banned. There's a lot of negatives surrounding that as a concept.
The major one being it's just theft of someone elses original character, and there's so many of X character it's a very blurry line on copying. 

This sends the message that you may rip-off a design, as long as it's popular enough. It hurts artists in the long run. 

- 1 to humanoid fan characters. Pokemon is a little blurry. 

_featherweather

+1 to banning legit canon characters 

-1 to banning catch all derivative characters

I say customizable fan characters and fan OCs should definitely stay. If the character is a kid of canons or just inside canon for RP purposes they should be fine. 

I personally don't like "character X but as a furry/dog/etc" but im on the fence about outright banning because that's a slippery slope.

That's the same reason I'm on the fence about recolors. I like very few of them but some of them are probably different enough from the source material to be a legit OC who just looks a lot like a canon character. The issue is finding the line. To use someone's Miku example - there's a lot of derivative UTAU based on vocaloid and some of them look very similar to canon vocaloid but their personalities tend to be very different 

Honchkrow 💖 birthday

agreeing with Pyatiugolnik

i actually have this oc who is visually inspired by riley from pokemon who is just a pokemon gijinka, but he acts absolutely nothing like riley whose personality and story i didnt even reference at all because this was meant to be a nostalgic oc based on my first pokemon game. technically, for me hes actually a gijinka of that experience rather than xD riley kinsona because i dont even kin and i dont even know anything about or care about riley. if i had to delete him from the site or make him private id be severely disappointed since hes very important to me and put a lot of thought about how he fits into his story with my other characters

i also have a character who is (privated now, but wasnt before) an au of two canon characters. pretending homestuck lore isnt dummy complex, hes a sprite/combination of two characters whose designs are canonly so loose/basic/undefined that my design of this character is original, along with the palette, and even though he is a combination of two canon characters, his story is 90% original content with any canon material being in the past other than the planet he lives on. it sounds complicated and it is, but hes gone through so much development and is visually different from the canon designs that if i ever unprivatized him again i wouldnt want to have to delete him because hes technically made from two canon characters and using the setting

aquapyrofan

I'm all for banning canon characters and AUs but for things like Pokémon or Steven Universe, there definitely needs to be more clarification if canon species are going to be allowed.  There's only so much you can change a Pikachu, for instance, before it stops being reasonable as a "normal" Pikachu.  Although personally, I see little difference between an OC gem or an OC Pokémon and CS offbrands - maybe that should be discussed too, as both are pretty clearly illegal in most cases (even if not always enforced) as both are heavily derived from someone else's IP.  Mind, I have several (hidden) Pokémon OCs, so it's not like I don't see the appeal of those, I just think that at the very least, the "permission is assumed until proven otherwise based on history" rule needs some work, especially since copyright/trademark law is pretty much the opposite of that - permission is not given unless stated.  Companies/creators should not have to state "do not make fanart of this" or police fan works to have IP rights respected.

As for permissible Pokémon OCs, let's go with the example of a Pikachu for why there needs to be more clarification on which (if any) are permissible (for this example, assume that the uploader has permission to use any art they've attached to the character in question):

  • Generic Pikachu with no changes, but art drawn by the uploader. Visually identical to, say, Ash's Pikachu, due to canon, but not actually supposed to be the same character.
  • A generic Pikachu, but with some marking changes. Maybe extra stripes, spots, a different eye color.
  • A recolored Pikachu with or without marking changes. Still recognizable as a Pikachu though.
  • A fusion of a Pikachu and another Pokémon (recolored or not). Both Pokémon are recognizable.
  • A gijinka, or humanized Pokémon. Still extremely recognizable.

As for things which are definitely not personal, noncommercial use, a quick search of the trade listings for anything tagged "Pokemon" up for real currency shows piles and piles of characters, some fairly far from their canon counterparts, others pretty much the canon counterpart with slight variations.  I think the rules on that also need clarifying.

And lastly, with fandom characters, there comes the problem of credit, something which also needs to be addressed.  I don't think the current way a lot of people do it where whoever designed that OC gets creator rights makes sense, since it's not their IP.

HeartlessSpade

Big agree on Historia's, Kogami's, and RedRareBit's comments, Red's being exactly how I'd explain it.

Idk I personally don't find TH to be the right place to post existing characters even if redesigned into furries and as much as I want to those kind of characters gone, I don't think it's worth a ban (I'm not sure how this'll be handled but I'm assuming an immediate ban)? A warning or few and take down would be good but if persisting then there should be a ban.

However that's just for those taking canon characters, I feel that the world, species, and inspiration, such as Steven Universe and Pokemon should be allowed cause there's a clear difference between building a story/character in a existing setting which is very much varied and ripping off a canon character, like, it's one thing to take inspiration and another to just... take a character and turn it into a dog... that in a way is still theft. Everything else such as personalized MCs, canon species, settings and some resemblance should be allowed

As for AUs of existing character or taking AU characters? I mean, I also don't favor them in this situation and would also +1 a ban on those too, mainly just on taking AU characters (straight up taking Underfell Frisk or just turning them into a furry) but that's just my obvious bias against those, Idk I feel like that falls under ripping canon characters but that's my opinion

_exxus_

Canon Characters / Kin Galleries: +1 to banning. As fictiokin myself, this should still be banned. 

Redesigns of Canons (ex: Naruto as a Dog): +1 to banning ONLY IF the creator is trying to sell or does not credit the person who created the canon design.
OCs "inspired" by Canons (ex: identical design/backstory, either both or just one): +1 to banning ONLY IF the creator is trying to sell or does not credit the person who created the canon design.
Playable MCs (ex: Personal Inquisitor from DAI): Keep them allowed, as people have a tendency to make them more original characters
OCs in Canon Settings (ex: OC Hogwarts students, OC Pokemon Trainers): Keep them allowed, fan characters are still original characters!
OCs of a Canon Species (ex: Pokemon Gajinkas / Feral Pokemon): Allow, I own a vaporeon who's not a canon design/character but of the same species! I think that like other fan characters, these are original, just more inspired by the original canon.