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Regarding Homestuck Art/Products

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Regarding Homestuck Art/Products

Postby Sondossa » Wed May 30, 2012 5:51 pm

Okay, this year a lot of my friends and I saw a lot of Homestuck stuff being sold in the artist's alley and dealer's room. It is not okay to sell Homestuck related stuff without Andrew Hussie's written explicit permission. Since Homestuck is his intellectual property you can get in legal trouble for using it and making money off of it.

More information is about this available over here: http://www.mspaintadventures.com/salesfaq.html

I've sent an e-mail to Rachel (who works with the official MSPA store and decides about permissions) and the dealer's room and artist alley heads but I just wanted to let you all know about this rule here.

Let's hope this doesn't happen again, okay? c:
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Re: Regarding Homestuck Art/Products

Postby DrGonzo369 » Wed May 30, 2012 8:28 pm

Here's the thing: Up until a few months ago, I personally had NO idea what Homestuck was (I only knew because a buddy of mine does fanart for it). Honestly, I don't feel (personally) that it's the con's job to go through every single product and be like 'YOU CAN'T SELL THAT BECAUSE IT'S HOMESTUCK AND HE HAS STATED BLAH BLAH BLAH!" Fanart will exist. If we kill fanart, then you can kiss Artist Alley goodbye, and that straight out sucks. Perhaps a rule for dealers room sign up of "Homestuck merchandise is banned", but what if someone buys a bunch of trades from him and resells them because Homestuck is still the hot thing? Should we layeth the smacketh downeth on a dealer's roody poo (and we're done here) for selling LEGIT product? This gets waaaay too complicated, honestly.


However, this is a Bob and Kathy ruling.
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Re: Regarding Homestuck Art/Products

Postby NekozawaFan » Wed May 30, 2012 8:33 pm

....It's a stupid webcomic, it's fan art.
Like Gonzo said, if we did that, we would have to do that to ALL of the artist alley. There's a difference between making illegal merchandise and selling it as official and selling fan made art/merch.
Hell, if I made a comic and had people do that, I'd be flattered!
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Re: Regarding Homestuck Art/Products

Postby DrGonzo369 » Wed May 30, 2012 8:42 pm

If it's dealer room crap, that's one thing. I can see that being a rule we can enforce with no problems. But AA is totally different. All someone would have to do is say that it's an alt of X character, or that it's their vision of it or something. Dealers can be replaced, but once we start to kill off AA, good luck getting it back.

Again, that's just my opinion, I could be wrong.
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Re: Regarding Homestuck Art/Products

Postby invader56 » Wed May 30, 2012 11:47 pm

DrGonzo369 wrote:If it's dealer room crap, that's one thing. I can see that being a rule we can enforce with no problems. But AA is totally different. All someone would have to do is say that it's an alt of X character, or that it's their vision of it or something. Dealers can be replaced, but once we start to kill off AA, good luck getting it back.

Again, that's just my opinion, I could be wrong.

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Re: Regarding Homestuck Art/Products

Postby Shenanagan » Thu May 31, 2012 8:33 am

I agree with the above comments, honestly if you were to do that with one fandom (especially one that big), it'd be a slippery slope. But I personally think it's fine so long as the fan art is not a direct copy of a copyrighted character (i.e., you just printed it off from the internet or traced it). I know that is written in the rules. But if it's an original rendition of said character, it should be fine.
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Re: Regarding Homestuck Art/Products

Postby Zaverxi » Thu May 31, 2012 11:05 am

Actually, fanart is fine. Hussie himself has even said that the fantrolls made by the fan community are all canon, so he's acknowledging them. There is tons of fanart available for Homestuck, Hussie knows about it, it's cool. He even encourages it, and has made references to fan-made ideas in his webcomic.

Dealer's room merchandise, however, is breaking the rules. People are mass-producing products and selling to people. Fanart is one thing, but he's explicitly stated that What Pumpkin(his online store) is the only place that is allowed to sell Homestuck merchandise.
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Re: Regarding Homestuck Art/Products

Postby Sondossa » Sat Jun 02, 2012 2:37 pm

Woah woah, let's back up. I'm not asking the AA/Dealer's Room to go through everybody's stuff and look for Homestuck. That's silly. I'm just making sure everyone is aware of how the creator wants his intellectual property treated.

Andrew Hussie's income comes from Homestuck. Since he's an independent creator he'd be more affected by selling Homestuck related stuff than say Lauren Faust and MLP related stuff. Homestuck is big but not that big and most fans don't buy anything from him.

He only permits fanart commissions because he sells prints of fanart on his own website. Prints and anything else whether it's in the artist's alley or dealer's room is not permitted.

I just wanted to inform everyone out there of this rule so they don't get into legal trouble because one booth that was at Animazement is already getting into some hot water.
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Re: Regarding Homestuck Art/Products

Postby Konpeki » Sat Jun 02, 2012 10:37 pm

Like Sondossa said, it's not a matter of threading through every single piece of fanart ever brought through an artist's alley.

This has to do with one completely independent creator's wish that mass-produced fan work be sold ONLY with express discretion of the WhatPumpkin team. Other fandoms and creators are no less aware of the fan-created market, it is only a matter of benign neglect. Yeah, it doesn't make much sense to a lot of people that he wants to cut the fan market down to a controlled, commission-only deal for most people. But it is his intellectual property and his wishes need to be respected.

Wether you agree with Hussie's decisions regarding the regulation of his fan-market is a personal decision. We aren't asking you to make an entire panel composed of people to sniff out unauthorized sales of Homestuck material (obviously the fans attending the con will do plenty of that for you!) Regardless, this is what has been said and, generally as a responsible convention staff and as...understanding members of any fandom (or perhaps creators yourselves) you ought to respect his choice.

What we are saying here is that "hey here's a heads-up from a creator saying they don't endorse mass-produced fanwork being sold outside this online retailer!"

So, please. As someone who took the time to report two Dealer's Room booths selling Homestuck merchandise, please take our concerns as seriously as you would any other attendee reporting bootlegs/stolen material/ext. If you won't take our word for it, why don't you read through the link provided in the original post. All necessary information is there. Thank you.
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Re: Regarding Homestuck Art/Products

Postby Konpeki » Sat Jun 02, 2012 10:49 pm

Zaverxi wrote:Actually, fanart is fine. Hussie himself has even said that the fantrolls made by the fan community are all canon, so he's acknowledging them. There is tons of fanart available for Homestuck, Hussie knows about it, it's cool. He even encourages it, and has made references to fan-made ideas in his webcomic.


People making fanart is fine. People making fanart and producing it with the intention to sell it for profit, like prints, pre-made cosplaying props, ext (aside from one-of-a-kind, commissioned pieces), is not permitted without express written permission from Hussie/The WhatPumpkin Team.

This is outlined in the SalesFAQ and can easily be confirmed by speaking with the people that run the WhatPumpkin online store.

If someone were to approach an artist's alley participant with a commission for Homestuck-related material, the Sales policy allows for that. If an artist's alley participant were to hold a small raffle/giveaway for some FREE Homestuck-related goods, the Sales policy allows for that. That's really about it unfortunately.
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Re: Regarding Homestuck Art/Products

Postby DrGonzo369 » Sat Jun 02, 2012 11:39 pm

Ok, let's break this down.

I make a comic about Steve. I am the only person who sells Steve merchandise. The Adventures of Steve blows up online and everyone likes it. I tell my fans to only buy from me and that anyone else selling stuff is a bootlegger. I then say that you can do fanart, but ONLY if someone asks for it.

Random person goes to RandomCon, and they see someone with a Steve drawing for sale...but it's in reverse colors...or it's evil...or its' Steve and Mary kissing (something that hasn't happened yet or will never happen because Steve and Mary hate each other). At this point, homage and parody are the LEGAL provisions that the law will allow this (Title 17 of the United States Code, subsection 107, located here: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/17/107). Susan's print of Steve and Mary snogging that she sells at RandomCon does NOT demish the value of The Adventures of Steve products or works. The dealer in the dealers room selling Steve plushies and shot glasses DOES.

The point is that dealer room regulations are fine and acceptable. Artist Alley ones are straight out stupid. IT IS HOMAGE, NOT RIPPING HIM OFF.

Again, these are just my opinions and do not reflect official AZ rulings (even though as of this moment I'm still staff).
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Re: Regarding Homestuck Art/Products

Postby Sondossa » Sun Jun 03, 2012 12:31 am

DrGonzo369 wrote:Ok, let's break this down.

I make a comic about Steve. I am the only person who sells Steve merchandise. The Adventures of Steve blows up online and everyone likes it. I tell my fans to only buy from me and that anyone else selling stuff is a bootlegger. I then say that you can do fanart, but ONLY if someone asks for it.

Random person goes to RandomCon, and they see someone with a Steve drawing for sale...but it's in reverse colors...or it's evil...or its' Steve and Mary kissing (something that hasn't happened yet or will never happen because Steve and Mary hate each other). At this point, homage and parody are the LEGAL provisions that the law will allow this (Title 17 of the United States Code, subsection 107, located here: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/17/107). Susan's print of Steve and Mary snogging that she sells at RandomCon does NOT demish the value of The Adventures of Steve products or works. The dealer in the dealers room selling Steve plushies and shot glasses DOES.

The point is that dealer room regulations are fine and acceptable. Artist Alley ones are straight out stupid. IT IS HOMAGE, NOT RIPPING HIM OFF.

Again, these are just my opinions and do not reflect official AZ rulings (even though as of this moment I'm still staff).


Homage with the intention to make money or with the transfer of money involved.

The bottom line is that selling anything but 2D commissions can be seen as taking away money from the creator whether you intend to or not. Do most artists really intend to leech off of Andrew Hussie's success? No but a few bad eggs ruin the bunch so selling anything Homestuck other than fanart commissions is not okay.

EDIT: Lexxy from the Homestuck art team has actually researched copyright law and provides a great explanation on this topic.

http://lexxercise.tumblr.com/post/59651 ... nd-fan-art
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Re: Regarding Homestuck Art/Products

Postby DrGonzo369 » Sun Jun 03, 2012 1:15 am

Do artists want to leech off of *insert any creators name here*'s work? Of course not. But it's what sales, and what people want.
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Re: Regarding Homestuck Art/Products

Postby apollosglare » Sun Jun 03, 2012 1:37 am

You're kind of missing the point of what's being said.

Using your example, say this random person was selling Steve works, not as a parody or anything. Say they sold similar things to what you sold in your store for Steve but at a lower price, so EVERYONE wanted one over the real ones. Say good bye to your profits.

This is an independent writer who makes a living off this. No one said ban any works or anything, people just wanted others to be aware that this technically isn't legal. It's immorally wrong, and lawsuits have been created for this sort of thing.

The point that was being made, was to let people who may be in the unawares that Homestuck related items that are sold without consent by Andrew Hussie are not allowed. All anyone really needs to do is contact him for approval, he just doesn't want things he plans to produce himself. We don't know if any of the artists had permission.

All in all, it doesn't matter 'what sells'. It doesn't make it any more right, and as a member of staff, you shouldn't be condoning it.
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Re: Regarding Homestuck Art/Products

Postby DrGonzo369 » Sun Jun 03, 2012 1:57 am

I am not condoning anything. I'm saying that if you want to kill the Artist Alley area due to Homestuck fanart, you are making a huge mistake. If EVERY creator of an IP did that, than things like Artist Alley at cons would not exist. No one is peddling their art off as their own (that I have ever seen). Not the people with MLP prints, or Community cards with Troy and Abed (in the moooorning!), nor anyone with Homestuck art. They are just peddling their wares like everyone else.

I just personally feel that doing something in the dealers room is realistic, but not in Artist Alley.

And again, that is just MY opinion, and not any official stance.
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Re: Regarding Homestuck Art/Products

Postby Konpeki » Sun Jun 03, 2012 2:32 am

You see what this is coming down to is, you are being confronted and with words straight from the owner of an IP asking that certain things NOT be done for profit regarding said IP...

...And you are blatantly ignoring and even DEFENDING those infringing, knowingly or not, on said IP.
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Re: Regarding Homestuck Art/Products

Postby mystcloud » Sun Jun 03, 2012 10:07 pm

I think that, for all the artists in this conversation, you need to keep this in mind. You've now all been warned that selling homestuck fanart can land you in hot water, just like any fanart potentially can. You can choose to still sell fanart of homestuck, but you need to remember that you run the risk of facing legal action if Andrew Hussie or someone who is a representative of him find you selling it. Just like you could face legal action from any company who owns IP that you are selling fanart of. Of course, there are copyright law loopholes that can protect you (the parody one mostly) but in the end, if you are in the wrong you can be in trouble. If you're selling fanart that's a risk you have to come to grips with.

On the other hand, bootleg items in the dealers room are against the rules and uncool.

and as a final note, i hear that if anyone comes up to you and asks you to do a commission of garfield the cat, refuse! I hear Jim Davis has people going around doing that and if you say you will they'll hand you their card and say you'll be hearing from our lawyer. This kind of thing CAN happen.
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Re: Regarding Homestuck Art/Products

Postby MissCookie » Mon Jun 04, 2012 12:28 pm

I would understand Gonzo's POV if there were 20 different series creators who want this sort of rule enforced, but its not like that.

All Andrew Hussie wants is for people to not be selling direct Homestuck merchandise, and if they are, to ask them to pack up their stuff and leave. Unless they have direct permission (and proof) from Hussie himself, then they are not allowed to sell it for their own financial gain.

This does NOT include: fanart (Hussie embraces fanart and all of his fan's ideas), props that aren't directly identified as Homestuck (ex: glasses, wigs, makeup, shoes, etc.), and so forth.

But if they are selling specific Homestuck gear such as troll horns, items with Homestuck logos on them, character hats, etc., then you are in violation of the copyright laws. Commissions are the only thing that is an exception.

This is just ONE FANDOM and ONE CREATOR that is telling you to enforce this. Not 20, not 10, not even 5, but just one.

I know a lot of the AZ staff doesn't like Homestuck, but please, at least acknowledge the creator and his wishes. Ignoring this is just disrespectful and downright unflattering to the convention as a whole.

Your opinions on Homestuck/MSPaintAdventures (whether they are interfering with your responses or not) shouldn't come into play in these types of situations, and it deeply disappoints me that it appears that they are.
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Re: Regarding Homestuck Art/Products

Postby DrGonzo369 » Mon Jun 04, 2012 7:54 pm

Actually, according to the people on here, fan art is only allowed if it is a then and there commission. Fan art prints (which is possibly the biggest seller for most people in artist alley) are not allowed, according to what I have read here. THAT will damage Artist Alley.

My stance has nothing to do with if I like Homestuck or not. It could be Piro with Megatokyo, it could be the people who does Menage a 3, or even the Cyanide & Happiness crew and I would still have the same stance. It could even be Dan Dido or Joe Quesada themselves and I would still have the SAME stance (though give a sterner warning, considering they have WB and Disney lawyers to back them up).

How can you sell costume props without identifying them as Homestuck? "See these glasses? coool, huh???" Unless you knew, you would just see a table of stuff everywhere, and only the "cool kids" would know that this + that = Homestuck costumes stuff. It just boggles my mind how that works, honestly.
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Re: Regarding Homestuck Art/Products

Postby double00beaver » Mon Jun 04, 2012 8:32 pm

I deleted an earlier comment since I figured it wasn't worth fighting about but I know for a fact that even though Hussie says not to, people do sell Homestuck cosplay items and label them Homestuck.

Hell, you can go on Cosplay.com right now and check their marketplace in the forum and you'll find at least a dozen Homestuck cosplays for sale and at least one horn commissioner. No one says anything about it because the demand is so high that Homestuck fans are willing to look the other way while they fork over the cash for it.
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