Clarification on Derpibooru's policies regarding traced images

Joey
Dawnsong - Derpi Supporter
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Hello everyone!

Recently several people have expressed concern about the site's stance regarding images that appear to be traces, noting that we do not always enforce rules consistently regarding tracing. Part of this was due to the fact that to date, we have not had any official, written policy for site staff in regards to tracing.

Since tracing is a serious matter that can have a strong negative impact on artists, we have updated the site's internal staff policies to reflect our stance regarding images traced from other MLP fan artists. For transparency purposes, here is that policy:

If there is reasonably strong evidence that an image uploaded to this site was traced from an image by another pony fan artist, please do the following:

* If the original artist has a DNP listing (including "Artist Only" or "No Edits"), delete the image immediately
* Ensure that the original artist is tagged (lock tag editing if OP tries fighting this)
* Contact the original artist and explain that someone uploaded what appears to be a trace of their image to the site, and ask if they knew about this and/or are ok with it
* If the original artist gives a negative response, or does not respond within 2-3 days, delete the traced upload for violating Rule #1
* If someone asks why we are allowing the image on the site ("why wasn’t this deleted?"), explain that we contacted the original artist and are waiting to hear back from them, or that they are ok with it being left up


A similar policy regarding artwork traced from artists not involved in the MLP fandom will be implemented soon. There will just need to be some variances in how we handle those situations, since non-MLP artists may not be as easy to contact, and circumstances regarding such images usually differ.

Cheers,
Derpibooru Administration
Coatie
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Marebutt Extraordinaire
So wait, we're not just gonna be scolded like we're five and told to chill out like there's nothing wrong and some actual moderating might get done?
hot damn
Joey
Dawnsong - Derpi Supporter
My Little Pony - 1992 Edition
Best Art Program Ever - For artists who were courageous enough to draw something for the April Fools day.
The Magic of Friendship Grows - For helping others attend the 2020 Community Collab
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Heart Gem -
A Really Classy Artist - 250+ images under their artist tag

PM me your cute OCs
@10art1
I believe the accusations against those two were for tracing images from artists not involved with the MLP fandom. This policy is primarily focused at traces of images from fandom artists.

A policy for images that originated from non-fandom artists will be implemented soon. I just gotta figure out some specifics for that, since non-fandom artists may be more difficult to contact, and it's generally harder to find originals and such.
CowsRTasty
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Pone and Expression
It might also be prudent to put a policy where the tracer's artist tag gets hit with the lennonblack treatment after a certain number of offenses as well.
JP
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The magic's gone :-(
And here I thought that all vectors from the show were about to disappear… they're traces from screencaps, after all.

No panic, then.
whisperfoot
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choker breaker
Perfect. I'm glad to hear tracing without permission/credit will not continue to go unpunished. It makes me sick that some "artists" are able to steal other's hard work and profit off of it. I'm glad to see derpi's moderation team officially address it. Despite some hiccups with certain mods cough, I'm impressed with the respect derpi has shown to hard-working artists. Keep it up.
E.O.W.
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Mostly Sketches
it will be hard getting out a good policies, especially against those who trace from anime or asian artists. Or people generally hard to contact.
And what about those who make "frankenstein trace"? Like putting together various pieces from different pictures, then tracing that?

Also, will this affect copying and referencing? Like using a pic just as reference and not tracing.
The Smiling Pony
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@EOWDT
This is mostly a what-do guide for mods to follow in the event someone's been found tracing to a degree we're pretty sure isn't coincidental and they're either not crediting or outright denying. We're not going to have mods comparing images, making overlays, or tracking down vanished FA artists from the early 00s; we're stretched thin as it is with current workload.

As for referencing, this doesn't really touch that; practically everyone reference to one degree or another, and while you probably should point out that you used X or Y as a reference, IMO it's more of a courtesy (that people make note of), and unless it something wholly original, kinda hard to prove anyway, and may still not apply; >>28359, >>282716, >>841252, and >>1229186 are practically the same "thing", and while I can't speak for the other three artists, I know I hadn't seen CT's version until over a year after I finished (at which point I felt like an idiot)



Up to now the "policy" was just "let people tag these things and discuss it, intervene if people start getting stalkery, aggressive, spammy, etc.", aka applying the site rules as usual regardless of the topic. Outside of adding artist tags where needed and removing images per rule #1, the extent of actual moderation specifically on the topic of tracing up to two-ish days ago was nil. We removed images we saw as overly meta or attacking people as we do regardless of who's who, diverted repetitious arguments on images to the forum as we do for SJW/politics/etc. wordy stuff, banned a "unnamed horsefamous artist" accused of tracing for breaking several rules (that didn't stop us being accused from defending them, but my eternal bitterness is my own problem).

Anyway, yeah; I saw this as a larger community issue where I thought it'd be enough for it to "self-police" via tagging and informative comments. The… "passion", some people have about the topic lead to them being moderated, which combined with us not taking affirmative action on the topic gave people the impression we either don't care or even defend tracing, which given the constant arguments in private channels over the matter is really not the case.

My desire to not add more rules and special cases and what-ifs and not complicate things got in the way of actually running what I'd hoped people would see as a fanart site, rather than just an imagedump. Not like I shouldn't have seen that coming, given I've repeatedly pointed out that ponibooru being so "hands off" is what turned it to poop in the end.
coulda shoulda woulda didn't ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Cirrus Light
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@The Smiling Pony
What about Vectoring?

Just take a look at this, like, the majority of vectors are traced from somewhere. And vectoring is often a means of coloring.

Also causes some issue since it's not rare for two artists to vector the same pose/screencap. There was one incident it was so close I still wonder if the person didn't just take my art directly.

So, the spirit of the rule is to keep art theft down. Just looking for some official statement/allowance for, legally speaking, "transformative works"?

After all, it really seems wrong to disallow, say, people who've colored Lauren's original sketches, and it's not unusual for one person to vector or color someone else's sketch.

It looks like y'all didn't intend to ban such decent things, but might want to put something on record to clarify for future reference that coloring and vectoring aren't the same as what ya mean here by "tracing" as art theft.
Joey
Dawnsong - Derpi Supporter
My Little Pony - 1992 Edition
Best Art Program Ever - For artists who were courageous enough to draw something for the April Fools day.
The Magic of Friendship Grows - For helping others attend the 2020 Community Collab
Friendship, Art, and Magic (2020) - Took part in the 2020 Community Collab
Charitable Contributor - Contributed to a series of art packs that helped raise over $10,000 for charity
Dream Come True! - Participated in the MLP 9th Anniversary Event
Element of Generosity - For users who have donated to the site
Heart Gem -
A Really Classy Artist - 250+ images under their artist tag

PM me your cute OCs
@OneMoreAnonymous
Well, I suppose this is the appropriate thread to report this, then.

It is not. Use the "Report" button on the image instead of necromancing two year old threads.
Derpy Whooves
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@Joey
I pinned it, because I refer people to this almost weekly when working on reports of tracing. Perhaps the thread should also be locked, with a final post saying that people should report images they have evidence were traced, rather than publicly commenting on it.
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