I had to tell you twice
Posted On August 5, 2009
I said don’t make me tell you twice! You never listen to me, internet!
It would seem as if the collective Anime Blogging Attack Force (note: different from the Anime Blogging Illuminati, which I have only barely penetrated) has shot back responses in a number of different ways. Some shot back enlightened responses, but most of what came in rang to the tune of “THAT’S HARRRRD.” A variety of other points became running themes throughout the posts, and I’d like to take a moment to highlight those.
“But wahhhhh”, you cry in an incomprehensible, animal-like tone, “fanart is already infringing upon copyrights!” And I, while listening to Pizzicato Five’s 1987 album “Couples”, clad in a black beret and 1500 yen yukkuri shirt respond in an upper class, scholarly tone with, “You’re missing the point, good sir.” The point being, it’s not a matter of law. It’s matter of simply not being a total jerk.
2: Politeness and why you should care
“BUT WAHHHH,” you shriek, while destroying your keyboard not unlike an angry German kid, “you’re being a dick yourself! Who are you to parade politeness?! Furthermore, why should I care about those racist, terrible Japanese people who hate me?!?!” And once again, I respond after a sip of BOSS COFFEE with a long string of sentences (a paragraph, if you will) I don’t feel like putting in quote marks.
Think about Western fandom for a second. What does Western fandom do? Western fandom steals. A lot. How do you watch your anime? You steal it. How do you masturbate to those fresh-from-Comic-Market-doujinshi? You steal them. How do you listen to the new, hot anime opening single? You steal it. How do you look at Megami posters? You steal them. Am I making sense here? Do you get the point? I DON’T THINK YOU GET THE POINT.
However, we have excuses. While you can do all this stuff legally while not-in-Japan、 it requires money. Not everyone has that. I sure don’t. In a way, those things are “necessary” evils (necessary in quotes for obvious reasons.) I feel guilty, yeah. I do end up buying a lot of that stuff, though. But still, it’s bad. It doesn’t give our bros in Japan any reason to like us. I mean, we’re a bunch of criminals, and no-one likes criminals.
But–and this is a rather large but–we do have full control over the use of fanart on our blogs. Our blogs, which contain awful, misguided and un-researched opinions that would make the likes of Carl Gustav Horn laugh. If I was some Japanese dude and I saw my art posted on an Anime Blogger Illuminati blog (the Anime Blog Attack Force is almost as bad) without so much as a link back to my site, I’d get all Japanese-passive-aggressive about it. Don’t you get it? You’re making people angry! That’s why they made that no-longer-updated OFP site three years ago!
Why should you care? Well, I generally don’t care what people think about me, which is why I often write in a lofty, condescending tone. However, doing this doesn’t involve me actively using a fellow fan’s creation. Everything I’m writing is my own. When you use a piece of fanart you didn’t draw (specifically Japanese fanart in this case) on your blog to illustrate your stupid point about how Gundam 00 is totally deep, dude, like it or not, you’re now dealing with another culture, another set of rules, and a completely different mindset from your own, suburban, white picket fence outlook. And you need to respect that. You should care about what they think about this, since they made that piece of art you’re stealing shamelessly.
“BUT WAHHH–” ok I’ll stop. So, you say sourcing is hard? It isn’t. Pop into any IRC channel with decent people, drop an image link, ask for the source, and you’ll get a bunch of responses. Same works on Twitter. It’s not difficult. I’ve done it many times.
Say it’s an old image from deep in the depths of your harddrive. You have no idea where it came from. No one else you know knows either. BUT YOU REALLY WANNA USE IT. Suck it up, boy. Pop on pixiv or danbooru (no, danbooru is not evil, it’s a fine showcase of artwork that’s mostly sourced) and find something else that works just as well, and credit the artist. Hell, you don’t need to use fanart at all. Use a screencap! To take it even further, who even needs images? Your shitty one-liners suck anyway! Learn to write, why don’t you! Take a composition class! Read back issues of Animerica! Listen to Anime Wor–I’m getting off track.
To put it simply, you have no fucking excuse.
Why don’t the Japanese watermark? Because unlike you, Westerner, the rest of the world has a concept called “humbleness.” Well, it’s actually more because most of these works are now posted to the (rightfully so) insular pixiv community, so watermarks aren’t really needed. But really, it just plum makes sense to not use it if you didn’t make it. Like I mentioned above–if you really want to use it and have the source, go ahead. If you don’t, suck it up. We’re all adults here.
I know nothing I say will do anything, but something had to be said. The fact that this hasn’t been brought up for this long is shocking, and I’m glad that I was able to touch some hearts, while at the same time making a lot of people mad because I called them what they clearly are.
And that is a bunch of fucking thieves.
Also, “human trash.”