If you’ve ever reprinted art from pixiv without getting actual permission from the artist, or reblogged art from someone who reprinted art without permission, I suggest you read this post. Please keep in mind while reading, though, that if you have done either of these things, please don’t feel bad. I know that the vast majority of the time, these things are not done out of ill will. They’re done because people didn’t know certain things. I don’t want to put people down and tell them they’re wrong. I want people to change what they’re doing, and I want them to know why.
There are three things stopping me and many others from reprinting art without permission. From weakest to strongest, they are:
1) Enough respect for the artist and their ownership of the work. This ownership is implied, so people feel that they are free to disregard it entirely, “because this is the Internet”. I will not talk about this now, I will offer the opinion that “this is the Internet” is not an excuse to disrespect virtual ownership. I hope you do not fight me, or anyone, one this point because it is a very vague line and any fight over it turns out fairly ugly.
2) Because pixiv says not to. It really does. But many people don’t know this, which is understandable. But now that you do, you can’t say that you don’t.
3) Because artists say so. Sometimes. So when people reprint despite those sometimes, it adds an additional layer of sin. You disrespected someone’s direct request, a request that would do you absolutely no harm to follow. Why? Why would someone do that?
It’s always nice to start with official material, so we’ll do that. pixiv has their rules written out very nicely in very good English here. I’m interested in one part in particular.
Okay, that there should stop everyone from reprinting work without permission. It says so right there. Don’t reprint without permission.
"But they’ll never know" “The artist should be grateful that they’re getting publicity” “There are simply some stories/art that I really want to share on here” “I’m sure they wouldn’t mind” “That’s what they get for uploading their work” “I’m too scared to ask”
You know, punk, if you can’t follow the fucking rules, get off the fucking site.
Those things might be true. That doesn’t mean the rules will simply crumble to nothing.
A lot of people didn’t know this rule before. That’s okay. No one will hate you. Simply move on.
And if you’re scared, I understand. I was scared. So were the people I know, when they first asked. But pixiv artists aren’t the president or the pope, okay? They don’t look down on you. They love you like you love your followers. There are one, two, three permission-asking templates that I know of so far. Simple fill in the blank style. Any literate person could do this. You could do this. I believe in you, you know?
That rule is there for a reason. So artists get the respect they deserve. Not something-they-get-because-sourcing-and-getting-permission-is-a-huge-pain-and-thus-a-favor-from-us. Respect. Basic respect. Human respect. Sourcing and permissions aren’t extra nice flowery things that gets you extra points. They should come with reprints. It’s a package deal. Take it or leave it.
When I ask a pixiv artist for permission to reprint their art, sometimes they will tell me “Thank you for your praise and for being so polite. I am sorry, but I will have to turn down your request. I cannot grant permission for you to reprint my work. Thank you for the kind message, all the same.” Many of them have profiles that state “do not reprint without permission”, but some don’t. And when I ask those who don’t, and they withhold permission, I give them some advice, to protect them from the hordes of reprinters, if only a few: “This is just my advice, but I think it would be a good idea to write “Do not reprint without permission” on your profile. And most heed this advice. However, one user’s reply got me thinking…
Warning: the following message contains analogies to rape and suicide that may trigger some people. The references are hypothetical, nonspecific, and nongraphic, but are there, so take heed.