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QUESTION: Adoptable species changing owners

I know this isnt something you usually see on Artists beware but I recently stumbled upon this and I had some questions I thought the community could answer. Because this is a general question I will not be posting names, but I can for further clarification if needed. I dont want to beware anyone involved, just curious what the changes the new owner is doing verses the old one, if anything can actually be held up/enforced.

The artist had a race she made. Very cute, high sellers (imho) I have one and I got a friend of mine one as well. They also sold templates on their website allowing people to make their own for their own use and for sale. I almost got one of these myself.

The creator artist has since lost their passion for the creatures and sold off the species. I didnt even know who owned the new one until by chance someone linked me to a journal which was posted about a week ago. In it the new owner states that they are now a closed species, anyone who bought the template online to make and sell them will not be allowed to do so. Everyone must register their adoptable or it will be considered 'a fake' 'poser' 'look alike'

I have some issues with this as I bought mine as what it is because of what it is and that it is very cute. And while I didnt buy the template it strikes me as that would not be enforceable as it was purchased from the creator artist with the terms and conditions being that they can be made and sold. Unless the new owner is going to refund those people, I dont see how this can be enforced.

Adoptable have always been a bit of a slippery slope, and I am curious what other artists think. I hope this was clear enough to understand.

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Comments

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
celestinaketzia
Feb. 17th, 2017 09:14 pm (UTC)
Is it enforceable?

In short: No
In long: Really, just no.

But joking aside, there is no legal protections for adoptables. Especially concerning adoptables that are quite generic. The people who purchased these templates can continue to pump them out until the end of time, and it would be legal.

However, given that this market runs on good faith, I'd imagine this wouldn't last for long with fanbases that are a bit more... passionate.

So if anyone owns one of these characters, I'd say continue to use them. The new owner can't retroactively do anything about them. In fact, I'd say they have an uphill battle attempting to control what was a liberal market for this species.
gatekat
Feb. 17th, 2017 09:18 pm (UTC)
Since the entire concept of a closed species is unenforceable in a legal sense, it's purely on their social power. If they have enough social power then they can do it. If not they can't.

Drawing from things that actually are legally enforceable, laws/rules/ect can almost never be retroactive. So unless the base owners sign a new contract with the new species owner then the contract issued when they bought the base is still in force. Same with the existing owners like you.

What they're doing is highly questionable to flat out illegal, depending on how they go about trying to enforce their new rules.

Now if there are perks involved in having a registered one, those perks can be withheld from those who don't register. But that's really it.
(Screened comment)
celestinaketzia
Feb. 17th, 2017 09:36 pm (UTC)
mod comment
Howdy, this toes the line for what we allow in advice posts. They must remain anonymous. I'm going to screen this in the meantime, and have the mod team input their opinions. We'll leave it screened or unscreen it.
shariea
Feb. 17th, 2017 09:39 pm (UTC)
QUESTION: Adoptable species changing owners
Oop! Sorry, I thought be omitting the name that would be fine, but I can see why that would toe the line. Thanks for letting me know.
amocin
Feb. 17th, 2017 09:34 pm (UTC)
I dont think that because the ownership of the speicies switched hands that previous sales should in any way be effected. Like... Lets say you got yourself a game... lets say Mario Kart because thats something people know.. If Nintendo suddenly sold Mario off to Square, or Bioware, or even Microsoft.. that does not mean that your game would stop working on the systems it was already working on. New products would have to be purchased from them, yes, but it does not invalidate your previous purchase. You wont suddenly get on your old system to play your game and suddenly see that Nintendo wont let you play it.. No.. because you paid your money for it already, your payment was an agreement that you got that game and you got to play it on the system it was sold for.

So in short: Selling something does not give the right to take it back from other people who already had it. Maybe no new ones will come out, but that does not invalidate your purchase with the previous owner.

New owner is being rude and mean.
venatorrooc
Feb. 17th, 2017 10:34 pm (UTC)
Legality aside, I'd say that the new owner's new rules can't be enforced retroactively onto old purchases/creations. Yours would be grandfathered in under the old rules.

Though whether the new owner likes that or not it's hard to say, but as long as you enjoy your character the new owner yelling "poser" is kinda whatever.

I'd continue to just use your character as you have been and don't worry too much about it unless it becomes a bigger problem.
princenowhere
Feb. 18th, 2017 12:15 am (UTC)
Regarding the species creator/original owner, about a year ago I had purchased an egg adopt of a different one of their original species that didn't get completed for 8+ months and they ended up selling the species before I ever did get the design I had paid for. I was refunded, but after that experience, I'm honestly not too surprised that this happened with the new one.

Echoing everyone else saying that the new owner's rules don't work retroactively, from a legal/logical/fair standpoint. But that doesn't stop them from potentially throwing a fit about people who don't go by their new rules.
witchyriss
Feb. 18th, 2017 08:05 am (UTC)
I agree with others that former purchases/deals should be grandfathered in. Going off what Celestinaketzia said about adoptables running on good faith, they can be sunk by it just as easily.

I'm part of a few CS groups. I have a lot of fun drawing and participating in their communities. But, it's also my opinion that artists who primarily sell adoptables get away with way more than standard commission based artists. They should get called out more often.
tokiva
Feb. 18th, 2017 09:06 pm (UTC)
Like everyone else has said, the new rules can't be enforced on old purchases. It would need to be grandfathered in, looking at it from a legal standpoint. Whether or not the species owner knows this, they can end up in hot water, and people that purchased the template prior to these TOS should get their money back via refund to either the new owner or the old owner if they want to change the TOS. Besides, in a legal standpoint, the TOS you agreed to upon purchase is the only TOS you're legally supposed to abide by. Any changes to that TOS must be run by and approved by the purchaser / user and they can decline to accept those TOS since they're legally not bound to do so.

As everyone else is saying, it's more a matter of social standing, as are a lot of TOS regarding closed species and adoptables. It's not a physical product and it's run based on a community sense. If you don't do this ___ you'll get attacked by the fandom or content creator and "exposed" so you can't buy other closed species adoptables. That's why I don't really mess with them and any "species" I make is open, because looking at from a legal standpoint it's not illegal to make something exactly like it via traits. As long as it's not the same exact creation and as long as it's not trademarked, it can't really be considered theft even though the community has a different personal opinion.

I hope this helped at least! I'd tell the species owner that what they're doing is technically not enforceable if I were you, and if they get hostile and try and disprove it, I'd show them this post so they can see these comments.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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