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I've seen a few comments pertaining to this scattered around, but I thought an actual discussion might be beneficial, since a lot of people seem to be offering/buying adoptables as of late.
I know a lot of people who will buy an adoptable for a flat rate and buy several pieces of art for it -- and then when they eventually lose interest in the adoptable itself, they turn around and resell it for an inflated price to cover the cost of the additional art that they bought for the design.

What's the general consensus on this, out of curiosity? I personally don't find it very kosher.

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Oct. 8th, 2015 10:30 am (UTC)
Admittedly, I've been guilty of this in the past. However, looking back the main issue is that both parties have to understand that they aren't selling anything.

When we're talking about physical art, the right of first sale does apply to the physical copy, but when it comes to digital art there is nothing to sell. Copyrights remain with the artist, and limited redistribution rights were agreed upon with the artist and original client. The latter is a fandom specific thing.

So do redistribution rights transfer in sale of characters or not? Can the artist come back and revoke those rights from folks not involved with the original transaction?
Oct. 8th, 2015 03:10 pm (UTC)
I always wondered about that part of "revoking the posting rights", because of a concrete thing that happened to me and left a *very* bad taste in my mouth.

So, an artist who I looked up to was taking trades. I offered a pixel icon, we agreed and I ended up finishing my half rather quickly. Her part wasn't finished yet but she had loads of commissions, so I didn't worry about it too much.

However, some 2 (3?) months later, her character was suddenly being sold, with my icon included as part of the art-package to increase the price (no credit either) and I still hadn't received my end of the trade. I played nice to not upset someone with a huge watcher-base, but part of me felt used, tbh.

So, if I wanted to, I could've asked them to pull the icon from the art-package, right?

Because adding paid commissions to drive a character's resell price up is already iffy in my book, but having this pattern of "New character > taking art trades > reselling character with art pack consisting of art that was traded for" is just so, so shady. :I

(Sorry for the text-wall here, though. D: )
(no subject) - celestinaketzia - Oct. 8th, 2015 05:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ansitru - Oct. 8th, 2015 06:30 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - armaina - Oct. 8th, 2015 08:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 8th, 2015 11:50 am (UTC)
I basically came here to post what celestinaketzia did. You can't actually "sell" the extra art along with the character unless you own the rights/did the art yourself. I do understand that if you want to trade off or sell a character, having extra art of it is an added value but... definitely not legally valid.

I'm also not so sure how I feel about artists coming in and "taking back" characters from people who violate their TOS. I do appreciate their attempts to keep people from inflating the prices of adopts, tho.
Oct. 8th, 2015 07:58 pm (UTC)
I don't get into this stuff simply because of all the crap, but.

If I bought a character, I bought it. It's now mine. It doesn't matter who made it or when. When you sell something, it's no longer yours, you get no say in what happens to it, with it, etc.

"B-but the artist made it, copyright, etc"

No. You sold it. It's no longer yours. What happens afterwards is out of your hands. It isn't a 'rental', it's an outright sale. If someone decides to sell it out for higher and it sells for more than what they paid, well, too bad. That's business for you. It happens. Once I own a character I can change how they look, their personality, etc, whatever. If someone wants it to remain how they designed it, then don't sell it.
Oct. 8th, 2015 08:03 pm (UTC)
This discussion post is asking about the legal and ethical issues surrounding selling a character for a higher value based on the art that was commissioned of it.

So "This character is for sale and comes with 10 pieces of art by so and so artists".
(no subject) - rys_khyrsal - Oct. 8th, 2015 08:11 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - celestinaketzia - Oct. 8th, 2015 08:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - rys_khyrsal - Oct. 8th, 2015 08:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - armaina - Oct. 8th, 2015 08:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - rys_khyrsal - Oct. 8th, 2015 08:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - celestinaketzia - Oct. 8th, 2015 08:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - starcharmer - Oct. 9th, 2015 12:13 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - biztheshiz - Oct. 9th, 2015 04:59 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - spartanwerewolf - Oct. 11th, 2015 07:09 am (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 8th, 2015 08:00 pm (UTC)
I don't see how it's not Kosher. The new owner of the character created new value for the name and overall identity of the character, the artists were paid (or theoretically they were) and nothing was stolen. The only way it wouldn't be is if they claim they're selling copyrights to the art itself.

The fact of the matter is, unless stated explicitly, all adoptable 'sales' are, are a loose agreement to the use and presentation of a specific design and all other 'branding' of that character. Unless the inclusion of trademarks and other rights are explicitly made, then none of those elements have actually been exchanged or purchased.

You're not selling other people's art, you're selling the communally agreed upon ethical right to use the character, and therefore you would be the only person with need or want (theoretically) to use the art related to it. You still can't do anything with it that would require copyright ownership. so literally nothing changes for the artists that were commissioned for the additional pieces.

Basically I don't see what the problem is.
Oct. 8th, 2015 09:00 pm (UTC)
Honestly, I feel that the biggest issue when it comes to reselling adoptables with art is the fact that a lot of resellers don't credit the original artists, which can lead to some issues if the design + art is sold multiple times. This can also hurt the buyer because if anything happens to where you have the art saved, you're out of luck when it comes to getting the art back (as I've learned in the past.)
It also seems to be common practice to not tell the original creator of the art that the design is being sold, which can cause some copyright confusion if the art is posted in the new owner's gallery without any mention of it being bought.

All in all, it tends to be a very confusing process if a design gets sold more than once, no matter how perfect the practices of everyone involved are.
Sian Tiley
Oct. 8th, 2015 09:02 pm (UTC)
as far as I am concerned onces the person buys the adopt its theirs to do what they wish with.
Oct. 8th, 2015 09:10 pm (UTC)
This came up a few months ago. My position is the same: it'd be reasonable to view most adoptable purchases as a purchase of a transferable right to show a particular image without "commercial" reproduction rights (similar to, say, the display of a painting in a gallery without being able to sell prints), as well as a disclaimer of any character rights.

I think it's similarly reasonable for someone who's commissioned a bunch of related art to transfer all their rights, such as they are, and to get the market rate for that bundle of rights (bearing in mind that the act of obtaining related pieces from several artists is itself a useful service, especially if the art is available now rather than at some vague time in the future).

The whole "what if someone else makes money off of it?" business seems short-sighted. Adoptables are generally a good deal for artists; the purchaser takes the risk that the value of their purchase may depreciate, as it almost certainly will, while the artist gets guaranteed money, now, for the use of a drawing of their choice.

If an artists' work somehow does become sought-after, others will come looking for more, and they can raise their prices or sell more at the same price. You may even find that the purchaser returns to the original artist for a new piece, while the seller (who was presumably a fan) now has more money to spend on buying adoptables and other art from the artist - which they're more likely to do given that it turned out to be a good investment. That's a win-win for everyone involved.

The thing to push hard on is your right to be attributed as the creator. If that's not happening, bring out the big guns, because that hits your future earnings. This is particularly applicable to the "I'm hiding the source of these adoptable characters to try and flip them" situation (which I think is rare, and does not appear to be the case here).

tl;dr Don't get hung up on a few dollars here or there in the secondary market; if the non-commercial rights to your art/adoptables are popular enough to be worth reselling, thank your lucky stars, and leverage that to sell more yourself at the market price.
Oct. 9th, 2015 06:22 pm (UTC)
I agree with this. It is good publicity to have your work uploaded a second time provided you're credited. The main problem with these resales is that sometimes it's just a huge bundle with no credits, which is a real shame.
Oct. 8th, 2015 11:59 pm (UTC)
I treat adoptable sales the same as selling a physical item- it is now the buyer's property to keep, trade, alter, or resell as they will. They don't have commercial rights to the character of course unless we specifically arranged that before money changed hands, but the client is completely welcome to resell the character for any price and the resale is not really any of my business. If I were to see someone profit off something I sold, I'd use that information to raise my prices a little bit.
Oct. 9th, 2015 01:55 am (UTC)
I do not approve. Only I am allowed to sell my art. Any adoptable I make can be resold, but not art made of it. That doesn't sit well with me.
Oct. 9th, 2015 01:59 am (UTC)
This is why I always contact the artist of what ever art piece I'll get before buying a design, if I can. Unfortunately since I do mine via Furcadia, it can be tricky as all hells to track some people down.
Oct. 9th, 2015 02:06 am (UTC)
I personally don't see what's so wrong with it?

Generally speaking, character resellers and buyers are perfectly aware they're not selling third parties' pieces, they're just selling the rights to the design. The artists were paid for the labour and skill (not the rights to the piece obviously) of creating a piece featuring certain character. So, after the sale, the extra art is intended to keep being used as it was used before (reposted with credit, as icons, etc), the only difference being that the rights of the design are under a new name.

Yes, characters with multiple pieces are often higher in value, but that's usually so the original owner can cover what was spent originally. Sometimes they might earn a lil more, yeah, but as long as the artist was paid properly and people keep in mind they're not selling the rights to their art, just merely including the pieces involving the design being sold, I don't think it's a wrong thing to do.

Edited at 2015-10-09 02:09 am (UTC)
Oct. 9th, 2015 02:42 am (UTC)
One of the problems I've seen with the fandom is that they do actually think they're buying the copyright to the art when they purchase it. Legal savvy people know otherwise but the average joe doesn't. (Something I saw on Facebook recently where someone turned down a commission for a tail because it looked like someone else's species.)

I prefer to trade for adopts myself.
Oct. 9th, 2015 05:20 am (UTC)

If you go to a garage sale and buy an old painting that the person commissioned from friend years ago but lost interest in it and decided to sell it, is that kosher?

I'm having a hard time with this...  On one hand, as an artist it would piss me off to see someone reselling a commission I did for them. Whether it be as is or in a a bundle. They're making a profit off of MY work. On the other hand, it's still considered an object once it's completed and sold (just like the garage sale painting).

But if the reseller cannot sell the copywright of the imagine, then is it illegal to to resell it in the first place? What part of the image constitutes as the copywright if it legal to resell the image?

Part of me wouldn't mind as long as there was proper credit and they asked me first. And maybe recommended me for future commissions.... >.>

Oct. 9th, 2015 01:02 pm (UTC)
"If you go to a garage sale and buy an old painting that the person commissioned from friend years ago but lost interest in it and decided to sell it, is that kosher?"

That is the "right of first sale" and is fine to do with "real world" items. Digital goods don't fall into that category.
(no subject) - biztheshiz - Oct. 9th, 2015 04:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 9th, 2015 05:35 am (UTC)
I don't see a huge issue as long as the total value of the adopt + the art doesn't exceed the total amount paid. As a customer if I buy an adopt that I eventually lose interest in I'd like to think I can at least recoup the amount of money I spent on it when I get rid of it, be it through trading for something of equal value or selling it for the amount of the adopt + the commission fees on each piece. But not over, otherwise you get into the sketchy territory of profiting off of other people's work - but I don't see it as profiting if you're just recouping your losses.

To be fair a lot of people won't see it that way; which is why you should respect anyone who doesn't want their work redistributed. Maybe even go so far as to ask/double check with the artists when you buy art from them or go to sell the character. I feel like a lot of this really comes down to individual wishes and communication, honestly. -3-
Oct. 9th, 2015 02:36 pm (UTC)
Adoptables are a quirky, fandom-specific transaction. From a legal standpoint, nothing is being bought or sold; character designs don't have copyright protection. Stipulations (don't resell it for more then you bought it, don't use it in porn, this is my "closed species", and etc etc) are all just honor system. You can ask people to respect them, but you can't do anything about it if they don't. If you're going to jump into adoptables, you have to be realistic about that. Artists who hope to exercise a ton of control over characters they've sold usually end up frustrated.

So far as reselling an adoptable with a "bundle" of art commissioned from other people - the buyer is not selling redistribution rights for this art (because they didn't have those to begin with), they're just selling the ability to say "this is art of MY character". The character itself is what has increased in value by having more art created of it. If you bid on a transaction like this, be aware that you do not have rights, including redistribution, for the additional art.

IME - adoptables can work fine, make money for artists, and be fun for buyers...both sides just have to be realistic about it.
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