azrchr (azrchr) wrote in artists_beware,

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Advice Needed: Morally Permissible Practices Regarding 'Inspiration' and Adoptables

[Resubmitted as a more general post per mod request; sorry for messing up the first time! Didn't know name mentions extended to usernames, I'm a derp.]

I need advice/help in figuring out why I'm so bothered by something.
A few months ago, an artist I used to watch had posted an adoptable for sale, based on the protagonist from the game Bloodborne. They did the same a while later with the Dark Souls 3 protagonist, citing 'inspiration'.

In the beginning, when the artist had only posted the first two designs based on the proganonists of these games, I was not bothered. They were recognizable, but it seemed permissible.
However, the artist has been posting more and more designs from the Souls game series, as they 'sell like hotcakes', and they have been creeping towards outright plagiarism [and as a professed fine arts major, should know better]. I could recognize all of the named characters immediately without even clicking on the submissions. They haven't bothered to change their original names in the submission descriptions or even fiddle with their outfits at all, save for removing their pants, really. The only major difference is that they're furries and not humans.

Is it morally acceptable for an artist in the furry community to sell adoptables that are no different from copyrighted characters, save for being furry versions of them? In fursuiting [an adjacent part of the fandom], for example, it's not considered okay to rip off someone's style, let alone entire characters, and suits based on existing copyrighted characters from pop culture are recognized as cosplays [as opposed to original/owned-by-suiter characters]. Designs that are similar to others within the fandom are met with much skepticism and scrutiny.

Is it okay to rip off of copyrighted characters from video games, etc., even though those characters were created by another artist and are owned by that artist and their company? This money clearly isn't going towards helping FromSoftware pay the artists that did the work to conceptualize these characters, so it bothers me a lot. Please help, AB! Is there anything that can be done? SHOULD anything be done? Or do these count as a form of 'design cosplay', if that is even a legitimate term for adoptables/art designs intended to be sold?
Tags: advice for artists

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