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MMD Miku with a Chain-saw by Trackdancer

I thought this subject was pretty much laid to rest, but apparently it still keeps raising its ugly head and, well let's put it this way, I hate to let sloppy reasoning slide and demolishing sloppy reasoning is fun.

So what's this all about? First off this is definitely GM34's fault. He wrote to me asking about a transgender UTAU that he was interested in using for an upcoming project and wanted to know "its" name. And I told him it was Namine Ritsu, and went to look for a link for him. Now whenever you do a search for Namine Ritsu, you're going to bring up Nanami Watabe's name. And since he has a DA account I clicked there and found that he faved a certain journal.

You might want to give that journal a quick read before proceeding here as basically this is a rebuttal as well as a partially constructive response to the arguments presented in that journal. And whilst I'm at it I'm going to demolish some other myths that the Japanese MMDC has about us so read the other two also. All three are very short and were written by damesukekun.

Japanese Attitudes Towards MMD models. fav.me/d4vlziy
Do NOT Edit Models Without Full Japanese Command. fav.me/d4yrr27
Editing or Frankensteining? fav.me/d65x8m0

damesukekun identifies himself on his Twitter account as the Admin of Vocaloid Wiki. I do not know for how much of the Japanese MMDC he speaks for, but will recognize for the purposes of this discussion that he speaks for at least some. He has put forward some rather interesting points that I feel we need to respond to in an intelligent manner as, sorry, I beg to differ as the logic is flawed and the fan-girling comments on those journal pages don't really help forward the discussion.


I will deal with the main arguments in each of his journals in turn.


A rebuttal to the "Japanese Attitudes Towards MMD models" argument:


The main thrust of this article is that due to the influences of Shinto beliefs, traditions or culture, "Japanese people have the special affection for human-shaped objects." It then goes on to say that this may be one of the reasons why at least some Japanese modelers don't want their models to be edited and that we should take these feelings into consideration.

BULLSHIT.

First off MMD models are not objects. Wherein a crafted Japanese Geisha doll is a singlular physical object that would have required hours of work to create and it could arguably be claimed that a part of a the creator's soul was imbuelled into it, you cannot use this argument for an MMD model. Put aside the hours of work to create part. That's a given. The important difference is that the model itself actually only exists as data. Want proof of this? Just open up a PMD or PMX file with a text editor. I know of no known religion that would accept the concept of imbuing either spirit or soul into data, especially data that can exists in a multitude of forms.

Secondly, when we're talking about an MMD model we are also talking about multiple instances (or copies) of the same data. It is no longer a singular entity. I am not a Shinto priest, but in all honestly I highly doubt that any Shinto priest in his right mind is going to be able to refute the argument that we are talking about multiple copies of an original work. The original work is still in the original modeler's PC. If he choses to he can deify that as much as he wants. Once it's publically released, the "clones" are no longer his property but the property of those that now own the copies. Does he have rights over the clones at all? Absolutely, these are as allowed for under existing copyright legislation. These laws are already very generous and includes restrictions on the right to copy, redistribute and edit.

There is no need to bring religion or cultural values into this argument.

The extended argument is that the image of the model is what is being imbued with "spirit". Once again the argument does not hold. Different people will interpret Miku Hatsune in different ways even though there may be some commonality. I have created characteristics for many of the Vocaloids that are quite well known. They have become my interpretations of what I think they're really like and that may differ greatly from the way the original modelers or other MMDers sees them. Implicit in this argument is that the character must be inline with the way the original modeler envision them. This is also impossible, especially since I have never seen any documentation that a character depicted by a model needs to be interpreted in a particular way. The MMD community at large may have a general consensus to the way Akita Neru might look or behave, but there's still lot of room for other viewpoints. These do exists and she will continue to evolve as others add their interpretations into the mix.


A rebuttal to the "Do NOT Edit Models Without Full Japanese Command" argument:


First off, this is outright racism.

But I'll be generous and will view it as a misguided attempt to communicate certain principles. I'm going to blow away some common myths about the "need to know Japanese to fully under Japanese Law" argument. The only time I will ever need to know Japanese Law in its native language is if I am within a territory within Japan's jurisdiction and having to argue a case in a Japanese Court. Outside of that it's poppycock. I am not subject to the strictures of Japanese Law. Furthermore, I am not a lawyer. If I need to argue a case in a Japanese Court, I would hire a Japanese lawyer to argue my case on my behalf. So once again, I don't need to know either Japanese Law or the language. And guess what? That's how the Legal System works, even in Japan.

Furthermore, I am quite capable of reading Japanese Legal documents even with only the use of Google Translate. In fact, I've read Crypton's license on the use of their Vocaloids on their website using this machine translator with no problems understanding what the Terms of their license is. And guess what? It's pretty standard for a document of that type.

The journal also argues that the auto-translator mis-translated a certain phrase as an example of its flaws. Specifically: "Be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them."

This is a facetious argument; auto-translators only make literal translations. This is all that the current level of this technology allows at the moment so it is a given that it will fail with nuances in the use of language and that it might even fail with proper grammatical constructions. The purpose of these translators is to offer a first step in overcoming a language barrier, nothing more. And for this purpose, they work fine. For my own use with difficult passages I would use the Babylon, Microsoft as well as the Google Translators on the same text so that I have a cross reference of meanings so that I can get a better idea on what a certain passage is actually saying. Also, when you feed a whole long sequence into the translator it has a greater chance of failure than if you only feed it a portion at a time. So for example:

Phase: "Be not afraid of greatness"
1st reiteration: "偉大さを恐れていないこと"
2nd reiteration: "That you are not afraid of greatness"

That isn't too bad is it? Auto-translators do not translate meanings, people do that. All they do is provide raw verbatim translations and if you understand that, they are very powerful tools.

The modeling rules are actually quite simple and once again most of these are covered already by existing copyrights legislation. And it should not be hard to create an international system using symbols along the lines of the Creative Common licenses. None of us, Japanese or Overseas MMDC members need to be lawyers to have our rights protected and to be able to enjoy the hobby.

BTW, with reference to the statement that the "Japanese language has tons of homophones, conjugations and particles."  All languages have this quality ...

DO NOT EDIT AND/OR REDISTRIBUTE (and trade) MODELS UNLESS YOU HAVE THE FULL COMMAND OF JAPANESE TO READ THE ATTACHED TOS.
Full command means you can read Japanese newspapers or academic papers. Basic conversation skill is not enough. You should also refrain from distributing your translation unless you have the full command of Japanese. If you spread a grave mistranslation, you would be involved in a copyright trouble.


  • First off it's "Terms of Use" not "Terms of Service". 
  • Full command means you can read Japanese newspapers or academic papers. - Why? I don't need this type of knowledge to drive a Japanese car or operate a Japanese made electronic device. Why would I need to know these to play a Japanese game???
  • You should also refrain from distributing your translation unless you have the full command of Japanese. - To the best of my knowledge no one distributes translations, so why is this even an issue?
  • If you spread a grave mistranslation, you would be involved in a copyright trouble. - Not true, only issue here is that you'll be guilty of badly translating something and that's not a crime.

I'm going to throw a real legal argument back at you for you to think about. In the State of California, if you want me to be legally bound to the terms of some contract or agreement, you will need to, at your expense, make those terms understandable to me in a language that I can understand in an instance where you and I don't share the same language. Otherwise, I'm not bound to your terms as I can't read your language. And guess what? The Superior Court of the State of California will back me up on this. Think about this for a moment.

I'm going to spoil your day even further. Japanese Civil Law isn't as foreign a concept to us as you might think. You'll be surprised at how much of today's Japanese Civil Codes are built upon legal concepts that were introduced into Japan after the Meiji Restoration from legal codes from Western countries. This isn't my opinion, it's documented by Japanese legal scholars.

And now the biggest laugh of all. This whole you must understand Japanese argument is total bunk due to one simple legal principle that is applicable in all modern countries. Minors cannot enter into contracts. Not in my country and not in Japan. This doesn't mean that MMD models are not protected, they are. After all, even if minors cannot enter into contracts, they can still be held guilty of breaking existing Laws. Simply put, Japanese MMD models are already protected by Law, even from minors. All you need to know is how to enforce your legal rights and you don't even need a lawyer to do this.

A lot of these editing problems stems from the behaviour or rather misbehaviour of minors in the Overseas MMDC. It isn't the adults that are causing the problems for the most part. The other part of the problem is the Japanese MMDC itself. Basically, because it is behaving in a childish manner. No one is going to resolve this argument when both sides are behaving like children. 

The solution is actually quite simple, just handle this problem like an adult would and the problem of illegal edits would simply go away. Children just need to be taught that there are negative consequences for bad behaviour. The Japanese MMDC has had the tools to deal with this and always have had. They just need to figure out what it is and take the appropriate action. The statement "but I'd like to say chain of free creativity never means copyright free" is absolutely true, no matter how badly phrased it is. And herein lies the solution. Assert your damn rights and see how quickly the problem can be resolved.


A partial rebuttal to the "Editing or Frankensteining?" argument:


I'm going to take the arguments to task on a point-by-point basis - purely in the spirit of a debate. But before doing so, let me clearly state that I actually agree with many of the arguments put forward in that journal. I'll revisit these in the conclusions below. To keep this reasonably brief I will take to task the following example that was put forth as an argument:

Think about this example. You collect many famous pictures. Michelangelo, Gogh, Millet, Picasso and other artists.
You cut their works and make a new patchwork picture.
Is this an art? Can you claim you edited the picture?


First off, there is a lot of Western art that makes use of well known works of famous artists. A lot of these works are parodies. Parodies are allowed for under US Law. It's called Fair Use. Take for example what MAD magazine did by grafting the head of their mascot (the Neiman character) over the body of the Mona Lisa. Is it art? That's a valued judgement and is totally dependant on the POV of the viewer. But legally it is a parody and this is a fact.

Secondly, for most of the artist named, all of them are dead and have been dead for awhile and for the most part their works can no longer be protected by copyright legislation. So, legally you can do whatever with their work. Or at least copies of them as the originals are worth too much for anyone in their right minds to want to mess with.

Or it can be compared to cutting dolls into parts to create a "new doll of your own".
Can you say you treat the dolls with love?


These is a dangerously erroneous assumption. You cannot make the argument that an MMD modeler, actually more correctly an editor, operating in this manner doesn't treat the new model (or doll) with love. The circumstantial evidence is contradictory to this argument.

Definitely not! You just destroy original pictures or dolls.
Making frankenstein models is like this. You just destroy original models.


In destroying one thing, sometimes something else is created. When you cut down a tree and make it into paper and then print words on it, then bind the papers together you get a book. The process of art and design very often employs a destructive sequence of actions to create a new work. Take any sculpture as a prime example.

In forwarding these counter arguments I am not arguing that models should be allowed to be cut up for parts. I've actually long argued against this practice as apart from anything else, it is extremely disrespectful to the original modeler if this was against his wishes. In any case, legally, this practice is illegal anyway without the expressed consent of the modeler and simply put it's a breach of copyrights and there are remedies for this even without the need for legal counsel. A simple DMCA take down letter would quickly resolve these types of issues. You don't even need a lawyer to make one of these.


CONCLUSION


These type of problems, however,  cannot be addressed by the Japanese MMDC itself without the active support of the Overseas MMDC. It needs cooperation from both sides to stop these practices. Part of the problem lies in the fact that there is currently no mechanism nor organization to do this and the Japanese MMDC has found itself with a burden that it does not want and obviously has some issues with dealing with. Just as we might not have a complete understanding of Japanese culture, the Japanese MMDC probably has an even harder time dealing with us as we are a multitude of other cultures and generations.

I did note was that the last journal was dated May 20th, 2013. Which means that this issue is still a hot topic, at least with some, within the Japanese MMDC and that is not a good thing. So how can we help the Japanese MMDC? Building continued awareness against the practice is a first step. Journals like these are a step in that direction. The second step is that the MMD Groups on DA should become proactive in not hosting such works in their galleries and perhaps even going as far as expelling repeat offenders from their rosters. What we also do need to do is avoid as much as possible in allowing the MMD Police to resurface as that's eventually just going to become more trouble than it is worth. There needs to be some other mechanism(s).

But there are other positive steps that can be taken and one is to unify as well as clarify the existing rules from Japanese modelers in language that everyone can understand. Some Japanese modelers already do this to a certain extent and have done an excellent job in this respect; but still there are examples of infringements. Simply put, some people just do not have respect for other peoples work - honestly, it will be hard to find a remedy for this. In addition, there is as portion of the Overseas MMDC that are just idiots. There is alas, no known cure for stupidity. But I will put a qualifier here. The Japanese themselves have had people essentially doing some of the same thing as what they are accusing many of us of doing. We are not the only ones who have "Frankensteined" models.

It might also surprise the Japanese MMDC to know this, but there is actually a sizable portion of the Overseas MMDC who are just as much against the practice of "Frankensteining" as they are. I've seen arguments by some that the Japanese attitude prohibits them from creating their own "selfies" or OCs. The simple argument against this is that if you really wanted to do something like that, that badly, acquire the knowledge, skill and software to do so. To argue that others are prohibiting you from doing what you want by chopping parts from other models is bullshit. You have absolutely no rights to create your work by extracting parts from existing models if this is against the wishes of the original modelers. There's no argument that you can make that will justify your case, morally or legally.

You know, when I go through the list of models on Xoriu's blog, which I do on a regular basis, I am usually disappointed to see so few, if any, real original works from the Overseas MMDC. Plenty of edits, some game rips, but original models? Almost none. If there are any original models, they're going to be almost always be from Japanese modelers. Not all of these original models are necessarily from existing well known modelers either. You do see new names coming on the scene which means that the Japanese MMDC is able to generate a new generation of modelers. Something will need to be done to redress this imbalance or these types of problems will never really go away.

damesukekun statement that "Frankensteining isn't the same as editing." has a poignancy that if we don't pay more careful heed to, may eventually lead to the demise of interest in MMD in the Overseas MMDC. In which case the problem would be solved, right? But is this the solution that we truly want?

Look at this another way. When we learn Judo or Karate, we learn to do it the way the Japanese do it as otherwise it would no longer be Judo or Karate right? The same analogy may apply here. If we're going to do MMD, we're going to have to learn to do it their way or it won't be MMD. The only way we're going to be able to change this equation, and I believe we can, is to foster a change in the mindset and encourage the development of original models and other resources for MMD from outside of Japan. But until that happens, we need to pay careful attention to what they're saying. After all, they are currently our "sempais" aren't they?

Just my opinions, and as usual, they're worth exactly two cents. Thanks for reading.
A brief examination about some myths that the Japanese MMDC has about us. Please feel welcomed to leave a comment.
Add a Comment:
 
:iconmary34:
mary34 Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I am not a modeler or model editor myself (I only use PMX for fixing messed up bones and stuff) so I can't say much on the matter, and all I could say is summed up pretty nicely here.
And yeah we really don't have much original (i.e. making everything from scratch) modeler in the western community. The only one I can think of at the moment is Chatterhead (Who is a very skilled modeler by the way) and maybe a few others I forgot about, but that's about it.
I do use edited models on my pictures frequently, and I usually double check if they are legal or not (there are still probably a few that escapes my radar.) to avoid supporting illegal stuff, and I always try to credit everything I use. I'ts a lot of pain in the butt, but worth it regardless.
Reply
:icontrackdancer:
Trackdancer Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2015
Who is 'Chatterhead'? Never heard of him to be perfectly honest.
Reply
:icontrackdancer:
Trackdancer Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2015
Hmmm ... no wonder he doesn't get serious attention. The guy's got no moral backbone.
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:iconmary34:
mary34 Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Well, I am not entierly fond of his personality either (at least what I gathered based on what I saw), but I admire his skill.
Speaking of which I have to admit I deeply admire your work and level of maturity you display in your writings. I rarely meet people this profound and talented on the internet. I think I can safely say that you are my favorite Deviant art user and MMDer (is that even a word?) and I hope that I can see more of your amazing work.
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:icontrackdancer:
Trackdancer Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2015
Well, to be fair, talent is talent, and he's got that a plenty. My last comments were just based on what was presented in that gallery and nothing more.
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:iconmary34:
mary34 Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yeah, to be fair, the overly busty girls do trow me off a little. I'm not a diehard femminist, but they do bug me.
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:icontrackdancer:
Trackdancer Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2015
They bug me too, and I'm a guy and supposed to like that sort of thing ... >< ... obviously not!
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(1 Reply)
:iconextremeyaoifanatic:
ExtremeYaoiFanatic Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
FINALLY someone says something publicly about damesuckmydick's diarrhea of the mouth
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:icontrackdancer:
Trackdancer Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2014
It is not very nice to call people names like that even if you don't like their POV.
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:iconscn71402:
scn71402 Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
What is Frankensteining anyways?
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:icontrackdancer:
Trackdancer Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2013
"Frankensteining" is the process of creating something from multiple parts from multiple sources.
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:iconscn71402:
scn71402 Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Why does everyone even hate it? Anyways, some people are FORCED to create everything their own stuff FROM SCRATCH. If so, then 99% of all DA's MMD models are frankensteins. But they are mostly cute - why one should hate them because these are frankensteins? I love the model because it's cute or pleasantly looking, not because whether it's a frankenstein or not. Also, facial expressions make the "personality" of model, what it can express, is it grouchy goth/elegant but mean aristocrat or nicie-nicie cutie loli-chan/hot handsome, sweet, lovely, nice emo boy (girl) etc. Personality and quality, not whether frankenstein or not, SHOULD be the criteria to judge a model.
Also, I don't call it frankenstein if it's art or a good model - I call it "surgery", and a person who creates his/her own bases etc - "surgeon".
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:icontrackdancer:
Trackdancer Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2014
The term "Frankensteining" is fine. It's used in other fields too. As for MMD, it doesn't really make much sense to use the term as you outlined above.
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:iconballetjen:
balletjen Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2013  Student General Artist
Thank you so much for posting this. People need to hear this.
I feel the same way about this ordeal as you do. Both sides in question need to grow up and stop whining.
I know that I've been using model editing as a way to better understand how mmd and 3d modeling works, and am using it as a stepping stone to creating my own models from scratch. But I think many western users don't see it the same way.
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:icontrackdancer:
Trackdancer Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2013
What you do with data on your own personal equipment is, within reason, your right. It only becomes a problem when people start redistributing things that aren't really their own work.
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:iconballetjen:
balletjen Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2013  Student General Artist
Yup. When people illegally distribute, it's the worst.
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:iconscn71402:
scn71402 Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Also, do you think that an author of a model should hate everybody who edits or re-distributes them at all? Then it's an auteur, not an author. If you created a model, do you have to be aggressive towards everybody who copies them, edits them, or redistributes both original and edited versions at all? Then it's not a community. It's Orwell's 1984 world. It's the world of monopolism. People should always be happy if they're popular, not greed. We AREN'T Mark Zuckerbergs or Larry Pages. We aren't Justin Biebers or Lady Gagas. We are people, not behemoths. We are NOT Illuminati!
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:icondesignerrarity:
DesignerRarity Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow, you are the best Deviant in the MMD them :iconclapclapplz:
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:icontrackdancer:
Trackdancer Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2013
Nah, but thanks :)
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:iconyamisweet:
YamiSweet Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I must applaud you.
Fair, objetive and direct.
No more to say.
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:icontrackdancer:
Trackdancer Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2013
Appreciate the comment. Thank you.
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:iconyamisweet:
YamiSweet Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I readed all, -or most-, of your journals.

I must say I admire your rigor and way of expression.

I want to think like you, but emotions and feelings get me out of control a little sometimes.

If we must choose -hypothetically- a representant of EMMDC or a mediator, I will choose you,

Admirable.
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:icontrackdancer:
Trackdancer Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2013
Thanks :)

Emotions and feelings are a good thing, it proves that you're "human" and "alive" :D
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:iconyamisweet:
YamiSweet Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Human and alive... like a Frankenstein, maybe? XD
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:icontrackdancer:
Trackdancer Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2013
It's debatable whether or not Frankenstein is "alive". By definition and don't think he can be classified as being "human"; "was human" maybe - LOL
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:iconyamisweet:
YamiSweet Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
XD good point
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:icongm34:
GM34 Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
My Fault?
I was just looking for a model (an original), for a project.

Has MMD become a battlefield instead of a sandbox?
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:icontrackdancer:
Trackdancer Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2013
"My fault" in a good sense. :)

As for a battlefield, perhaps for a small segment, but not for the whole.
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:icongm34:
GM34 Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
They should move the hate and throat cutting to another ZIP CODE.

It's pretty simple, follow the rules.
If people did we could have subject matter of more important things, like,

How many licks to a tootsie pop
chocolate center?
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:icontrackdancer:
Trackdancer Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2013
Not so loud ... Tootsie Pops are bad for our kids diet (along with Pizza and hot dogs or anything with calories) according to a the significant other of a certain personage that I did not vote for at the last election. You better be on the watch for black suited men in black helicopters flying around your house ... LOL. They might want to confiscate your hoard of Tootsie Rolls along with your guns.

Well on the plus side, this government did save the Twinkie!

BTW, how many licks does it take to reach the chocolate center of a Tootsie pop?
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:icongm34:
GM34 Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
the owl says 3....

I think he was up all night :D
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:iconshu-no-kurohi:
shu-no-kurohi Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I'm just steamed that the Japanese MMD modelers expect their clientele to have a full understanding of Japanese and a Japanese keyboard to get to use their models.
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:icontrackdancer:
Trackdancer Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2013
You have to be careful with comments like the one you just made. Not all Japanese are like that, probably most are not. The other issue here too is that it's actually "our" fault that some of them may have responded in this manner. If some segments of the Western MMDC didn't abuse the use of the models coming from Japan in the first place, these kinds of issues would never have arisen.

Oh BTW, it's not just some Japanese modelers that prohibit editing or place other restrictions on the use of their models, I do too (as do many other Western MMD modelers and editors).
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:iconshu-no-kurohi:
shu-no-kurohi Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Sorry, it's just that all the cooler models I see have password protection and no way to translate it. If I distributed models I made, I'd probably be very particular about how it's used.
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:iconthe-horrible-mu:
The-Horrible-Mu Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'll be honest:
I (still) hold a personal grudge against the Japanese, the Japanese MMDC and Damesuke for several reasons, including the "Save Miku" Campaign, which devolved into an Anti-Korean resentment, Damesuke attacking Hanimasho for bullshit reasons (seriously, he shouldn't talk about MMD's Terms of Service/Use when he bordered to breaking deviantArt's TOS. At least TWICE. He was HARASSING them. He deserved to get his ass suspended or even banned), rules that seem unfair and even bigot, if not racist, and the attack on an innocent MMD'er who only forgot to credit, including Anti-Korean resentments because that model happened to be SeeU.
Sometimes I'm tempted to do things just to piss them off. And I cannot make any guarantees for the time something like that happens.
I think I just witnessed too much bullshit from them to fully trust them.
Modeler's rules should guarantee the model's protection and the person holding the copyright from copyright infringement and out-of-law use or just altering someone's hard work because they just don't want to, not exclude anyone or pushing one's way onto another. I find their rules and reasons to be an interference into one's freedom of creativity (I am, of course, only talking about those who make such rules, not the generic "You may/may not/may only after the creator's permission Edit/Redistribute/Whatever").
I'm aware I'm probably no better than them, even a hypocrite, and that the reasons seem idiotic and flawed, but this irks me to no end. At the same time I have the feeling that they don't trust the Overseas MMD'ers either and they do nothing, absolutely nothing on their side to improve the situation. Instead we have Trackdancer do everything alone, without even knowing if one of the Japanese MMD'ers even reads this.
I apologize for contributing nothing helpful at all, but that just needed to get this off my chest.
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:icontrackdancer:
Trackdancer Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2013
Every country has their share of xenophobes and Japan is no different. But the obvious fact is that many are not and there are plenty of Japanese MMDers who are more than happy to "reach out" inspite of the language barrier. Some even have an active presence on DA just for that purpose.

Personally, I do not know :devDamesuke:. I've never communicated with him directly nor am I aware of his activities, good or bad, other than what he has posted on his DA account. But the purpose of this article is not to attack him or any single individual or even group. It is just to highlight some of the flaws in the arguments presented from a particular segment of the Japanese MMDC.
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:iconthe-horrible-mu:
The-Horrible-Mu Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I am aware of that. I haven't had any direct contact with him either, but seeing him at his worst the first time I even heard of him just left a bad impression on me. It was actually more than one event coming together, that segment of the MMDC included.
I'm glad you pointed those flaws out.
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:iconanimenebula003:
AnimeNebula003 Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
For a long time I've been watching the MMDC evolve and change as time progressed. I've taken Japanese classes and have delved pretty far into the culture of the Japanese as it is something that does interest me. The day I heard the rule of "Can not edit if you are not fluent in Japanese" I had to sit back a moment and think about that. Honestly how is it humanly possible to juristic if someone can or can not speak a certain language? We as the United States do not expect or demand that any individual become fluent in English if they do NOT live in the United States. What makes Japan so special of a country that every nation must learn a language that not all languages can smoothly transition into. Are you going to tell someone from Colombia or Arabia that they have to learn Japanese to enjoy this program? No, infact I never hear any complaints about other countries that also use this program. Another thing that disheartens me is when the Western MMDC is blamed for actions of those who speak English but are from another country entirely that are not even apart of the Western MMDC. Just because you know how to make random characters in a 3D art program does not give any person the right to put themselves so far above others that they can demand an entire segment of the world to come up with the time, resources, and of all things money, to go out and learn a new language just to use someones 3D model that can't be used for anything else besides animations and renders. That's what I had to say about that.

My next thing I will target is the idea of editing. Now I'm not sure were this "Frankensteining" idea came from but let's take a look at what it means to actually edit. Now the word "Edit or To Edit" is a verb in any dictionary that means "To add" or "To change". Before anyone starts trying to use Frankensteining in a negative tense perhaps they should take a little time to have a little more respect for Mary Shelly's work. Personally I feel that trying to put any other definition to the word edit is just not something that can be done because the word "edit" is just too broad of a word. As far as what I consider an edit is anything that is changed from anything previously. Whether you made the parts yourself or use other models in the creation of a model it is still an edit. I understand fully how hard it is to create anything in a 3D program so I can imagine how a model maker feels when someone simply swaps a random head on a model and calls it art. It's not art until you do something artistic with it. Personally the only person I have seen that actually does what Damesukekun has suggested to be editing is Redstone. If I remember correctly Kio made a simple edit put placing his CUL model's head on his Gothic Miku's body. Did we ridicule Kio for this? Did we ridicule Animasa and Yamato when they merged their Miku models together? No they didn't get ridiculed at all. The model makers set the example, true Kio made both the CUL and Miku but Yamato did not make the Default Miku and Animasa did not make Yamato's Miku. As far as the original work part goes, how does a process of model work juristic whether an original character or OC is original or not. Am I to understand that all my characters that I came up with are not original characters even though I came up with them myself? Whether creating a model, book, or tapastry of some kind the inspiration has to come from somewhere. Everything is born from something. If model makers can not accept their work being used in this manner of editing then they need to stop blaming everyone in the world and getting angry over this subject and start being more clear in how they want their work used instead of having us all play the guessing game and then recieving the negativity that comes after.
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:icontrackdancer:
Trackdancer Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2013
I had to look up that term when I first wrote this (Urban Dictionary):

Frankensteining
Combining various items to make an object or concept that works, but not very efficiently.

Point being is that 3D modeling, or at least the modern approach to it, allows for the use of pre-made components, usually by others to be used in projects. It's just a more efficient approach. This is no different than architects using templates or graphic artists using instant lettering. Now that we have the Internet and 3D computer modeling has become common place, there are entire library of parts and components available. Many for free, others for a small fee. Google's 3D Warehouse being a prime example.

Making humanoid models is not easy and it is not something that can be done by anyone in general. It takes a certain level of skill, knowledge and dedication. I will readily admit that I can't or rather I don't have the inclination to make one. But, by the same token, I have the skill to, and have made detailed models of trains accurate (for the most part) down to the last nut and bolt. I shared these models with other train game enthusiasts, many who do not have the know-how to make the same thing. But by the same token, why should they? I did allow others to retexture them or modify the basic model to match an exact prototype if that's what they wanted to do. And many did, and they then shared their versions with others. Absolutely nothing wrong with that and it adds to the value of the original model rather than taking anything away from it. Point is being that there were possibly hundreds of variants built on my originals, but none of what was done by others diminished the value of the original at all, if anything, the opposite was true.

Modelers like Mamama, think along the same line. The only usual stipulation with his models, and we will use his Gumi as an example, is that can modify/edit the original and do basically anything to her except change her into another character. And this stipulation is perfectly acceptable and personally, I would agree with it. The original Gumi model is beautiful, and if he wants that preserved to an extent, fine as far as I'm concerned.

My personal view about "Frankensteining" is that it's an acceptable practice and if done right can lead to some very interesting original works. The only issue when you get down to the nuts and bolts is what parts are available. My personal feeling is that if the original modeler is against the practice of using their work for parts, they have every right to do so. In fact, the Law provides for this too. Then again others don't mind, taking the viewpoint (probably) that's the model is just data and a reiteration of that data in a modified form does no actual harm to the original (which is true).

To categorically state, as in the original article, that the practice of "Frankensteining" is frown on by the Japanese MMDC is total bunk. Yes some might, but others do not and as you've stated, some Japanese essentially do the same thing.

Part of the problem I think is that we do, in the Western MMDC, have a certain population who have the attitude that all models are game for parts and this is wrong and this might actually be one root causes for the problem.

There needs to be an adjustment in the viewpoint from both sides. Some people need to stop treating all models as sources for parts. Some others need to learn to see that creating something from other things might not be a bad thing.

Personally, all I want to see at the end of the day in any model, is that it looks good and works well. I don't really care where the parts came from (so long as they're "legal" to use).

Take *Xoriu's Nimda model for example. [link]

This is a classic example of a "Frankensteined" model. In what way is this example a bad thing? The model is absolutely beautiful and is made entirely from parts available to anyone to use. Not art? Well, in the final analysis, what is art as I've argued ad infinitum depends on whose looking.
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:iconanimenebula003:
AnimeNebula003 Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I agree with every word of this and really liked your closing statement. In my gallery I have a picture named "Intangible Universe", the description of that picture promotes my idea that art has no physical form and is what it is in the mind and hands of the artist. The only person who can proclaim something as art is the artist who is creating the work itself because just like perfection, everyone views something differently. Whether you're Picasso or simply a baby making scribbles everything can be considered art.

I agree that using a model only to harvest it's parts is horrible. Sure we've all done it, we've all used a part from a model but it's important not to forget the original model either. Anytime I make a new part or need an idea for a model design I look at the many original models I have in my folder. I use those models for inspiration and will probably look at the same model from several different views for at least 20 minutes. I respect hard work and greatly respect 3D model work since I myself understand the hardship of creating my own work. However, the feeling of seeing something amazing be made from what I have created is so amazing that I find it odd when someone gets offended when someone else used their work in the same manner. I think of it as a genesis; I create something for everyone and send it into the world. I wait for a certain amount of time and eventually it comes back to me as something new and breathtaking.

If you create a model or a model part and someone uses it to create their own creation and then it becomes popular, you should not become mad. Instead think about what you gave life to. From your work you gave birth to something greater, the will and inspiration of imagination to grow. I think that allow is the greatest of rewards at the end of hard work.
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:iconryukrieger:
Ryukrieger Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2013  Hobbyist Filmographer
Hmm... I would agree with most of it. Though I agree with the opposite side about the part people treating their creations life-like, with love. Since even people can get attached a digital object, mostly when they created. Even a fictional character that's only written on paper or typed out as words.
But then, I agree with you about the other parts, for Vocaloids people have different interpretations, I believe most Japaneses would agree, especially ones who make songs and stories about Vocaloids.

But the more I read into this, the more I think the problem would be the difference in the "type" of people who use MMD between Japanese MMDC and Overseas MMDC, we've known about this before how Japanese MMDC can consist of many more mature and older people who are capable of learning quickly about creating original models. We also have to take to account the cultural natures of the Japaneses... although I don't like saying it, but generally, there are more capable people on their side.

On also another matter, I think the easiest way to resolve such "fights" between two sides would be having someone who know both Japanese and English well enough to create templates for rules in order for modelers from both sides to include proper rules in their creations and prevents misunderstandings (this "Editing or Frankensteining" issue can be resolved, some modelers have already included the "stay as the same characters" in their rules)

And still, the apparent and ever-lasting issue of rule-breakers from both sides, since we don't have any officials for checking and removing any rule-breaking users on either sides, it would still be a problem. They keep coming back, and the worst case scenario would be some rule-breakers get "popular"... which already happened, I reckoned.
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:icontrackdancer:
Trackdancer Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2013
This isn't really a fight between the two communities. That's too broad a brush. More of an issue between segments within the two communities having opposing POVs and everyone else becomes "collateral damage". Personally, I admire the Japanese and their culture a lot. They are definitely a creative society and for the most part very friendly and sociable.

These types of discussions are helpful I believe and one day I hope it will be only a single MMDC, where the language and cultural barriers are no longer an issue.
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:iconryukrieger:
Ryukrieger Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2013  Hobbyist Filmographer
I think I used the wrong word, "common arguments" might be a better choice? I'm not good with words, so my apology beforehand.
I myself love the Japanese a lot, so I've been able to say there are a few "better parts" on their sides, but thinking fairly there are also good parts on our side though I've only seen a few.

I can also see that many people remain peaceful and neutral to the arguing events, but it's always the collateral damage that causes the most damages, since the ones who speak leave a deeper impression, which is a double-edged blade.

On a further note, uniting the two community would be the best conclusion, the cultural barrier can help enriching the community since there would be developments on many sides and cultures. The worst barrier would be language, Japanese aren't commonly learnt by English-speakers or other countries and vice versa, many Japaneses (along with many countries' people) don't learn English that well, especially when English isn't a requirement for them to find success (since Japan is a very advanced country)
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:iconxchevyx:
XChevyX Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
THIS.

Sincerely,
~XChevyX
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:iconxoriu:
Xoriu Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
It was very interesting to read this journal (and a very good way to keep me a little longer from my studies.. XP) and I agree on a lot of arguments you're making. It's always nice to see someone put what I think into exact words :)

I've actaully been directly involved with Damesukekun in the past. He was the one informing me that I couldn't post direct links to the models from the Nanoha community on my blog... as it is against their rules. I removed the links 'cause I didn't want to get into trouble, however he was very polite when he approached me and even thanked me afterwards. I've heard a lot of MMDers complain about him being a total loser for just wanting to follow japanese modellers "rules", but I actually see him as one of the more sensible people of the Japanese MMDC I've been in contact with o.o (Even though, as you point out yourself his arguments could perhaps be a little better).

Anyways, I also wanted to mention one thing that came to mind when reading about Frankensteining. Actually, at least nowadays, I believe that most people who do just switch heads on a model and similar editing are in fact "newbies" that have just started learning using the PMD editor. I don't think I've ever seen a more "skilled" editor do such a simple edit, but ofc there are always some.
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:icontrackdancer:
Trackdancer Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2013
Thanks :)

My personal opinion is that ~damesukekun is doing a great job in opening up the discussion and that what he has written thus far is worthy of an intelligent response. Like I've stated, I do not know for how much of the Japanese MMDC he speaks. It's highly doubtful that it will be for everyone on that side of the equation as they are segmented too. Nevertheless, he is opening up a bridge of communications and this gives us the opportunity to respond in kind.

My personal belief is that it is important that we communicate to them that we're not all kids, "fan-girls" or MMD Editors. Some of us also see the problems from their perspective and do want to help. By the same token, I also believe it is important for them to see things from our perspective and that we do have a segment of the MMDC population that are mature and have some semblance of intelligence and decency.

As for the process of "Frankensteining", there is room for that in the hobby. Some modelers don't seem to mind and to be blunt, some Japanese modelers do it themselves. Some of Nakao's own models are created through essentially this same process. Animasa Neru was "Frankensteined" from Animasa's Miku. (Animasa's original Meiko actually looks like the Bride of Frankenstein too if you think about it - LOL). Point being is that in the process of 3D modeling, using pre-existing components is a legitimate approach. Why reinvent the wheel when the wheel's already there?

The question when it comes down to it is what materials are available as components and which are not. That's a totally valid discussion. If some original modelers are against the practice using their material, they have every right to restrict usage of their materials in such a manner. Then there are those that don't mind or who even tacitly support the practice. It is really just a matter of setting boundaries.
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:iconblakejx:
BlakeJX Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I still can't pop a head to another model as I still don't exactly know how to rig a human model -.-
The best I could do is make some small objects with SketchUp and rig some simple moving parts
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:iconblakejx:
BlakeJX Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
As always, straight to the points.
Though I must say, Google Translate sometimes mistranslates the meaning of the word, completely annihilating the meaning of the sentence. However, if on a word by word translation, it is still quite useful, though sometimes you might wanna look at the other meanings of the word.
As to the 'beliefs', I call that bullshit. Who the heck says it's only the Japanese, that is a racist comment there, for there are a lot of other countries and cultures that have those. Though for the data part, you could say it is a 'Scientific Belief', for there are concepts at changing data into physical forms, and vice versa, as you can see in some Sci-Fi media.
'Frankensteining is not art', doesn't that make a collage not art?
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:icontrackdancer:
Trackdancer Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2013
"Google Translate sometimes mistranslates the meaning of the word, completely annihilating the meaning of the sentence."

You missed the point here. I specifically said the auto-translators do not translate meanings and that all they provide are literal verbatim translations.

"As to the 'beliefs', I call that bullshit. Who the heck says it's only the Japanese, that is a racist comment there ..."

Please don't take the argument out of context and sling accusations of racism around. That's disingenuous. The reason why this portion was restricted to the Japanese is simply because it is a commentary on the original article which was written by a Japanese about the Japanese.

"Though for the data part, you could say it is a 'Scientific Belief', for there are concepts at changing data into physical forms, and vice versa, as you can see in some Sci-Fi media."

Since when was Sci-Fi science? That data can be changed into physical form isn't a "Scientific Belief", all you have to do is print it out.
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