I drew some fanart for Shadow-the-Kitsune. It took quite some time but I am impressed with the outcome of it. The character is theirs and has the same name, Shadow the Kitsune. Here is a prime example of why one should always wear shoes in the workplace.
i would like to say thank you to @shadowthekitsunereturns for inspiring my self and others to make a RP blog. a long time ago he and a group of his friends ran one of the best places called @shadow-the-kitsune-coffeeshop (its now an empty page but the url exists) but it was sadly shut down by a person who didn’t like what they did.
so thank you shadow for giving us the inspiration to make one!
A Few Words on Tumblr’s Terms of Service, Copyright Law, and the Furry Community:
I’m sure most of you have heard the news concerning Shadow’s Coffeeshop, which was recently shut down by Tumblr’s DMCA system for copyright violations. (Shadow’s Coffeeshop is back online at shadow-the-kitsune-cafe.tumblr.com) It’s very unfortunate that such a great blog has lost most of its following, but this is a good opportunity to clarify the relationship that blogs like the cofeeshop, mine, and other blogs which share the works of others have with Tumblr.
Strictly speaking, Tumblr can’t legally support our blogs or allow our posts to exist.
This is because of the licensing that is needed for Tumblr to operate. When you post something to Tumblr,
“you grant Tumblr a non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free,
sublicensable, transferable right and license to use, host, store,
cache, reproduce, publish, display (publicly or otherwise), perform
(publicly or otherwise), distribute, transmit, modify, adapt (including, without limitation, in order to conform it to the requirements of any networks, devices, services, or media through which the Services are available), and create derivative works of, such Subscriber Content.” … “You also … represent and warrant that you have all of the necessary rights to grant us this license for all Subscriber Content you transfer to us.“ [Tumblr ToS § 6.3]
To put that in simpler terms: You must give Tumblr an unlimited license to use your copyrighted work, and you must be in a position to legally hand over such a license when you post content on Tumblr. (The legal text of this “unlimited” license might sound scary, but this is perfectly normal. All content-sharing platforms, from Facebook to Google, use a legal license like this. Tumblr isn’t going to steal your art, this license is just a legal necessity of sharing content online.) The only people that have the power to grant such a license are the owner of the copyrighted work, or someone that they have appointed as an attorney for such purposes. You and me, as blog owners, cannot provide Tumblr with the license that they need when we post other artist’s work, even if we properly credit the original artist.
The instant you publish a picture, gif, video, story, or anything else that you didn’t create, you are acting in violation of Tumblr’s Terms of Service, regardless of whether or not your provide proper attribution on your post.
So, how do any blogs exist at all then? Now we get to the crux of the issue: the difference between the legal text and the way that Tumblr actually operates.
Tumblr’s entire ecosystem is built around individuals sharing things they have found, so obviously Tumblr doesn’t want to shut down blogs that share content, since they make up most of Tumblr’s business! They get around this issue by assuming that you have the necessary license for any content that you post, without actually checking (or even caring) if you actually do. By agreeing to the Tumblr Terms of Service, you not only acknowledge that you have the legal rights to grant Tumblr a license to the work that you are posting, but you assume all responsibility for any repercussions or consequences that occur if you post something that you can’t provide a license for, like someone else’s work. This way, Tumblr is not at fault if someone like you or I posts a work that we can’t provide a license for. By doing this, Tumblr can turn a blind eye to blogs that post other artist’s content.
Until someone speaks up, that is. As soon as someone points out a violation of this agreement to Tumblr, through the DMCA take-down system, Tumblr has a legal obligation to uphold copyright law, and remove the copyrighted content. When Tumblr is made aware of an individual posting a copyrighted work without having the rights to hand over an unlimited license to that work, that unlimited license becomes void. (Strictly speaking the license was void the whole time, but Tumblr assumes that it isn’t, until they have evidence that shows otherwise.) Without that license, Tumblr can’t share that copyrighted work, which is why it must be taken off of the site. And if this happens too many times, “Tumblr may immediately terminate or suspend Accounts that have been flagged for repeat copyright infringement.” [Tumblr ToS § 16] That is how copyright law works right now. This is how nearly all content-sharing platforms operate.
Tumblr requires a license from the copyright holder to post copyrighted works.
Unless you are the original artist, you cannot provide such a license.
This means that you technically can’t legally post a work that isn’t your original content, even with proper attribution.
However, Tumblr turns a blind eye to this legal violation because it’s how they profit and grow as a content sharing platform.
When Tumblr is made aware of these violations they must take action, which is why posts, and then entire blogs, are removed from Tumblr after DMCA claims are made.
Any artist can submit a DMCA claim if their works are posted to Tumblr, and as such, any artist has the power to take down a blog, like we saw happen to Shadow’s beloved cofeeshop this week. Even worse, Tumblr usually doesn’t check to see if the person submitting the DMCA claim is actually the owner of the copyrighted work, because even just the threat of a copyright violation represents a serious legal threat to Tumblr, so practically any individual has the power to destroy a blog, simply by filling out an online form a few times.
The only way we can continue to post and share art is if DMCA claims aren’t filed. That is, blogs that share art for the greater benefit of the community can only continue to exist by the good grace of every member of the community.
I’m not telling you to refrain from submitting DMCA claims. That would be incredibly unethical. If you are an artist, you have every right to control the distribution of your works. I’m just explaining the situation as it stands right now, and right now blogs like Shadow’s Cafe, Cleanfurry, Weirdfur, and all the others only exist because artists typically don’t submit claims.
If you are an owner of an art-sharing blog, you should be aware of the tightrope that you are walking. You exist in the legal gray area between the fine print and the actions of this community. You should always be aware that you are acting in violation of Tumblr’s Terms of Service, and that Tumblr is OK with that so long as they don’t know about it. You must also accept that the legal text will eventually catch up with you, and at some point, someone is going take you down. That is just the state of things.
Shadow The Kitsune’s Coffeeshop opened almost 2 years to this date. Thank you everyone for being there for all the good times and bad. Thank you all the baristas that have come and gone. (^_^) The Good News: We have gotten word that tumblr can and will restore not just the cafe, but the original coffeeshop since the accusations against us have been proven false. That includes all of the followers, and artwork. We are still thinking about how we plan on reopening, we would like to avoid this sort of thing in the future, will will keep you posted as things go.
Have an amazing week this week everyone! And Stay Gold! (~_^)