Rule Update Mirodoll banned from DoA | updates in post #2 for September 2018

May 26, 2018

    1. Actually, if you make a noticeable change in the product, even if the product is not 100% original, it is considered original because of the change. That doesn't mean color scheme, but Miro adding thigh slits, lengthening the rib cage and changing bits here and there makes the measurements unique. We see a similar product, but it is in fact a new item. That's how people get around copyright laws in the States. It was rampant back in the 1990's in the comic book industry. Sure, Rob Leifeld took flack for copying all his characters which were thinly veiled 'tributes' to long-existing characters held for ages by other companies, but he changed them just enough to be /technically/ original. (And turned those copies into a multi-million dollar estate. He even stole off himself, like making a copy of Deadpool for his own Image comics.) At least that was back then- not sure if laws have changed now, some 25 years later. And if the copyright expires, then the item is free game for all.

      And if something is trending, like a look or a design or a form, then everyone's minds go in similar circles because that makes sense. I can't tell you how many times I felt my characters were being ripped off by a number of people producing art so similar that they simply HAD to be stealing from me. But in fact they were not- they did not know I existed and there was no internet being used back then like it is now. My art was not online then. But this happened /constantly/ and not just to me. I was sure I was being bugged! Nope. Nope, just the current trends.
      #121 chalyss, May 31, 2018
      Last edited: May 31, 2018
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    3. Actually, I completely agree with this. It seems like a much more responsible way to handle things, keeping in mind the intense harassment and abuse some members of our community have demonstrated they're capable of. Not just the harassment of the offending company, but of doll owners. I don't own Miro and never intended to, but I've been a bit alarmed by some of the things I've seen in the past few days.

      I 100% endorse a "no tolerance" policy for art theft, but I do believe the offending party should have been allowed to contribute to the conversation prior to sentencing. If they couldn't prove their innocence then by all means, ban hammer the hell out of them.

      If they had been contacted prior to this, disregard my feedback.
      #123 Idyllhands, May 31, 2018
      Last edited: May 31, 2018
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    4. They did deny that, though - they specifically said their new artist was using reference pictures and didn't know that they weren't supposed to. They weren't sanding down another company's dolls and recasting them to sell at all, and afaik that's never been in question here.

      I don't own any Mirodolls, but to me this seems kind of ridiculous. The dolls at issue look inspired by the same style as the ones they're accused of "copying", but they certainly don't look like recasts to me. What it looks like is that they tried to make a doll in their own style that could share clothes with other dolls of a similar size, which is what nearly every doll company does - of course waist and hip ratios will be similar to some other doll, many doll owners are frugal and won't buy a doll if it needs all custom made clothing and won't fit any other size!

      And if we're going to be going after companies just for being inspired by other company's dolls, then almost every doll company would have to be banned. Should we start with reinitiating the witch hunt against Dollzone, since they started making similar dolls to Doll Chateau after that company (made up of their former employees no less) became popular? I'm sure everyone would agree that would be ridiculous!

      To be honest, to me... this feels like nothing so much as yet another attempt by the DoA mods to keep "cheap" companies out of their forums, similar to when they banned Impldoll's fantasy dolls as "off topic" because they were a less expensive alternative to Soom.
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    5. You do know they read this right? And that they're super hardowrking people who don't care about whether a doll is cheap or not? And that they have to put up with wayyy too much grief every time they change the free service they provide in running this forum?
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    6. Well, I learned something today, that I can never unlearn. Hans Bellmer...
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    7. Bellmer and Etsuko Miura = my dolly gods. ^^ but yeah, hard to forget. XD
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    8. I knew I should have a made a bet with someone about how long it would take for the "OMG! ELITISM!" accusations to start cropping up... It seems pretty much inevitable that someone will do that any time anyone says ANYTHING less than absolutely glowing about a lower-end company.

      Seriously, guys... No one is after Miro just because they're "cheap". Miro brought this on themselves by putting out a fairly blatant rip-off of a well-known body, and no matter how badly you want to defend them from big bad elitist bullies, the fact is that they've got some explaining to do if they want to go back to 'business as usual'.

      Should they have been called out earlier for the taller bod? Probably.
      That one isn't quite as obvious a copy over-all, but it does look questionable. The fact that it wasn't called out sooner is awkward, but it doesn't absolve the company of questions about their later releases. Neither does a weak half-apology blaming their sculptor.
      #128 Brightfires, May 31, 2018
      Last edited: May 31, 2018
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    9. I mean, to be perfectly frank, if the mods of this forum can't take any criticism - however mild - of their work here, they should turn over the duties to people with thicker skins. I did not call anyone names in my post and I wasn't rude, I simply criticized the mods and their handling of this situation as well as others in the past. If they can't handle that, they shouldn't be dealing with the public at all.

      Also, if you want to convince me that the mods of this forum "don't care about whether a doll is cheap or not" you're going to have to find a way to rewrite the past tbh. Because, as I alluded to in my post, this is not the first time the mods here have taken aim at a company because it's a low-cost competitor to a popular, extremely expensive mainstream company.

      If the mods didn't want people "crying elitism" maybe they shouldn't have said things like "we believe their low prices are a direct result of them stealing the work other companies have done"... gee, it almost sounds like MiroDoll is being targeted because their low prices made them "suspect". I wonder how anyone could have come to that conclusion?
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    10. @Brightfires Full disclosure, I don't think DoA is elitist. There's plenty of information here about affordable dolls. My personal feeling is not that the mods are against people buying cheap dolls or anything like that.

      However, I do think elitism is inevitably part of this conversation because of this from the original announcement:

      "However, we believe their low prices are a direct result of them stealing the work other companies have done. With the recent trademark situation, the mod team feels that we cannot allow Mirodoll to continue on as they have been with no consequences."

      This is speculation based on how affordable Mirodoll is. The accusation is that Mirodoll essentially heavily copied two bodies, which is a bit different to needing to steal to be cheap. We have no idea about Mirodoll's business model, etc. To claim the only way they can be cheap is by stealing is something well beyond the original copying accusation. By then comparing them to Luo and the trademark situation, intentional elitism or not, this sentence is clearly painting them to be as bad as recasters... based on their low price. Not on evidence. Even if Mirodoll has released a 'traced' doll body, as the images suggest (I would like to point out we still don't have physical comparisons - not that I'm calling the copying accusation false, but more definitive evidence would be useful for either side here), recasting is a different and more serious sin. To my knowledge, Mirodoll have not recasted, but are being compared to damage done by recasters. Comparing Mirodoll to recasters because of their low prices is what has irked people into talking about elitism. I think it's understandable it's a topic here.
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    11. +10 to everything you said.

      Apart from how disappointed I was that the ban seemingly came before a discussion between DoA and the company Mirodoll, I was most disappointment with that particular statement that their low cost dolls are a direct result of copying other people.

      What this implies — especially to newcomers in this hobby — is that if a legit doll company is too “cheap” then it must obviously mean they copy to avoid paying a sculptor and thus can offer dolls at lower prices because they don’t put the same investment as others. Let’s not hurt those other companies by using language like that.

      The language used by mods on this forum is so important because they represent the forum and because people look up to their decisions and take their judgment as fact. There is a huge and heavy responsibility to being a mod and it must not be easy to always make the right choice and sometimes there’s no way to please everyone.

      I do, however, believe members can state their opinions in the spaces where discussion is permitted (like here) because the community itself is what makes any forum. Without members there would only be a group of mods managing an empty space. The service is “free” but using a free service doesn’t mean you can’t respectfully put forward your opinion about the service, especially if the general message and language in that forum can directly impact the hobby even outside of it. And this is a perfect example. It’s happening here, a ban decision made here, but it’s already started a witch hunt off site because a lot of people take whatever is posted here with utmost seriousness and respect and make it the entire “standard” of how they’ll judge dolls and others.

      What most of us are asking is for better handling of future problems like this one. And guidelines have to be made so that we can better protect artists and community alike.

      It still boggles my mind that Mirodoll was under suspicion for years, but nothing was done and advertisement for them still ran on the forums. That’s something that shouldn’t have been allowed if their problematic releases have been suspected for that long. It could have saved a lot of money to people who suddenly find their dolls are no longer on-topic and most likely banned from all BJD events and conventions because, as I said, the decisions made on DoA don’t just stay here. They spill forth and spread and in a lot of cases become a standard for other places too.
      #131 dollsoflace, May 31, 2018
      Last edited: May 31, 2018
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    12. I'm just confused about the 70cm girl body that is now banned after having been "OK" for years. I can clearly see that the new 1/4 body is drastically different from what they've sculpted before. The style is not the same as any of the other bodies.
      But the 70cm body doesn't seem (to me) like it was copied. The basic style of it still looks a lot like a Mirodoll original. I think someone mentioned the Dollstown thigh joints? But even the 60cm Mirodoll girl body has those weird (imo) thigh things. It still has the three-piece torso but the middle section is longer than the 60cm body, which is understandable because she's a whole 10cm taller and to keep the proportions, they didn't put all of the height in only her legs. To me it seems like they just "rounded" the 70cm body out. The thigh pieces don't have that extra square part to it, and the elbow joints are more rounded as well.
      I don't know, I'm just having a hard time "seeing" it with the 70cm body. The 1/4 body I ~totally~ get... but not the 70cm. The only part that says "Dollstown" to me is the breast piece. That is different from their usual sculpting.
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    13. @dollsoflace that's very well said and I agree with you completely <3
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    14. If the body was a 3D print from a scanned body by another maker, and a mold was made of said 3D scan, that IS a recast.

      The Mods I’m sure, went over all the details carefully, before making their announcement.
      There is no reason they need to put up with comments about “ growing thicker skins” by people that foolishly spout about
      the first thing that goes through their heads.
      Especially in the name of that dead horse about Elitism.

      Dollzone and doll Chateau are sister companies that share the same casting premises. The same sculptors probably did
      Sculpts for both companies.

      Hardly a case of copying or stealing!
      #134 MAITALIA, May 31, 2018
      Last edited by a moderator: May 31, 2018
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    15. Yes, of course, there's no elitism in this hobby at all I'm sure! Also, personal insults will get you everywhere. Of course I'm just a person "foolishly spout(ing) about the first thing that goes through their heads", it couldn't possibly be that I'm a longstanding member of this forum who thought out her post and read over it three times before posting to make sure I didn't step on any toes or say anything I wasn't certain I wanted to be saying. That would be absurd.

      In other words, "all hail the moderators, let them be without criticism or comment ever".

      You say "probably" but you obviously don't know for sure that it's the same sculptor. Maybe the forum should look into this. I mean, it could be that a sculptor at Dollzone saw what Doll Chateau was doing and decided to copy them!

      Anyway, my point was to illustrate how ridiculous this whole "this doll looks like this other doll obviously it's a copy we should ban them" thing is. Like... the fact that it's absurd and no one would ever accuse Dollzone of copying Doll Chateau is literally the point I was trying to make.
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    16. With respect: The fact that the bodies look really similar is the only thing that is definitive. Whether a 3D model was made from a scan is speculation. I am not saying that Mirodoll has not done this. I am saying that we do not know if they have done this. I have the body and admit I was very surprised by the jointing system being a massive improvement from previous bodies, so I feel a little biased already that this might explain it. But I would not accusse them of recasting without knowing if for sure. I can't know without comparing it to the JID body. Without better comparisons, all we can confidently say of the body is that it is heavily copied. Which DoA have banned them and the offending bodies for, which they are free to do so. However, when the accusations are this serious, I think it is unfair to condemn them as recasters this early on. Especially as Mirodoll have so many other bodies and heads that do not appear to be recasts.
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    17. Calling somebody foolish is hardly a personal insult. It is a conclusion based
      on their statements. A conclusion reinforced by the response my first comment elicited!

      As for dollzone/doll chateau , given they use the same casting premises, the same resin colors, are compatible with each other, and the two companies have not accused each other, that makes it EXTREMELY likely that the same sculptors
      Have worked on dolls under each company name.

      Not the best example to illustrate your “point” .
      Apparently, the mods are not the only ones that can’t take criticism from a different point of view.

      Oh, well......
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    18. I've already seen several off-site groups that seem to be taking the ban further and are now putting all Mirodoll products into the "recast" category, which for some groups technically means members could be kicked out for ever having owned one. I've also had several people who are new-ish to the hobby messaging me in a panic wanting to know if they were going to have to get rid of their doll. I know DOA can't police what other groups decide to do with this information, but in a lot of ways I think the people who have purchased these dolls for years not thinking anything was wrong are the ones who are going to end up paying for the company's problem. I don't know how one would go about discouraging the witch hunts from going after individual doll owners who had no way of knowing any of this would happen, but it's really something that needs to stop.
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    19. This hobby is already filled with distrust and strife as it is with the recast situation. The outcry of favoritism sparked by precived elitism has always been an ongoing debate ever since this forum has been in existence.

      But this discussion is about what Mirodoll did, What the moderators did, and now the fallout of what their actions has done.

      I am not defending them, but the mods where only doing it to protect the users of this forum. By informing us that an altered copy is not allowed here, it sends the message that such products are unethical.
      Mirodoll admitted their mistake. Perhaps it really was just a mistake, I am satisfied that they had taken down the dolls in question because it says to me that they are willing to make amends.
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    20. And, with all due respect, as an artist, the evidence presented by the bodies in question is pretty damning; the changes are minuscule .The probability that it is a recast, digital or not, is pretty high. Enough
      , in my opinion, to warrant the action taken by DOA.
      Others may disagree, which is fine, I’ll glady disagree with them ^_^

      Well said!
      The only goal the mods had was to protect, as far as possible, the members of the DOA community, including those who object to the point of rudeness.

      Thank you for reminding us of that.

      Hopefully, Mirodoll will be able to rectify their error.And hopefully, people will not give grief to those who own Mirodoll that they purchased in good faith.

      Excessive rudeness , as demonstrated in my opinion, is never the answer to changing things . Quite the opposite.
      #140 MAITALIA, May 31, 2018
      Last edited by a moderator: May 31, 2018
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