Discussion of TDA Edits…

A couple of weeks ago I published an article on LearnMMD.com to introduce our readers to a set of TDA edits on a dA page. … and that started a discussion amongst the LearnMMD teammates that taught me a lot about TDA models and the use of TDA bases and edits…

Reggie D:

Howdy, all… I just published an article on LearnMMD.com:

beautiful-mmd-tda-model-edits-by-mmdmmiki/

It’s a quick article to introduce the readers to these nice TDA model edits… beautiful models.

— Reggie

I wrote an article to indroduce some beautiful TDA models... and opened-up a discussion abou TDA edits!

Oomary:

Looks great! Only thing with TDA models is… well, I’ll let my friend on Discord explain it for me;

BluePixie:
Every tda edit is illegal

BluePixie:
Tda’s rules said to ask for permission to edit

BluePixie:
And no redistribution

BluePixie:
Cause tda Miku was a p2u model believe it or not

BluePixie:
She was released illegally as a free download and bases were made and there it was tda was the people’s model now ”

I copy pasted this straight from Discord, but i think it basically get’s my point across.

 

Reggie D:

So… Whoa! … There’s tons of TDA edits out there… do we not share the links/enjoy the edits? … is my article a “problem”?… is it OK to write and share those links like that… or should I pull it?

 

BigPerryman

Don’t pull it, Reg, they’re being butthurt.  There’s a good handful of those out there.  I say keep it, honestly.  If it was so illegal, there would have been something done about it.

 

Trackdancer

BluePixie:
Every tda edit is illegal

BluePixie:
Tdas rules said to ask for permission to edit

BluePixie:
And no redistribution

BluePixie:
Cause tda Miku was a p2u model believe it or not

BluePixie:
She was released illegally as a free download and bases were made and there it was tda was the people’s model now

  1. Tda’s Miku Append is editable provided that the model editor abides by his “rules” as issued with the model. The rules themselves are pretty straight forward and falls fully within legal bounds.

There is no need to contact Tda for further permissions if the use of his work falls within the guidelines as stated in his “rules”.

  1. Therefore, redistribution of edits are permissible.
  2. Tda Miku Append is NOT a p2U model. She is freeware and falls within the legal permissions as outlined by Crypton Future Media, Inc. in their Piapro license.

The ONLY thing that is problematic is Miku Append’s use of Crypton’s logo on her ankle bracelet. That logo is protected by Trademark legislation and not Copyright Laws and hence, no edit may re-use that logo. This is clearly stated in Tda’s “rules”.

  1. Tda bases violate the rule where he specifically states that no part of his model may be used as “parts”.

However, it is debatable as to whether they are actually “illegal” as they are technically derivative works as permitted by the normal interpretation of Copyright Laws as I understand them; but Bandages may have more to add on this point or dispute my interpretation herein.

Regardless of the legal technicalities, Tda bases are for sure in breach of “Keep the Faith” guidelines.

  1. As regards Reggie’s question with regards to whether or not there is therefore a problem with his article; respectfully I would say “yes”.

Specifically, I take issue with model packs of the nature as used as an example in the article. Often times, these model packs use multiple “illegal” parts (such as parts “lifted” from commercial models), making these edits truly illegal derivative works.

Besides which, on a personal level, I feel that they are extremely disrespectful to the efforts of the original modeler(s). Miku Append is truly an astonishing piece of work unto itself. Using that work for a “model pack” cheapens the value of the original.

Japanese modelers would see this sort of practice as extremely distasteful and I fully understand where that would be coming from. To most Japanese modelers, their original works (and derivatives) are akin to the handmade dolls that are made in that country. Each is made individually and are imbued in their belief system with a spirit of its own; making each a unique and revered entity in its own right.

I could go into this belief system in greater detail but not now as it would make this response too long. However, it can fully explain why Japanese made MMD models are usually of a much higher quality and why the Japanese MMDC are so pissed off with their Western counterparts.

As an example for the article, it would have been better to have chosen a single example made by one of the many Japanese Tda model editors who would have spent considerable effort creating original new parts for their model and being fully in compliance with Tda’s “rules” (and their Zen/Shinto beliefs).

There are actually quite a few of these edits around (such as Aga’s Tda style Akita Neru edit). All of which are excellent from both a technical as well as artistic grounds and which in themselves have often been cribbed for parts or used as the basis for edits by numerous others on the DA platform.

Dang I wrote too much again! Sorry for the TL;DR response…

 

KillerBeer:

In short: do not mess with TDA models, for every time you look at one, Yamamura Sadako is looking at YOU!!!

 

Bandages:

Huh, I have no idea where this rumor that Tda forbids edits comes from. All you have to do is read the readme.

Here’s what Tda says about edits:

1) You can’t use the parts with the Crypton logos.

2) You have to credit (and include the original license text, something that peeps should always do anyways but rarely do.)

3) It has to be “Tda styled.” That’s a bit on the vague side, but I’ve interpreted it as meaning that it has to be visually recognizable as sourced from Tda. This has never seemed hard to me, since the only thing that’s worth using from Tda Miku is the face, and it’s distinctive. Additionally, I’ve prepended all model names with “Tda” to make it extra clear. Any edit involves parting out a model: there are parts you use, parts you don’t. But I think Tda’s trying to strike a balance here, saying, don’t part out little bits here and there. Note that there have been some significant face edits, all of which have been hosted on Bowlroll, and so seem to have Tda’s implicit approval based off that. (Not a guarantee that it’s okay with Tda, because there’s always the potential that Tda gave explicit approval for those particular edits– the various “Tda-styled” characters.)

4) No “nude bases.” Which is basically, don’t make it super easy for other people to edit. This is similar to a “no-recolors” rule: a lot of peeps try to clean up some models in order to leech off their popularity instead of trying to make something ambitious, although I don’t understand it myself, a billion followers and $2 will buy you a cup of coffee. Tda Miku doesn’t really have much body under the clothes, so any kind of nude base would require integrating it with a different body (maybe from scratch, maybe like an Arlvit body or something.)

That’s from the most up-to-date readme as of a couple of months ago, available from Tda’s site. Tda has changed his ToS during Tda Miku’s lifetime, something that is pretty questionable. (You don’t get to make terms more restrictive after-the-fact, in part, because it’s not fair to people that have already put work into things, to prevent retroactive criminality. Making things less restrictive is always okay though.)

Now, is Tda Miku Append an illegal edit? Well, to my understanding, the first version was. It was commercially released, while Crpyton’s ToS regarding the Miku character is that it’s okay only to make non-commercial likenesses. (It must have been on one of those commercial model sites.)

What happened is that somebody (Crypton? Dunno.) let Tda know, and he stopped commercial release and released the model for free. If he’d wanted, he could have just made a few changes to the character so that it wasn’t trying to be Crypton’s Miku, but a new character instead, then he could have sold it to his heart’s content. I guess it was important to him that it was Miku (or maybe he was just sick of modeling, never released anything else to my knowledge, or maybe it’s a lot harder to sell an OC than a Miku model, just wouldn’t be worth it at that point.)

Now, if there was a court case, that might be an interesting case– because illegal works don’t have copyright protection, but is Tda Miku illegal because it ever broke rules? Or is it legal because it doesn’t currently? I think it would hinge on when the Tda Miku edit was created. If it was begun before Tda Miku was in compliance with Crypton TOS, it would probably have full license, wouldn’t need to follow Tda’s rules. If it was created afterwards, it probably would need to follow Tda’s rules.

Can’t read the article, looks like you’ve already taken it down, so I can’t offer my thoughts on how appropriate it is.

 

Mae Blythe:

There’s one modeler who has the rule that their Miku models can only be used to make edited Miku models, isn’t there? Maybe I’m completely off base and confusing LAT, TDA, and Michi-K, but idk where that info came from and why I falsely attributed it to TDA.

 

Reggie D:

Attached is an image of the article in question…

The LINK to the model’s dA page is: MMD-MiMi-simple-style-DL-Limited-723171187

 

I WOULD like to have this article posted… but only if it’s fair with Keep the Faith…

Please gimme one last opinion… Good to go? … or not?

 

Oomary:

The models do use TDA bases, correct? I would theoretically say then it would b a no-go.

 

Mae Blythe:

Basically, if the ReadMe fully conforms to TDA’s rules (proper credits, including the original TOS, crediting all parts used), it’s an amazing resource, and seeing you so jazzed about it is what LearnMMD is all about. Loving that lil freeware to death!

I’m on mobile, so I can’t check if the files are fully legit or if they’re breaking some rule.

So that’s my two cents. If someone can play detective and prove the models are 100% legit, it’s a great little article and should go back up 🙂 If not, we probably need to get on writing an article about the legality of various bases 😛

 

Trackdancer:

Before I respond to Reggie’s question, just two points.

  1. Re: Retro-changing the TOS

Agree with Bandages; this is a very dodgy practice. Also doubt that appended “rules” as opposed to “clarified” rules would have any legal standing. Which leads to Mae’s comments about rules.

  1. You cannot make rules that overstep the bounds of what is permissible by Copyright Laws. Copyright owners have near monopolistic rights over their work but they do not have absolute rights. Users have rights also and some of these, but not all, are expounded under Fair Use Guidelines.

Do note that Fair Use rights are guidelines and not statute; have a lawyer explain the technical differences but note that, that what they are: guidelines.

When a copyright owner extends the bounds of their rights as written in Law, that action is termed “over reach”. The music industry by far, is notorious for this practice.

REGGIE’S ARTICLE

Honestly, I was really surprised that you pulled the article in the first place. We have been in communication for several years now and I have always respected your enthusiasm for all things MMD and your integrity as a fellow human being.

We have not always agreed on all things and that is all part of a normal relationship. So when asked for an opinion, and since the communications via this channel is “private”, I am comfortable both receiving and giving honest opinions. Whether or not the opinion is right or wrong is not really relevant; rather the opinions that I give are based on what I honestly feel or think on a subject.

My objection was based purely on the model choices used as examples in the article. That was explained elsewhere, so I won’t cover it again here. My subjective opinion based on only cursory examination of the models and the editor’s DA DL page is that the models in regards to Keep The Faith principles are highly suspect.

The editor from the evidence presented, and do note that I have not downloaded the package nor examined the readme.txt, is that all that is being credited is Tda and the editor herself. No mention anywhere that things like hair and clothing, for example, are sourced from other modelers.

Further, there is no mention made of the actual copyright owners of the characters, such as Crypton. This latter is actually mandatory whenever Miku or other Crypton assets are used. It is an integral part of both the Piapro Licence as well as the CC-BY-NC Licence which covers the use of Miku Hatsune and associated Crypton intellectual property.

But that does not surprise me at all whenever we are discussing DA edits. That crowd simply do not even make a half baked effort to acknowledge the efforts and IP of others. Just simply it boils down to “credit Tda and credit ME”. Frankly, that sort of attitude turns my stomach.

So, with reference to the article, Reggie, honestly we aren’t going to change the world. Just publish it and be done. As an article unto itself, it is something that I know you put your heart into and as such, it stands on its own merits.

 

Bandages:

I don’t think there is the slightest issue with that article. I don’t think you should keep yourself from posting it.

The models are clearly in compliance with Tda’s terms. They look appropriately credited, although I wish the author had been more specific about which exact sources were used, and for what. Since I can’t track the sources easily, I couldn’t say for sure that they’re in compliance with their other sources’ rules, but I know at least one of those authors sourced doesn’t really have any rules.

But also, it’s not a great article, because all it is is, “Hey, look at this pretty model!” A model that is specified as “limited,” so presumably won’t be around as a download for forever. Where do you stop when you start posting articles like that? It’s a fine article, but doesn’t really have anything to do with learning MMD, not as it stands.

 

Reggie D:

I got a good write-up from Bandages… and among his points is, really, the main point… That post…
… is not a great article, because all it is is, “Hey, look at this pretty model!” A model that is specified as “limited,” so presumably won’t be around as a download for forever.
Where do you stop when you start posting articles like that? It’s a fine article, but doesn’t really have anything to do with learning MMD, not as it stands.

He’s right… not a tutorial…
nothing to be learned from that post… “Hey, look at this pretty model!”…

I should save an article like that for a Newsletter note… not a post on LearnMMD.com…

… that post will stay in the trash. …

Thank you, everyone, for your input. … Thanks for keeping me on track!  … and… I learned a lot about TDA models!

— Reggie

An aside…

This discussion is one of the pivotal reasons that LearnMMD’s new MMD Models and Creators page was started: a place where such discussions are appropriate as we introduce our readers to models, model edits and the creators of those models and edits… all the while being observant of the Keep the Faith ideals.

Please keep the discussion going! … Leave a comment, below.

— Reggie Dentmore

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