Recasts and Bootlegs: DoA’s Rules and Statements from BJD Artisans
DoA’s rules state that bootleg dolls and recasts are forbidden on-site, but we feel the need to restate and explain why it is forum policy and what it means to you.

You may wonder why DoA does not condone bootlegging. Here are several of our major reasons:

1. First and foremost, bootlegging and recasting is illegal. In certain countries there are steep legal and financial penalties for buying or selling counterfeit goods.

2. Bootlegging hurts legitimate companies and deprives the original artists of their livelihoods. Many people who support recasting base their justifications on Volks’ sales statistics, but it is important to keep in mind that Volks is not solely a BJD maker and much of their revenue is generated from other areas (and due to having many physical stores in the 6th most expensive country in the world, Volks’ overhead is rather high). Should producing Super Dollfie cease to be profitable, Volks could easily terminate that line to focus entirely on other products. Volks is also extremely unique in the BJD world in terms of its business structure; aside from Volks, there are no “big companies.” The largest companies have barely 100 employees, and quite a few are made up of fewer than 10 people. Most of these companies are extremely niche and have a limited line of products; if they are unable to sell to their target audience, they have no other products to fall back upon to remain open and keep their employees paid! If companies go out of business, then we all miss the opportunity to see what new sculpts they might have produced in the future.

3. The presence and acceptance of bootlegs creates stagnation and mistrust in the second-hand market. Shopping is a fun, exciting part of the BJD hobby. The introduction of bootlegs into the second-hand market makes hobbyists fear purchasing a fake doll, which makes sales in the second-hand market extremely slow. As most people try to keep their doll spending circular, if they can’t sell their unwanted dolls, they can’t buy new ones. It creates a slowdown in both the first and second-hand markets, and that is bad for our hobby.

4. Quality control is hit-or-miss. Some bootlegs are made with inferior materials which can pose a health hazard to their owners… or to customizers who may handle the doll during commissioned work. Many customizers refuse to work on recasts for both ethical and health reasons. If customizers become worried that potential commissions may be undisclosed bootlegs (which may carry additional risks or quality control frustrations that would complicate their work), they may stop taking commissions entirely. This leads to fewer talented artists available to the community.

The bootlegging issue is not new, nor is the group of supporters large. However, recent activity on other sites has made it seems as though recasting is becoming more accepted by the BJD community. This is not the case and the outrage against bootlegging is stronger than ever.

With regard to DoA, we are first and foremost a community of people who love dolls. This love of dolls should translate to respecting their creators by not supporting or promoting the theft of their work. It is worth mentioning as well that without the advertising support of dollmakers, DoA would not be able to pay its five-figure yearly hosting costs while remaining free for all members. We don’t ask a lot of our members, but we do ask that you respect and abide by our rules by not promoting bootlegs or “sneaking” them into our galleries or discussion threads. This is a simple request and we have every expectation that our members have the integrity to honor it.

Recasting is unethical, illegal, and hurts both our hobby and our community. DoA will never support or promote bootlegs.

-Den of Angels Team

And the community. I’ve noticed recasts becoming more and more accepted as time goes on and it breaks my heart.  Calling us bullies, or elitists, or snobs because we are fighting for the right thing only deludes those who practice the buying and selling of stolen artwork into thinking what they are doing is just fine. But it isn’t. Those of you who shame us for not accepting the illegal reproduction of an artist’s work… YOU are the bullies. YOU are the ones promoting a hostile environment in the hobby. You are thieves. People are bullied for being different than others. Many of us in the hobby are familiar with such a thing. But you can’t play victim when you’re the one hurting others with your actions. 

Remember: when you buy a recast doll, you’re supporting the bad guys. You aren’t cheating the corporate system, you’re cheating artists. First and foremost, our hobby is about the appreciation of an artist’s work, and that is simply not being done when such artwork is stolen. 

(via kokamon)

(via kawaiimon)