What was that? Did somebody say something just now? It must have just been the wind…posting stuff online.
First off, I’ll agree with you that I was wrong to directly equivocate crediting DHX with crediting the vectoring group. DHX is a team, a cohesive whole that works together. The vectoring group is more of an anthology, a group of individuals that are fundamentally autonomous in their work, brought together merely because it’s convenient for people interested in what they do.
Even admitting this, I still don’t think it’s wrong to just credit the vectoring group as opposed to the individual artists.
Let’s examine this debate in depth. First, just to clear the air, we are not asking a question of ‘what is law’. Everything we’re talking about here, the vectors, the poster, and all other mlp fanart, is technically infringing on copyright and could be pulled down if Hasbro cared enough to pursue legal action. Instead, we are examining this de facto situation that arises from Hasbro not enforcing its copyrights. We need to examine the nature of accreditation in a theoretical sense, not a legal one.
The first thing we need to understand is that when you credit a source, you’re still plagerizing in the sense that you’re using material that is not your own. Accreditation only serves to legitimize this use of another’s work. This naturally asks the question ‘what is the difference between work that credits its sources and work that doesn’t credit its sources?’ considering that there is no substantive difference between work that credits and blatent plagerism.
We credit other people when we use their work/ideas for three main reasons.
1: We want to be honest and not trick people into thinking we did something that we really didn’t
2: We want our source to get the credit they deserve for their contribution.
3: We want to give our audience access to our referential material.
1 and 2 are really only auxillery. The main reason why we credit others in our work is for the audience’s sake. If I’m reading an academic paper and see some argument derived from another source, well then I might want to go and check out that source and read the argument explained in its original context. If I’m watching a video that borrows music which I really like, I’d like it if the video credited who wrote the song so I can listen to more of their stuff.
Now, considering this third and main reason why we credit, I really don’t think there’s much holding to Deadparrot’s complaint. How many people are looking at that poster and thinking “Oh shit, that particular vector is SO. FUCKING. AWESOME!” not even admiring the art that it’s derived from, but just that particular vector. I’m going to go out on a limb and say there’s not going to be too many of those. Vectoring is much more of a craft than an art. It’s something that is an impressive skill to have, but is rather void creatively. For people who are legitimately interested in the craftsmanship of vectoring, it makes sense just to refer them to the place where you got such high quality vectors and where more can be found. The difference between the work that Deadparrot produces and the work that some other skilled vectorer produces is trivial to the observer unlike the difference between the work of two master artists, say Beethoven and Mozart, which is fundamentally different even while being of similar quality. Even the fact that he used some artists from outside of the group is irrelevant. Our interest is in the level of quality, not the particular producers.
Now clearly by just crediting the vectoring group, the poster maker is also making the statement “I did not make all these vectors, they came from this group,” and this seems to satisfy the desire of being honest about our work to others just as well as crediting each of the individual artists would. So, given that reasons 1 and 3 for crediting work is satisfied, Deadparrot would need to justify his complaint purely based on reason 2, that mass accreditation fails to give him the credit he deserves for his own
vainglorious good reasons.
Now, with all due respect to Deadparrot and the other vectoring artists, I do not think he really deserves that much credit for his contribution to this poster. He did NOT come up with the characters, he did NOT draw the original poses, and the contribution his vector made to the project was very small. There was no creative input that he deserves to be praised for and it required no special effort or pains on his part to make the poster possible (While he did have to work to make the original vector, he did so for his own reasons and didn’t have to do any additional work to make the poster. He wasn’t even concious his vector was used until after the fact)
He did nothing for this project that we typically praise people for, therefore I don’t really think he is particularly wronged when he isn’t credited. Given the fact that his own work is in a rather grey area as far as permission and accreditation are concerned, I really don’t think he should be making this complaint.
Now given that there really doesn’t seem to be really any good reason to individually credit the vectorers and because it seems like a real pain in the ass to do, I really don’t think there was anything terribly wrong with not crediting them. Now when the poster maker asks that people individually credit him, I think that there is more justice in him asking that. Because he did, in fact, have significant creative input, it would be more useful to me as an audience member to know where I can find more of his particular work, and he is more deserving of praise for said creative input.
And I will emphasize one more time that the informal (and technically illegal) setting of fanwork really weakens the general need for accreditation. There’s no money involved, there’s nothing of grand significance being discussed; All of this stuff is supposed to be done purely for the fun of it. I find this overwhelming demand for accreditation to generally be rather ego driven, and frankly, I find the attitude of emphasizing THE ARTIST over the art to be rather silly.
tl;dr: There’s little to no good reason to credit the individual vector artists here except to stroke their egos or as a trivial courtesy. Fan art is supposed to be a fun, unimportant little thing, this whining about accreditation is inappropriate to it. Just enjoy the goddamn art.