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"Adoptables" - What You Should Know

Adoptables are characters that an artist creates for the purpose of selling the ownership rights to another person.  I first saw them in 1996, and they are possibly the stupidest thing I have ever seen.  Explanation below.

Last night an artist asked me when an adoptable is sold, does the original artist retain any rights to that character because somebody here on IB had already sold an adoptable and was still drawing it.  Well, that artist is in violation of the idea of adoptables, but without a contract, there are no universal Terms of Service for adoptables because of their origin.

The first generation of internet adoptables were free pictures usually copied from a cartoon traded by people hosting fan sites as a way of strengthening the fan community.  Example: Pizzaro adds a web page to his domain that has a pic of Speedy Serviche from Samurai Pizza Cats and a role playing story which ultimately explains that he "adopted" this character from Princess  Vi's adoptable characters page.
To many young users of the internet this was the only way to make their fandom more real.

In Furry, adoptables really have no place, because we have our Furry selves which are drawn either by us or by other artists.  We have our own stories for these.  Often, we want to connect with another artist and draw ourselves with that artist or his/her characters or commission that artist to draw us with their characters.

However, in this fandom, if we liked a character of an artist we would buy a print or commission if we wanted to see them a certain way.  The character can be widely known because of the artist's other works with this character, but a character that is created and left without back story or further work with that character is no different than a background character.  

The new owner could develop a story for the character and begin to draw that character in their own art, even make the character famous by adding the character to their web comics or similar content, but then you have the likely possibility that the original artist will pop up again and in attempts to leach some of that fame, claim some level of ownership even if that level is just to say that they were the original creator of that character.  Many would agree that a person for their effort to another should either get fame for creating something of their own or money for selling it to someone who made something out of it.  To do both is like a grocery store trying to claim that they are responsible for a successful chef's culinary creation.

Adoptables should really be called "abandonables" because much like the stereotypical orphan they are thrown away and if/when they become something the "parents" reappear trying to get something out of them.  In conclusion, if you want art from a selling artist, buy commissions of your characters or their characters, not a doodle that they would throw in the trash if it wasn't for your buying it.
Viewed: 16 times
Added: 6 years, 8 months ago
6 years, 6 months ago
I feel like Adoptables are an interesting way to support an artist that you like. Like a donation, but more fun.
6 years, 6 months ago
If you want to give money to an artist, why would you NOT buy something they are selling?  The first piece of Furry anything that I bought from somebody with whom I had any interaction was Flinters' Roomies comic.  Roomies was a web comic, therefore, I didn't have to pay him anything to see it; I bought it to support the artist and have a conversational piece.  

Because I am working on getting something published, I understand that getting art in a more "real" form is difficult, but the artist for whom this journal was made had already sold multiple paper comics, art CDs, digital comics, and commissions before coming to adoptables.  They are neither a charity case nor a just starting artist, therefore, should not stoop to such amateur levels.

As I said before, if you want to support an artist, support an artist for showing effort; buy what they are selling.  If they are pumping out free art that you love, send them donations, but don't let yourself be one of the hundred who pay into a single character picture adding up to multiple hundreds of dollars if the artist is just going to sit on that pic and not do another until they need money again.  Considering that was the intention of the artist above, why should you reward laziness?
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