Hey all the people!
Ok – enough of friendly greetings – let’s get into this! *cracks knuckles*
This entry is going to be dedicated to FRIENDLY Recast BJD Information – The goal is to provide non-bias information for the purpose to educate and create recast awareness NOT to create hostility. Spreading knowledge is better than spreading hate – and this topic has far too much hate already.
That said – I’m human and once I get typing I know I can seem rude so please know; if you’re rubbed the wrong way or feel like I’m trying to target you that is not the case – and send me a note so I can try to re-word this to make it as basic as possible!
OKAY let’s begin.
First of all, what is a recast BJD?
Well – ResinMuse couldn’t have said it better
“A recast resin bjd is an exact copy of a company doll, but not made by that company. A person, or group, buys different company dolls. They then take the dolls apart and create molds.. Then, the resin is poured into those molds, resulting in a doll that looks like a legit company doll, but isn’t.”
Did ya get that? Think of it like burning an audio CD – you take your CD and copy it. In a nutshell that’s all a recast is a bootleg or copy of an original doll.
I’ve noticed a lot of negativity and hostility when I see ‘recast’. What’s up with that?
First – I want to say please pleeeeaasseee don’t let this discourage you from the BJD hobby or community. The anger shown can be terrible but there are far more friendly people out there than there are hateful / it’s just easier to notice the anger sadly.
Alright – with that said: You’ve got two, really three, sides to the recast topic. There are the Anti-Recast people and Recast Friendly people fighting over if recasts are ok or not. Fighting over allowing recasts to be shown in certain groups and online communities etc… From one side – people are angry because the production and creation of a recast is art theft: On the other side due to international laws and copyright grey areas, it’s almost impossible to prove for a fact that the specific recast they have is illegal because the laws are written in such a way that they are left open to interpretation. I’ll try to get into more specifics on it later down Though I’m not a lawyer and I do not enjoy reading international documents on copyright… so that might come at a waaay later date, I mainly wanted to give a brief generic idea of why there is such a heated debate on the topic for those that are newer the BJD community’s responses to recasts. Obviously there are going to be several reasons for each side to debate – but that’s not for here.
Helpful Tip for the curious online-user: If you are curious about this topic and you’re just looking for answers or maybe something specific that I haven’t covered in this journal please note me so I can add it and I’ll try to answer your question, but also for general web surfing ~ try sending a private message, note, or email to a specific user that you feel will possibly have information on the topic. Doing this will get you much less attention and cause less of a fight on a main thread or forum -even if the person you’re asking has opposite views from you, they are much more likely to be nicer since you’re taking the time to quietly ask and educate yourself. Again, I’m always happy to answer questions or help look for information! I’m far from an expert, but at least two sets of eyes are better than one!
The ‘third’ group of people that I mentioned… they are what I’m hoping to see more of… Not Anit-Recast or Recast Friendly… but Recast Awareness folks! People just here to help spread information and friendly conversation over a topic that is too often heated. Cheers!
Moving right along! If you’ve made it this far I appreciate you staying with me! Glad you’re here.
The basic threats of recasts.
The second-hand market.
Just as you have scams with designer purses and jewelry, you’ve got scams with BJDs. Let’s be real here, these dolls ain’t cheap: But one of the awesome facts about this hobby is that, in general, BJDs tend to hold value even after being on the 2nd hand market. If you’re unsure what I’m talking about, after playing around online, you will soon find that on most forums or web groups there are “for Sale” sections – these are the basic 2nd hand market areas that I refer to. Places where you can sell your doll to a potential buyer.
One of the major threats of recasts are people that list a recast as a legit doll – charging a high to full price for said doll – once the owner gets the doll they find it to be a recast and have spent a large amount of money for a fake. Please note, not every recast owner is a scammer or trying to pass off their recast as a legit! Don’t let these facts scare you into hating on a recast owner, I’ll mention more of this later down. Always use caution when buying from the 2nd hand market – I remember when I bought my first – I was terrified – but in all reality it’s not always a bad experience and 99% of sellers are more than willing to provide information to a potential buyer. If you’d like information on safe 2nd market practices please check out Amaranth’s Castaways blog: amaranthscastaways.blogspot.co… . They have great information presented in a friendly way. Again, specific questions? Ask ask and ask again. Knowledge is power.
ABJD/BJD Company struggles.
This threat may seem like an exaggeration – but it’s still an issue. The threat that recasts priced at a much lower cost take possible customers from authorized BJD companies. Larger well-known companies suffer from this due to a high demand for popular dolls and sculpts – while smaller companies, already struggling to keep up, suffer from trying to gain business while trying to stay in business, they not only have to try to get notice – Another notable factor on smaller BJD companies Thanks again tenchibaka! is that lack of consumers means lack of sales which means that company is more than likely going to fold and will end up shutting down. Without being able to charge a decent price small-time companies wouldn’t even be able to make the base amount needed to survive in the business world… the mark-up price of company BJDs goes to several things like website server costs, shipping fees, licensing charges, business agreement costs, simple utilities like power and water fees, as well as employment paychecks: after all those fees the amount they make off a few dolls really is stretched thin – the artist really aren’t making much for the art they create. We aren’t just talking about mass production from large companies that are threat; we are talking about the specific BJD artists spending several hours sculpting and perfecting the original sculpt that are putting in all that work to only be shut down due to lack of finances. When you buy from a company – yes there is a markup price – but you’re also paying those artists to continue their work which gives us more options and more enjoyment! Recasters aren’t sculpting – if the companies stop making dolls – so do recasters.
BJD Value Retention.
As I mentioned above, one of the cool facts about this hobby is that BJDs tend to hold a decent to great value even after being purchased. Where the threat is here is the lack of 2nd buyers. Instead of looking for a discounted 2nd hand doll, buyers are checking into recasts. Having less of a 2nd market audience means sellers have to make a better deal which means dropping the price of their doll in order to sell it. Over time this is dropping the value of 2nd hand BJDs creating more of a ‘money pit’ hobby.
This is really true for limited edition BJDs. They are limited for a reason – they are meant to be special dolls released by artists for a short period of time to create flare and interest in the hobby. Granted, it’s a marketing scheme to increase a BJD price – but with that extra price comes knowing you’ve got a limited doll that in a few years will, in theory, increase in value. With recasters in the picture, copies of those limited dolls are created causing a hit for the limited editions. The flare and excitement of being a limited edition owner isn’t as grand when you have copies being poured into the picture. Less flare and excitement means less of a market for a limited doll, which makes it harder to sell them later on in the 2nd market.
Legality of recast BJDs.
So, are recasts legal? This is a tough question… and I’m not a lawyer, so for me to claim one thing or the other is to contradict fact here. So with that – I’m going to leave this with, it depends on the company, the copyright that specific company has in place, and the location of creation. With that – if you’re craving for an answer the best I can say is search away based on your specific situation. I’m also going to refer back Amaranth’s Castaways blog – as they have great information all over the place there. Amaranth’s answer to ‘Are recasts legal?’
“Yes and no. The truth is, the law is murky, and even lawyers admit that many laws really are up to interpretation. In fact, when a case goes to court it is usually lawyers arguing for various interpretation of the law with the judge having the final say on the matter….at least until someone contests it again. That said, there are some things we do know for sure:”
I’d also like to take a second to mirror another answer I’ve heard of a few times (And forgot about until dA user tenchibaka mentioned to me.)
“technically the law does state that identical copies for profit ARE a violation in all countries that joined the Berne Convention*. There are some issues with countries that do not follow it but basically if there is no difference between the original and the recast it is not legal to sell, right now there needs to be an 11%* difference between original goods and knock-off brand versions of the goods or else it is copyright infringement and(like in the us) not only finable but can result in jail-time”
( The Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, usually known as the Berne Convention, is an international agreement governing copyright, which was first accepted in Berne, Switzerland, in 1886.)
More of the ‘grey’ area I see repeating is – what constitutes as an 11% difference? That’s up to interpretation which is why the legality of recasts is so debatable.
I can’t claim that Amaranth’s and tenchibaka’s information is 100% accurate and usable in court as I’ve not personally checked the sources they have used; but I will say that these are some of the most reoccurring answers I’ve seen numerously online on different blogs and forums to the question of recasts legality.
Not all recast owners are bad.
I wanted to throw this into the mix – I know it’s not really a ‘recast fact’ but it is something to keep in mind when dealing with the recast topic. That is, and I can’t stress this enough, just because someone owns a recast; that does not make them morally bad/negative, a scammer, a liar, etc… Passing judgment based on ownership of a recast shouldn’t happen.
I’ll leave it with a simple example.
Person A buys a doll. Unaware of what a recast is, or maybe they know and the listing seemed to be extremely legit, upon receiving said doll… it’s found out to be a recast. That person is already dealing with a huge loss of money – that alone is a terrible feeling – but not only that, every “Anti-Recast” photo and most recast topics are so heated that the person is then afraid to post anything of the doll for fear of retaliation from the BJD community. The person took the time to look up facts, went ahead and paid full price to try to support the hobby only to be scammed and now seemingly shunned by the BJD community. Things happen that are out of our control – just try to be calm and support your BJD hobby in a friendly or at least in a non-judgmental way.
Now I could sit here and go on and on about why the BJD community should get along – and I might make another journal posting on just that If I do I’ll add a link in somewhere down here. Again, I’m trying to keep this specific journal entry as generic as possible with just information vs opinions and justifications.
I would also like to take a second to thank deviantART user tenchibaka. I’m not going to lie – our original comment/opinion exchange wasn’t exactly the most friendly, no one ever likes to be told they are wrong, but I’m glad I was able to have that unpleasant experience in order to come out a better person. Seriously thanks much tenchibaka! tenchibaka.deviantart.com/ tenchibaka has been the one fueling my fire to raise Recast Awareness in a friendly manner, as well as making sure I’m not too much of an ass so it’s in a non-bias format haha
Also - if you're interested in my change of heart on recasts, I've a brief journal on it here: fav.me/d8huvz3