Wednesday, July 18, 2012

egl's new stance on replicas

I've been out of town for the past two weeks and when I come home, the first thing I saw on EGL was a mod post stating that print replicas have been banned from the community.  This means no selling them or talking about them.  Almost every week, there is a discussion post about what everyone thinks of replicas, and usually they get many comments with people on both sides of the spectrum: ones who love replicas, and ones who hate replicas.  I thought that this announcement had something to do with that, the most recent discussion maybe got a little too heated and the mods decided that to just stop talking about them.  Then I read further down the page and found out what this was really about.

You can read the entire post here (be warned, it's pretty long, especially with all the comments) but what it boils down to is that one of the Japanese brands contacted the EGL mods and asked them to implement this ban.  They agreed because of the possible worry that EGL could be shut down because of Livejournal's ToS that stated that it is against the rules to talk about or promote illegal behavior.  Print replicas are illegal, so the mods decided it would be in the communities best interest to put a ban on the discussion or sales of them.

I do not care much for replicas, to be honest.  I would never judge someone else for wearing them, nor would I look down upon them for not being a "real lolita" just because they choose not to purchase brand, whatever the reason may be.  A lot of my lolita friends own and wear replicas, and they look great in them!  However, I personally do not like wearing replicas because of the iffy quality, and the fact that it is actually an illegal action.  No matter how you spin it, print replicas are illegal.  The print is under copyright law and by copying it, reprinting it, and selling it to make a profit, the replica companies are breaking the law, and you are breaking the law if you buy or own one.  Someone's intellectual and creative property is being stolen, and that just doesn't sit right with me.  Again, I do not look down upon those who choose to wear replicas, it is just something that I personally don't like doing.

I do own replicas; I have two.  One of them is the Bodyline Fruit's Parlour replica skirt, from back in 2009 when I was still getting into lolita and didn't know that it was a replica.  It was also a present from my mom.  I still wear it occasionally, but only in casual outfits and only if I'm doing something that might stain, scratch, or snag the fabric.  The other replica is a Melty Chocolate OP that I bought last summer from Dream of Lolita.  This one I had always been on the fence about; I wanted to purchase it because I don't like the print even remotely enough to pay the exorbitant prices that it goes for on resale, and the only cut that I like is the OP and that would not fit me.  I purchased it thinking that I might wear it a few times, and I might take it apart to make a pattern out of the dress.  However, it arrived to me not fitting, and has just been sitting around since last July, looking sad and unworn.  The fabric is bad, the lace is an odd colour, it's ill-fitting, and I would rather have spent my money on something else.  I have been meaning to sell it, but I suppose I'll need to find somewhere else to do that now!

All in all, I completely understand why the mods chose to do this.  It's much better to be safe than sorry, since it is against Livejournal's ToS and the entire community could be shut down if it was reported.  Some people are very pro-replica, for whatever their reasons may be, and I completely understand that.  Nobody is telling you what to purchase with your own money, and I can't stress it enough that the mods are not doing this to condemn people who wear replicas, they are doing it to protect the community from being shut down.  But this is something that you need to think about from a legal standpoint.  I would much rather something be banned from the comm as opposed to the entire comm being shut down, without warning, because we were discussing something illegal.  I'm glad that the mods decided to comply with the unnamed brand, as I want the community to be around for as long as possible.

note: I hope that nobody feels the need to argue about this, but if so, please remember that this is my opinion and that EGL has already made the final decision regarding this issue.

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