Mini Shops Rules and Regulations
These rules will be updated as necessary. All rules are retroactive and apply to all existing shops. If you find that your shop no longer complies with the rules, it is your responsibility to make any necessary changes in a timely fashion.
It is greatly encouraged that any graphic that you sell in your Mini Shop or Breedable Pets store should be 100% your own work. However, any graphic for sale in your Mini Shop or Breedable Pets store must be mostly or almost all your own work and idea.
No whole graphic, icon, sprite, or other image, that is found on the internet or another source and is not your work, may be sold in Mini Shops. No part of it may be traced, copied by eye or copy and pasted to be passed off as your own work.
Spirit of Mini Shops
You should not try to make a profit on Gaia by exploiting the hard work of other artists, whether they are Gaia users or people off site. Therefore, all images must be properly credited and with courtesy links back to your benefactors. They were kind enough to grant you permission, so return the favor! biggrin
If you wish to open a Mini Shop, you must read and understand these rules in their entirety. It is your responsibility to make sure your shop is legal.
~ Mini Shops moderators
If someone in Minishops samples your image without permission, is in violation of your stated terms, uses a whole image without permission, or is in violation of another agreement, you have the right to request the removal or editing of that whole image regardless of any work done by the other party. If necessary, a moderator will remove it.
Anyone claiming to be the creator should contact a moderator or the person in question. They should be prepared to prove ownership, if it is disputed. This could involve emailing the moderator from the address listed on the site the image came from, or placing a note on the site, etc. Proof doesn't have to be given to the general public in order to protect the privacy of the artist. It will be enough for the moderator to say 'I have been shown sufficient proof to believe this is the creator'.
Maliciously impersonating a creator will result in action against your account.
If you should find someone who is stealing art from you, please report them. Posting accusations, "GTFO" or "Reported" can be seen as harassment or spam. More information on reporting is contained in the 7th post.
This section deals with the use of graphics from artists' personal sites. This includes but is not limited to the sites of icon makers, pixel artists, CG artists, and other independent creators.
You may NOT:
* - Please read the Proper Credit section of this sticky for more detailed information on permission and proper credit.
This section deals with graphics, such as Anime/movie/TV screenshots, Videogame screenshots/sprites, artbook scans and any other commercial work.
You may NOT:
Use or offer to use images eg. anime, movie, game characters without permission from the copyright holder or the artist who drew them. Just stating "Images owned by Fox" or similar is not good enough.
- this includes scans, screenshots or other similar images, even if you took the screenshot yourself or bought the book/magazine etc that you scanned the image from, you STILL need permission.
- this also includes sites such as animewallpaper.com or animerender.com. You need the permission of the artist/company that owns it. Just because it's free to download does not mean you can make a profit off of them.
Use stock images without permission from the person who took them.
Use any photobucket, google or other similar images without permission of the artist/company that owns them. Asking the person who uploaded it does not count as they do not have the authority to give you permission, unless they made the image themselves.
Use traced, copied or eyeballed images.
Use drawings including fanart you made yourself.
Use drawings including fanart that others have drawn if you have their permission.
Use drawings, stocks etc for your own personal use or for others for free. You must not charge them anything in this case. Such shops would then belong in the Art Freebies sub-forum.
Use brushes available in software programs such as Photoshop and Paint Shop Pro. If you download extra brushes, it is preferred that you credit and link back to where you got them from.
Use fonts available in software programs such as Photoshop and Paint Shop Pro. If you download extra fonts, it is preferred that you credit and link back to where you got them from.
Gaia Online images
This section deals with the use of commercial artwork of Gaiaonline.com. The official artwork is defined as the avatars, avatar clothes, borders, Rock Puppy, etc. It does NOT include any user-created art found on Gaiaonline.com, such as users' signatures or entries in the Art Arena.
You may NOT:
Edit, modify or display official Gaiaonline.com images in any way which my misrepresent Gaia's policies and theme. This includes, but is not limited to avatar edits which are completely nude, sexual, or nude and poorly censored, showing the shape, outline or colouring of genitals, nipples or pubic hair.
Sell, save, edit or otherwise use any images found in signatures, sig-pages, forum posts, personal posts, Art Arena posts, Mini Shops or Breedable Pets stores of other users outside of the agreements between you and the owner/creator.
Use and modify official Gaiaonline.com artwork, including avatars and layout flourishes within the forums only. In other words, Avatar Edits are allowed in Mini Shops, as long as they are used only within Gaiaonline.com(this does not include the Art Arena!), and credit is not taken for the original image outside of forums of Gaia.
In shops, this agreement is generally that if you pay for a graphic, to the creator, you have the right to use it - unedited - for its intended purpose only, and not claim ownership. If no other agreement is posted, the creator is protected by the terms of the preceding agreement.
If an artist has made templates/bases/other images available for use that are meant to be edited (such as dollz), please abide by the agreement that the artist provides. You do not need to ask for permission if the artist says that you don't have to in the agreement; it is only if no agreement is provided, or you wish to do something that is not allowed by the agreement, that you must get provable, written permission.
Most doll artists ask that you not redistribute the base. This means, do not post the unedited base on Gaia even for illustration purposes. This is because someone may see it on Gaia, without seeing the artist's terms, and use it without abiding by the terms. This rule is usually broken without ill intent, but please abide by it.
You may NOT:
Use dolls and items from online doll makers.
Use dolls you made in a doll maker if you edit the image/color over the items.
Use dolls made using a doll maker if you just plan to use them for banners and wishlists. *
Break the base maker's rules even if they aren't in the Gaia or Mini Shops rules.
Use dolls or images even if the base maker doesn't mention displaying or distributing doll images.
Use parts of other peoples' dolls to create your own.
Use bases if the base maker's rules are in a language you can not understand.
Remove the base maker's signature from the base you want to use.
Display unedited/naked doll bases in your shop thread. **
* - Exceptions can be made in some cases, depending on the doll maker's rules and how much work you've put into the banner image. In such a situation, please contact an online moderator to see if you will be allowed to sell them.
** - The only exception is if the base maker specifically gives you permission to do so. If you must display base images, then you need to watermark the images.
Provide bases with undergarments or provide a link to a nude base rather than posting them directly in the forums. Posting naked doll bases is not allowed as it infringes on the doll maker's rules.
Protecting your rights~
You are certainly allowed to accept donations or tips for your minishop work.
However, we must stipulate that you are NOT allowed to include clauses like "If you don't title your trade as TRADE FOR X, we will consider it a donation" anywhere in your shop.
If someone is sending you gold for a specific purpose and awaiting a specific product, knowingly taking their payment with no intent to give them what they expected is considered scamming.
First-time offenders will receive a warning, but repeating this sort of behavior will result in your account being banned.
If you own a shop and someone sends you an unclear trade, you may PM them to clarify. You may also ban them from your shop for breaking the rules and NOT accept the trade. Do not simply accept it and move on.
"I found them on a website & give full credit" is not 'credit' AT ALL.
Credit must be provided in this format:
"I found these on a website called Pixel Palz (www.Pixel-palz.com/moogles) and give full credit to the artist, 'Jimmy Helmet-Head' (JHH@yaho.com) who gave me permission to use them on 12/03/04 by email)"
This is the ONLY Acceptable way to credit someone. You must include:
Name/fake internet name (If they don't give a real one)
Contact info (email address, AIM/MSN/ICQ etc).
Name and URL of website, and EXACT page where everyone else can see the pics.
The date when you got permission from the artist. ( BE READY TO PROVIDE THIS TO ANYONE WHO ASKS. )
You MUST also put this in READABLE text. NO white text, or tiny text. The size must be above size 8 and must not be hidden or obscured in any way (example: lighter/smaller text than the rest of the post/shop).
The credit must be on the same page as the material and must be easy to find.
If you do not provide credit in this format, we will assume you do not have permission and your shop will be removed for art theft.
If you are buying or offering custom anything, this applies to you. Since some customs are going for very high prices, this has become slightly less rare.
Gross misrepresentation means that you show great samples, but when you deliver the custom order, it is way, way, WAY below what is expected - based on those samples, and the price that your customer paid.
This doesn't always mean that you didn't draw the samples. It is more like not telling the truth about your abilities. Be honest; if you only plan to spend an hour or two on each piece, don't show something you spent 26 hours on as your sample and then charge 50k.
These cases are VERY RARE, but when they occur, they are very difficult cases for moderators to handle.
They involve judgement calls, and usually, neither side is completely right. Thus, this is a guideline, because we can't really establish how bad custom art/graphics has to be before it looks like the artist didn't even draw it.
If you feel ripped off and want to report it, please understand that the artist has feelings too, and that they did deliver some work. Remember, this is not a way for you to get art freebies. Judgements will be as fair as we can make them, and could take a lot of time.
If you are the person who requested the art, please remember to take responsibility for making sure you get what you ordered. It would be a good idea to keep the samples that you based your order on, as we will definitely ask for such samples in cases like these.
Mini Shops Conduct and Etiquette~
Bumps are posts made, with little content, for the purpose of moving the shop to the first page of the forum.
A bump may be plain text, the simple word: Bump, or a fancy picture.
Advertising bumps are not allowed. These annoy many shopkeepers, and take away their business. It is very rude to advertise your store/thread in another user's shop.
You may link bumps to your store, but the content of the image should not be a gratuitous advertisement. The largest text must be the word 'bump', and no slogans or encouragement to leave the current store may be posted.
Even if you think that your advertisement is tasteful, the shop owner has a right to have the bump deleted.
You should also not bump shops that are still on the first page.
A shop owner may ask a moderator to delete any posts in a thread that are extraneous, if The posts are in between the shop owner 'setting up posts' IE:
Owner: Placeholder, need 3 posts.
Owner: Owner's list.
Person: What's this? A shop?
The number of bumps or extraneous posts makes the thread hard to read (such as images that are so wide that they stretch the screen), or of unwieldily size.
The shop owner is offended by the content.
The post or bump is an advertisement, or otherwise encourages the patrons to leave the shop.
If you see a shop that is breaking the rules, please report it via the report system.
Just because a shop is in the forum doesn't mean the moderators have approved of it. Sometimes a moderator has just not seen the violation. So, when in doubt, report.
Please include the following information whenever possible:
The url of the shop.
Name of the shop owner.
Proof of theft in the form of:
The url of the site they are stealing from or
The url of another mini shop they are stealing from or
Any other form of proof that the shop owner does not have the right to sell their product.
The Gaia Staff that moderates Mini Shops and its subforums wishes to protect the rights of artists, and maintain a harmonious community. We understand that the rules can be broken without malicious intent, and people who break the rules are not always 'bad people'. Please don't treat them as such.
If you are ever asked by a staff member to take certain action with your shop, it is not because we hate you, or think you're bad. We just want to protect artists' rights, and the reputation of this forum, as well as Gaiaonline.com as a site.
All of Gaiaonline.com encourages feedback. Any comments on these rules are welcome. Changes will be made from time to time. If there is anything lacking in the rules that you think is necessary to protect artists, please advise.
If you do not understand any part of these rules or require clarification in anyway, please do not hesitate to ask. You are more than welcome to ask questions and provide feedback on these rules by posting in this thread. A moderator will address your post as soon as possible.
If you are not comfortable with posting your feeback or questions publically, you may PM an online Mini Shops moderator.
Please feel free to add to our link list below. Post your resources links in this thread and we will add them. ^___^