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Open Letter to Arcturus regarding artfu.net
This is an open letter to Arcturus n, the owner/administrator of the upcoming artwork community site artfu.net

Given that I have a lot of work on my plate already, I usually do not involve myself with events on other artwork sites. Certainly, I wish every site well, even if it 'competes' in any way with the VCL. After all, every attractive feature on other sites is a good incentive to analyze and implement features on the VCL, and every site is certainly welcome to analyze and implement features from the VCL in return. All this is a boon to artists and visitors who get more features, and more options.

However, recent events surrounding the administrative split on FurAffinity has caused me concern. Not for the collection of art sites itself, since such splits have happened before and things will eventually settle out, but for how the "furry community" is regarded by other, 'nearby' communities.

As has been discussed on your forum, the selection of the name "artfu.net" has conflicted with another on-line artwork community artfu.com. While not specifically catering to the furry community, it serves much the same purpose in a related community, and has made it clear they intend to grow into many of the same features that your own site intends to supply, too. In addition, your site purports to want to serve many artistic communities, and not just the furry community.

Put simply, "artfu.com" were here first. It is a small, but active site, and you are stomping on their name, making us all look bad.

On your forum, it was pointed out that If the artfu.com people did not want a name-collision to occur, they should have snapped up all the variations on "artfu", lest 'some bastard' snap up the name. However, this does not mean that you have to be the bastard that does so.

Inkninja's (the administrator of artfu.com) reasoning for not registering all the combinations, allowing non-related sites to use a name, was admirable, if a little naive. This does not diminish the behaviour of the person that takes advantage of that.

So, I implore that you reconsider your decision to refuse Inkninja's request to discontinue using artfu.net. If you do not, you will always have this shame above your head, the confusion and resentment will always be there, and I think this is not something you want hindering the growth of your site.

And, by this public letter, I hope to show that at least one member of the furry community thinks your insistence on using "artfu.net" is both disrespectful, and wrong.

-- Ch'marr, aka Chris Cogdon. Lead administrator / owner of VCL.

UPDATE: Arcturus has graciously offered to choose a different name for the site.

2nd Update: ArtPlz!. Much better.

While not specifically catering to the furry community

Apparently artfu.net isn't going to cater to the furry community either. As you can see in this thread it seems to be the concensus that it will be a general art site with no visible tie to the fandom.

It's a choice I am not very happy with, especially considering that at least 90% of it's current, pre-opening userbase is from the fandom looking for a good art site. And considering the crap that dA just went through, a sizeable number from there is going to be looking around for a general art site as well.. it's quite possible artfu.net won't be as furry-centric as most furs would want.

People will have the option to filter out art genres they don't want to see. So if people want it to seem like a "furry only" site, they will have the option to do so :o) And on the other hand, those who don't draw furries exclusively, or those who don't like furries, can also participate.

...and I love the VCL. Hi Ch'marr!

And so, Arcturus's internet penis continues to grow, swelling and becoming glistening and shiny as it inflates to enormous proportions.

Oh god... I think I need a bigger monitor.

This is whining of the first degree. After we had found out that artfu.com was taken, we had attempted to differenciate ourselves by providing an alternative hyphenation or what have you on the site. Because artfu.com has no consistant standard on how they name their site, they believe that by whining enough, they will convince people that having a site with a similar name to theirs (artfu.net vs. artfu.com) is stealing, and also wrong. This is untrue on both accounts, and I have seen you use your voice to further stuff like this before where when one cannot by any meaningful degree come up for a logical reason to believe in what they do.

Analyze this philosophically. The ethics towards using the name artfu.net came out of parallel invention -- that is to say, we came up with the name seperately, without any influence on hearing or knowing about the site name before. Shouldn't we have as much right to exist as the next person? Since we already do exist, I believe that saying now "you shouldn't because someone like you already does" is stupid. People get bad feelings about it because they wouldn't want such a thing happening to them, but it does, that's real life. Mountain Dew and Moon Mist exist. Dr. Pepper and Dr. Topper exist And more relevantly, in the internet realm, .com's and .net's exist. Like artfu.com and artfu.net.

Consider your letter no more relevant than the next guy who made the same exact points.

We have already discussed working together with the .com administrators, who refused due to "creative differences" (aka: it's my house and I don't wanna cooperate attitude), we have discussed nonaffiliation (which makes us legally excempt from any confusion that may occur), and so forth. What it really boils down to is some guy with his tiny community getting all huffy because some other community, completely unaware of his existance, came up with a similar idea in parallel to what he was -about- to do (notice: not what he WAS doing).

I need more than two monitors now.

But I'll have to get a new video card to do that. Fuck.

Re: rebuttal (Anonymous) Expand
(Deleted comment)
the ICANN is who controls domains. artfu.com is more than welcome to waste their money trying. Seeing as how they don't even have enough willpower to even get their community portal off the ground for the past 2, 3 years or so, I don't see this happening so much. But you bring up a good point, ICANN is outside the realm of normal law, and they could do that if they so wanted to.

(Deleted comment)
Indeed; Ch'marr, while I appreciate your thoughts on this matter, I think you should speak to Arcturus personally, rather than leave it open for debate. It has already been debated, and little was accomplished, so you're probably better off talking to Arc one-on-one.

(Deleted comment)
I do not normally involve myself in political issues. However, I want to state simply for the record that I completely agree with you Ch'marr.

Arcturus needs to learn that being able to do something, and it being the right thing, are two separate issues which need a bit of clarification in his ethical structure.

- Ayukawataur : FurBid-SF Administaur

(Deleted comment)
uh, you're a couple'a days too late on the porting issue. Arc decided that he'd go with an on-request porting option after all. Should you decide you'd like your account to be ported, the thread is here. ^^

I am also disappointed to hear that the existing database will be used for the new site. I uploaded my art to FurAffinity.com. I'm not terribly happy to hear that my art will be copied off and then put up on another site, run by a different set of admins. I would rather that the choice be mine that I should continue to associate with FurAffinity.com or Artfu.net. (Or neither.) People's copyrighted artwork is not GPL code that can be forked at whim. Maybe this stance has changed, but the last I heard this was to be the case. If no longer so, then strike this paragraph from the record. :)

This was never the case, actually. Simply put, AF is being built on the same server that FA was formerly on (before FA's founder effectively kicked himself off of it), which Arcturus owns and operates. Rather than outright deleting the thousands of submissions that are already there, the decision was made to allow artists to 'reactivate' them by signing into AF with their FA username. If an artist never 'joined' AF in this way, their pre-existing submissions would never be made publicly available by AF. However, due to various people whining about this arrangement, the AF staff has since changed the policy so that any artist who wants their submissions 'ported' into AF must contact the staff and let them know about it within two weeks of AF going live; any submissions by artists who fail to do so will be deleted after that point. Anyone who tries to tell you that AF is or was at any point going to be showing anyone's work without permission is either a flamebaiting troll or completely fails at reading comprehension. :)

(Deleted comment)
Sure. The whole idea of an open letter is publicity. Please do link back to this page, if you can.


Can't you screwballs appreciate free hosting when it is presented to you?


This playing field isn't so tilted that the admin giving away "free hosting" can name their terms and the artists had better just get used to it. The artists are putting in their own time, effort and resources to give away "free art", and they want to deal with someone who's going to respect and value that.

The attitude of "I'll do things because nobody can stop me" would make an artist think twice about entrusting their work to any admin.

You know when I saw Jheryn's post on the main page asking users to stop complaining because they're working on solving the problems I thought of you. I thought "Hmm, it's already getting to him and making him post an unprofessional about it, mmm, drama.... Ch'marr must have nerves of steel as he has more users etc."

In fact, rarely have I seen administrators behave in a more professional manner than you, certainly not at DA/SA/FA who appear to be under the impression they're in some kind of sandbox wars where occasionally people run home crying to their mommies because the other kids were mean to them because they didn't get everything their way.

The bigger picture = everything has to go my way and I get to do everything in order to get my way, anyone who objects to that is a stupidhead!

First of all, Ch'marr, thank you for taking the time to write this. After reading all the replies, I feel now is the time to respond.

I have been wieghing the entire artfu.com/artfu.net matter carefully, and whilst I still want to use the name, as I thought of it before even knowing the .com existed. Infact, I hadn't even checked until after I got the .net domain.

I spoke with inkninja on IRC a day or two ago, and whilst he admitted to not caring who used the .net, or for what purpose it was used, or anything like that, he didn't want me using it. So, I have been pondering another name. I'm not going to release this name just yet, though. But, I have already purchased the domain for it, and it wasn't in use (Either as a .com, .net, .org, .co.uk, etc).

Whilst you may be but one voice, you've been running an archive for a while. I may not like how you do it personally, but you've got experience, and that counts for something in my opinion. That's why I listen to Channel Cat and Spencer from SheezyArt. Solei from tixen.net. I'd listen to people from dA if they came offering advice. I'd be a fool not to take it.

Thanks, Ch'marr.

Hmm, I doubt that artfu.com's administrator expressed to you that he "didn't care who used the .net, for whatever purpose". So far he has maintained that he does not care if af.net is used for a unique purpose. The point of his argument seemed to be that the basic purpose of the sites were [going to be] too similar and that is why he was lobbying for a name change. That makes sense to me, but I'm beating a dead horse now.

I am glad that you are going to do the right thing. Drama be gone!

True, Inkninja may have been naive in not registering other variations of the name, but artfu.net was thought up, researched, and deemed to be not terribly overlapping when it was registered. From what I gather, he believed that there would be little area of conflict with artfu.com's content versus artfu.net's.

AF.net has already been established to a degree. Say that, down the road, Arc decides to re-evaluate and create an art-fu.com or artfusion.net, anything that's a bit more recognizably different. That still leaves artfu.net in his name, and no doubt he'd put up a redirect for people still using the old address.
Problem solved, right? Wrong. Because of the courtesy of leaving a redirect for the less-than-frequent visitors, there's still this "clash" between the two sites, and I imagine it would remain for the duration of the domain's registration period.

Sure, after that, Inkninja would be free to spend another $5 a year to register that as well; whether or not that would happen can only be speculated at this point.

Independant vision is the primary arguement, and for good reason. At artfu.net's original inception, it was meant to be a place such as FurAffinity was, deviantART is, and so on: an online gallery that users control and build a community around. Artfu.com, _right_now_ is a portal site to other, external pages, and focusing mainly on more anime-inclined material.
At its conception, Arc and the other admins for artfu.net had no way of knowing the founders' intentions for artfu.com, and believed there was little fear of overlap because the sites would serve different purposes.
I can guarantee that if Arc hadn't dropped the artfu.com name in the forum, this would be a total non-issue, and the two sites would go on co-existing in ignorant bliss.

As I understand, the dialogue between Arc and Inkninja got to the point where they both told each other "I'm not changing my name" and Arc and the other admins tried to reach some viable compromise that would work to mutual benefits of both sites. It was already planned to put a disclaimer on artfu.net stating its lack of affiliation with artfu.com, but other ideas were offered forward and summarily disregarded by Inkninja, who wanted all-or-nothing.

I don't see this change happening, because arguements that it is "disrespectful" hold little water. Artfu.net will not be a porn site, or further specified into a particular fetish, and as such it does nothing to diminish the worth of artfu.com. The archives may have competing content, but there is absolutely _nothing_ that says that a person cannot be a user of both sites, just the same as with artfu.net and furaffinity.net.
If both artfu.com's and artfu.net's visions of their future become realized, it can only help the online art community by offering more content and more exposure.
Granted, name confusion can and most likely will occur, there's no disputing that. But the confusion is on the shoulders of the user, not the admins of the sites.

To be quite frank, I don't have a preference one way or the other on the name of the archive. I tossed in my vote for the name artfusion.net, if a name-change was to happen, but it's not going to.

You say it's wrong that the name is being shared between two art archives (soon to be implemented, on both accounts), when there's nothing really wrong. You could harp on morals about not taking someone else's name, but at the same time it's morally wrong not to share when asked. Artfu.net offered mutually beneficial options to share popularity through affiliation, or other means, but that was declined by Inkninja. And just Inkninja.

Morals are a real bad arguement for anything, because even morals conflict with each other, and if you're gonna play that card you gotta play the whole deck. It may have been wrong to not "step on toes" but it was also wrong to, once it happened, not accept any form of agreement afterwards.

Both sides were being stubborn in this incident, and they have agreed to disagree. Both sites will coexist, and they will rise or fall on their own accord, without assisting or harming each other.

Well and truly into deceased-equine-percussion territory here...

I never argued that the name was intentionally similiar to artfu.com's, only that appropriate action need be taken once the similarity was discovered.

I think that art-fu is much closer to artfu than artfusion is. After all, people do not read 'artfusion' as 'artfu-sion'.

Whether or not artfu.com and artfu.net have independent visions, they're materially the same site RIGHT NOW. Both have a message board and an IRC channel. Both have plans for bigger and better things that are materially similar. If Arcturus was just planning using 'artfu.net' as a personal web site, then I'm sure there would have been no problem.

Yes, Inkninja should have spent the extra money to avoid this potential (and now apparent) conflict. That does not mean any of us needs to be causing that conflict. Inkninja should consider himself fortunate that many of us including Artcutus sees the ethics in this situation.

Nanimoose also independently raised the issue on artfu.net's forum, so I disagree that this would have been a non-issue.

I believe Inkninja was 'right' in asking that another name be selected, as ANY compromise would still have been trodding on artfu.com's name.

And. I never mentioned 'morals'; but rather 'ethics', which is subtly different. Whatever spin you put on it, choosing artfu.net still troms on another site with a materially similar purpose, and I am very glad that Arcturus is avoiding the perpetual resentment that would occur. Changing the name was the 'Right Thing' to do.

As another artfu.com fella, I'd just like to thank everyone at artfu.net for understanding us. We really didn't want to create a lot of bad vibes between our site, but imagine if someone started another site called DeviantArt.net with a similar vision, but it wasn't clear from the site that it was different from DeviantArt.com. You can bet that the .com community would feel trod-upon by the .net one. I, personally, am a bit relieved that artfu.net will get a new name, but I hope our two sites can mend our fences from here on out.

I'd also like to thank everyone who discussed the dealings rationally (on all sides of the argument) for being so magnanimous (*especially* Ch'marr). Enmity has no place in as simple a discussion as this one.

On a final note: as someone who worked as a web developer, you would be ASTONISHED at how often domain clashes like this happen. Unfortunately, they don't always resolve themselves as nicely as this one has. Thanks again, everyone.

Rob "Stray" Dumas
#artfu halfop

I really think ArtFu.com should have taken all the .net .org variants.

It should almost constitute consent for people to use your name these days if you don't cover all bases.

That being said, I wouldn't use someone else's name.

I'm glad the name will be changed.

Re: Thanks (Anonymous) Expand