So I decided to put this in a separate post because people seem to ask about it a lot and it’d probably be really nice if this could be spread around!
When wanting to use someone else’s artwork online, it really is truly bothersome to have to ask every time you’d want to use someone else’s art. Most artists don’t mind having their art used as long as there is credit, but some artists strictly want permission first.
Please keep in mind that always assuming that it’s not okay is the best mindset.
It’s best to be sure and just message, but if you’re really trying to avoid asking, then it is best to do the following before surely asking:
- Check their pixiv profile or blog profile where it says anything about redistribution. Usually just turning on the Google Translator will suffice, since it’s usually just a really simple sentence.
- Read the art description about redistribution. Turning on Google Translator will suffice as well as it’ll easily pick up.
- Check for these things: ※ These are kind of like Japanese asterisks, where they’re usually used as warnings or cautions and all that.
- If you’ve/someone else received a warning from an artist before saying that you’re not allowed to, please do not redistribute their art any more. Even if it they won’t be able to see it, doing it behind their back is downright rude. If it’s a rumor and you’re not sure, please message.
If the first two are checked, then it’s fairly safe to assume that the artist wouldn’t mind having their art distributed with proper sourcing.
But if you’d like to double check, here’s some phrases you can use when asking for permission.
If you want to repost/distribute art, you could send them something like:
[art link here]
この画像に配布してもいいですか？返答おねがいします！ありがとうございます。(Is it okay to distribute this picture? Please reply! Thank you.)
If you want to use the art to make something else with it, you could send:
[art link here]
この画像でいろいろ作ってもいいですか？返答おねがいします！ありがとうございます。(Is it okay to make something with this picture? Please reply! Thank you.)
If you’d want to add that you cannot speak Japanese, add in:
日本語を話しません。ごめんなさい。(I can’t speak Japanese. I’m sorry.)
If the artist replies to you in Japanese, Google Translate is your best bet since replies will just either say simple “yes” or “no” phrases.
It is best to be able to register into Japanese art sites first since most sites require accounts before messaging, and there are several tutorials online where it tells you directions in English on how to register on a Japanese site.