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Pixiv Releases Followup on Changes to Their Terms of Service

As announced during their first update, Pixiv has released details on their planned changes to the platform's master terms of service, expected to go live on December 15th.

On November 15th, we wrote about upcoming changes to the Pixiv terms of service. This update announcement worried many creators, as well as their fans, by suggesting changes which could prevent certain kinds of works from being used in transactions on the sites ran by Pixiv. These include the marketplace BOOTH and their Patreon-esque equivalent, pixivFANBOX.

The initial announcement was lacking in significant clarity. The announcement provided a general notice of the changes being planned and referenced the types of hardcore content forbidden by card networks, but didn’t establish any specific rules or clarify whether said changes would affect artists or only content either referencing or featuring real people. Sadly, the new blog post points to graphic artists being impacted nearly as much as the creators of live action content.

To begin with, Pixiv has provided a list of types of media that will be regulated by these rules, followed by a separate list of restricted content. The new terms of service will always affect the following types of works when they’re used for a commercial purpose:

• Live action

• Photo-realistic work that could be mistaken for live action

• Works that cause concerns about whether their creation may have involved the victimization of living people or animals

If the works listed above feature any of the following content, they may be prohibited or flagged for revision:

• Sexual exploitation or sexual abuse of a minor

• Incest

• Bestiality

• Rape (or any other non-consensual sexual behavior)

• Non-consensual mutilation of a person or body part

• Any other content deemed inappropriate by pixiv

Currently, most concerns with the upcoming ToS changes surround the distinction between what exactly constitutes prohibited content and the type of content that might be flagged for revision.

Pixiv specifies that prohibited content, which may be deleted outright, mainly regards live-action works. It may also be applied to realistic art and other works that raise concerns of a real person being victimized.

”Prohibited Items" are items prohibited under the Terms of Use, Article 14, Item 26, No. 4.

In particular, they include items that contain the following live-action elements that violate public order and standards of decency.

They also include items with the following content that violate public order and standards of decency due to being so highly realistic as to create concerns about whether their creation may have involved the victimization of living people.

Prohibited works will, in most cases, be deleted or permanently turned private. The account of a user posting prohibited work may be suspended and they may be blocked or limited from being able to perform transactions on the site.

Meanwhile, items that don’t include live-action content or aren’t highly realistic may be flagged for revision if their content breaches the previously mentioned limitations. In other words, while artists behind fictional content won’t have to fear an immediate suspension of their account, they may find their works being frequently set to private.

Items flagged for revision will be temporarily made private, becoming invisible to anyone besides their creator until revised. In most cases, there will be no further consequences for having your creation flagged; however, in instances of someone uploading content needing revisions regularly or in large quantities, Pixiv will exert the right to punish them as if they were to post prohibited works.

"Items Requiring Revision" are items, including images and data, which are prohibited under the Terms of Use, Article 14, Item 26, No. 4, and which are deemed by pixiv to be in possible violation of laws, ordinances, public order and decency, and pixiv's Terms of Use.

In particular, they include items that are not live-action or highly realistic, but whose content or accompanying data (titles, tags, post captions, or other item descriptions) have been deemed to require revision.

In both cases, the aforementioned item 26 of article 14 refers to use of the Services to display, sell, purchase, register, or engage in other transactions involving a list of prohibited products, which this update is meant to expand. Keeping this in mind, it might still be possible to post any kind of content on the website without repercussion, but charging for the creation of such content may lead to the work being flagged.

This could ultimately limit a creator’s ability to sell their works on BOOTH or even through Pixiv’s request function. In the case of pixivFANBOX users, it appears that they will be unable to post this type of content if they create paid subscription plans on their profile.

Scope of applicable items and content on FANBOX

• Content posted by creators who have created plans (price tiers)

• Content (profiles, icons, plans, cover images, tags etc.) displayed to solicit or promote transactions by creators who have created plans

These terms of service changes remain unclear in many ways. The types of works affected by the change mainly distinguishes between live action and photo-realistic works, but despite this, the rules for what could be flagged seem to have been created specifically for addressing products of fiction. It is possible that artworks will only be flagged if their contents and related data (such as tags) create suspicion of a real person or animal having been victimized.

The presented changes will go into effect on December 15th. Until then, creators have time to adjust their content and set any items that could violate the new rules as private. Pixiv has also pointed out that the current wording of the new rules is only an initial translation and may be subject to change when the new master ToS is implemented.

You can read the new announcement in full over on Pixiv’s Blog.

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