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My Own Little Piece of a Controversy

I posted this on another forum days ago and figured that, by all means, I should post it here. Recently Mirodoll has come under fire for copying the doll designs of another company (or 2 or 3 in my opinion). They have fully backed down, removed the infringing dolls, and issued an apology. However, a very popular forum has chosen to ban an older doll of Mirodoll that has been allowed for the past four years. One, in particular, that I have also purchased. After not knowing what was going on, I wanted to weigh in, and thus the following post was birthed!

So… apparently I’m super late to the ban-bandwagon! O_O I have a crazy busy work week and… honestly, randomly stumbled on the posting of the ban thread, which is already locked, lol! Soooo….. long post ahead! EEEP!

I have quite a few takes on the whole situation and knew DS is always the best place. Seriously, I know I’m crazy quiet and a total lurker, but I love this community!

I had my reservations about the new 44cm female body. To me, it looked like a cobbled copy of IH and April Story and a number of other reputable places thrown in that already copy each other stylistically but not enough to irk anyone, and a touch of Miro’s style thrown in. Personally, I have been pretty dubious about it but have been busy IRL… so it wasn’t a constant thought for me. I totally get DoA banning the body. What I don’t get is the way they’ve gone about it…. Their wording, for instance, sounds as though all of Miro is banned. You have to keep reading but you can barely focus past the initial knee-jerk reaction. Their entire initial response has felt like a personal attack against the company, rather than a professional “we have concerns, are taking steps to rectify concerns, stay tuned” etc. But, I stand by them for the 44cm body 100%. I have and always will be very anti-recast and art-theft and the similarities were just too spot on for my peace of mind.

It’s the 70cm body that I ground to a halt on. Prior to about 7 months ago I didn’t even know there had been a controversy. Don’t know what rock I was hiding under, but apparently it was a massive one… O_O; Back in the summer I purchased a dark choco 70cm Iris with an extra large bust piece so I could figure out what chest size I wanted her to be. The small one feels a bit too small, but the large one is torpedo central! Missiles are ready to launch, folks! But back to the point, one of the people in my dolly group knew I was expecting her so had asked me to bring her to the next doll meet after her arrival.

So I did. And that’s when I first found out there had even been a discussion. First thing she asked was if we could do a comparison because of how similar they had been said to be. All news to me, but I’m game for anything so….. low and behold, I have an actual photo of Miro’s 70cm body AND the DT18G body side by side… with the Resinsoul big girl body as well~ Had I known the depth of the controversy and this future situation, I promise I would have taken hundreds and posted them all. (Picture will be posted at the bottom, I assure you!!)

We had them side by side in all their nekkid glory for everyone to see and our consensus came to this: They were similar, had similar traits, but were night and day. The DT owner mentioned that the only way they could be copies is if someone sanded it down… way down… remove it to a skeletal state, then start adding globs of clay on to flesh out parts in weird locations that didn’t make sense. I promise, that’s a pretty good assessment of the in-person scrutinization!

Flash forward to today, a mere few hours ago when I stumbled on the thread and saw it was banned. Today was the first time I saw the side-by-side photos of the DT and Miro bodies and my brain went… OHHHHHhhhhhh…. I see what they did there!

My formal assessment, as formal as it’s gonna get: The 70cm Mirodoll body is a derivative of the DT18G body with influences thrown in.

We know that Miro sculpts in 3d programs so what I see from the photos and from my in-person opportunity to literally have both bodies in hand, I believe they used the photos as points of references and filled in the rest. Just from my from-the-front photo you can see most of the similarities: Shape of the elbow, curve of the knee cut line, curve of the bust cut line, not identical but similar raised areas for throat and hip bone juts, and general silhouette.

And that’s where the similarities end. I feel like Miro mapped these in their 3d program and went from there as a purely derivative work. General shape areas are often not as professionally sculpted. It’s not like it was sanded down. In person there are dips that are higher on the Miro body and lower on the DT or not in the same places at all. Limbs are longer and stretched out, Miro is taller than the DT and more stretched out, and what is more evident in my photo than the two posted for comparison elsewhere, is the torso itself. The DT body has a beautiful, graceful but deep back bend that pushes her front body upwards and out. This is completely missing from the Miro. Like, night and day missing. It’s most noticeably in the photo where they lay on the carpet… you can see how high the DT’s back comes up off the floor. Even to measurements don’t add up. And the legs, which seem to be one of the bigger “copies” are shaped to emphasize the curvature but… in person the DT body is less pronounced and the Miro body is more bendy-cartoonish. Unfortunately that’s something I didn’t think to get good pics of. Leg wise, the Resinsoul body is closer to the DT body.

So yes, derivative with highly visible transformativeness (courtesy of wiki w/recs to delve further into copyright law). Heck, there are far more legally accepted derivative art forms out in the world that are 100% accepted and they contain literal identical parts and pieces from the work they copy.

For example, the way I feel about it is that Leeke didn’t get slammed nearly as much for their DoD Puns copy because they were a large and established company, and it was far far more similar than the Miro-DT situation. Heck, half the French artists are inspiring each other with certain traits that are indicative to the region, not to mention many other companies across the world are taking cues from the French BJD market. More and more companies are branching out and producing works inspired by an idea that another company thought of first. Or even, as much as I love Switch, they come across very Volks-y to me! The Popovy Sister’s with their ethereal elongated forms are inspiring other artists to do the exact same. Or how finally having curvy dolls has started a slowly needed trend to have more curvy and beefier dolls out in the world.

Heck, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, anyone? The author admits to going to Gutenberg Library, copying the entire text into a word processing program and going paragraph by paragraph re-wording a few words here and there and nothing more until he adds in the zombie elements, then going back to the original text until z0rmbedz timez.

But it seems to have become an accepted trait to accept companies producing work that mirrors another… as long as your work you are producing comes across as top-notch, high level professional. If your work isn’t realistic enough, it must be theft. It’s a double-standard that should be addressed. The concept of (and law backing) derivative works is such (in my really bad paraphrasing and restating.. oh hey, derivative!) that as long as enough of the work has been changed to produce it’s own creation as a stand alone, and can be recognized as such, then it is not a “copy” or theft. But something has to change. And not just a small amount.

That’s what we’re seeing here between the Miro 70 and DT18G – large changes to the point of almost unrecognizable. Or wait, 3rd cousin 10 times removed~

I speak on all these as a lover of BJD, a lover of art, an owner, a sculptor, and artist myself. There’s so much legit theft taking place, but it took them four years to decide about this one sculpt knowing the impact they have on the entire community world wide leaves me feeling a bitter taste in my mouth.

Aaaaannnnd My One Lone Picture:

Comparison – Resin Soul, Mirodoll, Dollstown by TasiaChiba, on Flickr

Later, I went back to my folder of photos for that meetup and low and behold… I discovered I had one more photo of the comparison! Forgot I had taken it. I remembered taking quite a few of the top down photo, so thought that’s all I had. The second photo was to show off how different the back bend was, and be a more close-up comparison of the torsos.


At the end of the day, I believe anyone has the right to believe as they choose.  And a private forum has the right to and should act on their choice of policies.  And if I want to participate, then I should follow those policies.  I believe DoA is trying to act in the bests interests of its users.  However, I also believe very firmly in the freedom and sharing of information.  Whether my photos work for or against Mirodoll as a whole, I’m just happy I was able to offer up this bit of reference!  (And just the teeniest of rants~)

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