Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Rant: anaROBIK vs Fanmades

I have been talking about anaROBIK a lot on VO, particularly because she is a great example of Vocaloid being used as an 'instrument' rather than as a 'character'. Recently she was brought up in a discussion about fanmades.

For those that don't know about her, I have coverage on Engloids.Info

Now personally, I dislike fanmades, I think the idea around them is stupid, and now that there is over 40 different Vocaloid 1-3s, not even counting the various appends, I see little use for them outside of the headcanon of the the fandom.

In many ways she is similar to fanmades: She is a non-canon character, developed by a fan, derived from a Vocaloid voicebank. Despite her origins I don't consider her a 'fanmade'. I point you to why I like her so much. She is an example of Vocaloid being used as an 'instrument' rather than a character.

You must keep in mind that anaROBIK is derived from Zero-G's LOLA voicebank, one of the earliest VOCALOID1s and Robert Hedin (anaROBIK's producer) was one of the earliest adopters. This was a different era, the era before Miku, before Vocaloid2, an era where the concept of fanmades hadn't even been conceived.

Hell, even today the 'concept' of LEON & LOLA that comes to mind when you think of their characters is entirely fanon. If anything the modern ideas of Leon & Lola's characters are all fanmade. The only official art is the one that graces their boxes.

But alas, we are getting sidetracked. Lets get back to anaROBIK...
She is NOT a Fanmade but rather the name attributed to the vocalist that stars in the works of Robert Hedin, her producer. The moniker 'anaROBIK' is both the name of the vocalist singing and the name of his Hedin's collective works.

You must consider that anaROBIK is derived from LOLA, who has no cannon 'character'. Beyond that, for the Vocaloids that have canonical characters, their details and canon persona are the intellectual property of their creators.

The licence that comes with the Vocaloid software (depending on which company) grants you the rights to any output the software does but you will still need separate permission to the the Vocaloid's image and name.

When Tempo-P and Koda-P did their 'mini-concert'/panel at Anime Los Angeles they had to get written permission from Crypton, INTERNET Co. & PowerFX to use the images & names of the characters whom they own. Yes, the music was theirs but the characters dancing on stage were not.

If you are looking for commercial success and don't want to ask permission every single time you do something, want to market your creations as your own, you need to create your own separate identity for you Vocaloid.

The idea of creating a Vocaloid for commercial purposes is a lot different than the idea of 'fanmades' as traditionally applied by the fandom.

Thus, I believe anaROBIK to be something of its own...
A Vocaloid being used as an instrument and aliased by her producer. Valid in her own right and definitely not some generic derivative or fandom fluff.

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