• The Official MLP Flash Asset Leak and Animation in the Fandom - What You Need to Know

    A couple of you are emailing about this one as it seems to have been blown out of proportion across the various pony sites.  After avoiding posting it for the sake of not spreading the leaked assets around even further, I think it is at a point where that isn't really even plausible with the ever-flowing river that is the internet.

    Almost a year ago, a whole package of flash files from the actual show was leaked by an unknown source.  These files are used to animate the characters, from facial expressions to hoof movements. With this new found power, quite a few animators in the fandom jumped at the opportunity to easily create whatever they wished, usually in the form of those 30 seconds of ridiculousness that has grown to staggering levels of popularity with hundreds of imitators.  And since ponies by model are so similar to one another, this eventually lead to people recoloring them for their OC's

    Continue below the break for more information on it!

    Unlike the stuff the pony fandom usually uses, flash puppets are a serious issue. We can vectorize things and make our own, but using actual material created by the show staff is a massive legal problem definitely not covered by the usual Fair Use law that protects a lot of the parody content we pump out.

    Hasbro is usually really cool with us all things considered.  We have seen a few Youtube takedowns over the years, but for the most part you can still pony it up as much as you wish.  We have never really known their reasoning, but takedowns in general "could" be a side effect of lawyers rushing to shut this leak in particular down.

    The best animators in the fandom create near 100% show accurate hand-made work, and your average legal guy isn't going to be able to tell the difference between a ripped off DHX asset and a custom made pony with goals of looking just like the show.

    Now, for someone with a crash course in pony assets who isn't a legal monkey running around shutting down anything they can get their hands on, there are hundreds of small signs that give away a fan made vs. DHX pony puppet.  This one in particular is an easier thing for a lot of you to spot.  The bump in the eye circle is something that has been in the show since the beginning, from this and many other angles.  It's something no one in their right mind would bother to replicate in a custom fan-made puppet.

    So, What Can You Do?

    If you are an animator using these, and there are a lot of you with massive 50k+ subscriber followings because of it, stop using these assets publicly.  Even recoloring one to animate your OC pony or a fandom background pony is a big issue that may effect people that put boatloads of effort into making their own show accurate models. As mentioned above, a Lawyer isn't going to be able to tell the difference when firing off his/her Youtube copyright notice, and big projects may be getting hit with the ban hammer.  While we don't have any 100% proof that this is the reason for the take downs on animation in particular, it does all line up surprisingly well.  

    If you are not an animator and see someone you think is using them, make a note of it in their comment section or send them a private message asking them to stop. 

    What else does this effect? 

    This should specifically be targeted at just people using these assets.  You can still create a vector from the show for your motion graphic PMVs and wallpapers (Twilight up above for example is fine), or animate custom show accurate puppets. Projects like Fall of the Crystal Empire, Lets Go Meet the Bronies, and anything by Yudhaikeledai for example are fine. 

    What Will We See Happen Because of This? 

    Nothing fandom shattering will happen.  Chances are people using the assets will receive C&D's over time. Your favorite "make a 30 second animation and get 600k hits" animator might get the axe and have to come back with his or her own assets, but otherwise, as said above, Hasbro is pretty cool with us doing our thing.

    This has Nothing to Do With Me and I don't Care!

    Have Fluttershy in socks then! What a cute poni. 

    Update: And don't download random links in the comments then email me complaining you got a virus.  Common sense people.