Home News Pixiv Anti-Piracy Tactics: Japanese Artists Adding Tiananmen Square Into Their Images and...

Pixiv Anti-Piracy Tactics: Japanese Artists Adding Tiananmen Square Into Their Images and Profiles to Fight Chinese Pirates

When Japanese artists who use Pixiv found out that their art galleries were extracted and stolen on a website called vpixiv, certain anti-piracy tactics went viral on the Japanese side of Twitter.

What is vpixiv?

On August 31, 2022, Twitter user @sengenyama went viral for exposing a Chinese pirate website by the name of vpixiv that was reposting all content on the actual Pixiv website, from illustrations to written posts.

What is the real Pixiv saying about this issue? 

A statement released by Pixiv about the pirated Pixiv-clone website.

The information immediately reached the real Pixiv management.

Pixiv released a statement on September 1, 2022, saying that they had confirmed the existence of the external website that was using information available on the Pixiv server and had shut the pirate site out from accessing Pixiv data on September 1, 2022, at 2 PM (JST).

Pixiv noted that through their investigation, no private details (such as users’ email addresses and payment information) had been extracted by the pirate website. 

Mentioning Tiananmen Square makes the pirates go away?

Even though the official Pixiv source had shut out the pirate site from accessing the server information, it seemed like the problem continued for many users. This has led them to figure out methods to get their reposted content offline on their own.

These methods included:

  1. Listing their content as R18 (adult-rated) work.
  2. Setting their content as semi-private (i.e., limiting it to My Pixiv circle only).

However, the word soon spread through the Japanese Pixiv users that adding Tiananmen Square (spelled as 天安門 in kanji) in your profiles and in your works will get the reposted works pulled off because Tiananmen Square is a censored word in China.

This particular user reported joyously that mentioning 天安門事件 (“Tiananmen Square incident”) in their Pixiv profile had an immediate effect, and their reposted content was taken off in a flash.

Another user even posted a free resource of a semi-transparent image with 天安門事件 (“Tiananmen Square incident”) written all over the layer so that people can paste the layer on top of their existing works to fight the pirate website.

As of this writing, vpixiv is down and cannot be accessed. Let us hope that it stays this way.


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