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Touhou Wiki:Copyrights

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Spirit of content licensing of Touhou Wiki

In general, as a wiki, we follow the same spirit of licensing as the Wikimedia Foundation. Additionally, as a fan-made 'doujin' project, we also adhere to the copyright/terms of use put forth by ZUN as such.

Content licensing

Text content of Touhou Wiki is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license, a.k.a. CC-BY-SA 4.0.

Copyright status/Terms of Use of the Touhou Project

The following includes translations of the Touhou copyright and usage guidelines in various chronological stages. Entries go from the top down, and the lower newer ones supersede the upper older ones. Older entries are retained for historical and referential reasons, and are still considered valid by ZUN.

Original text

Deadkid dk's and Solamarle's translation of ZUN's terms of use (Wayback Machine Archive) is reproduced below.

Q: I want to make derivative work based on the Touhou series's characters and settings.

The copyright of the Touhou series, including its characters, content, quotes and music belong
to my circle. That said, this series is supported by many doujin creators. (Thank you)

For the usual activities in doujin (uploading material on a homepage, selling them in a convention
or in a shop at your own expense), or doujin material (derivative comics, stories,
games, CGs, goods, cosplay), you do not need to notify me or request my permission. The
copyright of derivative works belong to the creators of said derivatives. If there is trouble
regarding the derivatives of my work, I cannot take responsibility. 

To avoid trouble, please satisfy the following conditions.

1. Using game data other than screenshots is forbidden.
2. If you need data other than screenshots, please make them yourself.
3. Content that includes inflammatory material towards us or other copyright owners is forbidden.
4. If possible, please attribute us. (recommended)
5. If possible, please include our contact information in the colophon. (recommended)
6. Please do not mistake the names of the games or the characters.
7. Do not reproduce or reprint ending material, including the text.
8. For the commercial production of derivative material, or the mass circulation of derivative
   material outside of doujin shops, you must seek my permission. 
   To publish on commercial magazines and books, you must notify me.
   (You do not need to do so for magazines that describe doujin and derivatives.)
9. If you did not satisfy the above conditions but received my permission, please make clear that
you have received my permission.

Otherwise, decisions like for sale or for free, how many to print, the price to sell them at, adult
only or not, original settings or not, is entirely free for you to choose. 
However, if I see material that I decide to not fulfil the above conditions, I have the right to
stop its distribution.

Q. I want to use snapshots on my webpage (for a walkthrough, etc.)
 Of course I don't mind.  You don't even have to notify me beforehand.
 As long as you follow the rules below, I won't mind.

 1. Don't post endings.
 2. Rescaling is okay, but please preserve the images' aspect ratio.
 3. Don't make image content edits that are indistinguishable from the
    original images.
    This includes things like changing the spell card names, recoloring the
    images, or add extra bullets that weren't originally there.
     * However, this is okay if it's done as a joke and it's clearly stated
       that it's a joke.
 4. Things like cropping the images or overlaying them with text are no problem.

 If you have any doubts, just ask me and I'll respond.

2011 Update

Gensokyo.org (now defunct) produced this translation of ZUN's 2011 addendum to the terms of use. Note: The guidelines have been updated as of February 18th, 2011, and the translation below does not reflect these changes.

Lately the numbers of derivative works explode when commercial works are
released, so I wanted to update the guidelines with that in mind.

I hope things can work something like this.

The basic rules for derivatives by doujin circles aren't really that

Guidelines for using the Touhou Project setting - ver. 2011

This is a revision to the Touhou Project guidelines, updated for the
state of affairs in 2011.

Use in doujin activities
[n.b. - things doujin circles should do when making Touhou stuff, like
        having contact information visible, attribution, etc.]

Basically, just follow the guidelines as they've been up 'til now.

Detailed information is in the questions and answers collected on this
page, so please have a look.

Selling doujin works in commercial channels is generally not allowed.

I don't generally review or veto the contents of independent works, so please use
your own personal judgement in and take responsibility for your works.

Applications for commercial goods

You need my permission to sell commercial goods.

A friend of mine has graciously offered to serve as the point of
contact for inquiries about works derived from Touhou.

We'll promptly address inquiries from commercial outfits, so please use the following
form to contact us.

In addition, please refrain from making commercial goods of a sexualized
nature (such as dakimakura covers with sexual imagery).

Restrictions on derivative works

I'd like to place the following restrictions on all
derivative works, regardless of whether they're commercial or independent:

・ For-profit development of works whose main element is animation(*)

・ Sale of software on the XBox 360 Indies channel

・ Sale of software via the App Store, Android Market, etc. (for commercial
parties, please get in contact with me)

・ Sale of works in channels that are further reaching than the distribution channels
used by the original works. The original works are primarily sold in general doujin
channels. So, please refrain from using download sales sites primarily oriented for
overseas customers, etc.

・ Other works (e.g. works of excessive sexual depictions and works that would slander
a particular person, group or race) when we determine that such works are extremely
inappropriate given societal norms.

I'll leave the question of what to do with works released before this update
to the guidelines that may fall astray of one of its provisions up to the
judgement of their creators.

* By this I mean so-called "traditional cell animation"; computer-generated 3D
animation and 2D illustrations with special effects processing aren't included
in this restriction.

2011 Update commentary

Gensokyo.org (now defunct) produced translations from the comments of the previous post of ZUN's Twitter and blog update.

“[Don't make] Excessive sexual depictions” basically means don’t run afoul of the law. 
Naturally, I’d like all creators to respect the laws of Japan.

I’ve never before authorized commercial porn before, and I’ve never really been that 
bothered by the contents of any doujin I’ve seen, so don’t worry. I just had to make the 

I’ve been asked this question a lot, but I’ve never been officially involved in an anime 
production before! And I’m not planning on it! Not like I have the time.
Summary of Blog Update:
Reproductions of individual commissions are explicitly exempted from the restrictions on 
commercial work (i.e. if someone commissions you to do something, it’s okay to then sell 
reproductions of it in limited quantities as a doujin work)

The contact info for commercial endeavours is not intended for use by individuals or doujin 

The animation bullet was changed to just “Commercial production of animation works”

A note at the bottom was added saying that any works in progress for Reitaisai or Summer 
Comiket that might run afoul of the new guidelines may be treated under the old guidelines

2020 Update

In October of 2020, a new guidelines document was posted on Touhou Yomoyama News.[1] Later that same year, an official English translation was added. This version of the guidelines is simply a summary of the previous guidelines written slightly differently. This version has extremely unclear wording such as "Anything that means to advertise personal beliefs beyond the bounds of fiction." There are also self-conflicting statements such as "please contact us" while they do not accept any questions from "individuals or groups".

The only additions compared to previous guidelines are:

  1. Browser games and mobile games can now be released as free-to-play games with ads and ad-removal in-app purchases.
  2. Prohibitions on the use of photos of ZUN himself.

The Chinese version of the guidelines linked on the site also does not match the original at all. It's possible that the English guidelines will diverge from the Japanese ones in the future.

These guidelines say "The intention of this guideline is to provide fan creators with a brief understanding of dos and don’ts in a lenient manner." The guidelines themselves have never formed a legal-binding document, thus the translation should never be treated as legal-binding as well. For a more comprehensive, well-written Fan Content Policy, please read Wizard of the Coast's Fan Content Policy as a comparison. They share identical ideas on dos and don'ts except that Touhou is lenient on monetization without aggressive lawyers.

2021 Update

In July of 2021, the guidelines on Touhou Yomoyama News were updated in place. The official English translation hasn't been updated to match the Japanese version yet. Compared to the previous version, this version added new video posting guidelines.

See also