Tda has announced on his blog on the 2nd anniversary of the release of Miku Append that his MikuMikuDance model of the character is complete for the time being and is available for free via download. In his post, he thanked the various people who gave him feedback and created videos/images with his model for giving him the motivation to pull off a project 16 months in the making. He also said he had wanted to make a video for the release, but didn’t really have experience in making animations with MMD, and thus he decided to save some time by simply posting a link to the download (click on the big red download button beneath the picture and download count) as well as a still shot instead. A previous version of the model had been released for sale; it had gotten a lot of positive feedback but was pulled quickly (after it was made available via download sales) for generating revenue without a prior agreement with Crypton Future Media, who holds the rights to the original character design.
This particular model (Tda-style Append Miku) was originally released as a 500 JPY bundle with an illustration book for Comiket 81, at the end of 2011. Model files in Metasequoia format as well as Photoshop files for the textures made up the bulk of the release, with a beta version of model files for MikuMikuDance. He had increased the number of copies he was going to bring for Comiket, but sold out of his entire stock by the end. After selling additional copies at VOM@S 19, he released an update pack for people who bought it previously. Eventually, Tda’s Append Miku model went on sale online on February 17 through MelonBooks for 525 JPY. Shortly after, a blog post on PIAPRO clarified Crypton’s stance on download sales.
According to the PIAPRO post, any work that generates revenue using a character owned by Crypton is not allowed by default through the PIAPRO Character License. However, for cases where the revenue is used to recoup costs involved in the production of the work and where the work is disseminated to a limited audience, Crypton would grant creators a royalty-free license to use the characters as long as they contact Crypton beforehand through the PIAPRO Link system. Unfortunately, Crypton views download sales as satisfying neither of those criteria, as downloads do not incur variable costs (a cost per item made) and they reach a wide audience. In response to this post, Tda pulled his model from distribution, five days after it went on sale. After discussions with Crypton, he posted an apology for not reading very clearly the license terms and thinking that what he was doing was simply an extension of the doujin spirit. In order to allay fears of the project getting terminated, he said he spoke with Crypton and understood that it was fine to release the MMD model for free when it’s completed (which was supposedly his plan anyway) and to use the PIAPRO Link system to distribute hard copies at cost at doujin events. After some more updates and screenshots at the end of March, he finally released the MMD version of the model on April 30, stating that the rest of the “Append!” package (the Metasequoia and Photoshop files) would come at a later date.