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Beware: Castore93, Castore Devon
AlitaBerserker posted a record in Client BewaresForeword The Beware is labelled NSFW since some attached external links contain NSFW material, but no NSFW pictures will be directly embedded in the post itself. This Beware will be very long, so I decided to organize it into paragraphs to make it easier to understand what happened and how I uncovered the culprit since it's a crucial part of the required proof. Summary One of my Patrons has been re-uploading exclusive content from my Patreon page to the pirate site https://kemono.party/. He didn't have my consent, ne never asked for it nor did he ever tell me. When confronted he declared his act was deliberate. I am writing down this Beware to show, with all evidence I have, what happened to protect other artists like me from this user. Background I've been working with Castore93 for almost three years between Patreon rewards and commissions; I can say we've always been in good terms. He began supporting me through Patreon in November 2019 and as far as I know we never had any issue. (Proof screenshot below.) Kemono.party On January 13th, 2022 I came to know through a friend of mine the existance of kemono.party, an infamous pirate site collecting exclusive material from Patreon and other pay-to-view platforms like SubscribeStar. I sadly discovered my Patreon material was uploaded there too. I was determined to uncover who re-uploaded the material, but to do so I first needed to understand how kemono.party works and how they were able to get it in the first place. Kemono.party works by using a scraper, a piece of software which automatically parses webpages to collect data from them. In order to access protected content, the scraper needs some kind of access key. In the case of kemono.party, the scraper uses the session key from a Patreon account. This means that the user either volountarely gives the scraper access to their account's session key or the account is compromised. The upload happens automatically. Thus, the person responsible must have a Patreon account with access to my exclusive posts; either my account has been hacked or one of my Patrons has, volountarily or not, shared their session key. Finding the culprit My account couldn't have been hacked since I was able to see posts which weren't uploaded to kemono.party. I was fortunate enough to have exaclty three Patrons, all belonging to different tiers. The only way to identify the culprit would be posting a series of artworks limiting access to some specific tiers and seeing which of them would get reposted on kemono.party. I have three different tiers called "A precious gift", "Treasure" and "Jewel's waterfall". When posting a content on Patreon you can choose between some visibility options: You can make your post public so everyone can see it. You can make your post visible to "All patrons" regardless of their tier. You can make a post visible to one or more specific tiers. Selecting a lower tier only does not make the post visible to higher tiers. My three Patrons are Patron 1, Castore93 (Castore Devon on Patreon) and Patron 2. Patron 1 didn't join any tier, so they can only see "Public" and "All patrons" posts. Castore93 (Castore Devon) would be able to see "Public", "All patrons" and "Treasure" tier's posts. Patron 2 can see "Public", "All Patrons" and "Jewel's Waterfall" posts. After uploading each bait post I waited until I saw some of them appear on kemono.party. I made four bait posts: All Patron: it was a check to see if my content was stil being stolen. Selecting "A precious gift", "Treasure" and "Jewel's waterfall" tiers altogether. "Treasure" tier. "Jewel's waterfall" tier. Since nobody was part of the "A precious gift" tier it was no use testing it separately. Test no.1: all Patrons. It has been re-posted. My content was indeed still being stolen. Kemono.party post: https://kemono.party/patreon/user/14947257/post/60897241 Test no.2: All tiers altogether. It has been re-posted. This excludes Patron 1 since they weren't part of any tier, thus unable to see the post. Kemono.party post: https://kemono.party/patreon/user/14947257/post/61104826 Doublecheck. Kemono.party post: https://kemono.party/patreon/user/14947257/post/61286834 3. Selected tiers only: "Treasure" tier. It has been reposted. Kemono.party post: https://kemono.party/patreon/user/14947257/post/61287322 Doublecheck. Kemono.party post: https://kemono.party/patreon/user/14947257/post/61287443 4. Selected tiers only: "Jewel's waterfall". It hasn't been reposted. Check & doublecheck. This excludes Patron 2. Notice how the posts from the "Jewel's waterfall" tier were shared in between "Treasure" posts in order to exclude any time factor. The confrontation It was clear from all the data collected the culprit was the Patron from the "Treasure" tier, Catore93 aka Castore Devon. It was still possible his account had been hacked and he wasn't aware of the situation. So I opted for a neutral approach and he himself confirmed this wasn't the case... On January 20th, 2022 I confronted him. Translation from Italian: Me: Do you know this site? https://kemono.party/ Castore93: I go there sometimes. Me: You do realize this material comes from your account, right? Castore93: But theoretically I think the site uploads content only when you add it, not by itself. I did add some stuff in the past. Me: Do you knwo this is copyright infringment and illegal, right? Castore93: I am curious to understand how it shows it has taken the material without me uploading it. About uploading stuff from Patreon (when I did it some time ago) about that I would have a certain personal point of view, you're not wrong obviously. (SIC) Me: The site connects to your account's session cookie, uploading does not depend from you. In any case you can keep whatever point of view you want as long as my pay-to-view material remains visible only to those who paid for it. Castore93: Ok so one time is all it takes. Later that day I posted a public Patreon journal explaining the situation and how I will be sharing my contents from now on to avoid similar theft. This post too appeared on kemono.party (as you can see from the previous screenshots), meaning Castore93's session cookie was still active on kemono.party. Taking down the material I wish to add this part to show what kind of assholes arise from such events. After contacting Patreon to ask for advice, they suggested me to send a DMCA takedown request to the site which is the typical course of action. However, the criminals running the site ever so smugly responded with... excuses... even if the site has a "DMCA" page with instructios on how to send a DMCA takedown notice. I don't feel like letting them win. I am now in the process of researching my options to deal with the situation. I will try to give updates in the comments about this if I find anything which might be useful to everyone. Conclusion I lost a considerable amout of time dealing with the whole situation, which is amounted to a lot of frustration not to mention the damage of having copyrighted material posted around without authorization. Please be aware of this user.
July posted a record in Artist CautionsI became a patron on Patreon of D lo and shortly after asked (via patreon's messaging system) if they were accepting commissions. They replied that they were. I gave them a few details about the piece I wanted and they estimated $50 USD (which seemed extremely low to me) and did not ask for anything up front. We agreed to finalize the details via email. Note that although their gmail name is present, I have removed the header of the email chain which contained their email address to protect their privacy, as well as my own real name. on 1/25/22 I received this email: With the attached sketch image. I recognized it as being heavily based on a piece by ItchyEars from HentaiFoundry: And when I double checked I realized it had actually been traced. The email notably does not mention the original artist, though it does say, "Again since it’ll be 50 USD (via PayPal), I will use some references to help out--" It goes on to say "oh I’ll add a simple background if you’d like to? Maybe a darker scene like a graveyard or something else?" which I feel is Dlo168 suggesting that the graveyard background is their idea (it is not, it is present in the original piece that was traced). I obviously felt misled in that what I had asked for was an original piece, not a traced piece, and the original artist had not agreed to have their art used like this. I did end up emailing ItchyEars to ask their advice and they agreed that it was in poor taste. Dlo168 did not ask for any money up-front, and agreed to cancel the commission when asked. They were apologetic about misrepresenting the nature of the piece and agreed that they should have been upfront about its source. the following is the full email chain after they sent me the sketch: