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Made evident in the Discord channel "free-pics," members have begun claiming pictures that they like for future characters, some that never come to be. Name claiming has also been utilized. This is not against our rules, and it can actually be quite helpful (especially when planning future litters), but there should be boundaries and expectations for members who choose to claim a picture or name.
1. Post your picture and name claims here.
Claiming a picture/name, as we have seen, disables other members from using it on applications even if the claimed picture/name has not yet been used, To keep this from getting out of hand and becoming unfair, the following rule is applied:
▻ If you claim a future picture or name, post it here so there can be documentation of its existence for members to see before making applications.
2. Three-month claim viability period
Another problem created by claiming pictures/names is that some end up never getting used, or if they do, it can be a very long time before it is. This becomes extremely unfair when a new member is denied their application because the image or name they chose is hoping to be used by somebody else, and then ends up never getting used. It is disrespectful and unfair to those who are able to make new characters at the moment and do not want to be limited on what picture and name they can use. Therefore, the following rule is true:
▻ Any claimed pictures and names are viable for three months. If you cannot afford it, or cannot handle the activity expectations of adding another character to your list at the moment, do not claim something for a future character. After three months, the picture or name is back up for grabs by anybody.
▻ Litter pictures and names––that is, pictures claimed for planned litters, agreed upon by the two parents––are viable for 6 months. This gives the parents time to continue planning the litter and get them all adopted.
3. Only three claims are allowed at once––three pictures and three names
A final problem needs to be resolved. Hoarding loads of claims, disabling all use by other members, is unacceptable––reasons indicated in the above rules. For example, say you have 10 existing characters. You claim 10 different pictures. We can assume hardly any of these you will actually end up using, mostly because it can take years for you to make 10 new characters. Nobody should be allowed to make a large amount of claims. Therefore:
▻ You can only claim three pictures and three names at a time. If you want to claim another, you will have to get rid of one of your existing claims. If any special circumstances require you to add a fourth claim, PM a staff member with your reasoning and we can work something out!
▻ Up to 18 claims can be made for litters. 12 pictures (6 pups, and their 6 adult pictures), and 6 names. This is the maximum.
4. Renewals to extend your claim
If your three, or six, months are up and your claim expires, you can request a renewal if you are still planning to make the character. Your first request will extend your claim another two months. After that, your second renewal will only extend the claim one month. After that, you can no longer renew your claims.
You will have to provide a valid reason for your renewal. Renewals can be denied. For example, if you need a renewal because you're not active enough to add another character, it will be denied. If you need extra time because the character still isn't ready to be brought into RP for plot purposes, that is acceptable. You can make the request by posting here or PMing a staff member.
All four of these rules are now active and true. If you see a picture you like on #free-pics and decide to use it, you can still claim it there, but you will also have to post your claim here. If you do not post your claim here, your claim will not be valid and anybody is still free to use what you claimed on Discord. We need to be able to track and monitor all claims.
Thanks for your understanding, and happy roleplaying!