Sometimes, the internet can be a miraculous place. It can be easy to forget that some of the most well known creepypastas came from people coming together and challenging each other to create new urban legends. Sadly, one of the more well-known creatures of these myths is going away.
Announced the SCP Wiki, the official site of the SCP foundation, the infamous SCP-173 image will be taken down, amidst concerns of the legality, and morality of it’s existence on their site. For context, SCP Foundation is a creative writing wiki centered around documenting descriptions and containment procedures of fictional objects and entities that are considered scientific anomalies and often pose a threat to society or the personnel containing it.
The creature, known as SCP-173 is actually a piece of artwork titled Untitled 2004, by Japanese artist Izumi Kato. The image was first posted to the site, with a description that matched that of the Weeping Angels from Dr. Who—people have to maintain direct eye contact with the creature, lest it draw closer to them and kill them.
SCP states that their licensing team has been good at replacing outdated images, but the one that has remained unchanged the longest is that of Untitled 2004—arguably the site’s most iconic image. However, here’s the problem: Untitled 2004 is the only image on the site that is not CC-BY-SA 3.0 compliant, since it was copyrighted by Kato.
According to SCP, “the SCP Foundation is currently licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 (abbreviated CC-BY-SA 3.0). What this means is that SCP as a whole allows anyone to share or make derivative media of it, including art, movies, games, readings, etc. under the following conditions: 1. You must give appropriate credit to the creators. 2. You must release your derivative media under the same license.”
For the most part, Kato has been incredibly gracious in allowing SCP to use the image of Untitled 2004, on the condition that the image wasn’t used for commercial purposes. Unfortunately, as SCP states, “it has become increasingly difficult for us to prevent Untitled 2004’s likeness from being used for commercial purposes by others as SCP grows.”
To be clear: Izumi Kato has not forced us to take down the image; we are removing Untitled 2004 proactively out of legal and moral obligation.https://scp-wiki.wikidot.com/forum/t-14469202/announcement-regarding-the-removal-of-scp-173-s-image
SCP elaborated a bit further on Twitter, stating that Kato had his own reasons and artistic vision for creating Untitled 2004, and as such, they would not be updating the post with new images and just removing it entirely—which was backed by the author of SCP-173: Moto42, who requested not replace SCP-173’s image after it’s removed; to allow everyone to envision SCP-173 for themselves, instead of there being a singular, definitive, “official” SCP-173.
SCP-173 was arguably made most famous by the free horror game: SCP Containment Breach, which featured the creature and was popularized by Youtubers like Markiplier and Pewdiepie. SCP’s Community Outreach Team will be launching an art event to create a massive art collaboration page full of various interpretations of SCP-173’s appearance, paying tribute to the original image and fulfilling Moto42’s wishes.