I still do not believe that recasts are illegal to buy or own for personal use. I did believe that we were at risk of harassment and other issues for running the Underground, and I simply was not prepared for nor willing to deal with that. [Edit for November 2014] With the Haven shut down, I'm very glad I left it when I did. The owner of that group and I had a falling out, and she said some quite hateful things about me to other people and accusatory things to me in the past. So to me? No loss there, and karma is a bitch I guess. I had nothing to do with its closing. I've got too much drama on my plate already to worry about causing some for others. [end edit note]
Please read on.
I didn't, and still don't, consider recasts theft. I don't quite consider them knock-offs though either. The Magic Time MSD girl body is clearly a knock off. It's inspired, right down to the damn measurements, with only a few changes, by the minifee body. The boy Magic Time 1/4 body is the same way- it's clearly a minifee boy knockoff without the hip cups. That's a knock off- and it's legal and allowed to be posted on DoA (I asked the mods). Recasts are still a bootleg product. They aren't products inspired by and incredibly similar to the original thing. They aren't always factory dolls, like some bootleg Blythes. They aren't modified enough to be considered original works, but they usually don't have company logos on them either. So I don't know what my opinion is on that yet.
Next, my frustration with the community grew. I empathized with certain people referring to the community as "cheap", because it was true. The majority seemed so focused on getting the best deal for everything, even discounted products or free shipping weren't enough. They needed it cheaper, with more free options. Quality clothing was too expensive. Comments like, "You're charging too much for that." became common place. "Can I get it on taobao?" became the first question anyone asked when I posted a nice outfit on the groups...they stopped reading. They wanted everything spelled out for them, handed to them with no effort on their own part. Or at least that's how it seemed.
While most of the people in the groups were friendly and helpful and wonderful (and they're why I still enjoying posting and even writing this blog), it was the shoppers that began to ruin it for me. I saw a confession the other day that said, essentially, that no one even stops to complement the doll before immediate asking if it is available recast or not. They can't even let someone enjoy their own doll without demanding one for themselves. I empathize with this.