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Monday, February 04, 2008

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Ari Blackthorne

Ouch. I concur completely.

Now, there is a blog with 'tutorial' PSD (Photoshop) skin files - forgive me I don't remember the location of it.

It is my understanding it is the artist's blog and they are providing the 4 PSD file under a specific license - for learning purposes.

I certainly hope this isn't 'one of those'.

As an experienced graphic designer and photographer, I fully understand this plight. In RL and SL. Though, I admit, 'skin' is not my area of expertise, even though I've played with 3D art since 1986.

What, if anything, can we, the 'other' residents do? SL is so massive...

Wow.
Just... wow.

Ann Otoole

actually the GPL skin psd files are authorized for redistribution provided the license is followed and the source of the original art is declared. I have observed maybe 3 people adhere to this license. The rest still think we are all blind and cannot see they plagiarizing the work of someone else and masquerading as a skin creator. although these psd files are top notch in terms of quality they do not meet the demands of people looking for realistic skins. Realistic skins are difficult to make correctly due to the flawed avatar object meshes in SL avatars.

It is worth noting the problem of rampant IP theft in SL is not limited to skins.

The problem of Linden research laboratories lack of public attention to intellectual property theft is interesting. If SLExchange.com can perform due diligence and investigate and take action on DMCA filings then it seems to me LL could as well. LL has not published any data on DMCA filings and subsequent actions. I think it is time they did so the residents can see if the perception of LL simply ignoring DMCA filings is true or false. If LL is ignoring DMCA filings at all then their status as an ISP to gain Safe Harbor protection from lawsuits is in question. LL isn't stupid and they have a legal staff so I would love to see weekly reports on numbers of DMCA filings and the associated actions taken.

Cyn Vandeverre

In truth, Ann, I expect most skin purchasers haven't a clue that a skin is one being resold without alterations. Most people don't exhaustively research their purchases, comparing dozens of skins before buying one, so they wouldn't notice a certain similarity. They go for the big stores, or a skin they've seen reviewed, and they don't know enough to ask questions.

As it happens, I'm one of the many people who has done some mods of Eloh's skins (I did an Ebony & Ivory combo Caucasian/Black skin, one-half each) and it says it's based on Eloh's skins right in the advertising/box image.

I'm sure you're right that there are many, many more people who don't disclose that.

Despil Korobase

It's really upsetting.
On the other hand, we should bring forth the other side of the story, where the SL designers use copyrighted material from out of SL content, which is equally wrong - anyone a Louis Vuiton bag?

I think there will be a long, hard 'fight' until it settles down if ever.

Maybe one solution would be to bring back the mandatory payment info. Then the stealing avatars would be linked to a real person.

Ann Otoole

One fact is inescapable: the content creators must file the DMCA complaints. Any creator that chooses not to file the required paperwork by default is giving up any claim of intellectual property theft.

If LL chooses to ignore DMCA complaints then the creator has no choice but to seek a solution via the courts.

As I said earlier I would love to see the numbers on DMCA complaint activity from LL. especially now that Rob Linden has removed all of the example images from the related jira entry.

Tracey Sassoon

Hat goes off to ziggy and MM skins and others who have stepped up to the plate by setting up the protests the past few days :)

Tateru Nino

Ann Otoole: I've been in touch with Linden Lab's PR office with that question, and they won't give any statistics about DMCA complaints filed, or how they are handled.

Noirran Marx

The thief Bonnie Arado was blatant, hell he even ripped off the ads and used them. How could content creators sit by and let that happen without making our voices heard? At the protest I went to alot of people were saying: "yes but there are lots more out there, what's the use?" You have to start somewhere, sitting idly by and not doing anything or not creating because you are afraid it will get ripped off is not an acceptable solution. Avatars in Second Life should be able to use what the world was designed for, to express themselves artistically without worrying about someone buying a third party cheat/hack to rip off their .tga's.

Good karma to everyone that helped and everyone still fighting the good fight.

Bumboclaat Graves

I feel this is going to be a very long battle.
For the designers who make their creations based solely on their own designs, meaning they do not make clothing after what they see in real life, or for skins they do not use pictures from somewhere they are not licensed to do so. Those are the real designers in SL and they DO deserve to have their work protected.
For those designers who make an item based on a design in real life, or use a picture they have not been granted permission for, these "designers" are stealing, and deserve to have their work copied and taken from them.
Far too often I have seen articles of clothing with brand name logos, or straight off the fashion runway. That is stealing. or the skins being sold that look like celebrities, that is stealing. The creators of these designs in SL in truth should have no right whatsoever to that item they created.
For the few,(and I mean very few) designers who actually create their own designs from scratch, it is a sad thing to see your work being stolen from you. There are steps you can take, if your item is truly an original of yours, to ensure you do not get ripped off. Copyright your material before you upload it to SL. Make sure to attach a notecard with your item that it is copyrighted and any violators will be prosecuted. Any original item you create, is treated just as a photograph or drawing by hand would be in the court of law.
I am not sure about the laws in each conutry for this, but I know in the USA copyright infringement is not looked upon nicely.
Good luck to those of you who create original designs.

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