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Thursday, May 07, 2009


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Peter Stindberg

My translation and copywriting agency is part of the SL service industry. Each job we do is highly individual and one-time only. We can not reuse anything. Therefore we are not affected at all by content theft.

Hamlet Au

So that would be "$100 or less", way less it seems. :)

Arwyn Quandry

Of course, most creators don't know about their content being stolen and released on the Teen Grid - if they did, I'm sure these totals would be higher.

If any creators are interested in seeing if their items have been found TG-side, they can check our Flickr group, which tracks and lists copybotted content: http://www.flickr.com/groups/1066102@N23/

Seven Shikami

Whoops; I picked 101-250 because it was the last item on the list, when I should've picked "Less than 100". Butterfly ballot, anyone?

I don't sell texture maps to stick on your avatars. I sell scripted games, including a fishing game which relies on a database driven web backend. You can't dupe those things. I have no losses.

Nexus Burbclave

I make scripted gadgets so I don't see a lot of room for copying shenanigans.

I think many people exaggerate their losses. If you go on the assumption that every copy sold or given away is a lost sale, then you might come up with a large figure. This is an unrealistic figure, because the people complaining the most about content theft tend to be in the sectors with the most available substitution. In most cases the number of people that would actually have bought that item if no copy was available, rather than just buying a different cheap substitute is going to be quite small. None of this makes content theft right or justifiable mind you. It does real economic damage... just less than many people that don't understand the economic principle of substitution think.

Hypatia Callisto

I think it would be more interesting if you posted this poll on Renderosity and Deviant Art

Because they'd tell you all about the content theft from their sites coming into Second Life.

Hypatia Callisto

As a person who creates "stuff" I have heard reports on every single thing I have ever made, stolen in SL.

My choices are to either not bother and keep racing to make new stuff, or waste time on DMCAs which are really better suited to the corps than to me as they can sue and I can't, or I just give up.

it's called "ROI" ... I believe the ROI is getting to a point where I would be better off with option 3

Teaching people the joy of being a creator.

Hypatia Callisto

Nexus - every copy sold is a lost sale, not every copy shared is one.

But what you are doing is advocating for a system that allows a few big players to be the Godzilla and a lot of people who just don't feel like being Godzilla.

The DMCA leaves a bad taste in my mouth for a lot of political reasons - I really and truly hate using it. All I want to see is that people who copy are not seen on the same footing as people who originally create the work. We have no way of differentiating the copies from the originals, or to really reward creative people vs. those who just coast on the work of others.

I feel rather sick about the whole thing. And because I feel so sick about it philosophically, I feel I would do a better job making copies of my ideas to put in other brains, rather than copies of my creative works to line the pockets of people who never lifted a finger to learn how to draw.

Maybe I am an idealist, but my heart is in the right place.

Hamlet Au

Seven, you can change your vote, if you click Comments that takes you to Vizu's page and from there you can click Revote.

Ann Otoole

omg people are stealing stuff with stolen trademarks!!! How horrid! Is there no honor amongst thieves anymore?

As came censorship so will come laws and regulation to Second Life. All because people were out to make a quick space buck or two and the snitched watermelon is always the sweetest.

So Hamlet if the majority of the responses are in the cheap bracket are you going to spin the results to sound like it is insignificant even though the few that suffered high loses probably amounted to many times the aggregate of the totals of the people that selected the low end?

Uccello Poultry

Under $100 ... My prices are very low and my sales volume isn't huge, plus I haven't seen my goods duplicated. Mostly I make things for me and sell them in case someone else likes the items. After a while the item simply gets retired and given out for free somehow. No way I'm going to even pay my premium account costs let alone make a profit.

Nyoko Salome

:0 averaging a very specific 'theft' problem period i had from 07 thru 08 involving search listings (i had a thief-alt ursurp the #1 position in search just ahead of me for a very long time, about a year), i estimated that that tactic robbed me of 40% of my potential income. :\ i had to resort to 'drastic means' within the sl forum to call attention to that specific problem. meanwhile over, i'd easily estimate my losses 3x over your 'over 1000' mark, easily probably 4k if not a bit more than that since i launched my bodyoils in fall of 06. :\

Nyoko Salome

btw, as i only know of specifically that that thief stole the original version of bodyoil, and not bodyoil v2 (although it's a 'certain probability' that they have, and are keeping any illegal sales under the radar), let's average that figure at 150 Ls - halving my orig bodyoils with bodyoil combo prices (which they also stole my first initial sets).

150 Ls @ 270 (let's average high instead of low) = .57
4k / .57 = 7+k total customers lost. many perhaps had 'problem deliveries' during that period of grid history, and were probably unserved by my thief... i took great pains to maintain and help my customers all that time. that's a huge loss of potential friends/repeat customers.

Miro Collas

As far as I know, nothing we sell has been botted. There *may* be some who were "inspired" however, but that is as it should be. ;-)

Harleywood Guru

I am so amazed that anyone thinks SL is a platform that they should be able to make money on. Valuables in SL is like putting your cash on a counter in a public store and expecting everyone to look at and leave it alone. If you want your "content" to be safe, then go to open sim, make your own private grid, build your neat builds, and take screen shots and post them on some picture site so people can see your build. But as soon as you let one person come into your private grid (translate that to as soon as your sim goes into one persons computer), then you really don't have a reasonable expectancy of safety for that "creation". I give away almost all the things I build on sl because it is NOT an economic platform. If you have made ANY money there count your blessings. If someone steals an MP3 they can take it into RL, cut a CD, play it in their car, give it to friends... things in second life have to remain in second life. They cant be taken out of the world, and if someone was going to "steal" something I made, it would HAVE to go onto their personal private property FIRST(their computer) before they could steal it... if what I make goes on their property, then don't they have a right to use it? NO I AM NOT SAYING IT'S OK AND I DO UNDERSTAND ALL THE ARGUMENTS BUT THE ARGUMENTS ARE SPECIOUS BECAUSE THE PLATFORM HAS NO SECURITY TO BEGIN WITH. YOU HAVE TO HAVE PROTECTED SOMETHING FIRST BEFORE IT CAN BE STOLEN AND THAT IS NOT POSSIBLE IN SECOND LIFE. Make things, have fun, play, even make some lindens but don't bet your life on a stupid platform that cannot protect what you make, and then complain about it not being protected. You want something safe and secure then move it out of second life to somewhere that you can make it safe and secure. You want your products to only work when legally purchased from you??? Then you write the code to do it. Put in as part of the scripts a "phone home" to your database and keep a list of all your customers and only let your product work when the customer name is in your database.... Pretend to know something about the internet environment that you are on and what is required to secure your things of value there. Linden Labs have no responsibility to secure anything except what they own. You CAN make things that are theft deterred in second life but it is going to cost you to setup a real world system to protect your product there...
My very unpopular 2 cents worth I know, and don't flame Me. I know this isn't politically correct, but the emperor DOESN'T HAVE ANY CLOTHES ON, AND SL CAN'T PROTECT YOUR CREATIONS.

Indeterminate Schism

I sell scripts. As far as I know none have been re-used or even mis-used, except where I have deliberately or accidentally left perms open. That I put down to me, not theft.

Hypothetical Skizm

Here it something else to take into consideration regarding alleged loss of "income" from content theft. I find that there are a number of people who spend a good portion of money in SL, including myself, who quietly withdraw their purchase power from various stores based on the attitude of store owners/creators. We don't cry and whine and stomp our feet about how bad this or that is, we just stop shopping in your stores. Maybe some of the fashionista groupies can't live without your products, but a good number of us can and do. I have about 20 stores/creators I refuse to do business with anymore. And I'm not alone. I spend on average $100 american dollars a month in SL. About 10 stores that I used to spend a portion of that regularly on their stuff aren't getting my business anymore. Add that up over a few dozen and it starts to make a difference in profit. Maybe a piss poor attitude should be taken into the equation for some of those that are experiencing losses.

wakawaka Snook

For all the huha about "content theft of content of questionable value, I wonder why places like "Franks Jazz Club" are allowed to remain open. This place is a clear and flagrant violation of real world copyrights (using Sinatra, Martin and the Rat pack to sell products and entertainment). Its also a representation of a venue in which music is performed in a public venue.This is what ASCAP (and royalties to musician) is for.

If its ok to "borrow" real world IP, I really can't get too outraged by someone lifting "body oil".

Sasun Steinbeck

I am recently a victim of content theft and the actual monetary amount isn't known. A direct competitor has duplicated my custom-built object designs and is reselling them with minor modifications. I have no way to know how many customers buy their product instead of mine, but I wanted to point out that the sheer stress and emotional outrage, that horrible feeling that you've been ripped off, at seeing my designs duplicated and sold by a direct competitor has been worse for me than the actual money lost.

Ordinal Malaprop

The monetisation of loss from Copyright Breach is extremely difficult to even guess at, and I would trust very few people to properly come up with a figure - because any "loss" is one of a hypothetical sale. There is no actual loss, merely a reduced likelihood of making money.

Recording Companies for instance rate every Unauthorised Download as the loss of a Sale, which is clearly nonsense; only a tiny minority of those would have actually spent their coppers on the item.

If some miscreant duplicates my Fabulous Widget (on sale for L$400) and 100 people buy it at L$300 a time, has that person made L$30,000? Yes. If they had not would I be L$40,000 better off? Almost certainly not; they would, I expect, have often sold to people unaware of my original Widget, perhaps some would not have bought it, perhaps some have bought other of my products, who knows. (This goes particularly for items which are given away rather than resold.)

The whole use of the metaphors "theft", "stealing", "loss" and so on is in my opinion extremely deceptive and worth avoiding. This is not to minimise the moral issue, but things can be wrong without being the same.

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