« Watch Han & Luke Demonstrate Why Low Latency is Crucial to Avatar Interaction | Main | Official Oculus Rift Second Life Viewer Officially Here -- Apparently Addresses Several Problems from Beta Version »

Wednesday, May 21, 2014


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


I completely support this legal analysis.

Adeon Writer

That really is false advertising, no getting around it. And add the double whammy of copyright infringement, oh boy.

So, how did it happen?

CronoCloud Creeggan

Probably some Linden PR flack who runs their Facingbook saw that image in their submissions or some feed or blog somewher, thought "Ooh pretty" and didn't realize it's a morph.

CronoCloud Creeggan

Ah, LL has just replied to the comments on the photo:


At the time this image was selected from the user created and shared images, it was not identified as a morph or copyrighted image. It is no longer the profile pic, and we'll continue to attempt measures to prevent it from happening again in the future.


Pussycat Catnap

Their response claims ignorance that it was a morphed image.

Seriously? They need to force whoever runs their Facebook account to log at least 1 hour with their product, if not 100.

But 1 hour should be enough to be able to know - that is no Second Life screenshot...

Cicadetta Stillwater

Legal analysis aside, there is a strong tendency for morphs to be creepy as all get out. Just another way to turn away potential users.

It doesn't help that this one in particular makes the base part of the photo look like something out of a JC Penney catalog. Don't get me wrong, I love Penney's, but that was probably not the effect Chanel was going for. Maybe it's the way my eye is drawn away from the Uncanny Valley and toward the RL portion of the portrait…


In Linden Labs defense, they were probably just concerned that an actual avatar face my scare away new users.

Kitsune Shan

So they really though that was actually a SL avatar? I guess they don't play too much their own game.


Any can achieve the quality of this image by just taking a raw snapshot inworld, no need to morph, just with a good desktop computer, a brand new line of nvidia graphics cards and good pose and angle (besides a windlight sky sett for the purpose)and of course a good skin, hair and shape.

Adeon Writer

I'm the morph in question's defense, it's the first one that hasn't made me run screaming, but I may have built up a tolerance to them by now.


It still boggles my mind with all the great photographers and bloggers in SL that take amazing pics, LL will pull something like using a morph.

Pussycat Catnap

@zzpearlbottom: I await your posting of an image like this from inside of SL. Post it to my.secondlife.com from inworld so we have a greater chance of believing you.

The Tier Is Too Damn High Party

Clearly SL doesn't respect the IP rights of its resident creators, nor the creative control of others "irl" -- at least they are consistent.

Tesla Miles

Hahah, what a joke! There are so many talented photographers in SL vying for attention with their beautiful images of genuine inworld content, and the LL's PR department had to pick a morph, and a badly made one at that. Whoever is selecting the user images needs to spend more time in SL, looking beyond the mainstream and popular representations. Yes, there are people who live their SL lives like they're in a Chanel ad, but the majority of people are in SL to escape the mundanity of RL.

Pussycat Catnap

@The Tier:

On flickr there is one group that has a rule that all content posted to it has been submitted for use by LLs.

You have to intentionally join that group and post to it to get your images into it. Once you do... you run the risk that they might take you up on the submission and actually go an use it.

They still don't seem to be able to tell what their own platform's avatars look like... but the poster of this morph likely gave them permission to use it.


I see a lot of hyper realistic avatars from various programs, I think it is safe to say that most people seem to be tired of the Jason Brooks cartoon sketch type Avie and want a more photorealistic representation with the same level of customization.

Batters Box

All those top placed locations in destinations guide promoting tribute bands and selling fashion most likely "inspired" from real life designers with no shortage of creative photographers visiting them and posting to flickr will become more selective...LOL

Vanadis Falconer

Unscrupulous skin-vendors use similar manipulated images to promote their skin. Those who do not try a demo first becomes really cheated

Pussycat Catnap

@Jaqua: "I think it is safe to say that most people seem to be tired of the Jason Brooks cartoon sketch type Avie and want a more photorealistic representation with the same level of customization."

Actually it is anything BUT safe to say that.

Current trends seem to believe the exact opposite.

MMOs like EQ Next and Wildstar went cartoony precisely due to the failure of hyper-realism in prior MMOs, like EQ II, and the success of cartoonism in competition such as WoW and Asian offerings.

Video games like MineCraft, Blocksworld, and Sims have gone cartoon as well

Read Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics and you see a lot of the reasoning behind this.

The less realistic, the more a verity of users can identify with your avatars / icons, and the less risk of uncanny valley issues.

Inside of SL you can see this reflected in the popularity of some furry brands like Blue Galaxian, Apez, Vizz, and Orange Nova. You can also see it with the new mesh 'child avatars' that have so rapidly taken over the child AV scene.

That might sound odd coming from someone who always pushes correct proportions - but if you know art you'll know that's a different topic. Achieving proper 'iconification' in a cartoonish representation REQUIRES good proportional structure... or you instead create alienation.

This is why I may be for cartoonification, but against the distorted stretched out spider-leg and t-rex avatars common in SL.

Cali Karsin

Morphs have NO place in Second Life. Down with morphs! Great article. =)

Ciaran Laval

There's nothing wrong with morphed images as long as it's pointed out, you will see many a game trailer alongside "Not actual gameplay footage" warning.

Blizzard do absolutely awesome trailers for their games, they advertise the product but not the reality of the game.

Shockwave yareach

By this logic then, there shouldn't be a SL at all, since the very nature of the program is to let a person be something they aren't in a place that doesn't exist. If too good to be true is wrong in advertising for VR, then what about VR itself?

Adverts have always been about making people want a product by lying through the teeth about it. Photo manipulation is but one arrow in that quiver. And considering it is fantasyland itself being advertised -- and about time too -- an ad with photoshopped pics bothers me as little as ads featuring girls from the council of Wyrms.

Lixena Lamourfou

I am glad that everyone shares my biggest pet peeve about SL photography. I never liked MORPHs from the beginning. It to me was always an indication of a person who was so connected 'appearances'. A person who cannot find beauty in an virtual appearance and must take it a step further and morph that representation, that is someone who has self-identity issues.


Almost every picture added on SL official page is not an honest representation. They all have photoshop on them. Any picture added on a photo contest is inmensly photoshoped. I really don't use photoshop for that, not even in RL. What I say is real, is not fake.
People who doesn't have skills in photoshop have no chance in thses contests, people that want to see how SL is all about, when in world, they get a surprise.
Even tho this article is old, people keep morphing. I was the other day in blueberry and I liked the skin the models on the pictures were using. I asked what skin was, and they say it is a morphing. I felt lied at.
Copyright issues are just another problem that has nothing to do with SL true representation, and not the big issue why this has to stop.
SL made that statement because they were cought. They have no problem with morphing, or copyright whatsoever, because MANY MANY merchants sell illegal products taking from RL, and they know it. Skyrim is one of the many that are use and because it is an open source VG so that many modders can make stuff that are 100% free for anyone to take (instead of what's happening in the greedy grid) many merchants are using it to steal stuff and sell it. They gain money, not the modders or the company that owns Skyrim (Bethesda).

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

Making a Metaverse That Matters Wagner James Au ad
Please buy my book!
Thumb Wagner James Au Metaverse book
Wagner James "Hamlet" Au
Wagner James Au AAE Speakers Metaverse
Request me as a speaker!
Bad-Unicorn Funny Second Life items
Dutchie Waterland House slideshow 01112023
Juicybomb_EEP ad
Making of Second Life 20th anniversary Wagner James Au Thumb
my site ... ... ...

PC/Mac readers recommend for SL:

Classic New World Notes stories:

Sander's Villa: The Man Who Gave His Father A Second Life (2011)

What Rebecca Learned By Being A Second Life Man (2010)

Charles Bristol's Metaverse Blues: 87 Year Old Bluesman Becomes Avatar-Based Musician In Second Life (2009)

Linden Limit Libertarianism: Metaverse community management illustrates the problems with laissez faire governance (2008)

The Husband That Eshi Made: Metaverse artist, grieving for her dead husband, recreates him as an avatar (2008)

Labor Union Protesters Converge On IBM's Metaverse Campus: Leaders Claim Success, 1850 Total Attendees (Including Giant Banana & Talking Triangle) (2007)

All About My Avatar: The story behind amazing strange avatars (2007)

Fighting the Front: When fascists open an HQ in Second Life, chaos and exploding pigs ensue (2007)

Copying a Controversy: Copyright concerns come to the Metaverse via... the CopyBot! (2006)

The Penguin & the Zookeeper: Just another unlikely friendship formed in The Metaverse (2006)

"—And He Rezzed a Crooked House—": Mathematician makes a tesseract in the Metaverse — watch the videos! (2006)

Guarding Darfur: Virtual super heroes rally to protect a real world activist site (2006)

The Skin You're In: How virtual world avatar options expose real world racism (2006)

Making Love: When virtual sex gets real (2005)

Watching the Detectives: How to honeytrap a cheater in the Metaverse (2005)

The Freeform Identity of Eboni Khan: First-hand account of the Black user experience in virtual worlds (2005)

Man on Man and Woman on Woman: Just another gender-bending avatar love story, with a twist (2005)

The Nine Souls of Wilde Cunningham: A collective of severely disabled people share the same avatar (2004)

Falling for Eddie: Two shy artists divided by an ocean literally create a new life for each other (2004)

War of the Jessie Wall: Battle over virtual borders -- and real war in Iraq (2003)

Home for the Homeless: Creating a virtual mansion despite the most challenging circumstances (2003)

Newstex_Author_Badge-Color 240px
JuicyBomb_NWN5 SL blog
Ava Delaney SL Blog