Friday, February 29, 2008

Content theft..

Content creators are the reason why this world is so magical and wonderful! Content theft drives creators out of Second Life, discourages further creation, and at the very human level - it simply hurts us. Be aware that IP theft is a punishable crime.

When someone steals content it effects us all not just the creator! Please don't turn a blind eye to it. When you see stolen content - report it! Report questionable content to the original creator and to Linden Lab.

HEADLINE: Content Creators Bare All to Raise Awareness for Intellectual Property Rights
SUBHEAD: Campaign features prominent Second Life creatives naked in first round of ads

An intellectual property rights awareness campaign launches Friday featuring some of Second Life's most well-known content creators posing in the buff. The idea behind the ads is simple; educate as many of Second Life's residents as possible about the issues, effects and consequences surrounding theft in Second Life (SL).

The first round of ads in the campaign have been in production for the last two weeks and will feature Sachi Vixen and Damen Gorilla of Adam n Eve, Minu Palen of Minnu Model Skins - MM skins, Tigerlily Koi and Haedon Quine of Calla, Nyte Caligari of Nyte'N'Day, Caliah Lyon of Muse Fine Jewelry and Stroker Serpentine of Strokerz Toyz.

The idea for the campaign sprang from talks and group IMs regarding the growing problem of theft in SL, and the frustration many creators feel playing a largely defensive strategy which is basically sitting back and waiting for their creations to be stolen and then filing DMCA requests with Linden Labs (LL).

"I just got tired of hearing from friends who'd had something stolen about how frustrating the process was for them," said the campaign's creator, Chez Nabob. "I started thinking about trying to develop a more offensive strategy, one that would allow content creators to take charge instead of constantly being victimized. So I considered what some real-life groups had done to raise awareness for their cause and landed on the concept PETA uses in their anti-fur campaigns. I thought parodying those ads would be an effective way to shed more light on the issue among the broader population of SL."

The campaign's participants hope to enlist the help of their fellow content creators in blanketing SL with the ads by having the ad textures placed inside sale vendors along with whatever items each individual creator sells. When a customer comes into a participating shop and purchases an item with an ad texture inside, the ad will be delivered along with the item the customer bought. Additional ads will be made available in world for display in stores and at events while other ads will be placed in SL-related publications and blogs.

"Basically the idea is to educate consumers about what's going on out there. Theft is becoming rampant with thieves getting more and more organized all the time. Many residents unwittingly purchase items that are actually the stolen intellectual property of another content creator. We want the greater public within SL to see this campaign and understand the issue as a result," said Nabob. "We want residents to understand that, for many content creators, SL is their livelihood and theft here is no different from theft in the real world. Intellectual property theft is illegal and actionable in courts around the world regardless of whether it happens in real life or inside a 'game.'"

If the campaign can raise enough awareness among SL's residents, the hope is that people will join the content creators in lobbying SL's creator, LL, for more safeguards to help protect the intellectual property of content creators.

"What we want people to understand is that theft doesn't just cost content creators revenue, it has a cost to everyone in SL," Nabob said. "It costs residents when their favorite creators can't devote time to making new items because they're too busy chasing down thieves or they quit producing altogether because of theft. It costs thieves when they're caught and prosecuted in a real-life court. And ultimately, if we cannot start to get some safeguards in place, theft will drive content creators out of SL, and LL will then begin to feel the costs of an in-world economy that's been ravaged by thieves."

The hope is that enough awareness and education can take place as a result of the ads that a dialogue can be opened with LL and third-party ventures that will lead to a stronger, more robust system for dealing with the problem of theft.

"Due to technological shortcomings there will always be theft in SL, but our desire is to have the scripters, texture artists, builders, shoe makers, skin makers, hair makers, fashion designers, etc. talk with LL and other third-party developers and see if we can deliver some methods to help make things better for content creators and residents, and tougher for thieves," said Nabob. "That's the ultimate goal."

The campaign ads are being distributed to content creators in-world through creator-focused groups. Additionally, creators can get the ads here:

Should you need jpegs for your coverage of the campaign launch please send an email request to the address listed at the top and bottom of this release.

For more information contact Chez Nabob in-world via IM if online, via notecard if offline or e-mail him at Additionally you can contact Nyte Caligari in-world.


Hatshepsut Saeed (SL name) said...

I support what you guys are doing, but I have a question: As a consumer, what am I allowed to do with items that I purchased but no longer want?

I have an inventory CRAMMED with stuff (like most people I know), a good portion of it I bought when I first signed up. I keep my inventory well organised but fact is I have way too much stuff. I was considering putting up for sale on OnRez or doing a yardsale, but I don't want to be accused of theft. So, are these methods ok with creators such as yourself? What sort of rules of etiquette should consumers follow when they are ready to purge their inventories? I'm not looking to turn a profit, I just can't see deleting all of it and, essentially, wasting money.

Nyte said...

I can only speak for myself in saying this... because all content creators feel differently about their items being re-sold. Some really hate it and some are ok with it.

I used to sell my things transferable (before it became necessity to go no tranfer) so if people resell outfits they don't want anymore that's ok. I think it's within their rights to do so - as long as transfer is permitted.

There's a big difference between reselling unwanted outfits a few times when your inventory is bursting at the seams and stealing the textures/clothes and selling them as if they were your own. Or on that note, having the same yard sale day after day after.

The only thing that bugs me about LEGIT yard sales - are ones that sell my items for MORE then I do... then the buyer eventually finds my store and gets pissed at me because someone else charged them more.

Hope that answers your inquiry!