Friday, May 9, 2008

but when you said that I wasn't worth talking to, I had to take your word on that

At times, the grid is amusing beyond words.

Because I've been spinning my wheels all week, so far, and my builder will not be prodded into other things, we've spent a lot of time not doing much that's actually constructive.

Two nights back, we spent talking over future plans, and haunting various lucky chairs. This is where we met the flailing Miss Kunke:


(Miss leia Kunke captured in mid-flail.)

Miss Kunke appeared flailing in midair, hands hooked into claws, stiletto-shod feet kicking at random, on her back at Tesla Miles. I freely admitted I'd never seen anything quite like it before, and we debated on what she most looked like she was doing. I still maintain 'fighting large invisible spider' was more appropriate than 'roach lying on back', but then, I was concentrating on the hands, and my builder was focusing on the flailing limbs.

Today, though, there is gift-wrapped drama, and I am tickled to death, I really am. Follow this:

Waybackwhen I mentioned a little something on content theft in SL. Even got a bit of heat from it from Mr. Chez Nabob, mastermind behind the PETA-inspired campaign.

Well, the twisted joy goes further. Let me show off yet another poster in the original "Stop Content Theft" campaign:


This poster features Minnu Palen. Minnu Palen makes skins. Miss Palen, in fact, makes a line of 'model-quality' skins--that many models on the grid use. And she was, and perhaps remains, very concerned over content theft.

Enter the Second Life Herald, with a rather shrill "expose" on Miss Palen's apparent theft of Renderosity skins.

Ari Blackthorne calls it "slanderous", these allegations. I think Blackthorne, and others, are missing the main point.

(Well, and the secondary point, because 'slander' is oral, and 'libel' relates to print and email--so it would be 'libelous' allegations, not 'slanderous'. And it would only be libelous if it weren't true...)

Miss Palen has stated, over and over, content theft hurts her personally, because her skins are sourced from her own body.

So follow this out again:

She buys skin textures from Renderosity. She alters those textures to form over the shapes used on the grid. Okay, this is a violation, but it's a fairly minor one--apparently, there is a license specification from Danae Kotsi, the original designer, that states she must be asked for consent before any commercial use of her material.

Okay, so fine. That's tacky, but understandable. 90% of content on the grid, it's said, is lifted broadly from other places. Which is also tacky, but again understandable. But that's still not the real amusement behind all this.

Follow this again:

Miss Kotsi is complaining about Miss Palen lifting her skins without permission. Because she makes her income making original content for 3D applications like Poser and other 3D art programs. original is her "Manhattan" series when it looks exactly like Darryl Hannah?

Curses, foiled again!

I mean, seriously--is there any other way to see this? Content creator one--who's trading on someone else's actual face--is complaining about content theft concerning creator two on the grid--who's saying she uses her actual body to source her skins...

Well. Unless Miss Palen is Miss Hannah.

Which would be even more amusing, frankly.

I'll keep you posted.

[Later update: in conversation with certain people, better at the vagaries of copyright law and content than I am, Miss Palen is in violation--namely, the readme file attached to the Manhattan package? Specifies permitted uses in a very specific way:

    All of this product's content was created by Danae Kotsi using the following sources of digital photographs:

    levius (RMP) and from www.3dsk
    xil and nagus
    nicu 1

    and my own personal collection of digital photographs

    These files are copyrighted. The product can be used for commercial and non commercial renders. Do not redistribute in part or whole without the author's written consent.

So...Miss Palen
did violate Miss Kotsi's stated use under copyright.

Heh. Ain't intellectual property rights grand...]


Edward Pearse, Earl of Primbroke said...

Oh irony, how I love thee.

Emilly Orr said...

Isn't it grand?

Now, to be *fair*, there is no law preventing an artist from painting a celebrity. That's not the issue. (It's just an additional little joy.)

But it does seem that yes, based on current evidence? Miss Palen is, in fact, throwing stones from her glass house.

I'm enjoying this immensely.

Hypatia Callisto said...

this has more to do with the character face morph than the texture. Poser textures have remarkably little shading, because they are meant to be used in renders with lighting. The features you see are due to the face character morph, which is mostly spinning the dials on V3 to get something that looks a lot like the actress. (some people do their own face morphs, but most do not, and use the morph injections from DAZ) This is nothing new also - DAZ3d has done a well-known Playboy model for one of their characters, however in that case the model actually sat for the 3d scan to build the model morphs and photographs that went into the final texture. I'd have to do a hard comparison to tell if she actually used Daryl Hannah's pictures to go into the character texture, in which case she'd have a serious problem on her hands. (I doubt she did, but who knows, I've seen worse with Poser copyright bustups :D)

Emilly Orr said...

Well, and as said, there's nothing wrong with an artist trading on celebrity images, and it may or may not have been intentional in the first place.

It just adds to the irony.

My original position was simple: if one is protesting content theft, protection of intellectual property, don't lift someone else's intellectual property to protest with. This is just another case of the same: if one is concerned about content theft, then don't mislead and say one created said content entirely from one's own work, if someone else did the work first.

Granted, as Miss Palen hasn't (yet) weighed in (as far as I know), I don't have her side of the story. And I may be, we all may be, wrong.

I don't think we are, though.

It's similar to the spate of skins coming out now that are based in Miss Eliot's designs, as she's released them free for any use. Most designers are happy to state they're employing Miss Eliot's work; some mention Eloh Eliot by name, some merely mention the Another Skin design packages. But nearly everyone gives some sort of credit or attribution, even though Miss Eliot didn't ask for any.

And ultimately, it all comes down to the Buddhist ethos: beginnings must be clean. For if our beginnings are not clean, how can our endings be?

Plus--as Edward mentioned, the irony's just too delicious here.

Anonymous said...

Where does it say the texture / character was based on Daryl Hannah ? Ms. Kotsi clearly states her photo sources - all legal - so where exactly is the irony? Your article apperas misleading even if you somehow try to fix things up in the end.

Emilly Orr said...

Sir or ma'am:

It doesn't. And you are right, Miss Kotsi does clearly state her photo sources. I'm not saying it's illegal, precisely, whether or not Miss Kotsi actually intended to reproduce Miss Hannah in digital form.

If you missed it the first time around, the irony is here: Miss Palen participated in a campaign protesting the theft of intellectual property that engaged in intellectual property theft; or, if not so bluntly stated, at least blurred the lines heavily on what's actual 'parody' and what's 'cribbing someone else's advertising'; then, by all reports, was caught redhanded engaging in yet another form of intellectual property theft.

The grace note of Miss Kotsi's digitized Darryl? Just adds a piquant dash of spice to the whole affair. But no, I never said what Miss Kotsi does in her Manhattan line of textures and renders is illegal in any way.

Simply amusing.

Anonymous said...

I should point out the mermaid character's name in Splash was "Madison" and she showed up in Manhattan. Just... interesting.


Emilly Orr said...

Okay, that's just freaky and amusing coincidence, I think. But yes, fun.

Again, in all fairness? The image of the urbane leggy blonde, patrician nose, cool expression, delicate facial tints--that's not just a Hannah image, that is very much a city-girl image.

Sunstreak her hair, wave it out, add a deeper tan, richer eye colors, hint of a smile--you've got your prototypical California beach bunny. But as is? About the only thing you could do to make it more "New York" is to wash her hair down to brown, and add wire-rim glasses, for the esthete intellectual Vanity Fair writer, say.

But yes, that's just another amusing little trivial detail in all this. :)