Tuesday, January 27, 2009

all that noise and all that sound

Well. Some interesting new controversy over on SLUniverse forums, relating to a new script that some makers of hair have adopted to prevent content theft. Stop me when this makes sense, okay?

1. Make hair.
2. Texture hair.
2. Add script to hair that will de-rez the hair if rezzed out on the ground, may or may not call customers thieves in main chat, and email a report of where and when and by whom the hair was rezzed out, creating a database of potential "content thieves" for later use by the maker of the hair.
4. Attach desired permissions to hair, package it up and put it out for sale. Potentially remember to announce that this hair is now enabled with said script; or chuck the whole thing and include the notecard detailing what the script does in the hair only after purchase.
5. Sit back, and watch the controversy rage.

See, I noticed none of you stopped me, because really--this never makes sense.

"Punishing the people who PAY FOR your products is never, ever the way to go." --Wildefire Walcott

Look, I understand why this seemed like a good idea...maybe...but really, even half an hour of thinking it through reveals the massive flaws in the system. The first one of which falls into the whole "customer loyalty" concept--prevent thieves? Fine. Piss off your customers so they stop shopping at your stores? Not so bright.

"What's funny too is the current variations of Copybot work just as fine when you're wearing something as an attachment." --Joshua Nightshade

It used to be true that the early versions of CopyBot required some remote-controlled av to be walked through the grid, stopping and pausing in front of other avatars for very long times, to properly "grab" the textures the robo-avs "saw". This is no longer the case. As the means to defeat them came into play, the CopyBot system and other similar programs have grown increasingly sophisticated.

It's a whole different hacked world, these days.

"There are plenty of content creators on the grid who survive just fine without resorting to these techniques. They understand that there is more to building a business than a few products. The best defense is creating a brand known for quality, and promoting that brand." --Beebo Brink

Paired with that is the hope that, if one has such a brand, the customers will also notice when someone else on the grid starts churning out knock-offs, and tell the maker what's going on. Generally speaking, to get any other maker to stop selling stolen goods, the hacked maker themselves must register a formal complaint with the Labs or with XStreet, for instance--and usually per item. Still and all, it's more than occasionally worth the effort.

Now, I will give props when they're needed. This, directly from the maker of Deviant Kitties hair:

"In Light of some new information.

"Deviant Kitties (with the exception of Demos) will no longer be using this form of prevention.

"It is currently being removed from all hairstyles containing the script."
--Helanwye Vindaloo

So sometimes, the tempest in a website is worth the effort--Vindaloo changed her mind. There are other makers who haven't, and all I can say is, know what you're getting into. You won't be able to rez the hair on the ground to edit; you won't get your money back if you do and it disappears; you may or may not hear the green spam call of "THIEF! THIEF!" if you do rez it out; and you may or may not be put on a list.

And none of us really know what any maker does with such a list, or how it will be used. But it's your own choice. Is your favorite hair maker using this scripting system? Is it worth it to you to keep buying from them if they are?

Only you can say.

In other news, the latest rumor--traveling across sims at light speed, nearly--is of some sort of scripted object, carried by avatars, that will instantaneously crash sims. Here's an account of one of the latest instances:

[1:48] Frurry Fluno: ok, Ejaculayte Socke is crashing sims
[1:49] LadyGwenhwyfarRose Nightfire: Griefer name sweetness...lodge a complaint...
[1:49] ProudlyPink Sheridan: that name doesnt exist according to search....
[1:49] Frurry Fluno: Ejaculate Socke
[1:50] Emilly Orr: Ew, what a name. How did you find this out?
[1:50] LadyGwenhwyfarRose Nightfire: mmhhmmm it's newly registered as yet...that is how they do it...Linden labs have not entered it into the database
[1:50] Emilly Orr: No, it comes right up if it's spelt right.

I'd pulled up the profile at that point. Mr. Socke has no picture, no first life info, and was born onto the grid on the 28th of January, 2009. Figures.

[1:51] Emilly Orr: I'm back at, how did you find this out, Frurry?
[1:52] Frurry Fluno: from being there
[1:52] Frurry Fluno: just caught a glimpse of him before the last crash
[1:52] Emilly Orr: You saw him and then the sim went down? What did he do to make you think it was him?
[1:52] Frurry Fluno: crackpot looking avie, the name, and was holding a gun
[1:53] Emilly Orr: Right, but did he *do* anything?
[1:54] Emilly Orr: Because otherwise, he's just another idjit noob.
[1:54] Frurry Fluno: didnt see anything cause everything crash as soon as he was seen, his gun apparently fills the sim instantly
[1:54] Emilly Orr: Interesting.

He belongs--or belonged; I still have the profile up, but as of now, I'm being told his profile no longer exists--to one group, Hormonal Abuse. The group info of this group reads:
The best form of child abuse would be to rub penis-enlarging hormone cream on them every day until they hit puberty at the ripe old age of 6 and or sprout the opposite sex's genitalia. Amen. They'd never be the same again.

Yeah, that's about useless for a group.

[1:55] Frurry Fluno: others at lusk know its him, attacked 6 times already apparently
[1:55] Frurry Fluno: caused a rollback losing some older vendors
[1:57] Frurry Fluno: didnt rez objects so probably is a gun loaded with scripts to overload script time to 1000%

There are three visible members of this group (for those who aren't group members, which I'm not): Mr. Socke--whose current title is Sexually Abuses Kids, along with a member named Secksee Texan who has the same title, and then in the middle--morbidly appropriate--is someone named Dyslexic Popstar who's running under the title 8 year old w/pubes.

Again? Figures.

This from about an hour later:

[3:17] Frurry Fluno: i knew it
[3:17] Frurry Fluno: just before the latest crash
[3:17] Frurry Fluno: [3:14] Ethnic Huntress shouts: Faggots
[3:18] Celeste Jetcity: O_O
[3:18] Emilly Orr: So another furry attack. Idiots.
[3:18] Phr0zen Katsu: [3:14] Ethnic Huntress shouts: u srsly blv dat?
[3:18] Emilly Orr: Damn. Can she buy a vowel?
[3:19] Celeste Jetcity: ahahahahah Emily
[3:19] Frurry Fluno: Phr0zen, this have been going on for the last 2 hours
[3:19] Frurry Fluno: various names
[3:19] Phr0zen Katsu: Bot Spam?
[3:19] Emilly Orr: With no Linden help, apparently.
[3:19] Frurry Fluno: all in the group named Hormonal Abuse
[3:20] Celeste Jetcity: they have definitely anything better to do in life it seems
[3:20] Frurry Fluno: sim crashing
[3:20] Emilly Orr: Which is a terrifying group anyway.
[3:20] Frurry Fluno: they seem to be using extremely heavy scripts
[3:21] Frurry Fluno: definately a grief group
[3:21] Frurry Fluno: group title is sexually abuses kids
[3:21] Celeste Jetcity: OMG

Indeed. So Luskwood has been dealing off and on all night with griefers taking them down. Why? Who knows? Part of the eternal battle between furs, and the rest of the net that loathes them. Likely, more will surface in time.

In the meantime, if any of these names show up--Ejaculate Socke, Ethnic Huntress, Dyslexic Popstar, Secksee Texan, and potentially Aria Abattoir--who was born in 2004, but who is apparently currently married to Dyslexic Popstar--in your sim, or anyone else who lists Hormonal Abuse as one of their groups: remember, BAN FIRST, ask questions later. It may be your sim that goes down next!


schatzi's story said...

I really like your writing!

Emilly Orr said...

Thank you.

Edward Pearse, Duke of Argylle said...

The hair thing? Funny. Almost sounds like Sony has enacted its CD anti-piracy protection in SL. With remarkably similar results. :-)

Rhianon Jameson said...

The hair script is really inane. The number of times I've accidentally clicked "drop" rather than "detach" must run into the dozens, and I don't change hair much. Maybe everyone else is a lot more careful than I am, but, frankly, I doubt it.

Emilly Orr said...

Edward: precisely. With the equally high shooting-self-in-foot PR potential.

When everything broke earlier, about the possibility of this script, it was two makers, Helanwye Vindaloo of Deviant Kitties and Sabine Gully of Magika. Later, Truth Hawks got involved.

As far as I know--though more may have come on--Vindaloo has decided it's not worth the trouble for anything but the demos (and I remain confused on that; why would anyone want to steal demo hair textures, and not the full versions?), Truth may or may not feature the scripting, and Magika is firmly committed because it's helping her, in some obscure fashion.

The other big problem behind this? While it's online, and thus, the law gets a tad blurry, nearly all European countries have a clause that one must be fully informed of any contractual agreement, before money changes hands, or said agreement is invalid. So someone with enough ire and free time could pick up scripted hair at a place that doesn't fully inform their customers, drop it, have it de-rez, and then sue for return of Lindens, potentially, due to fraud. All it would take is one test case.

Emilly Orr said...

Miss Jameson: you're not the only one. While I rarely drop things these days--my big glitch seems to be clicking 'delete' over 'wear'--many people still do this, regularly enough to cause major problems with this type of script.

Miss Gully, the force behind Magika, says she uses the names gathered thusly in a straightforward manner: id est, she hears of someone who has potentially stolen her hair, she pulls up the database and searches for that name. She feels there's a higher probability of X avatar stealing her hair textures, who has also bought--and dropped--her hair.

Whether or not that is true, she runs into the same problem with the European contingent as Truth Hawks--she does not fully inform people, by posted announcement or advance notecard, that they are buying hairs containing this script, and that they are in essence agreeing to the loss of said hair should they rez it out; to say nothing of the names gathered for the database, which she does not apparently mention at all.