Monday, September 21, 2009

it's all blackened out, and my bat-lightning heart wants to fly away

T'is the birthday of H. G. Wells today, a master of invention, speculation, and creative adventuring--which just makes the following events that much more deeply tragic.

I speak, of course, of what happened to the sims of Rebel Hope, Nonna Hodges and Susan Ramos.

Now, long-term readers of this blog know, there is no love lost between Rebel Hope and I. She did me a wrong which resulted in a great deal of stress and aggravation for a client of mine, at the time, and a great deal of stress I could ill afford then, either (which, albeit indirectly, led to the mini-stroke/"heart incident", and the barrage of medication I'm now on to try to climb back out of the unhealthy hole my body dropped into, over that time). I want absolute clarity on this point: she and I are not friends. We never will be.

That having been said, what has happened to her is unconscionable, and should never, never have been allowed to happen. And Linden Labs is directly to blame.

Last night, I ran the list of the blogs I read, perusing various stories, and stopped in shock and horror at this entry from the Primgraph. I quote:

"Today some of the most talented creators on the grid have had their entire sims stolen. They include Rebel Hope and RH Engel, Susan Ramos and Nonna Hedges."

If that didn't sink in, let me try and reinforce it for you: not single designs. Not individual outfits. Not individual textures. THEIR SIMS...IN TOTAL...WITH EVERYTHING THAT WAS ON THEM...STOLEN.

This is outrageous. This is unconscionable. This is a blow from which the creative community on SL may not recover.

Let me stress again, so you understand my upset is not due to friendship or even fellow feeling: Miss Nonna Hedges helped me as a new green citizen with a skirt she was working on, in the early days of flexible prims; I might even still have it. Susan Ramos makes some of the most innovative Hallowe'en items I've seen on the grid, and she also helped me track down an open-air pavilion when I was setting up Enigma's ballroom on the roof, three years back.

Rebel Hope has done me nothing but harm, though her creations remain innovative, well-constructed, well-textured bits of fashion art; I cannot state it otherwise.

But I would not wish what happened to her and RH Engel, her partner and fellow designer, on anyone. I would not wish what happened to her, Engel, Ramos and Hedges on Miss Kandace Commons. Just so you understand.

The story continues on Shopping Cart Disco, and what's even more galling on that entry, is Queef Solo's interjections in the comments:

"For one, 3 sims is a bit far fetched I only did Woodshed and yes some demo dresses of rebels skirts! The other furniture is another favorite of mine Ramos! mystery solved.. I figured I would give a nice going away present to my two favorite creators."

"[...] let me tell you I have passed this out to as many groups, resale FP places and random av's as possible. I would say I at least sent it out to 6k of av's actually maybe more one group had 5k of ppl in it. Maybe next time RH will learn not to be such a asshole and Susan will not attack before figuring shit out."

"[...] everything happens for a reason, I gave you my REASON my justification is revenge loll I satisfied me and isn't that who really me me me"

They mention Queef Solo again in a later entry; mostly because of the unmitigated gall of this individual, taunting Hope and others after stealing their creations, to the mysterious tune of 'karma' coming around.

"Karma". That word was flung around more than once, by Solo--I do not think it means what they think it means. Moreover, taunting someone that 'karma comes around'--after directly stealing what they've done--it's rather akin to demonstrating to your child that fire is bad--by setting their bed ablaze, innit?

The iheartsl blog also has an entry on this massive theft; Hey Girlfriend covers it; the creators of SL Universe weigh in; Angie Mornington has words on the topic; and Queef Solo had to add their whinging protestations on SL Universe again.

And so many, many more.

I won't add much more than that, and encourage folks to read up on what's happened, but I will say this: all of this can be laid at the feet of the Labs. Every bit of it. I'm not on the bandwagon that others are, that banning third-party viewers is the way to go (though the Cryolife viewer scares me, and has already been used to copy items from Show Me on the Doll, Putrid Gloom's business, and her sim Gloomyville), because sometimes, when the official viewer won't work for us, third-party viewers have stepped in and saved the day--or have people forgotten the contributions of Nicolas Beresford and the Nicolas Viewer already?

But what I do insist is that we need better content controls, and now. And the Labs need to find ways to stop this.

Or content creation will stop on the grid, and it's all downhill from there. Content creators stop creating; they stop needing their stores. They stop needing their stores; they sell off their sims. What will be left? Just the BIAB folks, blithely stealing from each other, and the newcomers who know no better buying everything they can.

It will be a wasteland in reverse--lots of activity, little money to pay for it going to the Labs, and everyone who has half a brain who has created original content, gone off to other worlds to see if they can be made profitable.

How well will Linden Labs operate on only 20% of their income now? And that's being generous, I think, if this kind of nonsense keeps up.

For those of you on Plurk, Rebel Hope has also gone into the loss there. This has to stop. This has to stop.


Christine McAllister Pearse said...

Wow....I get banned for having scripted muffins that do nothing but pass out muffins for people to eat. These people STEAL and then have the nerve to brag about it and NOTHING happens to them????

I think they'd best read a page out of their own book about karma. The rooster will be coming back home to roost on this one for sure.

Emilly Orr said...

Well, Queef Solo was banned from SL; s/he maintains (Queef being such an odd and genderless name, I haven't wanted to accuse either sex of spawning them) that there are extant alts still on the grid, so (unlike what happened to Dr. Mason) their IP was not banned as well.

More to the point: you got banned for muffins? Who bans people for baking?!? Even virtual baking. That's insane.

Fogwoman Gray said...

Between the increasing difficulties in just keeping vendors working, permissions correct, and sims operational enough that your customers can find your vendors, LL is already losing many talented and frustrated creators daily. Add this and I think it becomes a lovely experiment that failed.
But in their defense, those muffins DID look like terrorists....

Christine McAllister Pearse said...

You'd have to talk to Tensai to get the whole techno-speak reason why my muffins got me banned, but it was due to them being present in a sim that was griefed apparently.

Personally, I think it was more likely my cupcakes with the cherries on top...I think they were probably too "Adult" looking for a Mature sim and were probably thought to belong on the new continent. ;-)

I'm very sorry to hear about these sims being ripped off/stolen. I have some things from both Rebel Hope and Nonna Hodges (my fav slinky dress with the beaded skirt that one simply cannot wear underwear with) and I know how I'd feel if someone stole my bakery, let alone an *entire* sim. It's mind boggling.

Edward Pearse, Duke of Argylle said...

What little arse! That someone would have the juvenile gall to rip off the contents of a sim and then brag about it on forums is just stupendous. I hope the little shit gets the karma they've been invoking.

And while I've no idea what sex the typist behind Queef is definitely gendered female. Men cannot queef, they haven't the anatomy for it.

Emilly Orr said...

No, they can't, Edward, and what really disturbs me was finding out there wasn't just one Queef (Solo, who was banned), but over a double dozen people named Queef.

The hell? Why...just WHY? It's akin to when we met the woman named VAGINA, whose bio and first life mention consisted of that same word, all caps. (Along with none-too-flattering profile and first life pics guessed it.)

I would love to point at men and say A-ha! These are men playing women, so THERE!...but I know enough women who would think it's somehow 'cute' to name an av after something distinctive to the female anatomy.

Anonymous said...

Emilly..I'm not sure how the fact that Warner Brothers subsidiary that you worked for did not pay me for a job I finished and got no upfront payment that was promised has anything to do with the bot theft. You having a beef with me because you did not do your job and follow through on the work that was finished was not my fault. Blaming me for your health problems? Going a bit too far.

Publishing a false story about a business transaction is disgusting to me.

For the bot theft, thank you for those of you who support us. This was not asked for nor has it been a very fun experience. I'd not wish this on anyone, period. Content creators have to stand up for themselves and take charge of what we create. Unless you are only in this for giggles and it doesn't matter and that's entirely your right. Off soap box.

Have a great day guys. *hugs

Emilly Orr said...


You didn't finish the work, you weren't willing to sign contract on the work you had done and you followed that by ruining the contact we'd made for a skin maker for the project--yes, I still hold that against you.

I did not blame you for my health problems--I said indirectly, that was the start of the stress that eventually led to them, that and many others stressors along the way. I wanted to be very clear about my priorities in this: that I was still trying to get the word out despite a dislike of your practices.

It's not publishing a false story about a business transaction. I was there. I know exactly why you pulled out of the project. And I don't agree with your reasons.

Now, per other business transactions listed in this story--it has come to light since that it was just Woodshed, not three whole sims, and scattered items from Miss Ramos and Miss Hedges, not everything they'd done. And it seems to be the work of someone different for the copying of Miss Hodges' skirts and bits and pieces from Miss Gloom's store--both of those may trace back to one or more individuals with Cryolife viewers, not Queef.