Wednesday, October 7, 2009

keep my hand in the fire, sooner or later, I get what I'm asking for

The Selby is looking for "Second Life homes to photograph". Not sure why, but your best bet for contact is on Twitter--theselbyblog--or via the web site...if you can find contact info there.

Also, according to Metaverse Tribune, has issued a full and unreserved apology for any--they say purely unintentional--misleading that happened, since they never thought for a moment that anyone would find their teeny little corner of the webiverse.


For one, if they are telling the truth, they've tarnished their own reputation, as well as that domain name, and their potential client, if they were to take over that domain name. No one's going to trust them now.

For two, how stupid do they think we are? "Gosh we're sorry but we didn't think you'd mind"? When the entire grid, it seems, is still massively oversensitive about copybot issues?

Just...idiotically done, people, start to finish. Take a break and think next time. Save everyone some frustration.

On that, sort of...I wanted to talk a bit more about content theft, copyright, and the DMCA law as it stands.

What we have in world, right now, is not specifically content theft. Legally, it cannot be theft if you still possess the item--and through crash and inventory loss, dissolution and information decay, you still do, you know. That is the law of intellectual property--that your idea, once executed and trademarked, cannot be taken away from you.

But I've read a bit since my initial post on the original theft in Woodshed. My shock and outrage at the sheer audacity, there, I don't think were misplaced, but I fell into the same linguistic pitfall as nearly everyone else.

Put simply, what occurred with Rebel Hope, RH Engel, Nonna Hedges, Susan Ramos, Putrid Gloom and a host of others--and more being added each day that Cryolife, among others, is used to access the grid--is more correctly termed copyright infrigement. Possibly even straight brand dilution, like the virtual equivalent of Chinese-manufactured Gucci handbags, Taiwanese-made French faux couture, or Singapore-based XStreet knock-offs.

This means any lifting of prims, textures or scripts is no less damaging, but intellectual property is not being stolen--you still own the concepts. The idea was yours first, not theirs, no matter how widely they distribute their lifted content.

The DMCA is a hotly contested document (one of the most notable contests is between the DMCA and the Kapor-founded Electronic Freedom Foundation, amusingly enough) that was never intended to be used in the ways it's become standard, these days. It was originally designed as a stopgap until something better could be written; set into law to stop (mostly international) pirates from defeating DRM and other forms of digital copyright protections on DVDs, VHS tapes and CDs only.

In all the years since the DMCA first became law, it has done zero to defeat internet piracy, for all it's used all the time--both appropriately and inappropriately. And now it's become de rigeur to use it in world, because there really isn't anything that addresses the needs that the grid, and the internet at large, have developed at this point.

There are ten (actually eleven) big myths on copyright that need to be understood first, as well as a brief understanding of domestic copyright issues (and something of a brief sketch on the problematic nature of international copyright, as it stands).

And you might want to read through why the Electronic Freedom Foundation protests the DMCA.

There's a great "coders' rights FAQ; there's also a great section on bloggers' rights cases.

In short, though, if you've read through all that, and you still want to file a Cease and Desist letter using DMCA provisions, here's how. Here's another look on the process.

Basically, you'll need these things:

[full address (or as much of it as you can get) of the offending party and/or hosting service (in this case, the Labs)]

RE: DMCA Copyright Infringement Notice

Sent via Email and Fax

[the current date]

As required under Sections 512(c)(3) and 512(d)(3) of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (17 U.S.C. §§512(c)(3) and 512(d)(3)), we are instructed to place you on notice that:

1. [Your company name/avatar name/personal name (basically, whatever name you are doing business under in the grid)] is the exclusive owner of the copyrights in and to the [Your company name/business] website, artwork, and photographs appearing therein (singly and collectively, the "[Your company name/business] Images"); and

2. Utilizing the search query, ["whatever search term in world, or on Google, located the infringing business/competitor"] at [XStreet URL, Linden Labs SLUrl, or search finding], the following search results contain unauthorized copies of [Your company name/avatar name/personal name] Images or unauthorized derivative works of the [Your company name/avatar name/personal name] Images which infringe the [Your company name/avatar name/personal name] Images and the exclusive rights of the Owner:

[Infringing SLUrl, XStreet URL, or Google web page address here]

Infringing webpage contact info:

[(Basically, anything you can find on their external-to-SL dealings, their avatar or real name, their address if you can find or get it, and any relevant in-world shops, businesses, XStreet stores, or the like that you can manage to track down)]
[(phone number or fax number if you have it)]
[(email address is helpful too)]

Please immediately remove or disable all access to the Infringing Material.

The stolen images can be found:

[(SLUrl, XStreet store location, or external-to-world website information]

I have a good faith belief that use of the copyrighted materials described above as allegedly infringing is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law.

I swear, under penalty of perjury consistent with United States Code Title 17, Section 512, that the information in the notification is accurate and that I am the copyright owner or am authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.

[Your Signature]

[Your Name
Street Address
City, State, Country
Phone Number
[your email]
[any other SLUrl identifiers you wish to include]

And here's a fairly handy form letter to adapt if you've been challenged on DMCA provisions and you want to contest that.

And finally, one last link, to the group that's currently against the DMCA. It's a good idea to read through that.

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