[13:41] Csteph Submariner: Hi Emilly, just thought I'd let you know that I have /finally/ managed to get moddable non-scripted items for the soldier an nurses uniforms from my supplier! [it] was a bit like pulling teeth,but got there eventually!
[13:43] Csteph Submariner: BTW, there will be a cease-fire at the sim over the holidays and until the new year. High command of course are denying such a thing could happen, but it is rumoured that the guns will fall silent from next tuesday...
This is in reference to the War Poets exhibition, by the way--I had made a comment on the blog about the prevalence of resizing scripts in all the giveaway outfits, and Csteph Submariner moved heaven and earth to change that. It should be much easier to move, which means scripted events will go more smoothly, and--if you haven't gone to see it--it really is worth your time to go.
Now, then, in other news, there seems to be some small amount of in-world panic about the new edict from the Lindens. I thought I'd step aside from the planned second Lolita entry, to concentrate a bit on this.
The new plan won't work.
...oh, you want more than that? Okay. Please, allow me to translate from Lindenspeak for you:
1. Starting today, a small group of Resident content creators may use a new online form to request that Linden Lab remove content they believe infringes their copyrighted materials.
"You'll start to see odd things in a couple weeks. This is normal and expected. Don't worry."
2. The Residents may request that Linden Lab remove the content from a single location only, or also from mutiple inworld locations where Linden Lab is able to find additional copies of the item claimed to infringe.
"Don't worry when more odd things pop up. Things are fine."
3. Content that's removed as a result of the IP complaint will be replaced with generic placeholder items as follows:
"The placeholder items are, though generic, suitable for everyday use, wear, and common avatar interaction. There is no danger."
3.1. Textures, bodyparts, and clothing will be replaced with monochrome items that are the average color of the items they replace.
"You see? They'll be the same color. Hardly anyone will notice."
3.2. Animations will be replaced with a special rotating animation by Blue Linden.
"This is simple, functional, and low-lag. You'll barely notice it."
3.3. Sounds will be replaced with a new sound recording from Torley Linden.
"It'll be like a sitcom! That wacky sitcom with the zany characters who always have funny things go wrong! In a month, you'll laugh every time you hear it."
3.4. Objects will be replaced with a plywood ball that displays an IP notice when you click on it.
"Please don't confuse these with regular plywood balls you may already have in your inventory. If you rez out your plywood balls, and you click them, and you don't get the IP notice when you click on it, it's not one we've replaced. No need to panic."
3.5. More information on, and examples of, these replacements are provided in the FAQ's located here.
"Just click the link and you'll get much more understandable information in the form of pictures. We know you like those. Also, we misused an apostrophe, but we figure you don't read this anyway, and won't notice."
Let me make this really simple for everyone. This is what is going to happen:
Jane Azalee buys a dress--let's call it Midnight Sequin. The dress was made with infringing content. The original texture maker files against the dress retailer. Linden Labs steps in and replaces the infringing texture with...let's say a solid blue.
Now Jane is standing in her skybox, having changed into the dress, and--before it rezzes in--she ports to her favorite club. She rezzes in, the club rezzes in, and she realizes she's wearing an all-blue dress, not the Midnight Sequin dress she bought.
Now, obviously, this is far more public than what will likely happen, but everyone in the club will likely be thinking one of two things:
1. She couldn't have bought a better dress?
2. I heard about that, she stole something!
In the first case, well, it's understandable--people are judgmental, think and say mean things, this happens, it's human nature. Life goes on.
But in the second...see, that's the can of worms that the Labs are deliberately inflicting on the world.
First, Jane is not the thief. Unless she made the dress--which in this example, she didn't--she didn't take anything. Second, it's possible that the dressmaker wasn't even the thief--she or he could have found a pack of textures she liked, and never realized they were lifted.
The real thief? Is off somewhere converting Lindens to dollars. Possibly even gone entirely.
And let me say this again, because I'm using their vernacular--there's no theft here. People need to understand that, and they don't, or they outright refuse to understand that. The first is just ignorance, that can be worked around; the second is willful stupidity, and that's pretty much there for life.
Let me make this simple again.
Person A puts up an original painting on the web. Person B looks at this scan of an original painting. Person B then copies that painting to their computer.
This happens every day. Every single one of us has done this. If you are reading this, you have done this, no matter WHO YOU ARE.
It doesn't matter how much you swear you've never lifted any image; if you've seen it on your computer, to see that image your computer has downloaded it, and stored it in a temporary file. Every single image you see on the net has been downloaded and stored this way. (This is also why it's a good idea to dump your temporary files now and again.)
But let's say Person B is a bad person, or maybe, just doesn't understand copyright law. Person B downloads the image to their computer deliberately. Then that person uploads it to Second Life.
Person C is a friend of Person A. They email them saying, hey, this avatar is selling your stuph! So Person C logs in to SL (let's say, for convenience, Person C already has an account. Go them) and visits Person B's shop. Person C then reports Person B for copyright infringement.
And thus the image is protected, right? DMCA was filed, the image was taken down, in the parlance of the Lindens now, "replaced with a plywood ball"--it's gone.
Save for anyone who bought it, rezzed it out, and, for whatever reason, cammed in and photographed the picture, to download off-world.
Save for anyone who saw the original picture, and downloaded it to their computers.
Save for anyone--to take this to full ludicrous extreme--who saw it in the original gallery, say, in RL, and copied it to a sketchbook, to paint out later.
Copyright infringement happens. The only way to stop copyright infringement from happening, to protect implicitly your art and ideas, is to never show them to anyone else.
So never paint.
Never pen music.
Never play an instrument.
What a boring, senseless, tedious world that would be, virtual or not.
So what's the alternative?
Education. And part of that educational effort is, has to be, centered on the fact that "theft" will happen, will never stop, will never slow down, will never cease entirely. Part of that educational effort has to be the injunction to keep creating regardless; to never stop creating. Never give up. Never surrender.
(To use a catchphrase from a media production I do not own rights to. For example.)
"Where I steal an idea, I leave my knife." Michaelangelo said that, about sculpting. Everyone is influenced by everyone else. We are in a fluid system, we inspire each other, we dream, we invent, we share, we come up with new ideas. This is what's supposed to happen.
And yes, some people don't get it. Some people see "sharing" and hear "free". Some people hear "sample" and think "fine to resell". These people are not the majority, and they never will be.
The majority of people want to share, want to dream, want to invent along with you. The majority of people want to support art and artists, whatever realm they're in. The majority of people are not, to be blunt, dicks about the creative process.
But no one stands alone. There is no idea so shatteringly unique, that arose completely on its own, never shared, never influenced, by anyone else on the planet. If we know a language, we have shared with others. If we see anything, we have shared with others. If we hear anything, we have shared with others. If we touch anything, we have shared with others. If we taste anything, we have shared with others. If we smell anything, we have shared with others. It really is that simple.
What the Lindens propose? Will make instant community scapegoats of anyone who owns an animation, a gesture, an item of attire, a skin, a tattoo that uses textures, sounds, or animations that infringed on someone's copyright. Because people won't see Jane Azalee on the dance floor in her solid blue frock and think, "Damn, she got cheated."
They'll see her and think "Thief." They'll see her and think "Bad person." They'll see her and they'll withdraw.
Social pressure, man. It's instantaneous and frightening. And it won't be applied to the original infringer of copyright. It will be applied to Jane.
And all the other Janes out there. And that's why the new plan won't work.