Saturday, June 26, 2010

conversed so often: mute

[17:00] Adaarye Shikami: Sorry to bother you all with this spam - but I'd really appreciate it if you all would take a moment to read this and carefully consider what I've said and the requests I've made. This is an important issue and due to the circumstances, I feel the need to ask for the support of the community as a whole and to bring awareness of the plight that some in our community would love to put texture artists into. ♥

So I read the notecard included:

I have read some of the most disturbing things today posted by a, for the lack of a better term, freebie monger, in a venue meant for SL business folk. Why he/she is in that [part] of that venue I'm not certain. Apparently, this person has for TWO DAYS been preaching that texture artists are not entitled to the same rights as the rest of the content creators here in our fine community. I find this particularly disturbing.

Let me preface my next statement with *I support the builders who have granted me their patronage both in the short term and for years BUT I will NEVER allow an open ended license for my textures*. My ToS is what it is. My time is just as valuable as the next persons. I'd like for all of my valued customers to consider the time we ALL put into our creations, the overhead we pay, the cost of software and training. One should never discount the value of anyone's time. If a texture artists creations are fair game to be tossed from grid to grid, should a builder's creation then become full perm as well? To be copied and tossed about from grid to grid? In the same manner in which this person proposed [in a] merchant's venue no less. Does the fact that I buy a 10K prefab in SL automatically grant me the right to have it delivered to Inworldz or any other VW? I think not. I'd never expect it because that is WRONG. I don't have a problem paying for what I want/need and if I were to have issues with paying, it's my problem, not the creative community's problem.

When the query was made if this person would deliver his/her goods from grid to grid on demand or make his/her things full perm to be copied at will, he/she promptly blew smoke up our collective asses. So my proposition is unless ALL content creators are willing to give up their time to make full perm items that can be tranferred, copied, resold, abused, exploited at will, then don't buy into this dribble. I have done my best to bring my best to SL and have granted my customers a license to use my best inside Second Life.

So what I am asking for now is the support of the creative community to stamp out such cheap skate mentality and support your texture artists .. all of them. Please don't abuse us and let common sense rule and not freebie mentality. This I shouldn't have to pay and plain cheap skate mentality and way misguided sense of entitlement (Our sets cost like 50 cents to 4 dollars each?!!) needs to stop. I would also request your support and well wishes as we EXPAND into another VW and above all, respect our time and effort.

/rant and as always *hugz* and thank you for your support.

I find this interesting, especially on the heels of the Prim Perfect post I quoted yesterday. It's quite the emotional plea, and it's not even saying anything I particularly disagree with; as a texture artist myself, I would prefer my creations be used to build with, not to be sold by someone else for profit; and while I don't have a specific "personal ToS" I give out with my textures (haven't decided if one is needed yet), the concept generally is: Use what we make to better your builds. Don't sell the textures independently. No selling on other grids.

That seems fairly basic, yes?

But now I'm thinking, particularly in light of the comments on the Prim Perfect blog (which I'll get to in a moment); where was Miss Shikami when this went down? What "freebie-monger" was espousing the belief set that so offended her? And what exactly was said? We have the full measure of her offended words, yes; but we don't have what so offended her. And speculation in such waters is never a good thing.

But let's go back to the comments on the Prim Perfect blog. One of the commenters on the blog, Troy, said:

Digital music, digital movies, and digital 3D models can all be copied easily and perfectly (if not legally), so you’d think that all the creators would have stopped creating by now. Yet they haven’t. I wonder why not.

Prim Perfect replied:

Troy – in the cases you cite, the intellectual property rights belong to or are protected by large corporations who have the power to go after infringers hard. And they do.

[...] A new CD by Cold Play is ripped off. The new Peter Jackson movie is pirated. Chris Martin and Peter Jackson are insulated from the theft by the companies that surround them. They have every encouragement to go on creating.

Um, not always. In a very famous recent case, Peter Jackson turned down the direction of the upcoming film, The Hobbit because there were problems with how he and his people were paid from the last three Lord of the Rings films. According to New Line, they don't seem to get the point that 'creative accounting' that results in not paying directors, actors, writers and producers for their work will result in those selfsame directors, actors, writers and producers not working for them in future.

Jackson doesn't even seem particularly emotional about it; his stance is clear. He wants the court case settled, for or against him, on the merits of his claims; he's even willing to lose, if that's what the court findings deliver. But New Line is pushing--and I suppose, in their view, that's the "right" way to do things; if they get Jackson et al to agree to bind the litigation to the new film, then they're out of the court drama and they get Jackson to direct. Win-win for them.

How, in all of this, is Jackson being "protected by large corporations"? I'd rather think he's being financially damaged by large corporations, frankly.

Both OKGo and Amanda Palmer left their record labels because the strictures their labels were putting on them were untenable. Who Killed Amanda Palmer as an album has actually been tracked out on the profit margins; though there were sales, even with that label's slipshod advertising, nothing made its way to Palmer because it just didn't sell "well enough". The "large corporation" got paid; yet Palmer was "protected" from the profits of her own intellectual property.

More to the point though, the DMCA itself was never intended to be used in a small claims sense. It was designed from the outset to apply to those selfsame "large corporations" on major hacks of their work; 180,000 copies of a popular film ripped and resold in China, for instance. It's not even that those ripped copies didn't start out life as a legally bought one; in nearly every case, they have, so that those selfsame rippers can get a digitally perfect copy in the first place.

That it's cumbersome, that it's arcane, that it's difficult to figure out is part of the why it was created; it is assumed that anyone who wants to correctly file a DMCA has filed one before, or has had clients that have, in the case of the law firms who usually file DMCA cease-and-desist letters. At this point, they've done it a thousand times, it's point and click. It's routine. It's rote.

Not so for the "small scale business operations" on SL; and this is not the fault of the DMCA, because it was written with very specific end goals in mind. But in reality, in real application, if someone fills in a line wrong, doesn't fill in exactly, word for word, what the specific and specifically spelled out products were that violated a creator's IP...Linden Labs not only won't act, but by the provisions of the DMCA they cannot act. If they don't have things specifically spelled out, they can't ban those things. By law.

I am not trying to diminish Maxwell Graf's loss in any way. But do we know, with no shadow of any doubt, that Graf's DMCA was filed absolutely accurately? He does not show us the documentation; we are left to assume that he did turn it in accurately. And six days after he filed his claim--after a 30% staff reduction on the part of Linden Labs, after the leadership position of M Linden was overturned, after the removals team was gutted...six days after all of that, action was still not taken.

I think, in this instance, we have to cut the Labs some slack. While the form letter is vague and, by its nature, insulting, I think Mr. Graf was lucky to hear anything back. Major turmoil behind the scenes in any organization, and that organization suffers. That he heard back at all was a positive sign.

How'ver, by the same extension, and in all fairness--when he heard back, he was told the problem was resolved. Mr. skatman Shelman is still in Search. But his business, the terrifically misspelled "Sucubos Infernaty" is now a private home.

[16:51] Emilly Orr: Ah. Do you know where the business moved to?
[16:51] Emilly's Google Translator: Azul Lawksley=>Ah. ¿Sabes dónde está el negocio se trasladó a?
[16:52] Azul Lawksley: que negocio buscas
[16:52] Azul Lawksley: ?

[16:52] Emilly's Google Translator: Azul Lawksley:they're business

That seems to be that.

The only other store-related link in Shelman's picks led me to the Dracul sim, which seems to be an immersive RP area. While there are items that look like Mr. Graf's work, they also say they're Maxwell Graf's work; not imported and sold by someone else, and there's no vendor here to buy anything of Mr. Shelman's, anyway.

The other avatar mentioned, Mr. Skatman Edelman, seems to be Polynesian, not French, and in any case, has no picks or other mentions in his profile. So whatever the Lindens did, or did not do, prior to sending that letter, they seem now to have now done...or, at least, on the surface, from a quick port around, they seem to have removed the items in question.

In fact, the only thing I've found even built by Shelman at all is slab-built, and mostly from megaprims, in Nosferatu. It's not in the least hacked work, and it looks like it.

[Later insert: I'm very wrong. I ported in, looked around, scanned objects...I'm wondering now if the Linden who was sent out did the same thing, because up in the sky, in the half-dome, nothing's made by Graf. But downstairs, in the actual Vamps' Nest RP area, I would bet my life that several bridges, flame columns, homes, shops, firepits, and assorted other items are made by Graf...but they claim to be built by Shelman. So there's still work to be done, Lindens--you might want to get on that.]

From Cheryl Spectre comes shaky news for future titles in Octoberville:

Hey guys! I know everyone hates viewer 2.. Im withya on that.. but it has one capability we have incorporated heavily into this years OV and thats web prim capability. Viewer 2 will be REQUIRED to complete OV this year.. so you may want to start getting used to it before October.

How much do I hate viewer 2? A LOT. Do I hate it enough to prevent my gaining this year's title, which would mean three consecutive completions of the hunt?

'm having to think on that.

This just kills me--I realize I'm far from the target market for smart phone makers, but seriously--it's still a phone. Which means it must be capable of use as--A PHONE. This is a difficult concept?

Man, by the time I'm ready to get a cell phone I'm going to have to do a ton of background research, because seriously--I never thought the one thing I'd have to make sure, for any cell phone purchase, was that it could make and receive calls!

Finally, for every ten thousand spam emails sent to Chipotle, they'll make a donation of $10,000 to a charitable organization designed to make students' school lunches healthier.

Which is a great idea, soon are they going to go broke at this rate? I receive about 500 pieces of spam every week. If I forward all of those to Chipotle's specially-set-up email box, that's 3,500 just from me alone--each and every week.

How soon before Chipotle's desire for helping out bankrupts them?


Anonymous said...

For my part, I am perfectly fine with anybody who owns one of my T-shirts in SL copying it to another grid for their own personal use. I've been meaning to make the textures available for just that purpose, but it would take time, and too many other projects have priority. But if anybody's taken the initiative to rip 'em for that purpose themselves, that's totally cool.

For that matter, in the case of the full-perm freebie shirts, as long as they attribute them to me as creator and don't profit off them, they're welcome to hand them out on any other grids they please.

I consider both of these to be noncontroversial positions.

Emilly Orr said...

I think so, too.

But that's your choice, too--you have the freedom, as the creator of the textures--and the objects--to decide whether they are open, or bound to one grid.

Anonymous said...

Oh, re: Chipotle, their site specifies that they'll donate up to $50,000; the avowed goal is to hit 500,000 pieces of spam forwarded. (As I type this, the total is 63,642, for a donation of $6,364.)

Emilly Orr said...

A-hah! Now, see, when I first checked out that link, they didn't say that...Good for them. A sizeable donation, but they won't lose everything.