Tuesday, July 13, 2010

these padded walls and TV screens, sometimes they make me want to scream

[***WARNING*** Comments on this post are being monitored, and not by me. If you are a member of the ADA Texture group on InWorldz--whatever name it's going by this second--then you may be evicted from the group due to Adaarye Shikami's noting of your name as commenter here. If you feel the urge to say something anyway, I would recommend you post anonymously. I will remove my restrictions on anonymous posting after I update this and the current post.]

Got a notecard from Adaarye Shikami when I logged onto the grid this afternoon. It was entitled "I mean really is $1.50 to $3.00 USD enough for all this?"

I quote:

Due to the migration of many to Inworldz, we have deemed it necessary to emphasize our licensing agreement. Our license is legal and very enforceable.

We do NOT offer an extended license to Inworldz, real life, websites, scrapbooking, or any other place/use outside of Second Life. We have changed our ToS to include that textures may no longer be uploaded to your PC for modification due to the fact that many seem to accept this as an excuse to use the textures on clothing in and on other grids.


Now, I won't lie; for furniture, I very nearly exclusively use Twisted Thorn Textures, and the furniture sets have that aren't from that design house, I've either had long before I found them, or made my own. Same thing's nearly true for building textures though, me being me, I have a ton of building textures from a great many makers of sculpts and flat building elements. What I need--that Twisted Thorn doesn't give me, though, are inventive fabrics (barring their lovely fabric sets, elegantly shaded and detailed); I'm talking more fun spring prints, calicos, gingham, simple things--and clothing templates.

ADA Textures doesn't do clothing templates; so if they're discontinuing their fabric line, I have little reason to go there anymore. But this seemed such an odd position to take, so I read on.

You may no longer upload for any purpose at all any ADA Texture, particularly fabric, to your computer for purposes of making clothing or anything else. If you feel you need to download the fabric to modify or add it to your clothing creations, then you must submit a notecard to Adaarye Shikami and be dispensed a special license in which you state you understand the terms of the standard ToS in that you may NOT use the clothing made with ADA Textures on another grid, or out of Second Life for any reason whatsoever unless you've purchased an extended license to do so.

Now, I realize that, in the larger sense, I pay more for a milkshake most places than I pay for texture packs at ADA, or really, any texture shop. I understand that SL residents, including me, have an overly miniaturized sense of economic standing. Two thousand Lindens isn't even a lunch out in most cities; yet two thousand Lindens still seems, to many of us, an expensive item.

But still, this seemed to imply that I'd have to go through and, for every set of fabrics I had from ADA, I would now have to acquire an additional specific license--in other words, essentially, I'm paying double for each of her textures? So, I thought I'd drop her that notecard, because I wanted to make sure this is what she meant. And I pulled up her profile to do so. Looking through her picks for specifics (because yes, I admit to slight confusion between "submit a notecard to Adaarye Shikami" and "Notecards only to Toni Friller for bonafide sales issues or product inquiry") is when I saw this:

We DO not offer an extended license as we have a presence in Inworldz. We promise we won't ask for a free copy of your builds for Inworldz if you don't ask for a free license to use our textures. A Boycott Wall of Shame for violators will be at Builders Paradise in Inworldz.

Okay, that's fine, a lot of folks have left SL, and using Second Inventory and other tools, have brought products bought here, to other grids. And creators here have a problem with that. I understand that. But this seemed surreal and ridiculous. Apparently there's a big problem with folks importing things, texture-wise, into InWorldz? Yet more reason not to go there. But then she went overboard:

Don't blame the Lindens for the downfall of the Second Life economy. Blame the sales groups and the Lucky Chairs and the Mania Boards and all the rest of the freebie disease infesting our economy. Think about it. Apply simple principles of economics, ie supply and demand, to the current situation. Look beyond individual greed that is readily assigned to anyone who dares to want to actually make money here. Remember, you get what you pay for and you reap what you sew. It's your world. Enjoy it while you can because hey .. the sky *is* falling. It's only a matter of time before SL devours itself. The above mentioned pocks on SL's hiney are like cancers and they will eat SL from the inside out. It's already happening. Unless LL can turn things around somehow? ... prepare to move on. The end of days is upon us.

Okay, I, too, think SL is going downhill, but to specifically blame the Lucky Chairs, the Midnight Manias, and sales--what she calls the "freebie disease"--for SL's steep dive on fire? Really? She's not thinking of blaming, oh, say, copyright infringement, resellers grabbing up infringing everything and boxing it and putting it on XStreet for quick sales for cheap? She's not, in fact, blaming the management behind XStreet (now "SL Marketplace", which is still riddled with infringing content) for their zero clue policy-making, and their scattershot enforcement of their own stated rules? She has no intention of blaming the Cult of the Quick Buck who makes money on SL by copyright infringement, doesn't put one dime of it back into the system, gets banned and comes right the hell back the next day with more fake information, reselling the same ripped everything?

More than that, she's not once considering the Labs buggered search for more than three months, have spent two years creating a wasteland of their own product by inefficient and psychotic management techniques, ignored most of their clients, refused to fix the things that were broken, and badly so, in favor of adding voice and sparkly new viewers, and then fired everyone? She doesn't think any of that had an impact on sales, just Midnight Manias and freebie hunters?

This is short-sighted in the extreme. She's lost her mind.

We are not interested in being part of any sales group. Sales groups, Mania Boards, and Lucky Chair groups damage the SL economy and may continue to do so beyond repair, in which case, it's been great fun sharing a world with most of you *huggles* and may we meet in the next VW frontier. We will sell our products on their own merit. We do not need cheap gimmicks. Gimmicky devaluing sales ploys only accomplish training our customers to only buy our things when they are marked down to a ridiculously low price. We will run our own sales for our customers from time to time. We have ended all lucky chairs and prizes for picks across the sim as these are on their way out of SL anyway along with Mania Boards (halleluejah).

Midnight Mania boards are being banned by the Labs? When did this happen? And, maybe this is due to being part of this 'freebie disease' she seems to loathe so bitterly, but really, it's all I can do to scramble to pay rent some months; I dole out what I have left to selected merchants I like to support, and textures for my own creations--but there are so many really good creative types on SL. So I watch for sales. I watch for half-off offers. I watch for buy one/get one opportunities. And I do the same thing in RL.

Back to her notecard:

We will also offer an extended license for anyone who owns a license in Second Life for FABRIC ONLY, into Inworldz or any other grid as we won't be offering the fabric anymore. This will be done on a case by case situation. Please forward me a notecard with the items you have and we will discuss a fair arrangement for all. There will be no gouging, but really, clothing makers should consider the fact that their building brethren don't mind abiding by the licensing we have. It's beyond me how anyone in business can begrudge a creator the minimal cost, all less than 3 bucks a set of fabric, to buy a license on another grid, but it would not be constructive for me to voice my opinions about that in this [announcement].

Save, in the notecard, from the title on down, she has, and her profile makes no bones about how she feels about people who adore promotional items, lucky chairs, sales, specials, and Midnight Mania click-boards. And I am definitely on that list. I am wholly unable to support any company, artist or designer who, I feel sure, would kick me out of her store if I walked in with a 'lucky group' tag.

More to the point, I know that copyright infringement is rife on OpenSims and InWorldz; I've heard tales already. But I cannot believe that the bulk of people who buy her textures are buying them with the sole intent to drag them to another grid and set up shop there. It's just too much work. They're far more likely to buy textures, then repackage them here--and most thieves repackage things stupidly, and they are fairly easily caught. Again, she's making the dangerous assumption that people who build homes and objects are inherently more honest and upright than people who build clothing.

Ask Maxwell Graf how honest he thinks frockmakers are, over furniture/home/building/sculpt resellers are. He killed an entire sim because of one infringer, who three weeks after his complaint to the labs, was still in operation. But sure, we're the bad guys because we like to make prim skirts.

People seem to forget that buying a set of textures does not include the textures themselves. It includes the LICENSE to use those textures per the terms of service, most of which are dynamic documents as denoted in the document itself. The TOS is legal and binding as by the act of buying the textures is agreement to the ToS. Ignorance is no excuse.

I've read the TOS. I've even read her TOS. And I don't agree with her position. Yes, when buying textures, one is agreeing not to upload them to other grids; to fling them far and wide and thus devalue the work put in, as well as damage the ability of that designer to gain further lucrative income from that product; fine, I agree with that.

But to tell me, bald-faced, that I don't own the textures, just the dynamic licensing of them? That I can't take any texture I have legally purchased, with--at least until her changes--full permissions--and download it to make alterations for the purposes of manufacture, and then reload my finished item? That's utter delusion, that is. I can't--and I won't, and I never have--resold any textures bought from others as textures, but reselling what I make into frocks, jackets, stockings? I've never even patterned a series of tops, and released the templates! I just do it for complete outfits, or at the least separates, fully made on system layers.

Isn't that the whole point of buying fabric textures in the first place? Hells, isn't that the whole point of making my own textures?? This can't be a legally binding clause.

Mid-way through the card, there was an embedded card containing her "full TOS", so I pulled that up (I'm not going to post the whole thing, just excerpts; this is getting rather long) as well:

ADA Fine Textures & T&A Sculpts and Textures End User Agreement/Texture Usage License

You may no longer upload for any purpose at all any ADA Texture to your computer for purposes of making clothing or anything else. If you feel you need to do this, then you just submit a notecard to ADA and be dispensed a special license in which you state you understand the terms of the standard ToS in that you may NOT use the clothing made with ADA Textures on another grid, or out of Second Life for any reason whatsoever.

Yeah. I get it. You've been dealing with idiots. Fine. Your first mistake, Miss Shikami, is assuming that everyone has criminal intent. Many of us--who have been completely, transparently honest with texture makers as to what we intend to do with their textures, so we know we are not in violation--truly do not appreciate being treated as a) five-year-olds with a Linden balance and b) thieves just waiting for you to turn your back. It's irritating, it's frustrating, and I'll go on record to say this--it's bad business, start to finish.

These textures are offered as full permission for the users convenience and for use on items that may be resold in Second Life. Full permissions does not grant the buyer the right to sell, modify, or redistribute these textures in any way other than as applications to their own prim creation in Second Life.

Note the utter myopic insistence on exactly how her textures can be used, here: she's saying, even for those textures to which I may have use rights, due to purchase, I cannot use them on system layers for anything. They are now only, by the terms of her TOS, for use on prim objects alone; yet, by the first paragraph, I am disallowed even exporting them for purposes of prim texturing! So essentially, I can make zero changes to any of her textures for any reason whatsoever.

Hey--it's her store, she's welcome to be this restrictive; I'm just saying she's not going to end up on any best-of lists in SL, because if we're sold full textures--be those concrete, elk hide, painted wood, or brocade silk--then we need to utilize those full permissions--including the ability to download them to our systems and alter them at need. That's what full permissions means. Of course it doesn't mean once bought, I have the right to take them anywhere I go--they are for use for SL products only. But if I can't download it, change what I need, pattern my clothing, ensure that what I want the top to look like matches the prim parts I can change, for instance--there's no point in buying those textures. Period.

These textures are not to be uploaded into other virtual worlds via Second Inventory due to the fact that my name is ripped from them and replaced with the uploaders name as creator. This is an IP infringement concern.

And I get that, too, and I understand that not everyone shares my ethics on uploading altered textures. I'll even share a personal case in point: I own a set of carved wood textures that Nighty Goodspeed made (during her stint as a texture artist at TRU Textures), that has my name as creator. Why do I have these? Because I exported every texture in one set of her Carved Ornamental Panels set when I had a much slower computer; each one of those textures started out as 1024x1024, and I altered them (size alone) to 512x512. I then imported those panels back in.

How'ver, each of those panels that bears my name as creator? Is kept in the same folder as the boxed originals, and the Description field says Original by Nighty Goodspeed @ TRU; resized by Emilly Orr. Even though they will stay in my inventory, and I uploaded them, I count them as Nighty Goodspeed's work, and I doubt she'd disagree.

Now, does everyone do this? No. Does everyone talk to the designers at texture houses, and clear permissions (like I did with LillyBeth Filth of TRU, as the overarching 'owner' of those textures at the time)? Of course not. Because people, by and large, don't think these things through, and because "it's just pixels". If it's not "real"--using whatever definitions of "real" they use--then it doesn't matter to them; it's "free", they can use it "however they want"--it's a (slight) refinement of "I found it on the internet".

Barring these idiots, how'ver, not all of us are grubby little conscienceless misanthropes who thrive on causing controversy and cashing out. Some of us have integrity. And painting everyone with the same brush results in a great many people upset over the paint job.

Ownership Explained:
Concept of Ownership: You (the licensee) are purchasing the legal right (or license) to use ADA or TRU ADA textures in accordance with the [EULA] they are sold with.
Only the original artist can claim ownership. Much like purchasing a DVD or music CD allows you to enjoy and use the CD, you do not own it in the sense you may share/distribute/sell copies of it to other people.


I've left the ADA Texture group. But much more of this, and I'll end up sequestering, and eventually deleting, every texture I have that Miss Shikami's made, just like Miss Gallindo's. And I'd hate to do that, because I just bought a lovely windowbox/window sculpt set; I had every intention of using those to create a set of skyboxen for sale. As I am, at least before this date, allowed to.

But I would much rather not worry about whether or not I can export one particular texture over another particular texture from the same maker; and by the same extension, I'd rather not worry about whether or not I can export textures at all from X maker--to cut, to age, to pattern, to shadow, lighten or darken--no. Just no. It's hard enough being a creator on SL; and I am one of the ones who tries scrupulously to follow by given rules.

Which, sure, in the end, does mean that, if I decide to delete everything made by ADA, then I'm out all the money I paid her for those sculpt sets and those texture packs.

But hey, as she said--why have all this stress over the price of a lunch out? It's not like I wasted thousands of Lindens buying now, completely non-functional textures from her.

No, that would be Twisted Thorn, and I don't consider that a waste, because Miss Goodspeed is still sane. Blessing, that; I think all of us in her group would lose our minds if she suddenly said we couldn't export out anything we had legally purchased for clothing and object creation...

...and frankly, I think it's rather ridiculous to expect people to buy "full permission" textures that we can't export, play with, cut down, resequence, tint, shade, age, tatter--whatever it is that we need to do because we needed full-perm textures to create things. It hobbles the creative impulse entirely. It increases paranoia, doubt and fear. It is a bad thing to do, if that hasn't become manifestly clear by now.

And no. I refuse. They are more than welcome to consider everyone who stops on their shores with a long suspicious eye; I know I won't be there. I would rather spend my Lindens on textures that the creators make with joy, because they want to increase the possibility for creation in the world. I would rather spend my Lindens and support people who are in it because they love design, not because they hate their customers.

In short, Miss Shikami, though this is far from being short: you've lost a customer who liked your work. And while I was never dropping handy six-thousand-Linden chunks on your virtual products, what if you've irritated someone who had been? Or a group of creators who now decide not to shop at your store again?

Paint us all as thieves, Miss Shikami, you won't get an escalation of thievery; you'll get a decrease in sales. That's virtually guaranteed, even in a virtual world.

23 comments:

Lalo Telling said...

Synchronicity... I was at ADA's new store in InWorldz yesterday. Got some cattails for a wetlands on my sim; my gf bought a 2-prim sculpty tree kit. Justified rant aside, Miss Emilly, I don't think I'll be avoiding ADA's InWorldz store if what they have is just the right thing. On the other hand, I won't forget this post ;)

The ethics of texture transfer between worlds are thorny and entangled at best. Can I know that all of the "10,000 Full Perm Textures" I picked up at a freebie mall (which may not even exist any more) were not ripped from someone's business venture? Impossible! Can I have a twinge of guilt during the process of "save texture as..." to my hard drive in order to upload it to another grid to re-texture a building I am sole creator of, because the currently "legal" viewers force that workaround? Yes, I can, and sometimes do.

But... do I worry about being DMCA'd by someone who claims to be the originator of those textures -- that is, the photographer who recorded a stone wall, even though the actual creator was an anonymous mason from 400 years ago? To be blunt: shit, no.

Emilly Orr said...

Part of what drew me towards ADA in the first place was their marvelous plant textures. They also have a gorgeous litle store, and--whether they created everything for that store or not, I think it makes an impression that someone cares enough to make shopping enjoyable.

And I think they're taking a good step forward in seeing a problem with InWorldz uploads of their textures, and setting up a store there. I support that entirely.

But refusing to authorize texture exports for their own goods, on SL? That just makes no sense; that hurts creators, that hurts their own sales. And having to buy a separate license to "authorise" my exporting of their textures--which is legal according to Linden Labs' ToS--for each and every separate texture? And there's the implication they expect this to be retroactive?

No. Just no. They cannot realistically, legally, or ethically expect that. It's insane.

(And you're right on that last point--if I take a camera out, and photograph all angles of a specific building, and upload those angles--I haven't created the building. I have uploaded photographic textures. Now, if I hand-paint, hand-pixel something? Yes, that's definitely original work. Which I am still sending out full perms, with or without a ToS voucher.)

Sphynx Soleil said...

Good grief! I'm so glad I do most of my shopping at Nighty's...

Emilly Orr said...

*nodnods*

I'm still grateful and very thankful you told me about Twisted, she has a wonderful team working for her. But I do keep in touch with several other places, and ADA just went off the list.

Rhianon Jameson said...

Excellent rant. :) Blaming discounting, by the way, is nuts; I agree with you entirely there. It's a form of price discrimination, to be sure, but price discrimination, despite its name, is really a good thing.

But on to the real reason for the comment: "Remember, you get what you pay for and you reap what you sew." Was that (a) a most amusing transcription typo, (b) a most amusing misunderstanding of an idiom by the original author (whom you were quoting), or (c) an intentional and very funny pun on the part of M. Shikami, given the context (textures used for fabric)?

In any event, I was amused.

Emilly Orr said...

I speak to a lot of merchants on my way through the grid. Never very long, mind you, and I don't do it for name-dropping reasons: I just like to know what's going on, and I'm friendly. But I've heard on more than one occasion that people have sales because it does get people looking at them again. One tosses a steep price discount about every two months on one item in one particular shade; usually it's an item that's been out a while, and--for that time--he makes more sales of that one item than he makes having the item up on his store walls. Another says sure, she stresses over turning out a L$25 item every week, and sure, there are people coming to her store who never buy another thing, just that--but, she says, they buy that, and they buy that nearly every week, and they keep coming back, and those were sales she wouldn't have had otherwise.

Or take me, for instance--to this day, I've sold exactly two copies of the full set of madras cloth textures I made; but, for six months there (until the Lindens declared we'd have to start paying for freebie items posted to XStreet), I was actually paying rent just by selling one box that had two Caledon-tinted madras cloth textures as a "sample" for how the rest of the set looked.

For the typo...I did agonize a bit over that one. It's not a flaw in transcription, it's in the original notecard. And I truly believe she had no clue that she sent out such a dementedly amusing pun. It's definitely option B.

But yes, had she done that intentionally? It would have been quite clever. Thankfully, it's funny either way. :)

Sphynx Soleil said...

When you get a chance, drop me a list sometime of other places you go to for textures?

Magdalena Kamenev said...

just like Miss Gallindo's

Can the backstory be shared?

Emilly Orr said...

Sure, I've just not done it to date, because I was still in Penzance. We've sold off both parcels, though, so it truly doesn't matter.

Miss Penelope Gallindo built Penzance. She spent most of the time building on the Gaiety--which, don't get me wrong, is a crowning achievement. But as a result, some of her other buildings were a bit--rushed, let's say. That level of ultimate care and craft was not taken.

When we acquired the shop parcel across from the theatre, we noticed that there was a patch of very bad flicker on the ceiling of the store. We contacted Miss Gallindo, who'd built Savoy Row, along with the rest of Penzance, and she said something about she didn't own the structure, now, we'd have to talk to Des. We mentioned it to Des, and he said while he owned the building, he didn't have the ability to mod things.

In the meantime, we were noticing other flaws in the structure. Mr. Allen put up bay windows, to more effectively showcase products, and move attention away from the flaws. At the time it was still possible to access the UUIDs of textures not owned, and use them on builds. He did this to match the exterior around the bay windows. I--thinking naively that she had offered the store textures up in her shop--went off to find them and buy them.

While I was gone, Miss Gallindo came over to where Mr. Allen was building, and began railing at him for texture theft. He said that yes, while he had used the exterior's UUID to acquire the texture, he was doing it to conform to the look of the building, and he could absolutely change it back. She passed him the exterior of the structure, and told him he had permission to use that texture. He thanked her, and life went on.

Emilly Orr said...

Unfortunately, she began to tell everyone else--including other historical sim owners--that Mr. Allen couldn't be trusted, that he was a base thief, that he had violated her trust, and to ban him from their sims. The sim bans started, along with an incredible amount of hostility, both in Penzance and out of it.

While this was going on, and the rumors were spreading, we had decided that since Des said he couldn't help us--and was too busy most of the time to sit around and tweak someone else's structure--and Miss Gallindo refused because of 'architectural purity' or something--that we had no recourse but to begin primming over the bad patch of flicker. This eventually grew into shadowing and aging the main floor, the downstairs walls, the entirety of the ceiling, as well as adding a functional second floor. The bays stayed, and at this point, the situation was actively hostile between Mr. Allen, Miss Gallindo and myself.

Emilly Orr said...

Eventually, things culminated in a blow-out at the arrival of a January store event--Miss Gallindo protested our restructuring of the home parcel, protested our restructuring of our store parcel, and began showing up within talking range of both home and store, but never saying a word TO us. This was unnerving, but not something I felt we should AR for; however, we did ask for external verification from an EM as to the provisions of our--might I add, temporary--celebration tower for the weekend store event.

This started a chain of conflagrations that ended up with that particular EM screaming at me in IMs, Miss Gallindo playing the poor injured damsel, beset by miscreants card a rather insane amount, a drop in total sales by 40% (and verification from several sources that at this point, it was almost an 'open secret' that Mr. Allen had all but eaten babies in front of swooning maids, and needed to be drummed out of SL entirely, posthaste).

At this point a staggering offer reached me to sell the home parcel. Considering Miss Gallindo had, at that point, converted the paving in front of my home, along with converting reserved Commonwealth land to a store parcel for herself, we felt incredibly hemmed in and wary of her motives. I sold off the home parcel, and we did everything we could to pull out of Penzance, returning only to put out new product or answer product questions.

About eighteen months later, I decided that it was somewhat ridiculous to own a store that I felt I couldn't enter, so I offered that up for sale. Two months later, it sold, to a newcomer to Caledon, who sold it about a month after that to someone else.

Emilly Orr said...

Now, time having long since passed for most of this, I can reflect (somewhat) rationally on the events that took place.

* Did Mr. Allen lift the original texture for the exterior of the store? Yes, partially at my urging, because I thought (wrongly) that she sold her Penzance textures in her texture shop.

* Did Miss Gallindo then give Mr. Allen the full legal right to use that texture, while Mr. Allen apologized for the initial violation of her trust? Yes, and we have logs to prove this.

* Did Miss Gallindo then engage in what became, to all intents and purposes, a smear campaign against Mr. Allen, resulting in loss of income, tarnishing of reputation, and the feeling that both of us had become personae non grata on many sims? Yes, but as that's so tenuous, neither of us felt we could, ethically, file an AR against her for her actions. Though I did keep Des informed.

* Did Miss Gallindo put Mr. Adzer Thorne up to offering said staggering amount to me for sale of the home parcel, after lodging several complaints against us for "non-period" decorations in our store? That, with the fullness of time, I think is honestly no, though in the steeping paranoia OF those months, I felt sure of it.

I still adore Penzance. While it does have architectural flaws--and, believe me, it does have architectural flaws--it still remarkably preserves the 'seaside modern town' effect I truly think she was going for--and 'modern' in this sense was as seen through Victorian eyes. How'ver, the behavior of Miss Gallindo, Mr. Thorne, the EM who refused to help us, and at least two sim managers who heard the rumors and believed implicitly that Mr. Allen was an evil reprobate with intention to harm anyone and anything he laid pixel eyes upon...that cannot be discounted, either. It became a completely untenable situation, and led directly to the selling off of both parcels, and where we are now, as far as business matters.

Rachel Boram said...

Greetings Emilly!

I too received the same note/rant from ADA. Honestly as a customer who had just asked a simple question (may I use textures from your store on my builds in Inworldz, I was completely blown away by her reply. I mean DANG I had just made a significant project based on a texture box from ADA. I've now wasted my time building something that isn't 100% mine...just Dang...ok - gonna have to vent it on my blog too.

75% of the texture makers I've asked have said - sure - no problem - you've already bought them. Whew - thank goodness. Every single texture (and sculpty) maker I've asked, I've documented their replies on a spreadsheet.

If only there was a group for builders to share their supplier lists with in Inworldz. Are we all so worried about the bottom dollar that we won't share this information? Dang, we need a builder's guild in sl and inwz that we can use to help each other. In fact - give me 24 hrs and I'll be happy to make the groups in both worlds.
*Personally and professionally, I will only purchase from vendors who "aren't afraid of crossing the railroad tracks". At some point purchasing power is the only voice we have to make a difference. Ok, enough rants from me - :)

lefemme said...

This is way too long for me to sit here and read carefully but I read some of it.

I totally agree with the position that this person has completely lost her mind, forgets simple TOS rules..."A Boycott Wall of Shame for violators will be at Builders Paradise in Inworldz" .. UhhMm? Isn't that defamation? Isn't that a AR, if not banning offense?

She finds all sorts of reasons to blame other people for loss of sales, yes there are many reasons, but the biggest one of all in my mind is, the real life economy is bad, we're in an economic depression, and the virtual economy will suffer doubly so.

I think this person thinks so highly of herself that people can't find someone else who can make textures, or even make them themselves, like I plan to do.

Lastly, our friend Adaarye complains that people steal and modify her textures. I wonder if she has stooped to downloading found images on the web? Scanned them from things she has on her shelf like books or calendars, or if she completely and 100% generated them in her art program or hand created, painted or photographed them herself? I wonder if other people have done exactly the same?

gaiuscaesar71 said...

"We are not interested in being part of any sales group. Sales groups, Mania Boards, and Lucky Chair groups damage the SL economy and may continue to do so beyond repair, in which case, it's been great fun sharing a world with most of you *huggles* and may we meet in the next VW frontier. We will sell our products on their own merit. We do not need cheap gimmicks. Gimmicky devaluing sales ploys only accomplish training our customers to only buy our things when they are marked down to a ridiculously low price. We will run our own sales for our customers from time to time. We have ended all lucky chairs and prizes for picks across the sim as these are on their way out of SL anyway along with Mania Boards (halleluejah)."

I read all the drivel that has been spewed. When it comes to Adaarye little surprises my anymore. So she doesn't like the idea of free in any sense? OKAY I get that!

Though it's fine then for her to sell her "new" wares in IW at such ridicules prices just to make a statement, "Because she can". I'd accept that too. IF she wasn't using another tactic along side it.

Namely making ALMOST the exact same product as creators she's known to hate. Just in hopes that people will buy hers? Give me a break.

Anyone of course is welcome to buy where they like. Though when it comes to my I'z I'll be spending them else where. Most likely at all her hated competition! Why? Because I can. :)

Have a good day!

Emilly Orr said...

Ack, and I'm now up to three unanswered comments on this!

Rachel,

"If only there was a group for builders to share their supplier lists with in Inworldz."

Make one. Can you make groups in InWorldz? Sure, you'd have to nominate people to help run it, it would be a lot of work, but people are slowly starting to realize InWorldz is growing, and might become a valid secondary market in time.

As far as a builders' guild in SL...the closest two things I've found are the Builders' Brewery group, and the Twisted Thorn Textures group. Both encourage learning techniques, share tips, and even better, allow mention of other stores that might have X texture--something which is fairly unheard of in other texture groups.

Emilly Orr said...

Lefemme,

"She finds all sorts of reasons to blame other people for loss of sales, yes there are many reasons, but the biggest one of all in my mind is, the real life economy is bad, we're in an economic depression, and the virtual economy will suffer doubly so."

Exactly. Second Life--and every other virtual world, including MMORPGs--are luxury spaces. When life comes down to balancing necessities, the luxuries last for a bit, out of habit, or out of desire for better (even better virtual) lives; but far too soon, even they fade in favor of paying rent; buying food; holding down a job.

This goes double if the job goes away; the home or apartment becomes too expensive; or food becomes scarce.

We are there now and everyone should know this. But Miss Shikami (wrongly) attributes it to discount days and freebie hunters. Which is insane. If I can, absolutely or nearly, every week get ten pairs of eyes on my store, and make L$250 per week on that alone, that's one-third of one parcel's rent. If I can get, absolutely or nearly, every week twenty pairs of eyes on my store, and make L$500 per week on that alone, that's one-third of the second parcel's rent. Undercutting? Gearing expectations towards the bargain prices alone?

Frankly, do I care?

Emilly Orr said...

Gaius,

Still haven't been in to InWorldz--that z, that damnable z!--yet, and likely not going to, but she's selling things and insanely low prices there? Why, if she's so hyped against sales groups?

Smacks more than a bit hypocritical, to me...

Lalo Telling said...

The drama continues on the InWorldz side: something about no longer selling sculpt maps or textures for others to use at all. I'm not logged into IW right now to dig out the group notice... I'll report back later if anyone's interested.

@Rachel: Only thing I know of close to what you asked about is the Builder's Help subforum in the IW Forum. Doesn't look like textures (or other supplies) have been addressed yet. There's another subforum for textures, but both it and the builder's one are "how to", not "where to get".

I'll be pleased to join an InWorldz group you start up for that purpose, and I'm sure my partner will, too. IM me there :)

Lalo Telling said...

OK, I just had to log in and check... This is posted in the Group Charter space [verbatim cut-and-paste]:

We no longer sell textures and sculpts .. sorry! We can't afford to sell them as low as some expect us to as we'd have many from other worlds coming here, buying them on the cheap, and returning to the other worlds to upload them. We have to charge a consistent USD value =(. Sorry!
What we are doing is selling the things we make with our collection CHEAP=) Dirt CHEAP! So the silver lining is, if you saw it over there, and you want it over here, chances are you can get it already built & for a song YAY


The Notices tab in Group Info is blanked out, even though I'm a member... but as I recall, the last notice said essentially the same thing.

So, the "ADA and T&A Sculpts Update Group" is now misnamed, as is the "Builder's Paradise" region. Now it's just another shlock store. If it's being relied upon to pay its own way, I doubt it'll be on the grid much longer.

Emilly Orr said...

Mr. Telling,

What are they hearing, that this is their answer? Who are the overwhelming masses informing them they only want to pay tuppence per texture? That's what I'm wanting to know.

Lalo Telling said...

Miss Emilly,

It's been the "conventional wisdom" -- which I consider to be common sense -- for some time that just because the exchange rate of I'z to L$ was 2:1, a merchant ought not to charge twice as much in InWorldz as the do in SL for the same item... because operating costs in IW are ~75% lower (that's for a private island; mainland, such as it is, is cheaper still).

That is, something priced in SL at L$300 has generally been priced in IW at I'z 300, even though the yield in real money (USD, for instance) is only half. Actually, a little less now... when the L$ dropped against the USD on the Lindex, some cagey people were using the 2:1 exchange rate to their advantage. Now the I'z has been pegged at flat rate of USD 1 = 500 I'z, regardless of how the L$ has floated or sunk.

Opposing the conventional wisdom are people like Adaarye, who insist that they realize the same USD per transaction, regardless of which world it's made in. This is analogous to, say, charging the same $/sq.ft. rent in Peoria as in Manhattan for a building that is otherwise an exact copy.

There has been, as they say, "push-back" expressed in the forums by a few of the more vocal types. Most of us understand Mr. Smith's Invisible Hand, and quietly set our prices to what the market will bear.

[It should be pointed out in passing that there presently is no way to "cash out" directly from InWorldz. To do so requires converting I'z to L$ and cashing out of SL.]

Emilly Orr said...

So technically, it's just an in-game currency, so to speak, like Runes of Magic and gold; it doesn't actually value in the same way, period.

Though to be fair, they've set themselves up by allowing even an off-site, unofficial currency exchange; either your currency has real-world value (like WoW gold, or Runes' diamonds) or it does not (everyone else).

But essentially what you're saying: if I sell a L$250 frock here, should I set up in InWorldz, I realistically should price that same frock at L$125?

No wonder she's acting irrationally--she wants to be paid twice, and full price, for something no one wants to pay half of once for, on the SL side of things, in IW. Phhht.

Yes. Think you're right. She won't be around long.