[***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?"
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.
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.