Saturday, October 9, 2010

and when I think of it, my fingers turn to fists

So, I hit post on this too soon; I had some bad edits, and it erased the top half of my entry. So I've had to do a bit of reconstructing.

Edited more or less back in place, this is what I wanted to say:

So there's a bit of controversy brewing around the Sleepy Hollow Gothic Bridge--which, when I acquired it, was set as a freebie; now it has the fun dodge of "Pay L$500 for it, and I'll fully refund your purchase price!"

Right. That's going to work.

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Here's both bridges, side by side. They are roughly the same height, though Vryl Valkyrie's is a bit longer than forty meters, and Abel Dreamscape's is hovering around the thirty-five meter mark. They look similar on the surface.

Why this is a big deal: a while ago, Valkyrie became one of the hydra heads of the makers' rights movement. Now, many of us are in this fight, to greater or lesser extent; but Vryl Valkyrie, at least once, wrangled some screen time out of her anti-Copybot stance.

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Here's the stanchion on the Troubled Bridge. They're angled--at least on visual inspection--with remarkably similar inclines and build types. I suppose this might be dismissed as this style of bridge, but this style of bridge already existed.

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Here's the stanchion on the same side of the Sleepy Hollow Gothic Bridge. They appear to be the same texture.

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The underside of the Troubled Bridge. The span is formed of wooden slats; there's a greater 'lived-in' feel to Dreamscape's work.

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The Sleepy Hollow bridge, on the other hand, uses a simple hollowed megaprim tiled in seamless stone--possibly part of the same set that was used on the stanchions of (it seems, at least visually) both bridges.

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The underside of the cupola roof on the Troubled Bridge. Made a few years back, when sculpts were first introduced, it was textured as a whole. The cupola itself was made by e-Tek--it's "Pyramid #1". The spans under the cupola roof section have mid-level shine on them, and are also curved sculpts.

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By contrast, the curved sections of the Sleepy Hollow bridge seem to be simple toruses, cut and positioned. Also, Valkyrie's cupola is textured on the bottom, unlike Dreamscape's. While the cupola roof also comes from e-Tek (and is also "Pyramid #1"), there is a separate prim added underneath, that is textured differently, but with the edges matching the roof texture. (The cupola roof itself, when viewed, is textured in the exact same pattern as the roof on Dreamscape's bridge.)

(She claims these are all original textures; if you scroll to the bottom of her Marketplace entry for this bridge, you'll find a link to a L$5000 texture package. least some of these textures either come from the same place, or were made by the same person. Could it have been web lifting? Sure. Is it? I don't know.)

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My conclusion? While incredibly similar, they are not the same bridge.

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But even the tiling on the walking sections nearly matches--and if you didn't catch it, let me point it out. This:

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is Dreamscape's Troubled bridge tiling. And this:

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is Valkyrie's Sleepy Hollow bridge tiling. It's not the same texture--it looks like it's based on a photographic texture, whereas Dreamscape's may or may not be photo-based--but it's so close it nearly makes no difference.

I have no actual, admitted proof of this, but I will go on record now as saying Vryl Valkyrie may not have directly ripped off Abel Dreamscape's work, but she did her very level best to recreate it on every level.

Dreamscape is not new to the grid. Neither, for that matter, is Valkyrie (though she's younger than Dreamscape). Why is this happening? This is blatant, and seems to fly in the face of every bit of protesting Valkyrie has done against copyright infringement.

Frankly, this move by Valkyrie tarnishes the makers' rights movement--of which I do think I am a part--just as much as Marianne McCann traipsing her little child butt around Zindra, opening day. It's that damning to me.

I'd love to hear whatever explanation she has for this, I really would. (Not Miss McCann; she's already given her explanations, and I didn't put faith in them then, so I don't need to hear them now. I mean Miss Valkyrie.) Why would a proponent of makers' rights copy anyone else's work? Why would a known activist against Copybot programs, and other aids to copying prims, textures and scripting, ever put something like this up as a freebie? Moreover, why would that selfsame person, when confronted with direct evidence, become shrill and offended and blame Dreamscape of all people?

When his bridge was clearly built first, and put on the Marketplace before it was the Marketplace? It's insane.

More on the Linden-level destruction of SL-based education.

Mr. Telling pointed me towards Ignatius Onomatopoeia's blog, who's been in education in Second Life for quite some time. He pointed me towards Tateru Nino's comments on the topic. Which are somewhat confusing--not her comments, mind; she's very very clear. But it's who she's quoting--apparently Jack Linden, the hated and despised--who's saying that this is all to make the grid better. This is just one of--one presumes, many, and more to come--the changes to level the playing field. Or something.

Here's my problem with all of this. Apart from Jack Linden himself (my loathing of him goes clear back to the popping up of Zindra as the adult continent, shortly after renaming it from Ursula), this one goes all the way up to Philip Rosedale-aka-Linden. I tend to agree with the contention that he's either:

a) incredibly distant from, and contemptuous of, his userbase, and literally could care less what any of us think;


b) grooming the company and its affiliations for a sale to someone as yet unmentioned (obviously not Microsoft, who turned them down).

I'm wondering which it is. Anyone know?


Tateru said...

I'm not sure who actually wrote the quote. I got it from LL PR who do not always attribute it to a specific individual at the Lab.

Could have come from Jack, but might not have.

Emilly Orr said...

True enough. I inferred it not from anything you said, but from Ignatius' comments about the entry; I'll make it more plain.

...Wait, though. That means there's still a PR department at the Labs! Or at least a PR cubicle. I thought they fired everyone connected to public relations...

Tateru said...

There is still one person that I know of, plus an outsourced agency whose name I cannot recall. Most of the Lab's PR functions have been outsourced since 2007, I believe.

Elizabeth Gallagher said...

I know this is old news but I can shed some light.

OK the textures you refer (black stone wall types textures) are freebies off the net made by an artist who "V for Vendetta” represents in SL with some of his commercial stuff too.
So nothing strange there, you mention seeing some of the textures in 5000 freebie kits (?)
95% of textures in these mega packs in SL are illegal and they were derived from many big name texture companies such as and
PPL get them off torrent sites, upload them to SL and sell or give them. Nothing new there, has always been the case and will continue to be the case, just as it is on the www in general.
So, I would imagine the textures that were used in the bridge made by "V For Vendetta” were original and came from a collection she sells as the agent of a hand full of RL artists she represents in SL (she cant make her own after all) so she isn’t using ripped textures.
The reason why she has copied (replicated NOT copy botted) Ables stuff and released it onto the market as a freebie is probably because she is attacking him for personal reasons and this is a spite trick.

The woman thrives on conflict, aggression, spite, the sound of her own voice and in my opinion no longer knows the difference between fact and fiction the line between the two, at least in her head.

Anyone friend or foe who has spent more than an hour in the company of V For Vendetta will know she is emotionally unstable at best and an absolute nut job at worse.

Clever in some ways, lies with the truth etc and bloody thick as pig shit on another level (insults pals intelligence with absurd lies and claims)

How do I know? Aww, well, she was sweet on me for 3 years...not heard from or about her for a while.. I kinda miss her.

LillyBeth Filth

Anonymous said...

Some of the textures Abel used/uses are from a freebie set of textures called Josef's Tear. That set was created for a game that was never released due to the Indonesian tsunami in 2004. (See reference Vryl decided to hold a personal vendetta against Abel because Abel was using these downloaded textures in SL without purchasing them through her which she claims was against copyright. Per the included license by Rich Gionvanni, it states that you may use them as long as you credit him. There was quite a bit of ugliness on this subject, some of which I was drawn into for questioning WHY she would do what she did. I didn't know she had a problem with Abel until I questioned the item in my marketplace comments which she used as an opening to attack me, then remove her comments making it looked like I attacked her, LOL. There was a whole thread on the forums for a while, where she went back and removed comments to make it look like we were all attacking her so she could report us which resulted in suspensions from the forums for limited time. The bridge was built as a personal attack against Abel for using textures she felt he should have paid her for in SL, when the license outside SL clearly stated otherwise. I contacted Rich Giovanni myself for clarification of the license. ~ Star

Emilly Orr said...

And two years later, I finally have context. Okay, that makes more sense in terms of her personal desire for revenge against Dreamscape, for the imagined ill usage; having gone through something quite similar with someone else at the sim my shop first occupied space, I get that sometimes, crazy people are crazy, and there's just no way to deal with them in any rational fashion.

I still think it damages her cause, severely, to copy (replicate, not copybot) some other makers' work, however. Similar architectural styles are one thing, but she did everything she could to make that bridge look exactly like Dreamscape's (only not as good, IMO), then put it up as a freebie to further tarnish his reputation.

Yeah. That's a cheap shot and a ploy for attention wrapped up with a bright shiny bow.