Wednesday, June 1, 2011

in the late of the evening, with the cold in my eyes

Ten reasons why watching fantasy and sf shows is a good thing.

Worldwide music takes on the Rolling Stones. One world, singing together--yeah, that's much better than bombs.

Kirsten's Viewer strikes again--but this time around? She's made a 3D viewer...for a 3D world.

I don't get it, either.

Artist Olly Moss has a solo gallery show out called Papercuts; lucky us, she's also started a blog to show off. Sadly, I have several fandom fails where I don't recognize the silhouettes involved, but they're all wonderful.

Last entry I got a comment from someone praising me for a rant, I think (I never take those comments quite seriously, it'd be like praising me for breathing...wait. Breathing isn't an autonomic process with me...Hmm. Okay, I get the point, but I was making another one, so we move on), and as a by-product, I've been reading through her blog. I hit this entry, which made me ponder, and then I found this one, still reading back, and then hit what I thought was the main entry (though as it turns out, I'm wrong, the controversy goes back farther).

And this is Dolly and Lilith Heart's response to some part of the controversy.

Now, I'm not going to go into the whole thing in terms of my experiences with others; I've ranted that rant, and have no intent of revisiting. And that's not entirely relevant here, anyway--while it should be the responsibility of everyone who seeks to protect the copyrights they have to protect those copyrights, it's not an easy process, and there are some severe downsides to doing it. Because, yet again, DMCA was never intended to be used in all the ways it's being used today. It just isn't that robust a law.

But, I figured I might have an important point from someone who does work with an estate company, who is always looking for new and interesting landscaping ideas: most of us won't shop at Heart Botanicals, flat out. This is a Solace Beach-wide thing. Why?

It's not because any of us even heard of this controversy. We're not boycotting or making a fuss or saying they do bad work; they don't. (In pure point of fact, they do amazing work, and always have.) Several of us, including the owner of Solace Beach, Ayesha Lytton, own palms, lilies and various beach plants and tropical ground covers from Heart Botanicals, after all.

Hells, just from reading through their blog, I dropped by yesterday for one of the beach bonfire sets. But I had to grit my teeth to do it.

Why? It's quite clear: nothing we buy from them is copiable. Nothing. And that kills its usefulness for us.

And it it bothers me to no end, because sometimes I have ended up deleting items because they hit the Lost & Found folder on a return, and I wasn't thinking. These days, I try to carefully rez out everything in Lost & Found, but at that point, once moved, they're never in their original folders, and things get jumbled, and yeah--in some cases, I've just forgotten. They have a series of volcano hot spring calderas that I adore for off-sim decoration; they also have a couple different versions of tropical ground cover that are just perfect for behind signs and next to difficult parcel transition points. And of course, I've long since fallen for their coconut palms with the lily vines...

But nothing they make is copiable, from their lemon topiaries down to the scattered beach-rock prims they make up. And I've pondered why such a big firm--big enough that, at least to the surface eye, some of their designs might well be being copied--steadfastly refuses to make copiable designs. Anyone who works with estate management is very clear on what that means--pay L$100, say, for five of something, no copy, or pay L$1000 for five of something copy. We get it, we're going to pay more for no-transfer versions.

But we need them if things are going to work.

Think about it: if I have a 4096 parcel, say, that needs some tropical additions before I plunk the land sign down, I'm looking--realistically--at two makers, Tobias Novi and Heart Botanicals. (While there are scores of other makers, and I've investigated most of them, those two people are really where I shop, when I shop tropical landscaping.)

And 90% of the time, I'm going to go with Novi's work (hells, even when I use Dolly and Lilith Heart's palms, I use Tobias Novi's shadows, come on!), because I can just delete it when it gets returned to me. Why? Because his items are copiable.

Sooner or later, we hit that wall of pretty vs. practical too many times.

In pure point of fact, I'm now in the process of shopping for similar sculpts--not in the attempt to copy them (I wouldn't dream of it, frankly) but solely and simply because some of what they do, in terms of plans, I can either buy from them (and get pretty single-serving plants and rocks), or find comparable sculpts, cobble them together, and have not quite so pretty, but copiable plants and rocks.

If you were managing several dozen parcels, what would you do? Or forget the building angle--if you had the choice between two palm sets, one lovely and tropical and amazing, with detailed prim work, but no copy; and the other one pretty damned good, with less variety but everything was copy, no transfer...Trust me, you'd shoot like an arrow towards the no-transfer items.

Because, at the end of the day, if I'm going to spend L$800 to L$3000 on something, I'm going to look for these things:

* Does it alpha badly?
* Will it fit a large area easily?
* If tropical ground covers, not palms, is it a good mix of rocks and plants, or plants and other debris?

And that last one? Really is the most important.

Will I boycott Heart Botanicals because of their stance on this? No. It's on the tacky side to call out the person, not the comment, but it happens, it's an unfortunate fact of the internet. More importantly, just examining the comparison shots, they may have something there, because their original meshes and their package layouts do seem to resemble the pieces on other grids--at least to the untrained eye.

But I won't lie, I'm working very hard to ensure that those replacements I can find to buy, I do, and those sculpts I can track down, to make on my own, I do. So that, once everything's found and as finalized as it's going to get, I won't need to shop at Heart Botanicals any more.

Because pretty only counts for so much. Past that, it's all about performance. And as far as being able to copy them across seventy-plus sims, Heart products simply do not perform.


Marie Ravencrow said...

Thanks for stopping by to read through some of my blog.

I don't rant often, but when I do, it's usually due to some ongoing injustice that I perceive - and blaming whole grids for ***possible*** copybotting is an injustice in my eyes.

I agree with you on the copy thing. I usually don't purchase from them at all unless I have no choice. The other one I've purchased from has been Tiki Tattoo, but they have the same problem - nothing's copyable.

What I didn't care for is how they missed my point, entirely. I don't dispute that they produce excellent product. Never did and never will. MY problem is how they steadfastly refuse to follow legal procedure to protect their copyright and just run around publicly slamming people and grids. THAT, to me, is not cool.

There are comments I didn't bother to unscreen. I was slammed for my own products - which I never claimed were on a par with theirs. Most of my things appeal to those who can't afford Heart products. Others appeal to different markets entirely.

Sometimes, people get very childish and petty.


Emilly Orr said...

Oh, I agree with you--I still have moments of irk, years later, after a contretemps I had with a group of protective-minded souls, because there are still sims I can't get into--they chose to ban me from entire sims just because I disagreed with certain people who run stores on those sims.

That aside, though, it's akin to taking shots at YouTube for something someone uploads--and pretty much for the same reason. YouTube also exists as a safe harbor, as does each of the SL-based open grids, and, in fact, SL itself. They can't act to ban suspected copyright infringement--by law, they have to wait until complaint has been filed.

Want something done about it? File a complaint--but be prepared to stay in it for a long haul, and have your business address exposed to the accused, because again, DMCA was never intended to be used by private unincorporated individuals.

I suspect I'm preaching to the choir there, how'ver. :) Though I have no doubt that someone will likely read this and think I'm attacking someone else they adore, and how could I, and I'm so mean, and blah blah blah...

Heard it already. As have you. But you're welcome.